Magazine article Artforum International

Free Reign

Magazine article Artforum International

Free Reign

Article excerpt

ADAM LEHNER ON CATHERINE DAVID

IT CAME AS SOMETHING of a surprise to art-world observers when it was announced this summer that Catherine David, the quirky, possibly brilliant curator of the most recent Documenta, would take over from Bartomeu Mari as director of Rotterdam's Witte de With come January. David, after all, once held prestigious curatorships at the Jeu de Paume and the Centre Georges Pompidou. The Witte de With has been in existence for just over a decade and puts on only six exhibitions a year. It is an important alternative space--Europe's Dia perhaps--but one had to wonder: Couldn't she have done better?

Yet for those who've fondly followed David's career, the choice simply came as further proof of the depth of her independence. David is known as an early advocate of Jeff Wall and Chantal Akerman and as one of the first curators to exhibit film in an art setting. A prolific traveler, she has discovered and promoted artists from around the world--in South America (Brazil's Helio Qiticica is a favorite) and the Middle East in particular. As of press time, David had yet to disclose plans for her forthcoming tenure (no surprise there: She waited until the last minute to announce her Documenta picks to the media, and then only did so in a kind of distracted and nearly indecipherable rush), though a Witte de With press conference later this month might shed some light. But friends and colleagues speculate that she was attracted by the cross-disciplinary freedom offered by the Witte. As Benjamin Buchloh puts it, "If she were to return to [the Pompidou] as a contemporary art curator, she wouldn't be able to do a seri es on radical Palestinian cinema, for example. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.