ISSUE 2 Curators’ Living Rooms
Curators’ Living Rooms

Curators’ living rooms are artistic labyrinths of thinking and practice, places compatible with both reality and imagination. 

According to the description in “Extended Living Room: Space and Conversation” by the Indonesian Jakarta art group ruangrupa, this living room is a place for them to “hang out” (in Indonesian, nongkrong), and it is a place for learning from each other, sharing living in the moment with others, and having a good time together. At the same time, it is also a place for them to develop the “barn” (lumbung in Indonesian) as the core metaphor to create a shared “resource pot” as a method to carry out collaborative thinking and collectivist practice. 

In the article “Freeing the Weights of the Habitual” written by Raqs Media Collective, an art group in New Delhi, India, the living room is a place to think about how to free the negative mechanism caused by the habitual narrative, and then to demand the right to create a new milieu. The key to Rags Media Collective’s curatorial “trans-action” is to understand “between divergent, and occasionally even contrary, arcs of making, vision and utterance” and holding “an egalitarian, non-rivalrous stance.” 

For me, the living room is the beginning of thinking about “Curating Topography”. According to the different situational knowledge of the place, it is regarded as an open art field, a platform for communication and dialogue, a public space that coheres the imagination of life, summons the production of relative and relational spaces, and operates dialectically in both actual living spaces and abstract intangible cultural spaces. With the “ethical axis of symbiosis with the others”, the “political spectrum of the interdependence of the marginalized” and the “aesthetic glimmer of artistic topography”, a metaphorical and futuristic place that is constantly changing and redeploying at any time is projected. 

In the art labyrinth in the form of a living room, the sincerity embodied in the encounter between people, the clarity that flashes when communicating with others, and the brightness formed by warm kindness and friendship altogether paint a subtle and interesting path, responding to world-making of various origins, and engrave a spiritual landscape and a theater of life for the world we live in that touches all of us.  

1 Hans Ulrich Obrist. A Brief History of Curating. Zurich: JPR Ringier, 2011,p. 9.
2 Steven Rand and Heather Kouris. Cautionary Tales: Critical Curating. New York: Apexart, 2007, p. 41.
3 Mary Ann Stainszewski. The Power of Display: A History of Exhibition Installation at the Museum of Modern Art. Cambridge: MIT press, 1998, pp.25-27.
4 Terry Smith.Thinking Contemporary Curating. New York : International Independent Curating, 2012.
5 Maria Lind, in Jens Hoffmann and Maria Lind “To Show or not to Show,” Mousse Magazine, no. 31, July, 2019, http://moussemagazine.it/jens-hoffmann-maria-lind-2011/
6 Cautionary Tales, 26
7 Boris Groys. Art Power. Cambridge, MIT press, 2008, p.49
8 Jacques Derrida, Dissemination. Translated by Barbara Johnson, London : Athlone Press, 1981, p.169
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Author

Sandy Hsiu-chih Lo is an independent curator whose main research areas include urban theory, philosophical construction of space, gender politics, contemporaneity of aboriginal art, and situated knowledge. Her current program focuses on curating as a method of social practice, spatial practice, and critical thinking. Curating topography, a curatorial practice method that she has actively used in recent years, uses relative and relational spatial concepts to bring to light different cultural concepts such as myths, legends, history, memories, morals, ethics, desires and rights embedded in the pluralistic dialectic concept of place in order to strengthen political and ethical transformation through the contrast, confrontation, overlap, and juxtaposition in the becoming of space. 

Archive
Archive
Issue 2 Curators' Living Rooms
Editorial /​ Curators' Living Rooms Sandy Hsiu-chih Lo
Extended Living Room: Space and Conversation ruangrupa(Ade Darmawan, Mirwan Andan)
Freeing the Weights of the Habitual Raqs Media Collective
Curating Topography Sandy Hsiu-chih Lo
Issue 1 Curatography
Editorial /​ One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward Hongjohn Lin
What is Curatography? Hongjohn Lin
Les fleurs américaines Yoann Gourmel, Elodie Royer​
There are No Blank Slates Eileen Legaspi Ramirez​
Archive
Issue 2 Curators' Living Rooms
Editorial Curators' Living Rooms Sandy Hsiu-chih Lo
Extended Living Room: Space and Conversation ruangrupa(Ade Darmawan, Mirwan Andan)
Freeing the Weights of the Habitual Raqs Media Collective
Curating Topography Sandy Hsiu-chih Lo
Issue 1 Curatography
Editorial / Curatography Hongjohn Lin
What is Curatography? Hongjohn Lin
Les fleurs américaines Yoann Gourmel, Elodie Royer
There are No Blank Slates Eileen Legaspi Ramirez