How I Work: Barbican Curator Alona Pardo

Alona Pardo has been a curator at the Barbican since 2005. Here she discusses the joys, challenges and pressures of putting together blockbuster photography shows that reflect on the world around us

Curator Alona Pardo has worked on some outstanding exhibitions and installations at the Barbican – from the Jean-Michel Basquiat retrospective Boom for Real to Incoming, a monochrome video piece documenting the refugee crisis by photographer Richard Mosse. This year, she has curated a trio of shows to coincide with the Barbican’s ‘Art of Change season’: Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing and Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds are the first major UK retrospectives of two pioneering photographers who have captured social inequality, migration and economic recession (both are on display at the Barbican until September). Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins brought together images of people living outside of the mainstream – from trans groups to circus performers and street gangs.

Here, Pardo explains what it’s like curating blockbuster photography shows, working with artists on commissions and getting to know artists and their work…


Milton Keynes