One of the core tasks of curating is to provide artists with spaces in which to work, spaces that offer them inspiring fields of production. I am referring here to spaces in a broader sense, which includes social, digital and mental realms besides the classical white cube and the institutional space of a museum, thus taking into account the wide range of strategies employed in contemporary artistic practice. Curating involves first of all recognizing the distinctive qualities of a location as a potential site in which to present a specific artistic approach, with the aim of initiating productive encounters. It also means understanding exhibition production as a largely open-ended process. The curatorial mediation of this process involves intensive discussions with participating artists as well as the communication and realization of artistic concepts within the structural boundaries of an exhibition context. In addition to professional competence, this task demands a whole range of communication and organizational skills on the part of the curator; such skills are required in order to be able to navigate successfully around diverse structures and to facilitate the exchange of interests and ideas. Ideally, this process should give all those involved – artist, curator, host and audience – the experience of having taken part in the creation of art. Herein lies the potential for communicative approaches that not only make the motivation and process of artistic production comprehensible but also relate these to the viewer’s experience of reality. If we succeed in conveying – not least – our own fascination for art by means of unusual offers tailored to individual audience groups, and in this way we are able to ‘infect’ others with our enthusiasm, there may be less need for purely event-based concepts – the proliferation of which is constantly being bemoaned behind closed doors.
Gudrun Bott (2008)