The Dialectics of Care and Confinement

Atropos Press, 2013

How are we to analyze power relations in the current system of contemporary art, or the presumably non-existing censorship in this free and democratic domain? The important event that struck the art world in the last century was the appearance of a new agent on the art scene: that of a curator. The following analysis has the ambition to strip curating down to its essence, by comparing three main domains in which we find this profession active: the Roman Empire, contemporary arts, and contemporary zoos.

Two large-scale manifestations served as platforms for the promotion and recognition of this profession, both with a clear political mandate as well: documenta in Kassel, Germany, and the traveling Manifesta—European Biennial of Contemporary Art. The third case-study, the Hollywood blockbuster film AVATAR, continues the discussion where the analysis of Manifesta brought us and, somehow, this perfect 3D cinematic image brings us back to curators. What this historical overview made clear was, that what all those various agents have in common is a duty to protect those considered to be in need of protection, which further opened up the questions of who decided this, and where the threshold is when care becomes confinement.

General Editor: Wolfgang Schirmacher

Editorial Board: Pierre Alferi. Giorgio Agamben. Hubertus von Amelunxen. Alain Badiou. Judith Balso. Judith Butler. Diane Davis. Chris Fynsk. Martin Hielscher. Geert Lovink. Larry Rickels. Avital Ronell. Michael Schmidt. Victor Vitanza. Siegfried Zielinski. Slavoj Žižek.

Final proofreading: Douglas Heingartner
Design: Karen Willey
© 2013 by Vesna Madžoski

ATROPOS PRESS New York • Dresden
151 First Avenue # 14
New York, N.Y. 10003



Küratörlük: Koruma ve Kapatmanın Diyalektiği

(Turkish translation of DE CVRATORIBVS)

Translated by Mine Haydaroğlu

Koç University Press, 2016

ISBN: 978-605-9389-07-5


The Invention of Curators

in: De Cvratoribvs. The Dialectics of Care and Confinement

Atropos Press, 2013

key words: curators, Roman Empire, contemporary art, zoos, Situationists,
Michel Foucault, curator-function,

Estonian translation:


In: Arhiivid ja allumatus: Visuaalkultuuri muutuvad taktikad Ida-Euroopas /
Archives and Disobedience. Changing Tactics of Visual Culture in Eastern Europe

Ed. Margaret Tali and Tanel Rander

Estonian Academy of Arts Press, 2016

Portuguese translation:

A Invenção Dos Curadores

In: Arte & Enasios no.28

PPGAV, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Brasil, 2014


Curating Manifesta:
The Spectacle of Erasure

in: De Cvratoribvs. The Dialectics of Care and Confinement

Atropos Press, 2013

key words: Manifesta, archive,
Jacques Derrida, curators, Cyprus,
New Europe, politics of exclusion,
rhetorics of democr

Curating documenta:
The Spectacle of Modernism

in: De Cvratoribvs. The Dialectics of Care and Confinement

Atropos Press, 2013

key words: Documenta, Kassel, Arnold Bode,
Harald Szeemann, Jef Cornelis, modernism, Documenta 12, German history,
cultural memorization,
politics and ideology behind exhibitions

The Magicians of Globalization:
Magiciens de la Terre,
25 years later

unpublished, 2015

this paper was delivered as a lecture on:

November 23, 2015 - Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway


march 15, 2014 - Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, At the conference "Collecting Geographies: Global Programming and Museums of Modern Art"

The Potentialities of Abstraction

in: Attractive Abstraction in Art and Architecture

Bregenzer Kunstverein , 2010 

No Change Please,
We are Post-Students:
The Anaesthetization of Art and Society

in: PRELOM – Journal for Images and Politics
No. 8, belgrade, 2006

key words: 1968, repetition, Lars von Trier,
Five Obstructions, Jorgen Leth, The Perfect Human, Walter Benjamin, Susan Buck-Morss, anaesthetization of aesthetics, capitalism, senses, synaesthetic human,  Albert Hofmann, LSD

A Story About Him or:
Do You Understand Contemporary Arts?

English translation of the essay published in Serbian in: Prelom Magazine No.6/7, September 2005:

Priča o njemu ili: Da li razumete savremenu umetnost?

key words: Maurizio Cattelan, Ydessa Hendeles, Haus der Kunst Munich, cultural memory, the uncanny, teddy bears, relational aesthetics, objects speaking back, New Europe

 Clowns Belong to the Circus?

In: Krisis, Journal for contemporary philosophy, Issue 1
amsterdam, 2012

A Review of two books on art and activism:

* Cultural Activism. Practices, Dilemmas, and Possibilities. Begüm Özden Firat and Aylin Kuryel (Eds.) (2011) Series: Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex, Race, Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 261 pp.

*Art and Activism in the Age of Globalisation. Lieven de Cauter, Ruben de Roo, Karel Vanhaesbrouck (Eds.) (2011) Series: Reflect. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 334 pp.

Dwarfs from Wallachia, or Being a Nomad in Europe

In: Debatte – Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe Vol.13, No.2, Routledge London, 2005 (p.155-168)


key words: Wallachians, Serbia, New Europe, Germany, capitalism, dwarfs, politics of integration, nomads, cultural diffusion

The Ring , Ordeal for Male Maturity or:
To Report Illegal Sale or Rental, Please Call

unpublished, 2003

A Serbian version of this essay was published under the title

The Ring - Ispit muške zrelosti ili
horor oko vrata

In: PRELOM – Journal for Images and Politics No. 5
Belgrade, 2003 (p.205-212)

key words: the Ring, Ringu, horror, Japan, Hollywood, cultural translation,
unwanted children, patriarchal fear, hierarchy of media, new technology, copyrights

The Last Train for Europe: Rewriting History in the Video Game The Last Express

unpublished, 2003

key words: US vs. Europe, rewriting history, the analysis of video games, stereotypes, orientalization (of Europe),
imperialism of imagination