Steven Parrino

Palais de Tokyo

ONE OF THE NUMEROUS guerrilla flyers that popped up around the most recent Venice Biennale wondered: “What will the artist do after the curator is gone?” Reverse the polarity and a far more provocative question emerges: “What will the curator do after the artist is gone?” When artists die, curators who would have otherwise collaborated on exhibitions with them, choosing and installing works in tandem, are left on their own. The touch of the artist—and some are exacting about the placement of their work—is absent, to various degrees, in a show installed by someone else. The postmortem exhibition is especially challenging for a curator dealing with a premature death, as artists of the 1980s and ’90s leave us: How does one, in a sense, keep the work alive? It’s a tall order, and having an intimate working relationship with the artist only goes so far. Nothing can replace the “live,” one-on-one

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