This winter I decided to take a gain some insight into the approach to curating at the Tate by joining a course there called Museum Curating Now: Behind the Scenes at Tate. The series of lectures and workshops looks at the practice of contemporary curating and what it means in an international public arts institution like the Tate.
At this week's session, assistant curator of public programmes at the Tate, Emily Stone shared with us how they set up a project in 2014 called The World is Flooding. She explained how they linked the project to the work of Russian painter and designer Kasimir Malevich and reworked the Mayakovsky play Mystery Bouffe, which was written in 1921 for the anniversary of the 1917 Russian revolution.
The project aimed to confront its audiences with the absurdity of politics, of the language of administration and power, and of class and socially based biases and was delivered as a performance with dance and specially made costumes.
After the talk, we were all divided into groups and taken to see the Alexander Calder exhibition. Our groups then had to come up with ideas for public programmes that would engage audiences with the exhibition. All the groups had similar ideas, including drawing workshops for children, performances, workshops to draw and capture shadows and inviting astronomers to give talks. Our group had the idea of recreating some of Calder's models.