Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When words lose their meaning II

1. Curate
a) To prepare, organize, and maintain a collection of artifacts for exhibition.
b) To select and display an assortment of titles in a bookstore meant to maximize sales to the community of readers who support that store. Or turn it into a museum.
c) To stifle the creativity of the unsung many by insisting on a hierarchical ordering of works of art whereby the production of the sung few rises to the top.
d) To add value to artifacts by writing clever copy to accompany them (i.e., shelftalkers, museum placards).
e) To prepare a mental shopping list for dilettantes.

2. Curation
a) A kind of pickling process whereby dross is transmuted into spun gold and the body into soul.
b) Taking care of things.
c) A psychological disorder whose sufferers cannot see the value in a object unless it appears in a series of like objects. Also known as
Taxonomist's Disease.
d) An affected figure of speech used by those in the publishing world who have given up on caring about books and hence need a new name for what they do.
e) A means of displaying one's good taste; professional snobbery.

3. Curator
a) A connoisseur who handles objets d'art with kid gloves.
b) A gatekeeper who wields a big aesthetic club meant to scare barbarians away and prevent taste-makers from getting loose.
c) A bookseller who loves books, knows her customers, and is trying to make sense of a chaotic marketplace.
d) A grave-robber, then a re-animator.
e) A doddering old bird made obsolete by Google's search engine algorithms.

4. Curatorial
a) Conspiratorial.
b) Pastoral.
c) Pedagogical.
d) Conservatorial.
e) Janitorial.

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