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Curating value seems to be the fundamental question. It seems that it was the main pillar of the discussion that was held at the annual IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art) encounter that was celebrated this year in Madrid from Thursday 19 until 22 April. One thing’s for sure is that those parts of the encounter that I had access to revolved around two eternal questions: what was curating and what was value. As well as a final one: how to make them converge in the same discursive thread.
The administration of value was the nucleus of the debate. Simmel was discussed, the similarities the value of monetary exchange and the abstraction of languages. As well as how evident it was that the hegemonic dynamic in the context of art today is the transference of the value from the object to the name of whoever it might be. Foucault and parrhesia were discussed. As was telling the truth, or better still, of being the one in charge of telling it. However, in the light of what we are facing, others talked of classical cynicism. Of not being able to accept the value of change, of not wanting to accept the question that is being thrown at us: either because we have no card to play in this market or because we choose not to talk this language. There were also those who didn’t make a statement and talked of common places. But once the public presentations were over, in the tête à tête,where truth slips between the words, the gestures of the cynic and of transparency talked of precariousness. And the situation of risk, that a necessary profession is in. Of the professional ploys being resorted to in order to reach the end of the month. And of all those months that go by in between jobs.
When it’s clear that the profession is one of being an intermediary in a chain transferring values, it is normal that one has to talk about the anxiety that this generates. But we are seeing many bubbles burst, and nobody wants to inhabit the next one. To those attending the last reunion of IKT it worried them, just like everybody else. And it seems clear that, even though we don’t like the economy that we participate in, it’s complicated to step out of it.