Curating as Care by Icaro March 18, 2023 0 News, Post-Archive

Curating as Care

27th of March- 6 pm

Conversation with Zoé Whitley


Curator and Chisenhale Gallery Director Zoé Whitley will discuss what she has learned from artists over the course of her 20-year career; namely, develop a curatorial practice that aims to listen, to learn, and to love. Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons has said that she only undertakes projects for love; Lubaina Himid’s recent work asks us what love sounds like; bell hooks defines love as a “combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust.”

In this session we will consider candidly the perpetual labour of love required to work well with artists; including admitting and learning from curatorial mistakes, striving to build better artist-focused institutions, and finding the courage to keep trying when intentions don’t always meet expectations.


Zoé Whitley
Dr. Zoé Whitley is Director of Chisenhale Gallery in London’s East End. A leading non-profit space founded by artists, Chisenhale produces and commissions new works of art with emerging British and international artists. In 2020, Zoé curated Frieze London’s special themed section, Possessions, exploring spirituality and contemporary art, and co-curated Elijah Pierce’s America at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Previous exhibitions to her credit include curating the British Pavilion presentation of Cathy Wilkes at the Venice Biennale in 2019 and co-curating the award-winning international touring exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power. She writes widely on contemporary artists and occasionally on design. Whitley’s research interests include art practices from the African Diaspora and children’s access to art including authoring children’s book titles Meet the Artist: Frank Bowling, Meet the Artist: Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and working with Sharna Jackson on the acclaimed Black Artists Shaping the World. She is the editor of the forthcoming major monograph on Barkley L. Hendricks (Skira).

She’s formed part of international arts juries for the Suzanne Deal Booth/ FLAG Art Foundation Prize 2024, Turner Prize (2021), Preis der Nationalgalerie Berlin (2021) and Future Generation Art Prize selection committee, among numerous others. Her prior roles include Senior Curator (Hayward Gallery); Curator, International Art (Tate Modern) and Curator, Contemporary Programmes (V&A). Zoé serves on the board of the Teiger Foundation and the London Mayor’s Commission on Diversity in the Public Realm.

Program inserted in the project of ‘Pos- Archive’ coordinated by Mónica de Miranda with support from CEComp and FCT.