Is Curator Your ‘MAJESTY?’
How much do you know about curators? People might think of curators simply as a planner of exhibitions, but they do a lot more than that. As interests of recognizing and preserving our cultural, artistic works are starting to rise, curators have become more important than ever. In SMU, students who dreamed of being curators gathered and founded a club named ‘Majesty’ in 2012. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) interviewed the leader of this newest club, Choi Naeun (Department of Entrepreneurship ’12).
SMT Could you tell us about Majesty?
MAJESTY Majesty is the first universitycurating club in Korea. It seemed that many students eagerly dreamed of being curators, but were often frustrated due to certain limits. Requirements of this job are rather high and also the information that students could get is quite limited. Therefore, in order to overcome these limits, Majesty
was founded and we are now trying to offer creative and substantial projects that help wanna-be-curator-students build necessary abilities. We hope to share more information about curators and produce a synergy effect through this process. We think that the potentials of students (who dream of being a curators) should not be wasted any further.
SMT What is the meaning of the name, ‘Majesty?’
MAJESTY ‘Majesty’ means dignity. We chose this rather fancy name in order to maintain our self-esteem of the fact that our club is the first university curating club. Majesty also means ‘highness’ (an honorific title of a king or a queen). As you can see in the poster, there’s a slogan, “Yes, it’s your majesty!” The expression is used as the original definition of indicating a king or a queen, but in addition to this original meaning, it implies that this, indeed, is YOUR majesty. We tried to give the impression of Majesty, which is confident and witty.
SMT What kind of activities do members do in Majesty?
MAJESTY We hold studies to build up our basic ability as curators. Also, we hold a Cultural Presentation Competition in Majesty (CPCM) which is related to practical affairs such as exhibition planning of curators. CPCM is the essence of Majesty’s unique programs. CPCM is about students forming a team consisting of members of two to four and planning an exhibition according to the given topic at the start of the each month. The projects are to be done by the end of the month and each team gives a presentation of their work and the final winner gets the chance to display their works in an exhibition. There are also other programs in Majesty other than CPCM; going to see various exhibitions, interviewing curators, analyzing articles to find out trends of the art world, and volunteering. All of these programs are characterized by the color of Majesty.
SMT Although people tend to know a lot more than before, ‘curator’ can still be a rather unfamiliar job for some students. Can you explain what exactly a curator does?
MAJESTY Basically, a curator is a person who researches art. In fact, instead of planning exhibitions, they spend much more time in writing essays of artistic works. They should be knowledgeable in diverse fields of art and should have knowledge and insight for choosing how to categorize various works. However, curators don’t always
indulge in paperwork. When exhibitions come, they should turn into Wonderwoman or a Superman. They devise the topic of an exhibition, advertise the exhibition, and often contact artists. They even thrust themselves into installing art works. It is no surprise that this job is often refered to as highly educated, rough labor. Even though it may seem tough, it is still a very charming career.
SMT Could you leave a comment for students who dream of being curators or who are interested in getting into Majesty?
MAJESTY I do have something to say to SMU students: “Be the flame, not the moth!” I, personally, am kindling a small flame in my heart to make it a huge flame. As you well know, for those of us who dream of being a curator someday, we cannot expect wellpaved roads along our way, but if you have the dream, come to Majesty. If you still have the small kindling in your heart, if your heart still beats as you hear the word ‘curator,’ make a move. We will be happy to grab your hand to hopefully see the huge flame at the end of our road.