Sex, Death, and Curators at BETA Spaces 09

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“Curator” is quickly becoming the buzz word of the fall, especially receiving a front page article in the New York Times Style Section on the use of the word beyond the art world.

For Steve Weintraub, who runs Arts in Bushwick (AIB), 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, who manages a gallery in Chelsea. “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 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 free festivalis 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” (at 243 Boerum Street), “Hipster Sex” (at 49 Bogart Street), and “Sometimes I Doubt Your Commitment to Sparkle Motion” (at 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 St.

“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, a professor at Brooklyn College.“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.”

BETA Spaces will take place on November 8, from noon to 7 p.m. at sites throughout East Williamsburg. For more information, visit

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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