Introduction: Affect and Relationality

Fisher, Jennifer and Reckitt, Helena. 2016. Introduction: Affect and Relationality. Journal of Curatorial Studies, 5(1), pp. 1-2. ISSN 2045-5836 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The co-editors introduce the second special issue of the Journal of Curatorial Studies which explores how affect theory has informed contemporary curating. The previous issue, on ‘Museums and Affect,’ surveyed a range of affects in relation to architecture, installations and media platforms. The current issue, on ‘Affect and Relationality,’ investigates how the curatorial works to conduct, transmit and circulate affects through embodiment, autobiography, labour, intuition and social media. The editors introduce the five articles in the issue. They explain how three, by Nanne Buurman, Jennifer Fisher, and Helena Reckitt, address the prominence and consequences of affective labour in the light of increasing pressures of neo-liberalism, which has shifted the tasks of the curator from selecting artworks and organizing exhibitions to cultivating networks and capitalizing upon one’s conviviality. Two further articles, by Lisa Blackman, and Mark Clintberg and Jon Davies, consider how the affect of relationality bears significance for artist-curators and the embodied experience of gallery visitors encountering compelling and uncanny objects. The issue sheds light on the many ways in which affect and relationality energize and connect curatorial networks, positionalities, institutions, communities, and technologies and, in turn, how these contingencies produce curatorial knowledge.

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The two issues of the Journal of Curatorial Studies, on museums and affect, and affect and relationality, were launched with the panel discussion 'Affect and Curating, Feeling the Curatorial' at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, January 2017.


affect, relationality, curating, museums

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5 December 2015Accepted
1 February 2016Published

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19 Sep 2017 16:29

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:34


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