"The idea and an articulated need of a curatorial dictionary emerged during a preparatory reading seminar for one of the workshops of tranzit.hu’s Free School for Art Theory and Practice in Budapest. While discussing and reading about concepts used within international curatorial discourse and about notions related to curatorial practice, we recognized a gnoseological uncertainty: we could clearly point to (or defer to) projects and relevant authors/texts which reflect on the specific concepts; yet—despite the vast amount of written materials related to curating—, we proved to be unable to determine or find more general-abstract textual surveys about the meanings and conceptual paths of these very notions.After taking a more meticulous look into how concepts work and come about within curatorial discourse, we found that notions, such as performative curating, new institutionalism, or collaboration, are deliberately vague—as they attempt to delineate a particular practice, rather than a theoretical line of inquiry. We, therefore, also recognized that curatorial discourse—as opposed to other theoretical-academic discourses—, is extrapolated from practice; concepts which are created are often “propositions [for a certain curatorial] practice”, and are “employed to mark out a specific current discourse.” We, nevertheless, decided to develop a general-, meta-level framework and project through which these concepts, their signification, and discursive formation could be more thoroughly understood, and, at the same time, by which we could also account for their relevancy within curatorial praxis as well as for the particularity of curatorial discourse as such."

Eszter Szakács