Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Everyone's a curator

Once upon a time, if you wanted to be a curator (from the Latin for 'take care'), you needed a good honours degree and a PhD in your specialism or a Masters in museum studies. You would also find skills in chemistry, physics, design, business administration, human resources and marketing useful. You would start off doing unpaid work in a museum, then become a museum assistant and eventually working your way up to become a curator (no, life never worked that way for me, either).

However, the modern, hip way to do it is much quicker. Just about everything cool is curated nowadays, be it a website, Instagram account, music festival, DJ set list or a pop up restaurant menu. Maybe even a gallery or museum exhibition. This involves absolutely no experience, skills or qualifications; mostly it's a case of just being a cool musician, photographer, critic, artist or chef and writing a list of your favourite things. Curating can even just be sharing some of your favourite things on the web.

Not surprisingly, proper curators are getting miffed at these upstarts poaching their good, and hard worked for, name. But the English language is constantly evolving (or devolving, depending on your point of view) and no doubt they will come up another term to better describe their job and expose the hipster curators for what they are. Like, er, proper traditional curator?

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