See me, feel me, touch me, heal me: working with affect, emotion, and creation of transformative energies as a feminist curatorial practice

Elina, Suoyrjö (2019) See me, feel me, touch me, heal me: working with affect, emotion, and creation of transformative energies as a feminist curatorial practice. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This research presents the gap contemporary curatorial discourses have in terms of feminist theory and work, as well as the gap principal contemporary discourses on feminisms and curating have in terms of discursive curatorial practices and independent curatorship. I argue, that the current discussions on feminisms and curating are narrowed down by governing art historical approaches, in which focus remains on representation instead of curatorial practice. Focusing primarily on exhibitions presenting art by feminist and/or women artists, the critique remains in the ways exhibitions are framed in terms of art historical narratives within museum institutions.

The paradigm of feminist curating needs to be shifted to the realm of the curatorial, in order to extend the discussion to discursive feminist curatorial practices and the actual potential of feminist curatorial work with art. Within the curatorial, curating is seen beyond exhibition-making as a discursive practice with art, artists, spaces and audiences.

Drawing from curatorial theory, affect theory, and feminist new materialist theory, I present a model for a feminist curatorial practice based on a process of thinking with art, and aiming at creating transformative energies through affective encounters with artworks. The practice relies on the political potential of affect, and engages the notion of affective transformation as an essential part of feminist work with contemporary art. Curating is discussed in relation to independent curatorhip, with reflection on my own practice.

I analyse current discourses in the fields of contemporary curating, and curating and feminist thought, and present current views on feminist affect and new materialist theory. I discuss the topics through reflection on selected artistic and curatorial practices, exhibition projects, and two group exhibitions I have curated during the research process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
B. > Theses
Item ID: 27962
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2019 10:13
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2019 23:18
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/27962

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