The verb ‘curate’ derives from the Latin curare and means to attend to something and thus also to take responsibility – for an exhibition, for the participating artists, for the works etc. In the business world the code of ethics, which defines what is legitimate and what is not, is becoming ever more important. In the curatorial field too, important parameters have been shifting in recent years. We have seen subtle but lasting changes in the relationship between public and private collections, together with the handling of the latter, in the relationship between the institutional art establishment and the art market, and finally in the relationship between curators and artists.
So the time is ripe to talk about a curatorial code of ethics: where are the boundaries, what are the grey areas? The point of departure for this three-day conference, in which international representatives of various sectors of the art world will present their viewpoints, is not so much to discuss deficiencies and problems, but instead to fundamentally acknowledge that these exist.