Current Issue

Variations between In-house and Independent Curatorial Procedures

Chen-Xiang QIAN, Chih-Fu WU, Shih-Bin WANG, and Shih-Yin LU
IJCCI volume 4, issue 3, 2017

Curators bridge the gap between artworks and audiences and are vital for promoting cultural and artistic activities. Their curatorial plan determines the subjectivity and comprehensiveness of a given exhibition and its subsequent success. Recently, how exhibitions are staged has changed considerably, contributing to the flexibility afforded to curators for exhibition planning. Therefore, the present study classified curators into in-house and independent types and conducted in-depth interviews with six experienced curators to explore their curatorial experiences, exhibition plans, promotional strategies, and exhibition models. A total of 41 unit terms were extracted from the main points, events, and ideas identified in the interview transcripts and subsequently grouped into 10 exhibition factors. Subsequently, variations between individual exhibition factors and various exhibition factor pairs between the in-house and independent curatorial procedures were discussed. The results showed that the in-house curatorial procedure spans the early, middle, and late stages of development, which involves a variety of exhibition factors. By contrast, independent curators do not follow the same pattern of development. In-house curators undertake curate exhibitions in accordance with the exhibition themes determined by their institutions and the research directions and organizational missions of those institutions. Independent curators determine exhibition content, planning, and overall importance and collaborate with artists to determine how exhibits should be created. Moreover, independent curators do not receive institutional funding, and thus seek financial resources while establishing the exhibition mechanism and preparing exhibits with artists. Despite limited funding, independent curators apply greater ingenuity and flexibility to exhibition planning than do their in-house counterparts. This research contributes to curatorial planning and the development of curatorial processes in relation to diversity and relevance.


Keywords: In-house curator, Independent curator, Curatorial process, Interview method