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Before we attribute the rise in popularity or social relevance of curators since the 1990s to larger ideological, geopolitical, or economic shifts such as that from Fordism to Post-Fordism, let’s again consider the institution of art: it seems to me that this increase in social significance came partly from the declining power of art criticism, with curators assuming the agency of the critic in addition to their executive power in the museum. It may be argued that art critics did deserve to be marginalized for having vastly overreached at a certain point in the 1960s, when it seemed more culturally significant for a certain art critic such as Clement Greenberg to write about a work of art than for that work to have been made in the first place. But imagine the frustration of the artist who believes herself to be liberated from the tyranny of the critic only to discover that the situation has changed: rather than two competing powers—the critic and the curator, who could be played against each other—there is now only a single totalizing figure that she cannot bypass!

-Art without Artists (e-flux)


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