Curatopia: Histories, Theories, Practices, Museums, and the Future of Curatorship

July 28, 2015

This past week, Dr. Fiona P McDonald traveled Munich, Germany to participate in an engaging symposium hosted by the Department of Anthropology at the Ludwig-Maximilian University (LMU) of Munich. The symposium was a rigorous trans-Pacific engagement between leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, critics, curators, and artists working toward reimagining new Indigenous paradigms for exhibition. The program set out by acknowledging that “[a]s museums continue to change in the twenty-first century, the ‘figure of the curator’ appears to be in flux. What is the future of curatorial practice? Is there a vision for an ideal model, a Curatopia, whether in the form of a utopia or dystopia? How can we historicise, theorise and ethnographically analyse museums as profoundly cross-cultural spaces, and study curatorship as an inherently cross-cultural method that requires dialogical translation and interpretive reciprocity?” Fiona’s presentation was a reflection on her role and contribution as curator/consultant/researcher in facilitating movement toward non-hierarchal exhibition practices where Indigenous protocols and ways of sharing are the main priority in exhibition practices.