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sweeping curators

vol.0, 2013; group performance, documentation

Sweeping Curators manifesto

"If one considers practice- that is, critical practice, counterpractice- as the transformation of social, subjective, or economic relations, then the best, and perhaps only, point of engagement is with those relations in their enactment. The point is not to interpret those relations, as they exist elsewhere; the point is to change them." [Andrea Fraser in. Museum Highlights]


The idea of non-formal and permeable group 'Sweeping Curators' emerged from specific institutional context within central and eastern Europe. If we can talk about omnipresent precarity as a general condition of (not only) cultural worker thorough contemporary societies, there is another distinct aspect of cultural work in this space-time node; that is a very different position in relation to social and economical hierarchies within "world of art" from that of "western" cultural producer.
As mentioned above- 'Sweeping Curators' is a non-hierarchical and transmutating group of (not exclusively) cultural workers operating as performance group of temporary character- assembling and disassembling on the occasion of every action. As productions of cultural events (exhibitions, talks, performances etc.) in our context are in most cases non-professionalized and the result is that everyone does everything- artists from production of works to drilling holes for nails, curators from creating concepts to washing restrooms before the opening and technical support from seting up projections to completing ideas. However chaotical and unfavorable this situation may sound it bears many positive aspects- mostly deconstruction of traditional "art-world" hierarchies through almost "tactile" experience of participants of different positions within and outside of it; or grasping varieties of modes of operations and activities- understanding of necessity of particular, even the smallest deeds.
As a result we decided to form a "cleaning squad" that would offer its services for free (or optional honorarium) to public or private institutions, off-spaces and individual producers. We would clean-up exhibition spaces before and after exhibitions while doing this openly for public- basically as performance. By this, the question of neatness in contemporary art comes into play; while we tend see conteporaneity as endless intertwining of any possible cultural threads, spaces of production and presentation and the art itself keep on questioning what they are.
We work with deplacement of the attributed roles and exposing concealed labor, the intermezzos/gaps between "the gestures of the real culture". As mostly insiders there is also an important aspect of absence of patos towards the artworks and exhibition spaces we are operating with(in). This pathos, we do believe is signifier of their economical value rather than their scholastic/cultural/symbolical value. We do believe in humor and irony as one of the most liberating agents of transformation of social, cultural, subjective or economic relations.





























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