Critical reflections on Space for Interference
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The reflections are based on observations and experiences I made during and after the completion of the individual curatorial projects. I am, therefore, writing in the capacity of a contributing observer, who is assessing the material in retrospect, complete with the possibilities and pitfalls inherent in such a position. The temporal distance has relaxed the relationship to the different activities, but has also made it possible to see new aspects of the work. At the same time, this distance allows for retrospective rationalisation and interpretations that may obscure the actual turn of events. As I now describe my working method and my collaboration with the three artists, it is not my freelance curatorial practice per se that is the object of study, but how the artists and I worked together under the specific terms of this research programme. The production budget granted to me and the project’s time span made it possible for the artists and I to enter into a comprehensive and long-term collaboration. In that sense, the programme could be said to function as a protective bubble. For some artists this can be positive as it allows for in-depth study and concentration over time. For me, as the curator and producer, the protection of the programme also had negative implications, as the economic climate on the inside is very different from that of the outside, in the rest of the professional field. Funding for art projects in public spaces is almost never neutral, but tied – to varying degrees – to corporate or cultural-political interests, which is reflected in the curator or producer’s mandate and must be taken into account when reflecting on these types of commissions. The funding for the research programme was not tainted in this way, since its main aim was artistic research and development. I expand on the issue in the section where I discuss my own role in the research project.