Poetry News

Kaegan Sparks on 'Inter-Generic' Curating

By Harriet Staff


In dialog with Kristen Gallagher at Jacket2, Kaegan Sparks talks about her curatorial relationship to interdisciplinary work and increasingly blurred genre boundaries. We're particularly interested in the way Sparks describes curation as a method of facilitating discourse:

...beyond focusing on formal variety among the cultural material I work with, I’m more interested in talking about the inter-structural status of my organizing itself—especially per curated events in a museum context, which for me have a bearing somewhere between poetry reading and exhibition.

Drafts, a program series I’m organizing at The Drawing Center, is conceived around a network of collaborations—the image archive of the Reanimation Library (comprising e.g. instruction manuals, hobbyist books, and general interest encyclopedias mostly printed between the 1950s and 1970s) precipitates each program, and selections from it evolve among the programs themselves, as an inherited (if unwieldy) line of thinking. I invite a sequence of cultural producers to “revise” or resituate an image selected for the previous program among a new set of images, and each set forms the basis for a program of responses from a variety of creative practitioners.

It's exciting to see how Spark's poetry background continues to inform her curatorial practice:

Certainly the literary aegis there was formative for me in all sorts of ways as my tastes developed—and much of my initial access to contemporary art was via writing at Penn, particularly per Kenny Goldsmith’s lead. In terms of having a foot in both worlds, he’s a prime example, and facilitated many relationships at that threshold that are very important to me: artist Erica Baum, for example, whose work I exhibited at Penn and with whom I maintain a working relationship.

Check out the rest of the interview, as well as others in Kristen Gallagher's "Gossip or History" column on Jacket2.

Originally Published: March 8th, 2013