Saturday, 13 March 2010

The Kite Flyer

Sometimes thoughts just strike at 8:30 in the morning.
I was thinking over the relationship between curator and artist just in front of the bathroom mirror and came up with this conclusion: a curator is like a kite flyer.

I like the idea of the artist as a kite: they like to fly free, beyond imagination, and sometimes above reality. If there wasn't that tiny string linking them to a flyer, they will get lost. Or crash on a tree. Or smash to the ground when the wind stops blowing. On the other side, the curator leads the kite, guides it, but cannot totally control it. Even pulling the string doesn't guarantee the kite to follow the instructions; it may start turning, twisting and flipping, because the wind is too strong. And paying it out too much string may bring the kite to fly too far away, and eventually fall. Sometimes, kite and kite flyer found themselves stuck: when there is no wind, no matter how hard they try. When the kite gets stuck to a tree, and the kite flyer somehow has to rescue it, trying to minimize damages. Sometimes, the kite would surprise the kite flyer by doing unexpected acrobatics, things that happen by chance and can only be repeated through experience, time, trial and error.

That's a very special, complicated relationship, based on a delicate equilibrium. The string that unites them doesn't mean subordination, for any of the two. It's about working together and be able to fly high without falling. Kites and artists are very fragile, and sometimes curators and kite flyers are inexperienced. But all can be fixed, including flying skills and torn paper, if they learn to trust and support each other.

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