Few public venues exist for the contemplation of curatorial research and development in Canada, and there are even fewer forums for reflection by Canadian curators within an international context. The Edge of Everything is the result of a book project designed by Catherine Thomas to provide such a space for curators. It is a surprising collection of political, personal, quirky and humorous commentary by Canadian and international curators on their individual practices. The collection is (as Canadian curator Ihor Holubizky writes) a â??chain of incidents, heliocentric worlds at the edge of everything.â? From the pathos of Anthony Kiendlâ??s approach to curatorial work, to the punk origins of Matthew Higgsâ??s work, and the contemplation of Aboriginal curatorial practice in Canadian institutions, independent curator and art historian, Catherine Thomas has collected a fantastic sampling of thoughts on curatorial work. The curator surfaces from this book as a figure who dwells both in the institutions of the art world, and also in its fissures, its edges and gapsâ??as Matthew Higgs writesâ??â??between the audience and the stage, between the spectacle and its reception.â? "Revealing, often funny and, above all, sincere, this collection explores the critical and personal motives of a varied group of senior and emerging Canadian and international curators."â??Christina Ritchie, Director/Curator, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver.
About the authors
Melanie Townsend is the curator of the Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre. She has been involved in the publication of The Edge of Everything: Reflections on Curatorial Practice as well as many other publications undertaken by the Walter Phillips Gallery and The Banff Centre Press. Townsend is currently developing an exhibition of works related to robotics and the post-human.
Anthony Kiendl is a Canadian curator of Contemporary Art. His curatorial practice has theorized weakness, pathos, failure - and related sentiments such as nostalgia - as responses to modernism. This strategy has been manifested in diverse forms including exhibitions such as Little Worlds (1998), an exploration of diminutive environments by artists; Space Camp 2000: Uncertainty, Speculative Fictions and Art (2000), a inter-disciplinary cocktail of speculative fictions and alterity; and Godzilla vs. Skateboarders: Skateboarding as a Critique of Social Spaces (2001) all at Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina. Kiendl 's writing has been included in multiple publications such as Parachute, FUSE, Flash Art, and numerous catalogue essays. In 2007 he was Leverhulme Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Arts, Middlesex University, London; and in 2009 while Director of Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, he was awarded the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art.
Catherine Thomas holds a B.A. and M.A. in Art History. She curated the exhibition TRANS (1999) at the ArtLab Gallery in the University of Western Ontario. Thomas worked as the Gallery Coordinator for ArtLab Gallery as well as providing her services for the Edmonton Art Gallery. She has lectured at the University of Western Ontario and taught at Grant MacEwan Community College.