We'd Like to Talk to Nate Hill About Himself and Not How MOCA Will Create an Endowed Chief Curator Position
by AUGUST 8TH, 2012 . 0 COMMENTSon
Where is Nate Hill? We need to get a hold of him to answer some very important questions about his art. We're not helped by this letter from MOCA's executive committee announcing it would steer its curatorial department in a new direction by hiring a chief curator to replace Paul Schimmel. We need to talk about Nate Hill. Like now. It makes no difference that MOCA will form a search committee once "the necessary financial commitments [are] in place for a special curatorial fund to endow the position" because that search is not for Nate Hill. He's not returning our emails. If we could get him on the phone, we promise not to mention the public outcry against MOCA's prior decision to leave the chief curator position unfilled, thereby consolidating curatorial duties to Jeffrey Deitch, because we know what is the most important thing to discuss with Nate Hill, and that is Nate Hill.
We already know that critics lambasted Deitch for his curatorial vision, seen through the lens of an upcoming disco-themed exhibition and the cancellation of a major Richard Hamilton retrospective, travelling from the Tate, but what does all this have to do with finding Nate Hill? Was he standing up for Team Deitch? What is Nate Hill thinking right now? Probably not about Deitch. Probably about Nate Hill. We want to quote him on him.
Nate Hill where are you? Your decisions have not poised MOCA as financially and intellectually unstable, so we don't blame you. We blame Jeffrey Deitch more than anyone else. So let us talk to you about you. We just want to talk about you. Adam Lindemann, in a convincing editorial published this week, points out that this "witch-hunt" against Deitch tends to focus on spurious claims. Nevermind that--our hunt is for Nate Hill.
This doesn't mean the mounting public interest in MOCA's future should stop, or that the "four-alarm fire now enveloping MOCA" has been snuffed out. It just means that Nate Hill needs to talk about himself, and we want to let him do that. If that means we first need to discuss the pressure from critics, artists, and groups like MOCA Mobilization which helped convince MOCA that a strong museum needs strong leaders, both directors and curators, then so be it. As long as we can eventually, down the road, return to what is really important.
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