Very inspiring words by the fearless curator and writer Hans Ulrich Obrist on the great website The Avante/Garde Diaries. Check out our interview with Hans in 01 last issue ‘Documented’ here.
The Past Can Be A Tool
Hans Ulrich Obrist organized his first art exhibition in the kitchen of his St. Gallen apartment at age 23, encouraged by artist Christian Boltanski and Peter Fischli and David Weiss. From there, the former politics and economics student worked his way up to become one of the most influential people in the art world. He curated more than 250 exhibitions and served as a curator at museum in progress in Vienna, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and is currently the co-director at the Serpentine Gallery in London and has written countless books. Obrist also initiated the Brutally Early Club, a breakfast salon for the 21st century where art, science, architecture and literature are discussed, starting at 6:30 in the morning at different cafés, depending where in the world the early riser resides.
The tireless, fast-talking impresario is highly in demand, so we were lucky to meet him between gallery openings and speeches during the London Art Fair and to finally sit him down in the garden of the Zumthor Pavillion at Serpentine Gallery to get his view on the avant-garde: “I think it is very important that we find a way through curating to actually engage in a global dialogue. That we don’t loose this opportunity – the current moment offers us endless opportunities to really have a global dialogue – but that we do it in a way, which is not homogenizing but which produces difference. I think that is something, which exhibitions can do, in space and in time; to try to resist the homogenization of time and space by creating very unexpected situations, experimental situations, which brings us to your topic of the avant-garde.”