The celebrity curator may be a phenomenon on the rise, but before Klaus Biesenbach and Paola Antonelli, there was Hans Ulrich Obrist. Obrist, who’s currently the co-director of exhibitions and programs and director of international programs at London’s Serpentine Gallery, has a list of curatorial accomplishments so long, it’s daunting. And it turns out he’s been taking notes the whole time.
The word “expo” conjures big visions: grand pavilions, ferris wheels, exotic exhibitions, a world’s fair. But last Sunday, a different kind of expo opened at MoMA PS1, in Long Island City, Queens — Expo 1: New York, the latest curatorial effort of the institution’s director, Klaus Biesenbach. It’s not quite a world’s fair, but Expo 1, which is the result of a ongoing partnership between MoMA and Volkswagen, riffs on the idea by comprising many pieces that fit loosely together as a whole. It might best be described as an exhibition of exhibitions, or an extremely multifaceted exhibition, or an exhibition that’s “not only an exhibition,” as Biesenbach said at a press preview last week. He also talked about it in terms of wrapping “an envelope around the building [MoMA PS1],” while curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, a co-organizer of the show, called it “almost like a Russian babushka.” This was shortly after Obrist posed the essential question from which Expo 1 sprang: “What is a large-scale exhibition for the 21st century?”
In this week’s recommended reading … photo essays on Afghanistan and the death of Osama bin Laden, a profile of Barbara Kruger, art won’t make you unemployed, how death (or imprisonment) changes an artist’s work, Hans Ulrich Obrist talks to Julian Assange, and a profile of suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning.
The new year is always a time of idealism. We want to improve ourselves, lose weight, find success in a new career: everyone has high aspirations. Why shouldn’t we do the same for the art world? Here’s a list of resolutions I have for the contemporary art community in 2011. There are some suggestions, some criticisms and some predictions, but what they all have in common is a desire to foster a better public artistic dialogue, free of some of the snares we encountered over this past year. Click through for a small flash of optimism before what promises to be a roller coaster ride.
Every week, we’ll recap the best comments we’ve received on Hyperallergic’s posts, whether that’s on the blogazine itself, on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Be sure to check in every Friday for new comments. This week, readers respond to the UK arts funding cuts, Hans Ulrich Obrist’s book reading extravaganzas and apartment exhibition vogue.
Obrist is strange. There, I said it. In an event that often felt like a coffee klatch at Obrist’s house, the art world power broker known as Hans Ulrich Obrist — he’s #2 on Art Review’s Power 100 — had a book reading last Saturday at MoMA’s PS1 in Long Island City for his newest publication, Hans Ulrich Obrist: Interviews, Volume 2. The event venue looked like a cross between a set for the Last Supper and a conference stage thrown together by Leni Riefenstahl and there was coffee and books being served on the periphery of the event.
ArtReview released its annual Power 100 yesterday, a document that makes a spirited attempt at putting the art world into numbers.
The list held a few surprises, but really, what was most un-surprising about the whole affair was how lame and mainstream it was while frontin’ a snarky facade, insider-style. Because really, no one in the art world knew that Gogo had a lot of pull … right?
Here are a few graphs that try to clarify the bullshit and get at what the Power 100 really means.
The age of celebrity art has dawned and no one is a better example of that high-end marriage between the haves and the haves than pop singer Lady Gaga. It has been a long time coming for the maven of the dancefloor, whose every move feels like a tribute to 1990s club kid culture. Yet, her recent collaborations with Francesco Vezzoli and Terence Koh raises the question, does she desperately need an art teacher?
Since learning of Shaquille O’Neal’s curating gig with Flag Art Foundation, among other dubious projects announced last year, I have found myself returning to Eva Diaz’s piece “Whither Curatorial Studies?” from last February, in which she weighed the teachings of curatorial degree programs against the realities of the profession. Does this “pedagogical cottage industry” adequately prepare its students for the real world of curating?
… a profile of “power” curator Hans Ulrich Obrist … the Art Gallery of Alberta signs a deal with the National Gallery of Canada … the Clyfford Still Museum is being built … Fresno, California, loses a museum … a Victorian novelist’s fancy toothpick fetches big bucks … some notable picks for the best of the in 2009.