Publication / You and I Don’t Curate on the Same Planet

On template exhibitions and opportunistic art

For the ‘Experiences’-section of the academic journal Image[&]Narrative I published an essay on my experience of the Taipei Biennial 2020 “You and I Don’t Live on the Same Planet” in the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan. This text explores a mental visit through the contemporary arts exhibition star curated by Bruno Latour and Martin Guinard. I argue that Latour took the curatorship invitation as an opportunity to propagate a simplified version of the academic theories put forward in his book Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climate Regime (2017/2018). Latour, I claim, uses his personal discourse as a template for addressing contemporary art. This strategy is part of a trend in the artworld where curators, through their discourses, increasingly dictate the pulse of time. I argue that this can lead to artists creating opportunistic art, in order to get selected by curators. I call for curators with more artistic sensibilities and local anchorage.

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Joeri Verbesselt (°1990) is an artist and researcher interested in ecological imaginaries and grounding the human-animal relationship. His graduation film 'retreat' (2020) was screened internationally and he has published several essays and a short story. Since November 2019, his artistic research has been clustered in a Ph.D. in Arts, for which he obtained a fellowship from the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO). Joeri is a member of the 'Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art and Visual Culture' (University of Leuven) and the artist and research collective 'deep histories fragile memories' (LUCA School of Arts, Brussels). Currently, he is working between Belgium and Indigenous contexts on Taiwan and Pongso no Tao.