Undergraduate Humanities Forum 2005-6: Word & Image

Document Type


Date of this Version

April 2006


2005-2006 Penn Humanities Forum on Word & Image, Undergraduate Mellon Research Fellows.

URL: http://humanities.sas.upenn.edu/05-06/mellon_uhf.shtml


Originally I looked to curatorial practices to investigate the theme of 'word and image' due to the interplay of words such as wall texts, brochures, catalogues and promotional cards in conjunction with the art as image. When I approached the research I began to see these various texts as a framing device, or filter, for the work. My research into curatorial practices in contemporary art examines the field's historical growth and present condition. If in this talk the explicit relationship between words and images seems lost, it is not lost, but rather embedded into the intrinsic nature of exhibition. A viewer utilizes texts to narrate an exhibit, those texts are manifestations of the curator's thoughts and intentions for the show, and these intentions are formed by a theoretical foundation. My interests grew from the microcosm of text and image relations to the larger history and condition of exhibiting contemporary art and the curatorial profession. A curator can speak personally about his or her own views of how to set up a show, but when exhibiting art is considered generally and historically, many issues come into play. Most important are issues of the art market, the institutional system, the power of the curatorial voice, and the capacity the exhibition has to echo a cultural current.



Date Posted: 27 July 2007