This interview with Audrey Pfister – the Coordinator of Kudos Gallery – was conducted by Sarah Josie, as part of a four-part series of interviews related to artists, arts spaces and infrastructure in New South Wales.
What are you studying at the moment?
I’m wrapping up my Bachelor of Art Theory degree. It’s taken me a few years as I initially started out doing Fine Arts, and I’ve also been been studying part-time.
What was your first curating experience and how old were you?
You could say it was all the themed birthday party planning I so loved to do as a kid. Or you could say it was when I was 19 while I was volunteering at Gaffa Gallery. At Gaffa I co-curated a show with another volunteer (at the time), Kim, and I included some friends from my hometown; Nick Santoro and India Mark, alongside artists who I’d really admired at the time; Ebony Eden, Zabia Khan, and Noni Cragg.
What emerging artist do you admire that you want to give an honorable mention to?
Leo Tsao does great things, most recently he did ‘Don’t call it a lover’s quarrell’ for ‘Intimate Circulations’, a project I co-curated with Em Size. Here was the description of Leo’s video work that we distributed via email:
Haunted by the recent deaths of my relationships, this is ghost choreography exploring queer interracial intimacy. inspired by entangled polycules, synchornised transness, ancestry.com, bachata on uneven ground and more.
When did you start as the co-ordinator of Kudo’s Gallery and what advice do you have for other aspiring curators?
Quite recently. I’ve been hanging aroundArt & Design for a long time. I started out volunteering for Kudos in my early years here, I then co-founded Fatal Crush reading nights with Astrid Lorange and Em, and then I was lucky enough to get the Kudos Gallery Internship a few years ago, and then Writers’ Coordinator at Arc in 2018. It’s different for everybody, and what is available to you, but my advice would be get involved where you can, volunteering is great, but not always a solid option for everybody, I also recommend just communicating and collaborating with friends where you can, or helping out in small ways for events/projects (even just setting up something). Chat to people about your ideas, making yourself available for feedback is always daunting, but can be really beneficial. Attend exhibitions and events, if you can, and snoop around other ARIs, see what peers are putting on. This doesn’t mean you have to do exactly what they’re doing, but I think it’s important to see what the community is doing, and what it means or how it feels to be a part of that. Attending exhibitions can be challenging and not always accessible, so if reading is your thing, you can see what people are writing about in relations to arts via places like Runway Experimental Art Journal, and Runway Conversations platform, but also Running Dog, and Un Projects.
Is there a specific medium that you like to work with personally or curatorially?
I like text and I like sound. Working with text can be a bit of a love / hate relationship (for lack of a better expression right now). Text is so complex and powerful, but overwhelmingly so. I also love video but I never do it. Let’s say I’m video-curious. In terms of curating, for the last while I’d say I’ve been invested in facilitating and developing opportunities for emerging writers and artists to share work in inclusive, innovative, and relaxed spaces. I’m still figuring it all out. For ‘Intimate Circulations’, in short, we commissioned five artists to produce works around the titular theme which we distributed via mail, and email (like bootleg PDF sharing really), for audiences that signed up. This was our response to being asked to curate ‘Kudos Live’.
This piece was produced in collaboration between Framework and Arcadia.