Curating with Care


Edited ByElke Krasny, Lara Perry
Edition1st Edition
First Published2023
eBook Published15 March 2023
Pub. LocationLondon
eBook ISBN9781003204923
SubjectsArts, Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Humanities, Museum and Heritage Studies, Social Sciences

Curating with Care

This book presents over 20 authors’ reflections on ‘curating care’ – and presents a call to give curatorial attention to the primacy of care for all life and for more ‘caring curating’ that responds to the social, ecological and political analysis of curatorial caregiving.

Social and ecological struggles for a different planetary culture based on care and respect for the dignity of life are reflected in contemporary curatorial practices that explore human and non-human interdependence. The prevalence of themes of care in curating is a response to a dual crisis: the crisis of social and ecological care that characterizes global politics and the professional crisis of curating under the pressures of the increasingly commercialized cultural landscape. Foregrounding that all beings depend on each other for life and survival, this book collects theoretical essays, methodological challenges and case studies from curators working in different global geographies to explore the range of ways in which curatorial labour is rendered as care.

Practising curators, activists and theorists situate curatorial labour in the context of today’s general care crisis. This volume answers to the call to more fully understand how their transformative work allows for imagining the future of bodily, social and environmental care and the ethics of interdependency differently.

Curating a Collective Body

A Non-Idealized Concept of Care


This chapter describes how MATERNAL FANTASIES, a Berlin-based feminist art collective has established a radical art practice by what they have come to call the ‘rotational work/care model’. This rotational model refers to all aspects of art production, including authorship, organizing, hosting, editing, production, finances, and communication while also including reproductive tasks like cooking, cleaning, and childcare. The chapter further describes how MATERNAL FANTASIES integrates their children into the artistic process. What started out from a practical necessity to resist persisting forms of structural discrimination has opened up new potentialities on how to build/curate a collective body based on a non-idealized version of care. The chapter describes how this collective body expands the concept of curating as a practice of care towards a reciprocal process of giving and receiving, which is rooted in the history of feminist organizing and draws on the theoretical lineage and practice of maternal thinking.