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Title: Curating contemporary art : an investigation into the relationships between new media art and contemporary art through curatorial theory and practice
Author: Nedkova, Iliyana
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 2051
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis contributes to an understanding of contemporary curatorial practice and theory through an investigation into the complex relationship between new media art and contemporary art. A fresh curatorial perspective is introduced charting three major forms of relationships between new media art and contemporary art - antagonism, ambiguity and convergence. A historical evolution starting with antagonism, moving through ambiguity and finally converging the forces of new media art and contemporary art is proposed and explored throughout the thesis. The overarching research question: is there a need for distinct curatorial theory and practice of new media art underpins the hypothesis and furthermore puts the selected curatorial projects to the test. What emerges is a strong argument for the incorporation of new media art and its associated curatorship into the more encompassing entity of contemporaineity - its art, as well as its theory and practice of curating. Inspired by the method of critical reflection, Curating Contemporary Art opens with a hypothesis featuring an introduction, literature review and curatorial methodology outline. A novel notion of curatorial constituents: pre- production, production and post-production is proposed and then further investigated in relation to each of the four selected case studies. This approach provides a navigable structure for each of the three chapters. Specific issues of the curatorial constituents are highlighted under the relevant stage in each chapter. This host of curatorial issues with references to a range of appendices, including a detailed bibliography, lie at the thesis research core. The thesis ends with a synthesis or a conclusion. Overall, the thesis aims to enrich the current curatorial discourse through professional-confessional analysis of issues such as curatorial premise, theme-led practice, eo- curatorship, curatorial commissions, public commissions, funding, added value, ownership, genre and time-based notions. Here, a refreshing curatorial eye is cast on those issues in an attempt to foreground the importance of exhibition making, its theory and practice. Period-wise, the current investigation positions the thesis as part of the larger and ongoing project for curatorial historisation of the decade at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21 st Centuries. It also asserts its intention to boldly go where no comprehensive curatorial study has ventured before by probing deeply into our assumptions about new media art, contemporary art and curatorship such as: is there a specific entity as curating computer based art or just curating contemporary art? Furthermore, it builds its innovative hypothesis around the three forms of relationships between the two art worlds under scrutiny: antagonistic, ambiguous and convergent, by comparing curatorial views and analysing experiences from across the two 'ideological camps'; by distinguishing between curatorial practice and curatorial theory while tracing their own origin and historical precedents. The antagonism of the mainstream art world towards new media and vice versa has contributed to the marginalisation of new media art and even its demarcation outside of the cultural mainstream. The marked ambivalence between the two fields of study is explored through the oscillating love-hate relationship which provides evidence for the reasons why the contemporary art world still sends out mixed signals of love and enmity about its digital other half. At the other end of the spectrum, the relationship between new media art and contemporary art appears much more convergent, amicable and mutually beneficial. The pioneering example set by New York's Postmasters Gallery is discussed in the self-reflective contemporary context of ARC Projects Gallery, Sofia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available