Dominic Czechowski is a curator. The role of the curator in the art world is to create the ‘vehicle’ by which art can be seen at its best. The curator ensures that the gallery / exhibition is organised to facilitate the both the displaying and the public access and to maximise the visitor experience. I was looking forward to an insight into how a curator examines a piece of art and adds his or her curatorial creativeness and prepares the piece for public viewing.
Alas the talk was predominately about the role of a curator and Dominic Czechowski’s rise to his currant position which though interesting actually gave very little light on the decision making processes involved.
One clue we were given was an outline of Dominic’s principles of curating. He described the relationship between the artist and himself as one based on trust and honesty fuelled by a vigorous dialogue, a shared excitement and a pooling of knowledge. To this end he used the tools of ‘display, catalogue, texts, audio guides and clever installation of the art to make it accessible and meaningful.
I asked one question at the conclusion of the 1 hour 20 minute talk. “Who gets the last word in the selection of pieces of art to include.” He complemented me on my question but decided on reflection that the curator should in most cases have the last word.
I see this talk as almost a missed opportunity. Dominic Czechowski is curator of the Hayward Gallery and it would have been more insightful had he detailed the last exhibition he created and took us all through his process of selection, the decisions on how the work should be displayed and how he groups disparate works together.
Robert Kusmirowski piece displayed as part of an exhibition curated by Dominic Czechowski at the Curve Gallery at the Barbican, London