The essayistic in the curatorial: Repurposing the politics of exhibition

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As a starting point for this text, I take the invitation of the conference proposal to elaborate on the essay form – or the capacities of the essayistic – in the arts beyond literature and film. In that way, I would like to bring the essay and the essayistic forms to the emerging field of the curatorial. The curatorial here means the arena of contemporary cultural engagements and articulations (material and immaterial), from production, to display, interpretation and dissemination, not limited to the artwork and exhibitions. The curatorial has emerged as an arena of practice and research where different disciplines, agents, forms, and media come together or intersect (intentionally and unintentionally) to advance new aesthetic articulations through and about the world in which we live. In that way, I want to argue that a new reading of the essayistic qualities of the curatorial can propose new details about the kinds of formats and practices that the field of the curatorial can offer. In other words, I explore in this text the new aesthetic propositions coming from curatorial practices that contribute to a new assemblage of world making – in terms of senses and knowledge. In that way, I also explore the nature of the epistemic capacities of the curatorial, or how the curatorial produces knowledge within the realm of aesthetics that inform and are generated from the forms, experiences, and representation of our political and social lives
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom the scenic essay to the essay-exhibition
Subtitle of host publicationExpanding the essay form in the arts beyond literature and filme.
EditorsJasper Delbecke
Place of PublicationGhent
PublisherGhent University
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
EventFrom the scenic essay to the essay-exhibition: expanding the essay form in the arts - University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 27 Apr 202229 Apr 2022


ConferenceFrom the scenic essay to the essay-exhibition

Bibliographical note

Open Access


  • Essayistic
  • curatorial
  • politics of exhibition
  • exhibitionary
  • coloniality of exhibitions
  • colonial difference.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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