n De Arte - Uncertain curature : In and out of the archive, Carolyn Hamilton and Pippa Skotnes (Eds.) : book review

Volume 2015, Issue 91
  • ISSN : 0004-3389
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In initially encountering this volume I was puzzled by its title, and wondered whether 'curature' might perhaps be an established term which I somehow had not encountered. But the editors provided a reassuring indication that this was not the case in the opening paragraphs of their introductory essay: 'If curation can be understood as concerned with the organisation and preservation of collected items in a wide range of museums', while 'curatorship is the term increasingly used in the disciplinary practice of curation in the fine arts', the term they have invented - 'curature' - 'is a way of positioning the volume adjacent to the practices of and literatures of [these] two specialist, though intersecting domains' (p. 1). The term 'curature' has still further resonance in regard to the discursive potential but also problematics and paradoxes of the archive, as the editors reveal. Referring, on the one hand, to , to care, it also invokes reference to , the courts of the Christian church: thus on the one hand invoking an allusion to the tender nurturing of souls, it also refers to the assertion of authority over those seeking salvation. The overall title of the book - - is in fact a brilliant encapsulation of the complex thematics of a volume which operates between the museum collection, the fine art creation and the archive as a construct, and which reveals how the salvation and tending of objects and images involves the assumption and exercise of discursive power over them.

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