Download e-book for iPad: A Brief History of Curating by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Anne D'Harnoncourt, Werner Hoffman, Jean

By Hans Ulrich Obrist, Anne D'Harnoncourt, Werner Hoffman, Jean Leering, Franz Meyer, Seth Siegelaub, Walter Zanini, Johannes Cladders, Lucy Lippard, Walter Hopps, Pontus Hulten, Harald Szeemann, Daniel Birnbaum

A part of JRP|Ringer's cutting edge Documents sequence, released with Les Presses du Reel and devoted to serious writings, this booklet includes a different selection of interviews through Hans Ulrich Obrist mapping the advance of the curatorial field--from early self sufficient curators within the Nineteen Sixties and 70s and the experimental institutional courses constructed in Europe and the U.S. throughout the inception of Documenta and many of the biennales and fairs--with pioneering curators Anne D'Harnoncourt, Werner Hoffman, Jean Leering, Franz Meyer, Seth Siegelaub, Walter Zanini, Johannes Cladders, Lucy Lippard, Walter Hopps, Pontus Hulten and Harald Szeemann.

Speaking of Szeemann at the social gathering of this mythical curator's demise in 2005, critic Aaron Schuster summed up, "the snapshot we've of the curator this day: the curator-as-artist, a roaming, freelance clothier of exhibitions, or in his personal witty formula, a 'spiritual visitor worker'... If artists seeing that Marcel Duchamp have affirmed choice and association as valid inventive innovations, was once it no longer easily a question of time ahead of curatorial practice--itself outlined through choice and arrangement--would turn out to be visible as an artwork that operates at the box of artwork itself?"

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In a sad way, the old salon is dead. I’ve been waiting for some breed of artist—some terrible little ancestor of Andy Warhol or whatever—to put out a mail-order catalogue of his or her work independently of the galleries. Whether it’s printed matter or it ends up on the Web, people, without even using galleries, can find interested patrons. This was the thrust of what the East Village was all about. They had artist-entrepreneurs there. Never in SoHo. This market appeared, then died down again, but I think it could happen again.

It’s amazing they came. Critics I’d never met before showed up. It had a big attendance. So I wanted to work, as it turns out, both ways. You can see this clearly in the most extreme show I’ve done in recent years, The Automobile and Culture—at MoCA, in downtown LA, in the early 1980s. It later went to Detroit. Paul Schimmel and I came up with the absurd premise. I owe the title to Pontus Hultén. What I was talking about doing was looking at the history of the automobile, from the late 19th century to the present—beautiful and interesting and important cars, no trucks, no motorcycles, just cars—as a kind of quotidian device and fetishistic emblem of cultural life in the 20th century.

And, I tell you, that approach works. It does work. HUO So at the beginning it was almost like an artists’ collective? WH Right. The solidarity between the artists was very strong. That’s the positive side. The negative side, by the way, is that 33 the artists felt they had a ruthless say over who else would be part of the enterprise. Robert Irwin, for example, was an artist who wasn’t with Ferus in the beginning, and his work was kind of weak—very lyric, easygoing, a not very powerful version of Diebenkorn.

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A Brief History of Curating by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Anne D'Harnoncourt, Werner Hoffman, Jean Leering, Franz Meyer, Seth Siegelaub, Walter Zanini, Johannes Cladders, Lucy Lippard, Walter Hopps, Pontus Hulten, Harald Szeemann, Daniel Birnbaum

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