When studying art history at a Dutch university, the end goal is to become a museum curator. At my university, a curatorial internship at a notable art museum is dangled before you as the ultimate reward for getting good grades, and after graduating the unpaid work continues. Many graduates consider their inability to work in a museum a failure and end up abandoning their curatorial career altogether. It is one of the many ways in which the museum upholds its position of power in the arts.

My practice involves exploring curatorial possibilities outside of the context of the (western) art institution. When I do enter such institutions, it is as an outsider, an infiltrator. I navigate artistic environments with a critical eye informed by queer theory and decolonization, actively questioning power structures and distribution of wealth in the arts. I believe that, as a curator, you have the ability and responsibility to provide spaces for unheard voices to be heard. My interests as a curator are in (re)claiming space for these voices, and levelling the artistic playing field by uplifting the artist and grounding the institution.

Anne van Lierop (they/them) is an art historian, curator and museum infiltrator based in Groningen, the Netherlands. They are the founder of the pink cube., a platform dedicated to the visibility and appreciation of queer art and culture.

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