Culture of the Team

Recently, among the things that e-flux throws out, came a call for a curator job. After a long list of more or less difficult tasks, this sentence of the job description drew my attention: “As a person you are outgoing, humble but with integrity, and are teamwork oriented.” Does anyone else feel the coercion, the utterly unacceptable attempt to control both behavior and personality, to force an individual to play a role so complete it leaves no space for their own self? In this world of over production and over population, it seems that personal qualities matter more than competencies. One has to fit the team, yet the character of the team is not determined by the people in it but by bureaucratic norms and procedures. So it’s not a case of selling your soul—adaptation means not having a soul to begin with. Of course art world employment is no different than employment anywhere, but perhaps it should be after all. Anyone would grant an organization the right to hire the person who fits the best, but one reason I’m an artist is so I don’t have to fit an organization. What business does such an organization have with art anyway? After the curator has learned to be outgoing, humble (but with integrity) and team oriented, what’s left for a relationship with art? But it’s about a relationship with the team, not with art. The work is the team. And what does it mean to be “humble but with integrity”?


Philippe Parreno and Rirkrit Tiravanija, Untitled (2005) – a set of puppets in the likeness of artists and artist-curators Liam Gillick, Pierre Huyghe, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

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One Response to Culture of the Team

  1. john says:

    in germany they use the term coquettish, by way of explaining a new tendency in the art field for both artists and curator types to be extremely charismatic — a tap dancing horse. Its horrifying.

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