Shahar Marcus, The Curator
Curator: Drorit Gur Arie
The video work The Curator, created especially for Spot—the Museum’s new media and cinema space—responds to the exhibition “Curators & Co.” with sharp humor. It exposes the fine relationship between the curator, and the artist and artwork, unfolding the development of the figure of the creator-curator—a powerful, authoritative entity that has moved on from its hidden, silent place behind-the-scenes to the foreground of the art world. Alongside the curator’s traditional function as mediator between works of art and the viewer, or between the artist’s studio and the exhibition space, new practices now prevail, furnishing curators with a lead role in this arena and considerable public exposure.
Structured like a Hollywood trailer with rhythmical editing and multiple effects, Shahar Marcus’s video piece depicts a curator’s “rise to power” with a measure of grotesqueness, sketching a map of the art world, with the curator reigning supreme. Mapping external signs and cultural codes, Marcus traces the activity of the curator and his multiple functions, ponders over the skills required for this coveted position, and analyzes the mechanism of self-glorification which makes the conductor of art’s orchestra tick. In passing, he also criticizes the superficiality and pretense in the art world, the “celeb” culture which crowns objects of admiration and imitation, and the yearning of patrons—powerful tycoons—to establish their high status by means of art works and artists. The film offers a “behind-the-scenes” peek into this impulse-ridden world, often perceived as a detached, elitist bubble, thereby shedding light on one of the aspects of contemporary culture.