As with all the other departmental “blogs” at the Walker, we describe Sightlines as a vertical—that is, a deep, focused dive into a topic. You might be all familiar with this distinction between horizontal and vertical. I was not.
I realized that “horizontal” means that the blog was meant to be shared among colleagues who interact and critically engage with one another in a kind of global conversation. The “vertical,” instead, is usually written by professionals in the discipline who take time to set out the issues for the broader public. As such, the vertical performs a hugely important service, touching many who might well be turned off by the wordy, technical, in-house nature of some of the horizontal blogs.
It took me a while to write this first post; I thought it should have been more of a statement, describing the mission of this vertical. I wanted to be very formal and objective.
While being formal would still be an option—although I’m clearly taking a different path—being objective is probably impossible.
I say this from my own perspective, so please don’t take this as the overarching voice of the whole curatorial team, who will be equally involved in the life of the blog. I really believe that our role compels us to study and research as much as possible, but once this is done, it requires us to take positions and stand for them. Therefore, I say this very subjectively.
Sightlines should try to reflect this, and it already does it with its title. The title is in fact a very direct description of the way in which we will approach the blog. If we take for granted that the sight lines could be described as hypothetical lines from someone’s eye to what is seen, then this becomes a curatorial perspective in which we will try to show the coexistence of many different forms of art making, suggesting a potentially infinite number of them, just as the title implies—capable of describing, with the inevitable “partiality” found in every text, post, image, post, comment, the present status of art-making.
Taking multiple perspectives that could be thought of as a sampling of approaches, the contributions will be taken as infinite attempts, infinite suggestions, infinite possible analyses and interpretations of contemporary art, and do not aspire to rewrite history, but rather to present infinite probable, initial modes of approaching the questions.
Sightlines will be then a place for providing vantage points for audiences, scholars, and art lovers, and its very first mission will be to give space to the artists and their voices. Each contribution, whether directly signed by an artist or by a Walker curator, or a guest writer, will be intended to highlight the artists and their practices.
We’ll do this with five different columns:
Artist’s Voice: A platform for artists to comment on their show and their works, and to engage in dialogues with people not associated with the art world. In other words a sort of carte blanche for them.
Curatorial Perspective: A space for curators to present their exhibitions, future ideas, their research. A space for scholarship around curating.
Theme Exploration: We will explore themes both related to the Walker’s projects but also works and exhibitions presented at other institutions. It will give context to current events in the international art world.
Micro-Story: A series of behind-the-scenes post describing what different aspects of what means to make art and exhibitions.
Object Lessons: A focused look at a single work through the exhibition context. This could be a work from the Walker collection or from the temporary exhibitions we are presenting.
As you will notice, most of the writings will be related to Walker’s projects, but often you will be confronted with wider topics of art and exhibition making. Just as the Walker was, is, and will be a safe place for unsafe ideas and welcomes everyone from everywhere, so is Sightlines. It will be aimed at anyone who views art as a catalyst of ideas for the present and future of our society. Over time we will aspire to build a collection of writings, which might open new perspectives for interpreting and understanding our times.
Sightlines will be not only a vertical blog, but it will be vertical itself because it will go as much in depth as possible in all the topics that we’ll present to you. We will take responsibility for any of the content posted online, and then will be up to you to follow, read, share, like, or dislike what we will present. We will be welcoming of any voice.
The entire Walker curatorial team will be involved in the new life of Sightlines. Here we all are, listed in alphabetical order: Vincenzo de Bellis; Curator; Adrienne Edwards, Curator-at-large; Siri Engberg, Senior Curator and Director of Exhibitions; Fabián Leyva-Barragán, Curatorial Fellow; Misa Jeffereis, Curatorial Assistant and Public Programs Associate; Remy Mason, Department Coordinator; Erin McNeil, Exhibitions Administrator; Pavel Pyś, Curator; Victoria Sung, Curatorial Assistant; Joan Rothfuss, Adjunct Curator; and Olga Viso Executive Director.