By commissioning new works and organizing events to respond to the location in relation to the customary themes of the World’s Fair, the Curatorial Practice class of 2007 has created a public project that demonstrates the plural approaches of artists, filmmakers and architects in addressing cultural and social concerns, while also highlighting the increasingly outdated or media-oriented approach to engaging audiences in notions of progress. Furthermore, they have worked closely with local groups, businesses and entrepreneurs to embed the project in the vicinity and amplify on-going ventures that exist in the neighborhood.
This is the third exhibition project to occur since the inception of the MA Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts, and the first to address site-specificity beyond the gallery. Taking place toward the end of the student’s two-year course of study, the project reflects their interests in exploring the potential of curating to create “live” discussion for participants and audiences alike. This has been influenced by the expertise of over fifty curators, artists and critics who have worked with the students throughout their time as graduates, offering their insights and expertise through seminars, lectures and informal meetings.
The student’s approach to the exhibition project has evolved as they have questioned and challenged what curating is and could be, as well as testing the dynamic between artists, exhibition space and audiences. Often complex and challenging, the act of developing the project collaboratively between ten curators has been an exercise in group dynamics and negotiation. Together the students have carried out every aspect of the project productionfrom managing the budget to devising and overseeing the marketing and public relations; negotiating sites and permissions to managing the commissionsas well as defining the curatorial concept, selecting the artists, and editing and writing the catalogue. In effect the class has established itself as an institution, delegating roles, creating deadlines, articulating concerns, and prioritizing tasks to bring the project into fruition.