But his most important contribution, in my view, lies in the fact that he is (maybe more than he is aware of) searching for modalities in art that go beyond objecthood. As he phrases it in these pages: “We must experiment with ways beyond objects.” Some, including myself, think that the notion of “art” that was generated via the material arts—sculpture and painting—in the early nineteenth century and was fully articulated and established by the 1960s, is detaching itself from its material origins and venturing into other realms. If this is true, then Hans Ulrich Obrist is definitely a case to exemplify this shift; after all, despite his various activities and modalities, he works under the title “curator,” a person whose job it is to take care of objects worth preserving—a specialist of things. —Tino Sehgal
Everything you ever wanted to know about Hans Ulrich Obrist but were afraid to ask has been asked by the sixteen practitioners in this book. Spanning the beginning of his “career” as a young curator in his Zurich kitchen to his time most recently as the Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programs, and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery in London, the book is a “production of reality conversations.” It undertakes the impossible: pinning down this peripatetic curator, attempting to map his psychogeography so that silences may be transcribed. In a sense, it organizes a “protest against forgetting” and affirms the sagacity of an artist who told this dontstop curator “don’t go” when he “contemplated leaving the art world” for other fields—”to go beyond the fear of pooling knowledge”—in lieu of bringing other fields into the (then) hermetic art world.
Foreword by Tino Sehgal, afterword by Yona Friedman. Interviews by Jean-Max Colard, Robert Fleck, Jefferson Hack, Nav Haq, Noah Horowitz, Sophia Krzys Acord, Brendan McGetrick, Markus Miessen, Ingo Niermann, Paul O’Neill, Philippe Parreno & Alex Poots, Juri Steiner, Gavin Wade, Enrique Walker.
Hans Ulrich Obrist
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating*
*But Were Afraid to Ask
Edited by April Lamm
Design by Z.A.K.
March 2011, English
12.8 x 19.8 cm, 208 pages, softcover