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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Open from Tuesday to
Sunday 12 pm → 6 pm

Admission always free
10 Apr 15·7:00 PM


David Balzer

B.C. Binning Gallery

The cover of David Blazer’s book “Curationism.” The cover depicts a photograph of an assemblage sculpture made of a mannequin torso balanced on cogs and other mechanical objects.

In conjunction with the Canadian Art Foundation Vancouver Gallery Hop, the CAG is hosting a talk by Canadian Art associate editor David Balzer based on his latest book Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else. In his incisive and original study, Balzer travels through art history and around the globe to explore the cult of curation — where it began, how it came to dominate museums and galleries, and how it was co-opted at the turn of the millennium as the dominant mode of organizing. At the centre of the book is a paradox: curation is institutionalized and expertise-driven like never before, yet the first independent curators were not formally trained, and any act of choosing has become ‘curating’. Is the professional curator an oxymoron? Has curation reached a sort of endgame, where its widespread fetishization has led to its own demise?


David Balzer is a Toronto-based critic, editor and teacher. He has written for The Globe and Mail, Modern Painters, Camera Austria,, The Believer and others, and is the author of two books, the short-fiction collection Contrivances (Joyland/ECW Press) and the non-fiction study ‘Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else’ (Coach House Press/Pluto Press).