The curator-as-accomplice : a self-reflexive and exhibition history study of contemporary art curation in Aotearoa New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts, Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, Te Whanganui a Tara Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

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Massey University
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This thesis contributes a new description of curating termed the curator-as-accomplice which is derived from and tested against examples of contemporary art curatorial practice situated in Aotearoa New Zealand. The ‘curator-as-accomplice’ is defined as a mode of creative and co- operative practice that resists the tendency to centralise curating by working complicitly alongside others to support their unrealised potential. The notion of ‘accomplice’, in association with curating, has received scholarship by Valentina Desideri and Stefano Harney but has not previously been developed into a conceptual framework applied to practice. By addressing this gap, this research provides an original contribution to knowledge via a self-reflexive approach analysing four exhibitions together with related exhibition history research surveying exhibitions within Aotearoa (1970–2020). Given the specific focus on practice situated within Aotearoa, this research has additional significance with regard to how to how the curator-as-accomplice performs both within a post-imperial, colonial context and in relation to Pākehā (New Zealand European) bias.
Art museums, Curatorship, New Zealand, Art museum curators, Artists and art museum curators