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The <em>Bare</em> story

The Bare story

by Penny Grist

After the opening night champagne and a week of sleep, and then another week of milling around the office in a daze, curators generally move on to the next project. However, in 2012 art historian Professor Terry Smith wrote in his book Thinking Contemporary Curating:

I would love to see curators keeping detailed records of every stage of their thinking and planning and to read statements of how they pre-visualised exhibitions, including how these ideas changed.

While I was curating Bare: Degrees of undress I did keep detailed records and this piece is an attempt at such a statement. Like a kind of reverse blog, it narrates and reflects on how Bare came together, the decisions that were made and the thought behind the exhibition. In retrospect, it shows how I experience curation as a strange process of discovering what is already there. Even in an exhibition so seemingly actively arranged and interpreted, the process for me was one of recognising when patterns, themes and ideas emerged for themselves. Curating was noticing.