Power, Identyity and the New Curator
Two exhibitions in 1969 in New York and Bern, Switzerland can be argued as identifiable moments in the rise of the new curator. For the exhibition January 5-31, 1969, Seth Siegelaub brought together artists he identified as making a new conceptual art. Siegelaub recognised this new art needed to viewed differently, thought and talked about differently and most importantly marketed differently. Harald Szeemann's international exhibition, When Attitudes Become Form: Works-Processes-Conception-Situations-Information, held at the Kunsthalle Bern March-April 1969 was an epic event. The exhibition spread throughout the building occupying stairwells, hallways as well as the galleries and to sites around the city and beyond. Siegelaub emerges with his exhibition as the advertising executive and Szeemann as the production manager. Using Pierre Bourdieu's concept of cultural fields of power, I want to discuss the dynamics by which Siegelaub and Szeemann create cultural legitimacy for the art they show and their own independent curatorial practice.