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A curatorial platform is an organization whose principal activity is focused on the development and presentation of cultural artifacts according to clearly defined and coherent themes or organizational principles. In contrast to an art gallery, whose focus is the exhibition and — in the case of a private gallery — sale of finalized artwork, a curatorial platform is concerned with the conjunction of artistic practice and curatorial practice.

Following the development of the independent or freelance curator following 1969’s watershed ‘When Attitudes Become Form: Live in Your Head’ [1] and Harald Szeemann's subsequent defiance of then-established career trajectories, the role of the curator in the development of modern art has become ever more important. This is evidenced by — particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom — the growth of curatorial studies and workshops.

The notion of a curatorial platform, extending and reinforcing these studies and attitudes, is relatively new — the group Kuratorisk Aktion [2] (Curatorial Action) was established in 2005, and while Rhizome [3] was founded in 1996, it does not define itself explicitly as a curatorial platform. Its activity — ‘the creation, presentation, discussion and preservation of contemporary art’ is nonetheless recognizably curatorial.

There is general agreement about the aims of such platforms — in the Peregrine Arts [4] manifesto, this organization clearly states that their curatorial platform does not replace ‘traditional ensemble-based or exhibiting institutions, such as orchestras, museums, and theater companies [but] provides a foundation and structure for organizing and amplifying current artistic resources in the pursuit of true innovation and artistic impact.’

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