Goldsmiths - University of London

Support Acts: Curating, Caring and Social Reproduction

Reckitt, Helena. 2016. Support Acts: Curating, Caring and Social Reproduction. Journal of Curatorial Studies, 5(1), pp. 6-30. ISSN 2045-5836 [Article]

Reckitt_Support Acts_JCS_2016.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (249kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This article considers the changing definitions of curatorial labour in the light of affective economies of care and love. It examines how recent conceptions of curating shift emphasis from caring for objects and collections to producing and managing social networks, collective energies and professional relationships. While curators prioritize their care for artworks and artists, they often overlook the low-status and infrastructural activities that sustain curatorial production. At the same time, by over-identifying with their work, and instrumentalizing their personal relationships and energies, curators risk self-exploitation and burn-out. By recognizing curating’s inter-dependent nature, this article prompts a redefinition of curatorial care and calls for a reallocation of curatorial and institutional priorities and resources.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):



curating and caring, curating and affect, feminist curating, social reproduction, art patronage, precarious labour in art

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



1 January 2016Accepted
1 February 2016Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Dec 2016 13:06

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2017 16:01

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/19292

View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)