Shamim Momin

Shamim Momin - curator

XOO

38 comments:

Colin's Ghost said...

Well, what can you say? She has the power to give you a raise.

But perhaps she's no better than Higgs.

But she's on the floor, rather than behind the deck.

A Bearuecratt.

Anonymous said...

she is a talentless whore who mooches off the talent of artists who are dependent on her good graces. she doesn't like being around people who are smarter than she is because they expose her as a phony and a fraud.

Anonymous said...

looks straight through you like you're transparent if you're a woman

Anonymous said...

Former girlfriend of Banks Violette. Question, what does she stand up for other than the latest trend?

Colin's Ghost said...

I mean really, that Miami photo of her on Artforum dot com. She really is a fine player.

But the reviews are good.

So whadaya do?

Give Nate Lowman all the credit?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Growing up she was the schoolyard bully. She decided who should be best friend's with whom and decided what was fashionable-basically anything Madonna was seen wearing on MTV at the time- Joyce Leslie lace gloves with no fingers, a perm or teased hair, and plenty of black and neon rubber bracelets. All the girls with one exception fell into line.

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is she's working on her own commercial space in la
First show? Nate lowman
Do you think michele will mind?

Anonymous said...

I'm a dealer, although I wish it happened more, she has only worked with one of my artists. I was nervous at first based on the rumors; but she really impressed me, was very serious and considerate. She was an advocate for the artist (and was generous with her time even through she had to deal with a 100 others at the same time). Who cares what she dresses like or what she does at night. It's all just talk, about her giving dirty looks or hanging with the wrong people - no one ever has anything legit and negative to say about her. I don't see what she has an X.

Anonymous said...

You guys sound jealous. She has provided the framework for so many-- so many-- artists who would have otherwise never been able to navigate or handle the complex ridiculousness of pulling off some of the more interesting work in large institutions. In the time that it takes to do that, of course it seems like the latest trend.

Find me anyone in the art world who doesn't have to change hats on occasion. I actually have always liked that the most about her. You have to pay to play and she's got balls.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with x-post. She's has a gift for contextualizing certain temporally universal feelings--as a good contemporary art curator should. She works her ass off, is involved in the install like not many curators of her stature, and pulls together curatorially rigorous shows that are fucking enormous in scope.

Above all, she loves the artists she works with, thinks about their work with the utmost respect, never talks shit about anyone that doesn't deserve it, and parties like she curates--awesomely. I think she's rad, and I know a lot of people who feel the same.

Also, she's DEFINITELY not working on a "commercial space."

Anonymous said...

she has also been talking smack about people for so many years, trashing them behind their backs, that it begs the question, who is the arbiter of who "deserves it"? at least the last poster admits she does it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion...strange the language used in the posts..."she pays to play"..."parties awesomely"..."rad". The supposed dealer mentions that he was "nervous at first based on the rumors" and yet goes on to say "no one ever has anything legit and negative to say about her".

She does appear to be very together and competent and does exactly a "rad" job at curating shows. She puts together comprehensive, energetic exhibitions that reflect contemporary art flavors rather well. The problem is, there is a bit too much closeness with the go-go cash paraphernalia for comfort.

Maybe that's why people say her shows touched the "universal" fleeting trend. Because they reflected a little too closely the connection between institutions and the art-fair happy crowd. Is it a coincidence the "Station" show was in Miami? This is not to say that one should be putting together institutional critique shows, but what she did a little too well was to align entertainment complex and the museum.

Not to say that the world would be a better place with Jens Hoffman clones, but the uncanny ability to spot trends somehow highlights the current of what is inherently conservative in the contemporary art industry. Basically, by presenting the exhibitions as "center", or as "moment", one engages in the simple-mindedness of advertising, with the digestible one liners served on coke-stained museum platters. If the critical push in the last 20-so years has been to de-centralize and to extend borders, her shows seem to be a bit more about erecting velvet ropes. Yes, there are enormous complex projects in many of her shows, and she works well with artists and so forth, but that is like saying an artist is a good artist because he or she uses a lot of paint on very large canvases that take a long time to be painted. Gioni, Cattelan and Subotnik curated an impactful fake door for a couple of years.

More interesting exhibitions stretch moments and allow for what is truly excellent in our times - complexity, medium fragmentation, de-centeredness - to correlate, support and challenge one-another.

ajules said...

Let's face it, she's the Paris Hilton of the art world during the Bush years. Enuff said!!!

Anonymous said...

Transplanted French dealer in NY said: "give her some coke" and she'll put you in a show? Lookng for projects in L.A., is she on her way out because of the dismal 2008 Whitney Biennial

Jah Jah said...

oh no! Shamim Momin is awesome! How can someone dare compare Shamim to a lying stinking illiterate lush like Paris Hilton?! Shamim is a super ambitious and extraordinarily nice, with a clear vision of her curatorial projects. Go Shamim!
Im not being bias, although she has included my work in some of her exhibits, I have dealt with many doosies in the art world and SHAMIM is NOT one of them!

Janine Gordon
http://www.thing.net/~janine

Anonymous said...

Jeezum crow, talk about twisting my words around. When I said she talks about those that deserve it I meant she's not afraid to say what she means. She'll say it in front of people or behind them.

Whatever, I think she's awesome at what she does, and I think she treats people fairly. I agree with Janine: it's silly to compare her to Paris Hilton or disparage her with a cheap shot drug comment, because she's fucking smarter than you and works harder too. That's my two cents.

Anonymous said...

I've worked with her. She's not that smart, but she does work hard.

Anonymous said...

she doesnt work for the whitney anymore, she is in la trying to do projects. i wish her good luck.

Anonymous said...

Pushed out the door at the Whitney is closer to the truth. No museum in Los Angeles would hire her so she is doing "projects". I wish her luck too. Looks like she needs all she can get.

Anonymous said...

The two comments above were right: Artforum's gossip/party section just reported:

"Momin headed up a table of Angelenos who included Christine Kim, the curator who is Momin’s partner in LAND (Los Angeles Nomad Division), a public-art agency the two are establishing in Hollywood".

Anonymous said...

Oh no, these 2 dopes, Christine Kim and Shamim, doing projects in Hollywood...Sounds like the artworld meets The Simple Life.

Anonymous said...

she got pushed out because everything she did at Whitney satellite was shit. 2008 biennial was also mediocre, at least there she could hide behind others and not take all blame. How smart is she??? Well, with the exception of those didactic brochures that read like press releases that were printed at WS, and the occasional so-so catalog essay that she Cliff Notes her way through to drop the current theoretical name, she is a dunce... good riddance.

Anonymous said...

check for more of her in mexico
a juice heir might need a new director...

Anonymous said...

The "talentless whore" comment was quite the poetic gem. Somehow I don't think that joker was in the 2008 biennial...

As an unknown artist, who generally has cringe inducing/negative exchanges with curatorial people, my interaction with Shamim has been positive. Consistently, I've found her to be a kind person, sometimes even downright sweet. God knows she has nothing to gain by being nice to me, so I interpret it as very sincere.

She has the disconcerting habit of checking her iphone all the time, but we all have some idiosyncrasy. She is just a high energy person; always moving or talking or fidgeting. Or smoking, which I wish she'd stop as it is rather unhealthy.

Nonetheless, I've already decided that when she quits the cigarettes (I'm a stickler that way), I'll probably propose marriage. I've always liked the idea of having an art loving family- Miami in December, a humble apartment overlooking Central Park West (just high enough to enjoy the canopy, but not too high so as to induce vertigo- say the 15th floor), a small and comfy LA flat one block from the Pacific Ocean,
weekends in the Hamptons to attend some benefit at Watermill, or a sunset walk in Malibu after a party at MOCA, and post-party cocktails at a five story beachfront glass walled modernist mansion. It will NOT be easy being a rad young art family, but we will be fabulous at it, I just know it!

All the jealousy and anger is understandable. Let's be honest, most of us are struggling losers, myself included, with not much more than a snowball's chance in hell at a decent career in the arts, let alone a stellar one.

So, to see someone in their 20s/30s with a mega art career can be, hmm, well, FU*KING DEMORALIZING, while we are barely paying the rent on a dreary room in crap lined Williamsburg where few people clean up after their pets, with no health insurance, getting rejected for laughable juried shows (that's $35 thank you!) at dank Red Hook co-op galleries that never paint or patch nail holes in their walls between shows. Yeah it can be a career problem when you can't even get into bad group exhibits. It is maddening I know.

However, Shamim created her career through a lot of hard work, vision, and, yes, probably a bit of luck too. Keep in mind though, she's not some NYC trust funder, her family are not Chelsea art dealers, her parents are not famous artists. You know those people who had their careers handed to them on a silver platter over a champagne dinner party at Mary Boone's house, after a full ride, legacy admission to the Ivy League?

Shamim worked diligently and passionately to create a good career. Please give my future wife a break. Thank you.

Jerimiah Q. Schmanckman
PS to SMM: Obviously I used a pseudonym to keep everything incognito, but I still felt it necessary to defend your good name.
PPS to SMM: You owe me dinner.

lightinthetrees said...

i have met shamim through friends a few times and genuinely felt she was sensitive, incredibly dedicated person. so she has a strong vision, and some people are afraid of people that have a true passion like her. this is coming from a long conversation i had with her not just about art, but books and music and loads of other things. a true individual!

Drew Heitzler said...

I worked with Shamim when I participated in the 2008 Biennial and all of my professional interactions with her were extremely positive. She loves art. I agree that the “erecting of velvet ropes” can be a little annoying, but that has to do with the opening party aspect of the art world and not the shows themselves. In my experience, she was attentive, thorough, and extremely concerned with making sure that the work was installed and presented the way I wanted it to be installed and presented. Most importantly, she makes decisions based on her own opinions. This is a quality that, unfortunately, is harder and harder to find these days. Her relationships with the artists she works with are heart felt and she always says what she thinks. Sometimes this backfires on her and I imagine that this is the source of much of the ire that has been directed towards her in this blog. Feel how you will about her personally, and whether or not you like her taste in art is your own business, but if you question her commitment, her work ethic, or her ability to see difficult projects through, you either don’t know her or you are just an asshole.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why there is all this space devoted to her. Curators, no matter how big their names are glorified picture hangers. It does not take a high IQ to do this job, just some naked aggression to work your way up to the food chain. I am sure she is very nice to artists because that is how you get ahead in this business. I know her personally and agree with the person who said she isn't particularly smart, but that isn't the main quality you need to succeed in this field. You need a passion for critiquing and analyzing the work of others, being very social and attending alot of commitments and professional functions night and day. She has the latter qualities in abundance.

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with your list of qualifications to be a strong curator:

"a passion for critiquing and analyzing the work of others, being very social and attending alot of commitments and professional functions night and day."

these are the qualifications that make it too easy to be a curator. The best curators are those who put forth thought-provoking, thematic exhibitions that supercede their own personal value judgements.

Anonymous said...

"thematic exhibitions that supercede their own personal value judgments?"

uh ok, except shamim herself is quoted in a new york times article saying how the whitney biennial should be the subjective vision of one curator.

sounds like a personal value judgment to me.

Anonymous said...

"these are the qualifications that make it too easy to be a curator. The best curators are those who put forth thought-provoking, thematic exhibitions that supercede their own personal value judgements [sic]"

Totally on the mark, that's what made Szeemann so historically important. Before him, curators heeded to the fallacy of objectivity, in which they attempted to hide their hand in the process of their practice. Szeemann is the first curator to apply the auteur theory to curating. The extremity of this juxtaposition, that is, Szeemann and Momin, only amplifies to earsplitting levels the mediocrity of the latter.

Anonymous said...

She's a better curator than any of you could ever be. It's truly sad that most of you are so jealous that you have to hide behind an anonymous identity to talk shit about her. As an artist who has worked with her, I can say without any bias that she is brilliant at what she does.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, she's SO forward thinking and talented - which of her LAND (and so highly anticipated) projects have I just attended? Some art 'stuck' in a Calvin Klein shop - sums her up really. It was pretty crass, unless seeing Penelope Cruz is on your agenda. Really insensitive to the work and artist I thought.

Anonymous said...

There are two kinds of smart. Processing power smart and getting what you want smart. Shamim is the second type. She figured out a way to get paid to do what she likes all day without sitting behind a desk. Now she is living the life where she meets real celebrities instead of the fake ones in NYC. If that makes her happy, that is great! There are plenty of "smarter" people who live a miserable life chained to their desks. That said, some of these posts, sound suspiciously like Shamim, calling herself "brilliant", poo-pooing people who "talk shit" about her, saying she has "balls" and will "pay to play" (whatever that means), that she provides the "framework for artists" and can pull of the "complex ridiculousness" of havigating the bureaucracy that artists could not(perhaps because they are too busy actually creating art). Shamim is nothing if not an expert at self-mythologizing. As for the anonymous comments, curating is rather subjective so people can have different opinions, but you can't get away with "talking trash" about people and saying anyone who doesn't like you is just "jealous" and being just plain not nice to people because it will bite you in the but on the internet. It may be more about that than quibbles with her curating and aesthetic taste.

Anonymous said...

The thing with Shamim is that the words that come out of her mouth are utterly nonadhesive to reality and are so relativistic and subjective as to render them meaninglessness. To boot, she contradicts herself regularly.

Truth is whatever she decides it to be at the moment, however she is feeling that day, whatever her whim may be! Her interviews that you see around the web provide some backing to this point.

There is one video clip where she talks about having a book where she put down the method she developed for LAND so that the process can be reduplicated if everyone there were to disappear. Ummkay, elsewhere on the tape, she says the book doesn't exist and the process is all in her head!

Then this precious diddy about her Oprah interview in Vice Magazine: "A lot of people who would never read Artforum or the Arts section of the New York Times saw that and looked up the organization. People like my mom’s hairdresser went and looked at some art because of it, and that’s cool to me."

Naturally her mother's hairdresser is some kind of unbiased bellwether of the pulse of the masses, never mind that she depends upon the mother for tips and her livelihood! Psychology and Econ 101 and other measures of reality are not implements to be found in Shamim's toolkit.

Then there is her rendition of the time wspent ith the Mexican juice heir whose collection says "things I've always wanted to say about the world!" (see: "Parallax Flu in artforum April '09). Naturally, some rich playboy heir in a banana republic where very few people control very many resources who is paying you a consulting fee happens to have an eye for temporalizing the universal in his collection.

But that's Shamim for you!

She'll probably get one of those $1m museum jobs one day because she does excel at making partnerships with those with big pockets and this is the number one job skill increasingly coveted by the museum world.

Her ever-shifting relationship with reality is on exhibit when you get some exposure to her personality: if she is involved with it is good, if she wasn't (or couldn't be) involved, it was bad. If she went to Williams, it is academic nirvana- whereas Harvard and it's "skimpy" art department is not. Of course, to listen to Shamim, you would think she turned down Harvard to spend four years in Williamstown. Really, do you want to bet that is what happened?

The "Island" had its moments- perhaps next she can combine the last two years' efforts and put the Meth Lab on the Island so that she can "collapse the duality" between "nothingness and being" more fully.

Anonymous said...

@3: correct. momin will not acknoweldge women who are smarter and more attractive than she is

@34: love the meth lab comment.

I suspect Ellen Harvey, who is a brilliant artist who can contextualize her own work and a yale and havard grad would have left Shamim seething internally were it not for the fact that Ellen could boost Momin's career and still be mild-mannered, almost Geeky an non-threatening for social competition.

Ellen Harvey said...

Since my name seems to be being invoked (thanks for the compliments, Anonymous), I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed working with Shamin on the two shows we did together and that I especially appreciate her for taking a chance on me with the show we did together at Altria in 2003 when I was not at all well known and being incredibly supportive as I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what to do there. It's true that I'm not as glamorous as Shamin. I can't argue with you there.

Anonymous said...

Re: the nonadhesion to reality, it runs rampant in curators. take Michael Govan on his reason for taking $25 million smackaroos from BP "we chose BP because of their record on the environment". He would be eating those words forever in a normal industry. The coke snorting rich art literati don't care much though. As for the concept that Shamim is long on execution if not a bit short on intellectual stamina, I would beg to differ. The "Island" was a colossal operational blunder as Shamim neglected to figure in the "reality" of the tides and other factors necesary to transport people there. Most people never even got over there.

Anonymous said...

Where is Shamim, did that Land thing ever do anything? Seems like a lot of mumbo gumbo from the website and emails. Too bad if she couldn't get it off the ground, she's a smart cookie, but LA is tough for art.