Adolphe Appia, stage design for Valhalla, 1892, intended for Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold.
Jens Hoffmann and Larry Rinder discuss the Exhibitionist and the “auteur theory” of curating.
From our perspective this discussion is forestalled in the event (or at least in Kadist’s edit of their recording) by the unfortunate misprision of “curator as auteur” for “curator as artist.” Jens’ citation of Truffaut gestures instead to a specific idea, which film critic and Godard scholar Richard Brody, addressing himself to Anne Andreu’s “François Truffaut, une autobiographie” (2004) in a recent blog post, summarized neatly as follows:
…in the mid-sixties, precisely after his encounters with Hitchcock, Truffaut sought to become an auteur in the sense of the term as he applied it, as a critic, to Hollywood filmmakers of the studio era: an artist who works, almost anonymously, in the industry’s mainstream and expresses himself in a deeply personal way while satisfying, outwardly, the industry’s norms.
That, we think, might have been better starting place for their discussion: How might the two men’s exhibitions — Hoffmann’s Painting Between The Lines (2011) or Rinder’s (and Nayland Blake’s) In A Different Light (1995), or others — “satisfy outwardly the industry’s norms,” while “expressing” something else? What distinctions need to be made between Truffaut’s sense of the term (applied to Hollywood cinema and his own aspirations) and those Jens elaborates in the Exhibitionist? What happens to the term by restaging it not only in a different historical moment, but by relocating it from the studio era of Hollywood to the current state of exhibition-making? What “norms,” and which “deeply personal ways”?