curating and caring, curating and affect, feminist curating, social reproduction, art patronage precarious labour in art
This article considers the changing definitions of curatorial labour in the light of affective economies of care and love. It examines how recent conceptions of curating shift emphasis from caring for objects and collections to producing and managing social networks, collective energies and professional relationships. While curators prioritize their care for artworks and artists, they often overlook the low-status and infrastructural activities that sustain curatorial production. At the same time, by over-identifying with their work, and instrumentalizing their personal relationships and energies, curators risk self-exploitation and burn-out. By recognizing curating’s inter-dependent nature, this article prompts a redefinition of curatorial care and calls for a reallocation of curatorial and institutional priorities and resources.