New Interview
Catherine Wood

Catherine Wood: “How can we inhabit the image?”

June 16, 2021

Ms. Wood, is the relationship between the curator and the artist a fine line to walk?

Definitely. On the one hand, as a curator, you need to be able to enter the imaginative world of the artist, and be in it with them, and play and co-imagine. They need to trust you enough to share their vision, which can be fragile at the beginning. At the Tate, where I’ve been curator of Contemporary Art and Performance since 2002, I can offer a space such as the Turbine Hall or the Tanks — it's a high-stakes invitation. So there’s a lot of trust involved. And then there's the other side of the relationship, which is totally pedestrian, administrative, financial, and institutionally responsible. That's the really difficult thing.

How come?

Because you’re beautifully co-imagining this amazing art project together with the artist, and then you're saying, “Yes, but we only have half the money to do that. And we're not allowed to do this with our visitors for health and safety reasons.” (Laughs) It's very delicate, balancing those two sides. I can sometimes find it hard to keep an objective distance because it's not like I'm working with my friends…

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Last week’s Interview
Gabriela Garcia

Gabriela Garcia: “There are pieces of me in everything”

June 9, 2021
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Ms. Garcia, as a writer of fiction and a poet, would you say that reading is an escape for you?

I can definitely get lost in books. I don't know if I think of them as an escape; sometimes books can be really challenging to me, or really rigorous, or the best books just leave me fully engaged in thinking about them in my actual reality and lived experience. So I can escape into books and also remain very present. I think it's impossible to improve as a writer if you're not regularly reading, so a huge part of my writing practice is just reading a ton. It inspires me, it makes me a better writer.

Is there a distinction, or perhaps a balance, between reading for pleasure and reading for your profession?

That’s an interesting question. Sometimes if I'm working on a project, I might need more information that is specific to what I'm writing, or I reread something in order to think more about the writing element, the structure, you know, really thinking about the craft of writing — so in that way, maybe my work does shape my reading. But for the most part, reading as a writer and reading as a reader, they just blend for me. It’s all enjoyable.