The association C-E-A (Association of Exhibition Curators) was founded in 2007, to facilitate the conception, promotion and organization of activities around the professional identity of curators.
C-E-A aims to spearhead activities that can help define the profession and determine its unique needs and operations. With these findings, the association can better support projects and information campaigns through residencies, research grants, project production aid, resources, and networking. Another central aspect of C-E-A’s mission is to advocate for the legal and social recognition of curators.
Why create an association for curators in France?
The field of fine arts is currently undergoing a period of restructuring. It will soon be adopting a collective agreement, as in other creative domains. It is therefore necessary to provide curators, a fast growing profession in the fine arts (around 800 persons according to a study by Laurent Jeanpierre in 2009), a representative voice and a means to participate in this movement.
Today, curators do not have any legal or social status to conduct their activities, despite the ever-growing number of training programs and the increasing demand for their expertise from various organizations. Hence, there is an urgent need to curators to unite and take action to rectify this situation.
Who is a curator?
The curators members of C-E-A reside in France and are currently participating somewhere in the world in the conception and production of contemporary art, namely by contributing to the presentation of works or by supporting artists in their production process and dealing with the issues surrounding contemporary creation. Their activities generally take place in organizations welcoming the public, such as museums, art centres, galleries, and associations, but can also exist in public spaces.
Curators often have parallel professional activities in the field of fine arts, for example, as instructors, critics, or artists. Although they often work independently, sometimes curators form collectives. They may be freelance or be employed full-time by contemporary art organizations as directors, exhibition organizers, conservationists, etc.