Looking at examples of presenting practices in Berlin and Toronto, this essay sketches the difficulties that arise when embarking on a curatorial practice with a decolonial impulse. This text is a partner to “On Smuggling and Drawing. A Conversation in Blocks”, a dialogue between curator Juana Awad and artist Luisa Ungar, written in 2020 and appearing in the publication Künste dekolonisieren. Ästhetische Praktiken des Lernens und Verlernens (edited by Julian Bauer, Maja Figge, Lisa Grossmann, Wilma Lukatsch; Berlin, Transcript Verlag, forthcoming.) But while the dialogue focuses on Ungar’s creation process of the over one hundred original drawings intervening throughout the publication, this essay brings to the forefront Awad’s questions about, and experiences and observations with the mingling of the curatorial and the decolonial, from her perspective as a curator and cultural worker.
On Smuggling as Strategy and the Possibility of Decolonizing the Curatorial