“Not only is it exhibition making,” says independent curator Andy Butler when talking of his curatorial practice, “I think it’s advocacy in a lot of ways for particular artists’ practices, for the arts more broadly, for particular ideas that you want to see circulate within the contemporary art world and contemporary art discourse.”
Along with being an independent curator, Butler is a Filipino-Australian writer and artist who continuously looks at the dynamics of power, systemic racism and racial hierarchies within a contemporary art context. As Butler explains in the third episode of our Conversations with Curators series, independent curating provides a malleable space for exploring power and racism, allowing him to work closely with artists and to take greater curatorial risks.
Although Butler is still in the earlier stages of his curatorial career, he’s recently curated a number of exhibitions that have garnered considerable attention including Those Monuments Don’t Know us at Bundoora Homestead and Always there and all a part at Melbourne artist-run gallery BLINDSIDE.
In the podcast conversation Butler talks about these shows, explaining his impetus to illustrate the complexity of artists and their work, and to focus on having meaningful engagements and discussions on racism and colonialism in both art and life. “At least in the exhibitions I’ve curated, I’ve tried to move away from this sense that exhibitions like this are just celebrating diversity — they’re actually more about whiteness,” explains Butler. “They’re more about structures of power that people from all of these [different] backgrounds are all navigating in these different ways.”
See more at Art Guide Australia online: www.artguide.com.au
Podcast produced by Tiarney Miekus. Engineered by Mino Peric. Music by Jesse Warren.