PRINT March 2013


contemporary curating

Viewers with Thomas Bayrle’s Prega per noi (Pray for Us), 2012, Documenta Halle, Kassel, August 17, 2012. From Documenta 13. Photo: Hans Kettwig.

The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s), by Paul O’Neill. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012. 192 pages.

Thinking Contemporary Curating, by Terry Smith. New York: Independent Curators International, 2012. 256 pages.

TWO RECENT BOOKS about curating bear remarkably similar covers: capital letters in related fonts in alternating black and white against a plain ground, repeating the main terms of the title. The large black lettering on Paul O’Neill’s book reads: CULTURE CURATING CURATING CULTURE(S), while Terry Smith’s cover repeats his title words—THINKING CONTEMPORARY CURATING—three times. Smith writes that these words signify three separate ideas that might flash off and on to yield different combinations, like one of Bruce Nauman’s neon works. The repetition and multiplicity of meanings implied in the titles and their designs immediately alert the reader that

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