Accepted Paper:

Curatorial work: working through affective passages  


Tarek Elhaik (San Francisco State University)

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I introduce my concept of Curatorial Work as the labor that creates a passage—often through imperceptible smuggling acts—between a specific historiographic matrix and an affective constellation. Not only a formal synthesis of the essay-film, multi-track installation, cinematic montage, and auto-ethnography, Curatorial Work is also an ethics of dwelling and working-through carefully crafted passages amidst a modernity in ruins. A form of meditation on the formless multi-sensorial datum, on the virtual at the heart of disorderliness, Curatorial Work delivers creative acts in carefully measured doses and relies on a mode of perseverance that emanates from and strives to remain connected to the diagnostic and therapeutic dimension of contemporary life at large. Thus framed, and building on my long-term fieldwork among curatorial laboratories, experimental media and visual cultures in Mexico City, Curatorial Work is cultivated here as an emerging ethics of scholarship that attempts to make palpable the imperceptible side of ethnography, its 'visceral underbelly.' In addition, I will 'curate' as a 10-minute multi-track essay and moving-image meditation on contemporary passages within Mexican modernity.

Panel W126
Anxious visions and uncertain images