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November 2021, English
16.5×23 cm, 208 pages, 10 b/w and 31 color ill., softcover
ISBN 978-3-95679-534-3

In spite of the heightened interest in the curatorial since the late twentieth century, the structural conditions and potentials underpinning its special sociocultural status have yet to be defined. Taking this as a starting point, Beatrice von Bismarck’s The Curatorial Condition outlines the curatorial—that field of cultural activity and knowledge that relates to the becoming-public of art and culture—as a domain of practice and meaning with its own structures, conditions, rules, and procedures.

Von Bismarck focuses on the relations created by the curatorial—relations between human and nonhuman participants. Rather than foregrounding partial definitions of the activity of curating, the subjectivization of the curator, and the presentation format of the exhibition, she emphasizes the interplay of all these factors. A conceptual framework is proposed to highlight the activity, the subject position, and the resulting product as always already dynamically interrelated in its genesis, articulation, and function. Not least, this situates the curatorial condition in the context of key parameters of societal developments over the last half century.