Hans Ulrich Obrist

I just interviewed Hans Ulrich Obrist – who is the Artistic Director of the Serpentine Gallery in London – and also a powerful and well-known European curator at large.

In 2009, ArtReview magazine named him #1 of the most powerful people in the art world in their annual listing. ( I included his brief bio below)

He started off curating in his kitchen and continues to talk about unusual ideas for looking at, and showcasing art – including classifications like “hyper-objects” which he explains in the interview.

I also asked him about his long-running interview project and the current show at the Serpentine.

On this weekend, I hope you enjoy his interview, and his attitude on the arts which I find refreshing. I think you will like how he defines the role of the artist in the context of Brexit and other international issues of the moment. His accent is heavy at times, and he talks fast about art history and artists, but I think there are some gems in here;

To listen to the interview click here – and listen on iTunes, click here.

His brief biography-

Obrist was born in Zürich, Switzerland. When he was 23, he organized an exhibition of contemporary art in his kitchen. In 1993, he founded the Museum Robert Walser and began to run the Migrateurs program at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris where he served as a curator for contemporary art. In 1996, he co-curated Manifesta 1, the first edition of the roving European biennial of contemporary art. In the November 2009 issue of ArtReview magazine, Obrist was ranked number one in the publication’s annual list of the art world’s one-hundred most powerful people and that same year he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Obrist first gained art world attention in 1991, when as a student in Politics and Economics in St. Gallen, Switzerland, he mounted an exhibition in the kitchen of his apartment entitled “The Kitchen Show” It featured work by Christian Boltanski and Peter Fischli & David Weiss. Obrist is an advocate and archivist for artists, and has said “I really do think artists are the most important people on the planet, and if what I do is a utility and helps them, then that makes me happy. I want to be helpful.” Obrist is known for his lively pace and emphasis on inclusion in all cultural activities.

While maintaining official curatorial positions, he is also the co-founder of the Brutally Early Club, a discussion group open to all that meets at Starbucks in London, Berlin, New York and Paris at 6:30 a.m., and is a contributing editor of 032c magazine, Abitare Magazine, Artforum and Paradis Magazine.

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