The Curatorial Research-Creation Collective
In January of 2018, the Curatorial Research-Creation Collective came together and posed the question, “what is curation as research-creation,” and thus began our journey to understand what it would mean to enact such a practice.
This question emerged, for us, out of a proposition to curate an exhibition of student research-creation work being produced at the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia. As a collective in formation we were asked to curate research-creation work, which, in turn, illuminated a multitude of points of inquiry around what research creation actually is, and furthermore how to show work that crosses disciplinary knowledges and evades categorization while also demanding an eye to the creative and research processes invested into research-creation projects. Before we could curate research-creation work we needed to understand what research-creation really was; a paradox as it emerges as a field of study in academia without a fixed methodology.
As a group, our knowledges come together from many areas, as artists, researchers, academics and not, writers, performers and as curators with varying practices. One thing we seemed to collectively agree upon was that a curatorial practice could, indeed, be a research creation practice that is transversal, intuitive and that cannot be qualified though a set method.
What is curation as research-creation? This question demands that we first define curation and research-creation. As a collective, we understand research-creation in line with Erin Manning’s work…For Manning, research-creation proposes modes for rethinking the very question of what is at stake in pedagogy, in practice, and in collective experimentation. The hyphen between research and creation opens the differential between making and thinking, Manning argues that this differential needs to be kept alive in its difference, that we must always inquire into what the hyphen of research-creation does to, and in between, thinking and a creative practice (11). Research-creation, through its hyphen, must maintain an ecology of practices, requiring us to think multiply (13).
What is creation as research-creation?
-curation as research-creation produces new knowledges that are emergent and that may not be intelligible within current understandings of what knowledge might look like.
-curation as research-creation conceives of an exhibition or curatorial gesture that is transversal and moves across disciplinary knowledges, and beyond art historical knowledges.
-curation as research-creation requires that the curator care for works of art, and artists, and to work the hyphen, to acknowledge that a curatorial practice is a thinking and creative practice.
Curatorial Practice as Research-Creation, a roundtable presentation at the UAAC/AAUC Conference at the University of Waterloo.