Joshua Decter, Curator and critic, New York

Joshua Decter Decter discusses his book "Art is a Problem: Selected Criticism, Essays, Interviews and Curatorial Projects (1986-2011)", published by JRP|Ringier.Joshua Decter is a New York-based contemporary art critic, curator, theorist, educator, and editor.

Decter has curated exhibitions for a wide range of museums, alternative spaces and galleries, including P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1), The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Apex Art, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), The Kunsthalle Vienna, and The Santa Monica Museum of Art. Decter was a curatorial interlocutor for Interventions, inSite_05: Art Practices in the Public Domain (San Diego/Tijuana). His critical writings and essays have been extensively published over the past twenty-five years, in periodicals such as Artforum, Afterall and Flash Art. Decter has taught at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, The School of Visual Arts in New York, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, New York University, UCLA, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and Bennington College. From 2007 to 2011, Decter was the Director of the Master of Public Art Studies Program at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Fine Arts in Los Angeles, where he designed and founded a new graduate program, MA Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere.

Decter has organized various conferences, including: The Architecture of Display: new approaches to exhibition design at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2006; The Question of the City, Museumsquartier, Vienna Art Week, 2006; The Situational Drive: Complexities of Public Sphere Engagement, co-sponsored by in Site, Creative Time, and The Cooper Union, New York in 2007; and Participation and Friction: Rethinking Art and Architecture as Public Culture (Architecture, Design Art: Strategies for Survival & Art and Architecture in the Public Sphere of Cities) at USC in Los Angeles, in 2009.

A Skype conversation with Joshua Decter: is art a problem?

Conversation description below

During this conversation, Decter discusses his forthcoming book, Art is a Problem: Selected Criticism, Essays, Interviews and Curatorial Projects (1986-2011), to be published by JRP|Ringier in early 2013. “I try to interrogate why I believe that art is a problem… to demystify the notion that somehow art can play a role in resolving broader macro or micro political and economic conditions.” Decter also references a book he is co-authoring for the Afterall Books Exhibition Histories series, scheduled for publication in 2013. This book will offer a comparative analysis of the 1993 exhibitions Culture in Action (Chicago, USA) and Project Unité (Firminy, France); Decter’s essay investigates the curatorial framework of social engagement mobilized within the Culture in Action exhibition.