Curating, Piracy and the Internet Effect


  • Alana Kushnir


This paper examines a selected number of recent and ongoing instances of the practice of unauthorized exhibition-making and other curated formats, which specifically relate to, reference or operate by means of the internet. It will demonstrate that the internet and the advent of post-internet culture has proved to be a particularly fruitful tool for the advancement of such practices. This examination will be contextualized by a survey of historical examples in which the legal and moral rights held by artists have impinged on curators’ freedom of expression and inversely, where curators’ freedom of expression have impinged on the legal and moral rights held by artists. It will also be prefaced by a review of the notion of appropriation, in order to then develop the argument that where the curator reproduces or uses an artwork for display in an exhibition or other curated project without the prior consent of the artist, and that reproduction or use can be classified as a form of piracy, then that action is justifiable if it features a dimension of criticality.