So, what is a curated space? It’s a space where people and things come together, the bounds of which can be fluid or very precise. Sometimes these spaces are the product of very deliberate labour – for example, temporary and permanent exhibitions in museums and galleries – where a building or even a door helps shape the environment. In other cases, they are the product of more organic processes. As with lots of these types of things, it’s partly up to us to decide. We the viewers can shape them through observation and our own experience.
That means ‘curation’ is a spectrum between quite deliberate performances in exhibition spaces, through to the products of diverse groups of people over time. The variety of sand castles that emerge and soon fall away on a sunny day at the beach, or a cemetery gradually filled over a century or more, can both be curated spaces, the product of different people engaging with the stuff of the world with a sense, too, of those around them.
Everything has a bit of curation in it; the question is whether we think it’s worth commenting on.