On my virtual curatorial visit to Diana’s studio yesterday I was struck by the abundance of nearly quarter of a million works in the #artistsupportpledge Instagram inititiave set up by artist Matthew Burrows. Now, this is a sight to behold and wonder. Nearly quarter of a million works by nearly as many artists within two months! Since late March 2020, artists like Diana have pledged to buy a work from another participating fellow artist who like them, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have lost their livelihoods from exhibitions in galleries, museums and art fairs.

I was intrigued to wander around the recesses of the hashtag artistsupportpledge. Without getting too overwhelmed by this bounty, I exercised my choice. How? I took a curatorial turn towards the works that shared Diana’s passion for colour, magic realisim and contemporary storytelling. Well, a precious few, I found. Here is my collage pictured here including works by Diana and some of her fellow artists pledging their support: @aramisfraino; @amyshuckburghart; @brian.l.seymour; @jacquifehl; @mari__art__ty; @iuliacarchelan_art; @chamaa_art; @marlenerye_art; @crisam_acrylic_pouring; @landscapesergiy and a few more.

Why did I not find more works like Diana’s? Did such works get lost in some non-transparent Instagram algorhithm? Is it because curating appears to be the answer to the question how we can live and work in an age of information overload? In the context of data overflow, curating is not only a sound business strategy, but a way to make sense of the world, argues Michael Bhaskar in his book Curation: The power of selection in a world of excess. As long as, I would add, we continue to question who and why sets the context for our curatorial choices. Yours, Iliyana Nedkova


as part of #artistsupportpledge


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