TEMPORARY OFFICE FOR CURATORIAL CONSULTING
Temporary Office for Curatorial Consulting (TOCC) is a consulting agency for contemporary art. Founded by Il Colorificio – a curatorial collective and project-space in Milan –, TOCC provides tailored curatorial services to galleries, institutions, artist-run spaces and festivals in order to feed with new contents the starving but nonetheless peaked art system.
For the event “A hole in the sky / is open / A hole in the sky / is wider / A hole in the sky / is yours” curated by TYVM at The Modern Institute, TOCC provides a consulting service to the overall exhibition and to each art interventions that take place in the evening.
TOCC’s temporary headquarter is located in the gallery office. The entrance of the space is marked by a brass plaque. Inside, Il Colorificio’s characteristic signboard hung on the wall, recalling the fluo yellow of the office desk Toby Table (2009) by Urs Fischer. The results of the advisory process are posted along the walls and placed on the desk, comprising: seven folders (one per artist: Peter Basma-Lord, Nick Evans, Tamara Macarthur, Caitlin Merrett King, Alys Owen, Clare Quilty, Hannah Reynolds, Clara Ursitti), with the artist’s profile, a re-staging proposal and two SketchUp renderings; a folder voted to the critical re-thinking of the event, with the rewriting of the concept, a general re-staging proposal and some SketchUp renderings. A Xerox machine allows to print (entirely or partially) a copy of the documentation, certified by the Il Colorificio’s official stamp.
TOCC is none other than a fictional device with real outcomes, whose aim is to reflect and problematize the static nature of a unique point of view – often, the curator’s one. The TOCC’s method draws its inspiration from the shadow curator theorised by Nuno Sacramento, and the monument ambassador by Thomas Hirschhorn: the former is invited by an institution to provide a critical reading of its exhibition programme; the latter witnesses and records in a scratched temporary office the slippery of an event.
And yet, during this limelight show-off, when the consultancy’s authority overwhelms the role of the artist, the curatorial narcissism is on the brink of a short circuit: the lights turn off, eclipsing the curator and reactivating the work. Urs Fisher’s phosphorescent desk shines once more.