"and I am the curator of this show1"
With Sophie Bélair Clément, Walter Benjamin
and an exhibition structure
curated by Christophe Barbeau.
March 23—April 14, 2018

Curator’s Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Sarah Robayo Sheridan, Esther Simmonds-MacAdam, Rebecca Gimmi, Brittany Brooks and the whole team of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto for making possible this exhibition.

Special thanks to Barbara Fischer, Charles Stankievech, Luis Jacob, Mitchell Akiyama and the whole staff and faculty of the Master of Visual Studies program at the University of Toronto.

Special thanks to the fellow artists and curators I had the luck to be around in the Master’s program; Rouzbeh Akhbari, Sandra Brewster, Sam Cotter, Andrea Creamer, Darryn Doull, Jenn Goodwin, Léa Grantham, Henry Heng Lu, Katie Lawson, Lillian O'Brien Davis, Dana Prieto, Jaclyn Quaresma, Julie Renée de Cotret, Sahar Te, Miles Rufelds, Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh, Sona Safaei Sooreh, Noah Scheinman, Evan Tyler, Pegah Vaezi and Kate Whiteway.

Special thanks for the intellectual and emotional support from Faraz Anoushahpour, Parastoo Anoushahpour, Marion Bilodeau, Arianne Desrochers, Emmanuelle Duret, Ryan Ferko, Isaac Flagg, Merray Gerges, Marie-Andrée Godin, Felix Kalmenson, Koko, Sarah Poirier, Guillaume Adjutor Provost, Julia Redding, Robert Twiss and Maude V. Veilleux. Thank you for the everyday and the every night.

Special thanks for guidance, discussions, critiques and logistics from Shannon Cochrane, Florence-Agathe Dubé-Moreau, Catherine Lescarbeau, jake moore, Pavel Pavlov, Karine Savard, Michèle Thériault, Robin Simpson, Jayne Wilkinson and claude wittmann.

Special thanks to Vincent Bonin for being a mentor in the field of curatorial research, politic, theory and criticism.

Special thanks to Martin Beck for being so generous in our exchanges over the last few years, as well as allowing the Struc-Tube (George Nelson, 1947; reconstructed by Martin Beck, 2005/6) to be lent for this exhibition. I would like to acknowledge Martin Beck's extensive research around the tubular structure, it is his work that permitted my first encounter with this modular display system, that would later spark an ongoing interest in the understanding of structural support of the act of exhibiting. Unfortunately at the time of writing these words, I have not yet physically encountered the Struc-Tube (the closest I would have been, would be when the metal structure was exhibited in Anarchisme sans adjectif. Sur le travail de Christopher D’Arcangelo, 1975-1979, curated by Dean Inkster and Sébastien Pluot, Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, 2013, unfortunately I have not seen this exhibition), and am delighted to have the opportunity to give access and share this experience through this present exhibition.

Special thanks to Sophie Bélair Clément for a more than significant encounter at the exhibition's opening of Qu’est-ce qui vous fait croire que je puisse m’occuper de cet endroit?, Galerie des Arts Visuels, Quebec city, 2014. Many thanks for introducing me to 1986's Walter Benjamin on that opening night. I would also acknowledge Sophie Bélair Clément, Philippe Hamelin and Vincent Bonin's important labour in the creation of La Mirage, crystallizing a community and enabling many significant conversations. Furthermore, I would like to thank Sophie Bélair Clément for accepting my "invitation". A "carte blanche" invitation, that is not one, but rather an action that is making me, the curator, and making her, the artist. Her work [Reads Plato’s Parmenides? 1978, 2005, 2013, (2013-2018) Wall paint, self-adhesive vinyl, monitor, media player, audio, vinyl digital prints, chair. Courtesy of the artist.] wasn't conceived for this exhibition, but rather for another one, the aforementioned : Anarchisme sans adjectif...

Special thanks to Walter Benjamin for being immensely generous in our correspondence and opening the possibility of an alternative reading of the (un)making of the "art" concept, from its origin to the writing of its history. Many thanks for permitting me to "replicate" the spatial installation conceived in collaboration with the Museum of American Art in Berlin, the one I encountered this past summer, in the exhibition Low-Budget Utopias - Second Recycling (2017) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana.

1 "and I am the curator of this show1" is the title of this exhibition. It is also a quote from Kate Fowle's opening remarks at a roundtable (NSK Embassy Moscow Revisited, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, August 1, 2014). Her statement simply referred to the exhibition in which the roundtable took place. But, what is this statement? What does it mean to claim authorship, or rather curatorship, over an exhibition? What does it mean to take, to enact or to be given this position? What does it mean to invite artists, artworks or objects into an institution, into an exhibition? What does it mean to "be" the "curator" of that show? With this exhibition, I am not trying to answer those questions but rather to ask them again. To ask them again, with Sophie Bélair Clément, Walter Benjamin, and an exhibition structure. I hope that this invitation finds you well.