Curating as Ethics

2020
Author:

Jean-Paul Martinon

Curating as Ethics

A new ethics for the global practice of curating

With its invigorating new approach to curatorial studies, Curating as Ethics moves beyond the field of museum and exhibition studies to provide an ethics for anyone engaged in this highly visible activity, including those using social media as a curatorial endeavor. It shows how philosophy and curating can work together to articulate the world today.

This is not only a masterful and wholly original rethinking of curating, it is also one of the most exciting treatises on ethics I have ever read. There are remarkably bracing philosophical insights on nearly every page, and Jean-Paul Martinon writes with such theoretical precision and poetic clarity. Heidegger after Martinon will forever have curating as part of ‘building dwelling thinking.’

John Paul Ricco, author of The Decision Between Us: Art and Ethics in the Time of Scenes

Today, everyone is a curator. What was once considered a hallowed expertise is now a commonplace and global activity. Can this new worldwide activity be ethical and, if yes, how? This book argues that curating can be more than just selecting, organizing, and presenting information in galleries or online. Curating can also constitute an ethics, one of acquiring, arranging, and distributing an always conjectural knowledge about the world.

Curating as Ethics is primarily philosophical in scope, evading normative approaches to ethics in favor of an intuitive ethics that operates at the threshold of thought and action. It explores the work of authors as diverse as Heidegger, Spinoza, Meillassoux, Mudimbe, Chalier, and Kofman. Jean-Paul Martinon begins with the fabric of these ethics: how it stems from matter, how it addresses death, how it apprehends interhuman relationships. In the second part he establishes the ground on which the ethics is based, the things that make up the curatorial—for example, the textual and visual evidence or the digital medium. The final part focuses on the activity of curating as such—sharing, caring, preparing, dispensing, and so on.

With its invigorating new approach to curatorial studies, Curating as Ethics moves beyond the field of museum and exhibition studies to provide an ethics for anyone engaged in this highly visible activity, including those using social media as a curatorial endeavor, and shows how philosophy and curating can work together to articulate the world today.
Curating as Ethics

Jean-Paul Martinon is reader in visual culture and philosophy at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His previous books include After Rwanda, The End of Man, and On Futurity. He is also editor of The Curatorial: A Philosophy of Curating.

Curating as Ethics

This is not only a masterful and wholly original rethinking of curating, it is also one of the most exciting treatises on ethics I have ever read. There are remarkably bracing philosophical insights on nearly every page, and Jean-Paul Martinon writes with such theoretical precision and poetic clarity. Heidegger after Martinon will forever have curating as part of ‘building dwelling thinking.’

John Paul Ricco, author of The Decision Between Us: Art and Ethics in the Time of Scenes

Curating as Ethics

Contents

Introduction: Excess and More

Gods And Mortals

Dark Matter

Matter

Law

Mortals

God

Gods

Beckoning

Obsession

Strife

The Absolute

Earths and Skies

Earths

Skies

Objects

Angels

Words

Ghosts

Images

Gnoses

Contents

Names

Deeds and Ends

Saving

Caring

Preparing

Irritating

Fraternizing

Communing

Dignifying

Midwifing

Intuiting

Dispensing

Conclusion: Irony and Progeny

Acknowledgments

Notes

Bibliography

Index