Thursday, April 05, 2007

DIA's new curator

Have you met the DIA's new contemporary curator? Check out the story in Metro Times.
"...It seems like a dig that DIA director Graham Beal decided to hire someone full-time who lives in New York City, especially since DIA employees are typically required to live in the city proper, let alone the state. Beal says, 'There is fierce competition for contemporary art curators, due to the large number of specialist institutions such as [New York's] Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney and the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. Designating this position as adjunct recognizes that competition and still provides a way for the DIA to benefit from the engagement of an experienced, well-connected curator...
On March 20, Kathy Halbreich announced she's stepping down from her position as director at Minneapolis' Walker Art Center, as of November 2007. Under Halbreich's leadership, the Walker's curators supported emerging artists, commissioned major performing art and new music works, and showcased compelling exhibitions, including a premiere by Belgian filmmaker Chantal Ackerman.
Not that she is necessarily available or interested, but the point is that Rosenthal is a more conservative choice for the museum. (Halbreich perhaps would make a better fit at a place like MOCAD, Detroit's new contemporary art institution, currently seeking a director. Matter of fact, on Tyler Green's blog, Modern Art Notes, Halbreich says she's looking for "a different kind of institution" ... something "smaller.")..."
Mazzei, Metro Times art editor
hmmm...I was actually thinking the same thing when I heard about Halbreich stepping down from the Walker. I think the problem is that we need someone who can elevate MOCAD and put it on the national map because for now it still feels more like a project space than a museum. An outside perspective might just do that if they have the stamina to sweat it out here for a while. I have always said that the key is mixing national contemporary artists with detroit talent - it is like city networking because then the artists who show here can go back to their city and say they were in a show with some amazing detroit artists! I am encouraged that Rosenthal also aligns with those goals. I also have nothing against art elders but it would definitely be nice to see some young art blood in the DIA's main entourage.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I paused at that MOCAD reference yesterday when I read the story. The problem is that anybody who can really help them will probably want to be paid. I have a feeling that people of Rosenthal or Halbreich's caliber don't do it for free.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I get this story right? The new curator at the DIA will remain living in New York? Can that be correct?

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not? It's my understanding that much of the city has phone service and internet access now.

2:45 AM  
Anonymous m. said...

Since i'm choosing between MFA programs in Chicago, MI, and NYC, I've been paying a lot of attention to these types of issues within Detroit, they definitly work to rack up the Cons column. Its just sometimes seems to be perpetually dissapointing!!! it amazes me, because people go around wondering why there's a talent drain in the area, and then the institutions send the message that you're better off making your career elsewhere and- hell, you don't even HAVE to live in Det. to get the perks. Sad.

I get the need for talent, I do, but is this guy really going to do a better job that ANYONE they could have found within the state, or willing to relocate to the state?? Does he walk on curatorial water?

11:47 AM  
Anonymous curtis said...

Sure. I'd expect they'd want someone with the credentials and experience required to be able to get a hold of the work they need to borrow for their shows. As it alludes to in the article, museums aren't going to want to loan work to someone who may not use it well. And I'm sure there are few people of this guy's credibility in Detroit. Makes sense to me.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Mike S. said...

He doesn't have credibility as the contemporary curator as long as he lives in NYC, and not Detroit.

This is the stupidest hire I've ever heard of. He's a consultant. Out-sourced. Nothing more. Only embarrasses our intelligence. Why not move the entire European Department to Europe?! Makes as much sense. Just another big jab at Detroit.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the deal with the extensive CCS / Cranbrook crossover, anyway? How many CCS students end up there? It seems like a lot.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous m. said...

curtis: maybe not someone IN detroit, but couldn't they find someone with equivalent credentials who WOULD be willing to relocate?

And, stodgy old white guy + the current demographics of metro detroit... doesn't anyone want to take a stab at that? anyone?

4:13 PM  

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