Texte Zur Kunst #86

The June issue of Texte zur Kunst is dedicated to the curator, a figure in the art field that has gained authority over the past two decades. Ever since Harald Szeemann’s trendsetting documenta 5 (1972), “the independent curator” has counted as a new preeminent player in the art world. No longer employed by a museum but instead an initiator and author of project-based presentations at various institutions, the figure of the curator is also associated with the emergence of thematic group shows in which artworks, everyday objects, and documents, as equally treated exhibits, are meant to illustrate a hypothetical curatorial concept. In the art world of the 1990s—which was characterized by relations and interdisciplinarity, contexts and displays—curatorial activities were both popularized and professionalized. Curators increasingly acted as skilled networkers whose influence also grew due to the rising number of international biennials. At the same time, the notion of the curator or of curating has expanded beyond the confined boundaries of the art field and can now be found in all areas of cultural production. Against this backdrop the June issue of Texte zur Kunst examines how this rapid rise came about and what curatorial power really means. Thus, a perspective is opened that allows taking a fundamental look at the hegemonic structures in the art business and its effects.

Plus reviews from Berlin, Bregenz, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, New York, Siegen, Vienna, and Winterthur.

Exclusive new artists’ editions:
Nick Mauss, Thomas Ruff, and Imi Knoebel

English content


Oliver Marchart
The Curatorial Subject
The figure of the curator between individuality and collectivity

Beatrice von Bismarck
Curating Curators

Between Art and Public
A roundtable conversation with Natasa Ilic, Maria Lind, Nicolaus Schafhausen, and Jakob Schillinger

Sabeth Buchmann
Lucy R. Lippard: Curating (Within) the System

Heinz Bude
The Curator as Meta-Artist
The case of HUO

Values and Interests
Survey among artists on the relationship to curators, with contributions by Monica Bonvicini, Claire Fontaine, Mariechen Danz, Olaf Nicolai, Adrian Piper, Thomas Scheibitz

Dieter Roelstraete
Art Work
Some notes on status anxiety

Mark Prince
Through a Looking Glass
On John Smith at Tanya Leighton, Berlin, and Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover

John Beeson
Kill yr. Idols
On You Killed Me First at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin

Tal Sterngast
Attention, Deficit, Disorder
On Dirk Bell at Sadie Coles HQ, London

Comments on the 7th Berlin Biennial By Sven Lütticken, Margarita Tupitsyn, and Victor Tupitsyn

Pedro De Llano
Eggs Theory
On Hans Haacke at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid

Liz Kotz
Back to Basics
On Madison Brookshire and Tashi Wada at the Wulf., Los Angeles

Antek Walczak
Rites of Spring
On the Whitney Biennial 2012 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Mark Dion & Gareth James
Jackie McAllister – Silence with Great Eloquence

Artists’ Editions
Nick Mauss
Not another word for it, 2012

Thomas Ruff
Porträt 1989 (I. Graw), 1989/2012

Imi Knoebel
Anima Mundi, 2012


Texte Zur Kunst #86
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