here the white cube gallery meets the black box theater is The Kitchen. There are no rules for the art desired by The Kitchen except for the upholding tradition of presenting uniqueness in each
exhibition. The Kitchen is an art space equipped with advanced sound, lighting, unique architecture, which create a distinct atmosphere. Guest are guided through the gallery with the use of their senses. The kitchen’s audience is specific due to its display of so many different types of work. There is a loyal dance audience and theater audience, but visual arts are broader because the free admission. The audience has grown with the growth of The Kitchen.
The current staff is trying to integrate each part of the audience and artists by combining forms of art within The Kitchen’s shows. The practical ways of integration are to take away labels by destroy the stereotypical black box and white cubes.
“As the audiences are split up, the artists are divided by the floors of the gallery”
Through bridging gaps Lumi Tan, a curator at The Kitchen, focuses on long-term relationship with artists, audiences, and disciplines. Lumi Tan has worked at the Kitchen for 10 years. Which she describes as a long time for a nonprofit, but the Kitchen is the type of place to work for a long time. The Kitchen provided Tan with fresh opportunities after her time working at bigger NYC galleries.
The Kitchen was Tan’s first time working with performance art in which she found this area of art called to her. To find a job that constantly teach you values and priorities will keep you working for that institution longer.
Artist must want to go into the interdisciplinary sector, kitchen is a place where you can see a variety of relationships, artist may not have to define themselves in any particular way. Depends on each individual project, ask the artist to clarify their intentions and motives of working with the Kitchen space
“different galleries have different curatorial practices”
To stay on track while putting the show together Tan makes use of checklists. Tan is a curator that does not find herself to be an artist, yet some curators think of their role is to reframe the artist’s work into their own eyes. She considers herself working side by side with the artists. Tan allows the artist to deem the success of the presentation of their work, but some curators will step in and desire to voice their opinions.
As the role of curator at the Kitchen Tan values creating something specific to the kitchen. The 100-year historical context is used in a specific way to keep the approach to each exhibition similar. The Kitchen is not a plug and play that can happen any other institution. The specifics to the practice/ place/ audience/ conditions of the Kitchen shapes the show in ways that cannot be found anywhere else in NYC.
But with this said Tan is not discrediting the diversity and amazement in which the city can provide. There is an abundance in NYC which helps to develop you eye and encyclopedic mind. Tan advised to work abroad to challenge yourself, to visit the smaller cities in the us, so to witness many different art worlds.