Curating as Ethics

Martinon, Jean-Paul. 2020. Curating as Ethics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 9781517908652 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Today, everyone is a curator. What was once considered a hallowed expertise is now a commonplace activity of global proportions. Can this new world-wide activity be ethical and if yes, how? This book demonstrates that curating can be more than just selecting, organising and presenting information in galleries or online, it can also constitute an ethics. This ethics consists in acquiring, arranging, and distributing an always conjectural knowledge about the world, which over time, becomes a practical intelligence akin to that used by the midwife. With such an approach, this book moves beyond the narrow field of museum and exhibition studies in order to provide an ethics for anyone interested in this highly visible activity, including those using a sharing digital social media platform as a curatorial endeavour. Curating as Ethics is primarily philosophical in scope, evading normative approaches to ethics (the use, non-use, abuse, and disuse of norms, principles, maxims, codes, etc.) in favour of an intuitive ethics (a midwifery) that operates at the threshold of thought and action. It explores the work of authors as diverse as Heidegger, Spinoza, Meillassoux, Mudimbe, Chalier, and Kofman. This invigorating new approach to curatorial studies aims to show how philosophy and curating can work together to articulate the world today.

Item Type:



Philosophy, curatorial and museum studies, theology, visual culture, cultural studies, Martin Heidegger, the Fourfold

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


January 2020

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2019 11:34

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2021 23:19


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