“Reflections on access: Disability in Curatorial Practice,” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1 (2019) Cripping the Arts in Canada, Guest Edited by Eliza Chandler
Access is a vital tool to deploy within a critical disability curatorial practice and can embody both conceptual and physical possibilities, whereby the very idea of access can be discovered in an artist’s work, and, at the same time, be productively curated into both gallery spaces and the exhibition of the artwork. This essay reflects on the author’s critical disability curatorial practice with the exhibitions Marking Blind (2015) and Sweet Gongs Vibrating (2016). Through the curation of works by Raphaëlle de Groot and Carmen Papalia, and through the artist curator relationship between the artists and the curator, the author of this paper, both exhibitions incorporated access in order to benefit the artists, the artworks, as well as diverse audiences. This paper argues that through the guidance of the curator, access can be incorporated into the exhibition in highly imaginative and artistic ways.