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Putri Trisulo

MA work

Title of dissertation: Curating Now: Rethinking Critical Practice within the Political Economy of the Contemporary, 1982–1999

In The Great Curatorial Dim-Out (1976), Lawrence Alloway posited that the ‘profession of the curator is in crisis’. His polemic described ‘the weakening of the curatorial function’ when ‘strategies of independence’ fall subservient to the political and commercial exigencies that shape its cultural field. While the politics of exhibition-making remains a recurring leitmotif in recent discourses, a more nuanced reading into the way ‘the curatorial function’ operates in relation to changing concepts of design has remained unsupported beyond its role in the commoditisation of culture. Based on the premise that curating is a cultural practice that also generates new social, cultural and political discourses, the question remains: how might critical practice be identified? Through an investigation of selected contemporary design exhibitions produced or conceived in London, this dissertation offers a genealogy of institutional curatorship from the advent of postmodernism, to highlight how ‘the contemporary’ has emerged as a vehicle through which the meaning and value of design has been communicated. By foregrounding the interplay of relations in the meeting of culture and its political economy, this dissertation offers a reinvigorated view of the role played by the curator who, while not exempt from state, market and institutional forces, also feeds into the very fabric of design culture through the generation of dialogue and due provocation.


Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Fine Art

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2011

  • Title of dissertation: Curating Now: Rethinking Critical Practice within the Political Economy of the Contemporary, 1982–1999

    In The Great Curatorial Dim-Out (1976), Lawrence Alloway posited that the ‘profession of the curator is in crisis’. His polemic described ‘the weakening of the curatorial function’ when ‘strategies of independence’ fall subservient to the political and commercial exigencies that shape its cultural field. While the politics of exhibition-making remains a recurring leitmotif in recent discourses, a more nuanced reading into the way ‘the curatorial function’ operates in relation to changing concepts of design has remained unsupported beyond its role in the commoditisation of culture. Based on the premise that curating is a cultural practice that also generates new social, cultural and political discourses, the question remains: how might critical practice be identified? Through an investigation of selected contemporary design exhibitions produced or conceived in London, this dissertation offers a genealogy of institutional curatorship from the advent of postmodernism, to highlight how ‘the contemporary’ has emerged as a vehicle through which the meaning and value of design has been communicated. By foregrounding the interplay of relations in the meeting of culture and its political economy, this dissertation offers a reinvigorated view of the role played by the curator who, while not exempt from state, market and institutional forces, also feeds into the very fabric of design culture through the generation of dialogue and due provocation.


  • Degrees

  • BSc, Marketing and Communications, University of San Francisco, CA, USA, 2000
  • Experience

  • Brand/marketing consultant, Readymade Projects, New York, USA, 2006-9; Program director, RESFEST (Digital Film Festival), Singapore, 2003-6; Account manager, Brazen Communications, Singapore, 2001-3