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Sex, Death, and Curators at BETA Spaces 09

“Curator” is quickly becoming the buzz word of the fall, receiving a front page article in the New York Times Style Section.For Arts in Bushwick’s Steve Weintraub, who manages a gallery in Chelsea, the notion is silly.

“The real true curator is someone who has a very good idea, a program they are trying to demonstrate or illuminate for someone and present it very well,” said Weintraub. “To be a real curator is to work hard, work with artists to develop a specific theme, an idea or point of view and to execute it.”

The latest AIB arts festival, BETA Spaces, occurring on November 8 from 12 to 7 PM in East Williamsburg, focuses on the talents of discriminating curators.According to Weintraub, the framework that BETA spaces has established provides curators with an opportunity to develop their vision and collaborate with artists in order to produce a strong exhibit, which is what professional gallery and museum curators do for a living.

The festival, entirely free, is also an exercise in limitations not just in the artwork but in geographic boundaries.Eighteen exhibitions are dotted through an area in East Williamsburg bounded by Bushwick Avenue and Scholes Street to the northwest and DeKalb Avenue in Bushwick to the east.The majority of exhibits are in alternative spaces such as apartments, street corners, coffee shops and loft spaces though galleries Norte Maar (83 Wyckoff Avenue), English Kills (114 Forrest Street) and Lumenhouse (47 Beaver Street) also feature new shows.

Some of the highlights are off the beaten path, including intriguing titles such as “Fortress to Solitude Self-Absorbed: Portraiture These Days (243 Boerum Street), Hipster Sex (49 Bogart Street), and Sometimes I Doubt Your Commitment to Sparkle Motion (Grattan Street and Bogart Street),

Arts in Bushwick members are particularly excited about Impart To the Product/ Part of the Process? or Quest, Phantom, Vestigium” at Centotto, a recurring gallery space in curator Paul D’Agostino’s living room in Apartment 108 at 250 Moore Street.

Since my first show I have focused on much more conceptual group exhibits, culminating in what I now call the Centotto ‘simposio,’” said D’Agostino.“I then compile the statements into a pamphlet so that the ‘simposio’ is born from one text and then produces another, with all the artworks existing somewhere in between.I intend to keep doing shows in this manner because it’s akin to what I do as a professor (at CUNY Brooklyn College), because I enjoy selecting the discourses, because the artists really seem to savor the experience.”

BETA Spaces will take place on November 8, from 12 to 7 PM at sites throughout East Williamsburg. For more information, visit www.betaspaces.starkandnimo.com.

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