The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

Let's Talk About Curating, Baby

By examining a variety of curatorial approaches this forum unpacked the debates and tensions of what it means to be a contemporary curator in Australia today - with Zanny Begg, Michael Dagostino, Blair French and Tulleah Pearce and chaired by Nicholas Tsoutas

Let's talk

One of the important challenges for creating the future of contemporary practice in Australia is the role and definition of the curator. The rise of the critical contemporary curator was founded on the shift from the hegemony of modernity to the site of the post-modern and critical contemporary artists’ practices and the politics of empowerment of these practices as opposed to the history of objects.

This forum examined a variety of curatorial approaches and unpacked some of the debates and tensions of what it means to be a contemporary curator in Australia today.


Michael Dagostino, Director of Campbelltown Arts Centre, discussed the changing roles of curators, community, artists and audiences. Located on the edge of Sydney, Campbelltown Arts Centre is in a unique position to forge collaborative exchanges - between artists, disciplines and communities. These opportunities allow for innovative curatorial situations to occur and new streams of practice to be realised.

Tulleah Pearce, Director at Firstdraft an Artist Run Initiative in Sydney, discusses curating in the collective environment of an ARI and how ARIs can support emerging curatorial practice.

Blair French, Director, Curatorial & Digital at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, discusses 'curatorial time', the importance of duration to a critical curatorial practice and the institution as a critical project.

Zanny Begg, an artist, curator, theorist and academic at UNSW Art and Design, discusses the artist as curator and how the curatorial model is informed and challenged by artists, particularly those working across art forms and with diverse communities.

Questions for our speakers from the audience at Let's Talk About Curating, Baby; Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney.

Let's Talk About Curating, Baby