A Day in the Life of a Curator, 2020
Concept, direction, screenplay, text: Maryna Tomaszewska
DOP: Piotr Kucia
Editing: Krzysztof Fischer
Sound: Katarzyna Zielecka
Voice over: Anna Ołdak
Music: Piotr Królikowski
Format: Ultra HD, color
The television reportage-style film A Day in the Life of a Curator tells the story of Szymon Żydek, a curator and producer currently employed at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, a person with a complex professional profile. His tasks flow harmoniously between his institutional undertakings, of which he plays several roles, and his extreme personal commitment to these tasks. It is an emblematic picture of the life of a typical curator.
Work on the script was preceded by meetings and conversations with the protagonist, in order to boil down the message to the most relevant and characteristic points in his daily life: sports training, working at home or from the office, social and business meetings, participation in exhibition openings. Shooting took place in Szymon’s apartment, at the Vistula Society for Rowers, at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, in the apartment of his closest friend Rafal Dominik, and at Spokojna Gallery.
The style of the film consciously refers to popular genres that are typically considered “B-grade” productions, like soap operas and amateur YouTube videos. Most people imagine that a curator is an enigmatic, seemingly inaccessible figure who is engaged in unspecified intellectual work, like meeting with artists and developing concepts for exhibitions. Formally, the film opposes this vision; it is not sophisticated, its unpretentiousness contrasts with the supposed distinction of the curator’s persona. We hear a voiceover that explicitly describes what we are seeing. With simple words and short, concise sentences, the voice-over provocatively stands in opposition to the typically over complicated language of curatorial texts.