Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Quality Control & Curation

 Today we looked at curation and selected the images that we thought might work in our final portfolio.  I started by selecting images I liked and thought might work together for my final portfolio.  I will consider the curation process later in this post however, the images I choose I looked carefully at each image in Photoshop and adjusted them using various tools here are some examples of the quality control of my images.  So I chose around 30 images to look at more closely so I could make final curation decisions, I want to have more images than I will use in the end as I will be considering the relationship between my images and how they work together as a set.

For the below image, I checked the quality of the image, looking carefully for anything that was not sharp, and then as the image was perfectly straight I just adjusted the curves on Photoshop to very slightly brighten the image, the difference is subtle but it will make this the best image it can be in the final portfolio.

I did this for all the images and adjusted each accordingly the image below I liked the concept but it needed to be straightened using the crop, straighten and grid tools 

As can be seen this is much improved, this process is vital when considering photographic image I have now been through the 30 images chosen and adjusted - I will now consider curation to hone down what I actually want to show in the final portfolio and how I want to display these to really have maximum impact.

Curation is: the action or process of selecting, organizing, and looking after the items in a collection or exhibition.  This element of presenting art/media work is very important how items are placed together affect the viewer's perception and it is important as an artist that the work is shown to give the right message or feeling intended. 'It's worth thinking about the etymology of curating. It comes from the Latin word curare, meaning to take care. In Roman times, it meant to take care of the bath houses. In medieval times, it designated the priest who cared for souls. Later, in the 18th century, it meant looking after collections of art and artifacts.'(Jefferies & Groves, 2014) I like the idea here that we are guardians of the work we curate, that we take special care over this and this is what we should be doing whether we add this to our own website or an online gallery or whether it is a physical exhibition.

I listened to an interesting podcast that you can also listen to this here which is about curation this is with  Jennifer Frazier, a senior scientist and curator at the Exploratorium, a hands-on science museum in San Francisco. To listen please click here  I liked this as it was about science and curation and it is important to look at different areas and how they understand curation and care for their work. 

In The Art of Curating By Harbison for Frieze magazine, Harbison discusses curatorial practices and whether some of these had become outdated.  One of teh exhibitions discussed was described as follows: 

'The Barbican’s ‘Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector’, plumbed the personal collections of 14 artists. The show included Jim Shaw’s selection of found ‘thrift store’ paintings – famously gathered as part of an ongoing project – and Pae White’s collection of more than 3,000 Vera Neumann fabrics, which were artfully hung on diagonal washing lines as a colourful, billowing installation. Hanne Darboven’s knick-knack-laden studio and living room were reconstructed, complete with original furniture, before an installation of her photographic series, ‘Mitarbeiter und Freunde’ (Co-workers and Friends, 1988). Padded out with old rugs, worn tables, antique vitrines, cupboards and excess haulage cases, the exhibition proposed these artists as inspired hoarders and implied their curatorial arrangements were inherently meaningful.' (Isobel Harbison  2015)

I included the whole description here so that the reader could understand what the exhibition consisted of, and it is clear what was intended through the curation of this exhibition with essentially the artist's stuff - I do find that often exhibitions are 'padded out' by including objects and materials to enhance the viewer's experience however whether this is inherently more meaningful or that the viewer needs this to understand an exhibition I would argue that perhaps it is unnecessary.  I hold to the pinion that in curation less is often more as I would rather concentrate on a few images than be overloaded by them, I think this means that I can absorb and reflect on the image or piece more meaningfully than wondering around a mass of 'stuff' as if I need to fill time or have to keep moving.  

The joy of a good exhibition is one where I can sit and take in the pieces rather than fight with a crowd to get a glimpse or be moved through an exhibition without being able to really reflect. An online exhibition obviously means I can take time on my own and as long as I like on the things I really want to see and experience and this is great however I do still think that a physical exhibition is a far more meaningful experience to me as I want to see the original in the flesh and the screen does remove you from that experience.  

On my own website gallery, I will put my images together in the most meaningful way I can so that they work consistently together, so they flow as you go through them, and make sense however I know that these images would still be better viewed in their physical form and I can play with size, space, and light in a physical exhibition which is much more difficult to achieve through a screen or where most people might view this on a mobile phone. Perhaps I am old fashioned or perhaps I do feel we are moving into a time where people are disconnecting from the real world and communicating with it in a meaningful way. As Jean Baudrillard stated: "We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.” ...


Jefferies, S. and Groves, N. (2014) Hans Ulrich Obrist: The Art of Curation, The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Available at: (Accessed: January 24, 2023). 

Quagliarello, M. (2021) New Flipboard podcast, "The art of curation," explores the art and science of selection, About Flipboard. Available at: (Accessed: January 25, 2023). 

Isobel Harbison 23 APR 15 et al. (2015) The art of curating, Frieze. Available at: (Accessed: January 25, 2023). 

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