Art, Human Capital, and The Medium of Contingency


Historically, and traditionally, the role of the curator has been to interpret, order, conserve and protect both the meaning and the value of artworks and their physical wellbeing. Curators have been and continue to be the ‘archons’, the guardians, of both the hermeneutic function of the archive (or collection), which they are charged with protecting, and they were and still are the guardians of the literal physical material of the archive and its housing, its domicile. This dual function of the curator has been akin to that of a magistrate or priest. The magistrate delivers and enforces the letter of the sovereign social law that they uphold and represent (justice), the priest delivers and enforces the word of God, the religious law (truth), which is of course another kind of sovereign subject, and the curator…well, they deliver and enforce the value of art (traditionally I guess this is something like ‘beauty’)…