Friday, August 14, 2015

The Curator: an art world fantasy.... (back by popular demand)


“The Curator,” an Art World Fantasy: Excerpts

by Edward M. Gómez  on June 28, 2015   

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The cover of Gómez’s collection of stories, “As Things Appear” (photo by Bill Westmoreland) (click to enlarge)

"... The Curator woke up one morning to the alarming realization that she understood nothing about art and that it was possible that she would never understand anything about art. More precisely, she realized that she understood nothing about painting and that it was possible that she would never understand anything about painting. Since she was currently putting the finishing touches on a big, costly exhibition of modern abstract paintings, which were to be shown alongside an impressive selection of medieval and Renaissance masterworks with which they supposedly shared important technical and thematic affinities — it would be her job to explain to viewers exactly what those relationships were — the morning’s unsettling discovery threw her into a fit of suffocating, immobilizing panic. […]
[D]espite her valuable education and years of diligent studying, suddenly she doubted that she had ever really grasped the essential spirit of any work of art, and when it came to painting, she could not recall ever having been instinctively, not merely intellectually, moved by any artist’s creation. Struck in the gut. Knocked off her feet. Warmed in her heart.
She could not answer this question: Had she ever really been seduced by art’s ineffable language of the soul?"

The Curator’s problems just keep coming. Back at work, the museum’s registrar informs her:
“The morons in U.S. Customs, when they were inspecting […] three late-arriving paintings [on loan to the big exhibition] — you’re not going to believe this, but they sliced right through the surfaces of the stretched canvases with their razor-cutter knives, the kind they use to cut through packing tape and plastic bubble wrap. I’m looking at their handiwork right now. It’s not pretty.”
The Curator let out a scream that prompted several employees seated in their cubicles next to her office to shoot up out of their chairs and look around the large workspace in fright"

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