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 studies, philosophical construction of space, gender politics, contemporaneity of indigenous 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 place.


Her major curatorial projects include “Di Hwa Sewage Treatment Plant Art Installation: A New Cosmopolitan World”, ”Street Theatre” (awarded as the best curating work and outstanding project by Ministry of Culture, Taipei, 2004-2005), “Pop Pill” (“Shanghai Cool”, Taiwan Section, Doland Museum, Shanghai, 2005), “Border-crossing, A Tale of Two Cities” (Taipei, Shanghai, 2005-2006), “Exorcising Exoticism”(Taipei, 2006), “Poetic Borderline” (“Borderliner”, Taiwan Section, Festival of Contemporary Art Varna, Bulgaria, 2007). She is the co-curator of the related project of 9th Shanghai Biennale “Zhongshan Park Project”(the related project of 9th Shanghai Biennale, Taiwan, China, 2012-2013), “A Revelation from Ponso no Tao”(Orchid Island, Taiwan, 2014),  Taitung Ruin Academy”(Taitung, Taiwan, 2014), “Topography of Mirror Cities” (Taipei, Dhaka, Bangkok, Jakarta, Phnom Penh and Kuala Lumpur, 2015-2021), “2018 Kuandu Biennale Seven Questions for Asia” (2018-2019), “2019 Green Island Human Rights Art Festival Visiting No.15 Liumagou: Memory, Place and Narrative” and “2020 Green Island Human Rights Art Festival If on the Margin, Draw a Coordinate.”

Archive
Archive

Issue 5 Curatorial Episteme
Editorial / Curatorial Episteme Hongjohn Lin
Epistemic Encounters Henk Slager
The Curatorial Thing Hongjohn Lin
Ethics of Curating Meng-Shi Chen

Issue 4 Curatorial Consciousness in the Times of Post-Nationalism
Editorial /​ Curatorial Consciousness in the Times of Post-Nationalism Manray Hsu
When Kacalisian Culture Meets the Vertical City: Contemporary Art from Greater Sandimen Manray Hsu
Pathways and Challenges: Art History in the Context of Global Contemporary Art Jau-Lan Guo
Curating Commemoration: Conditions of Political Choreography, a Performance Exhibition in Retrospect Sophie Goltz

Issue 3 Curating Performativity
Editorial /​ Curating Performativity I-wen Chang
Choreographing Exhibitions: Performative Curatorgraphy in Taiwan I-wen Chang
Living and Working Together in the Now Normal: Visual Arts and Co. at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre Pawit Mahasarinand
The Curatorial as A Praxis of Disobedience Miya Yoshida

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​
Issue 5 Curatorial Episteme

Issue 4 Curatorial Consciousness in the Times of Post-Nationalism

Issue 3 Curating Performativity

Issue 2 Curators' Living Rooms

Issue 1 Curatography