Hans-Ulrich Obrist - Quotes

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Alex Poots has always made a bridge between highly experimental and the mainstream. ---->>>

Everything I do is somehow connected to velocity. ---->>>

Exhibitions are kind of ephemeral moments, sometimes magic moments, and when they're gone, they're gone. ---->>>

Exhibitions usually are not collected; they disperse after they take place. ---->>>

For me, it's always been very essential to work on projects that one can work on almost for their entire life. ---->>>

I always have coffee and porridge for breakfast. ---->>>

I don't wake up in the morning and think about Franz Kline. ---->>>

I remember going to a monastery library when I was very young and being surrounded by ancient books. I fell in love. ---->>>

I would go from one city to the next, inspired by the monks in the Middle Ages, who would carry knowledge from one monastery to the next monastery.

I would go from one city to the next, inspired by the monks in the Middle Ages, who would carry knowledge from one monastery to the next monastery.

In this new age of GPS, Google Earth and multidimensional digital maps, mapping is suddenly hugely relevant again. ---->>>

It's quite an obscure notion for a kid, no? To want to be a curator. But even then, I knew that I would do this. ---->>>

Making art is not the matter of a moment, and nor is making an exhibition; curating follows art. ---->>>

Many artists have not been able to realise their fondest projects. My role is to help them. ---->>>

Most cities have a centre surrounded by suburbs, but London has numerous centres: it's the model of a twenty-first century metropolis. ---->>>

My most famous show is the 'Kitchen Show.' More famous than any gallery show or museum show I curated. ---->>>

One of my favourite exhibitions is called 'Do It,' which I co-curated with the artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier 21 years ago. ---->>>

The 21st-century curator works in a supremely globalised reality. ---->>>

The non-utility of my kitchen could be transformed into its utility for art. To do a show there would mix art and life, naturally. ---->>>

There is nothing deeper than to work for a year with the same artist. ---->>>

To be honest, I think, for me, the power is always with art. The art world clearly couldn't happen without art. ---->>>

To keep art stimulating, it's important to open it up to new horizons, which includes showing it in unexpected contexts. ---->>>

When I was 17, I met many artists, and it started to become this conversation with artists out of which all of my exhibitions grew. ---->>>

At a certain moment, when I started doing my own shows, I felt it would be really interesting to know what is the history of my profession. I realized that there was no book, which was kind of a shock. ---->>>

At a certain time, an artist needs a big retrospective. At other times, they need a more focused exhibition. It's a different story each time; it's about establishing a dialogue. ---->>>

At Performa in New York, there are a lot of commissions, but Manchester Festival is the only festival where everything is fully produced by the festival. ---->>>

During my time at high school and university in Kreuzlingen and St. Gallen, I traveled around Europe looking at art, visiting artists, studios, galleries and museums. ---->>>

Fly-in, fly-out curating nearly always produces superficial results; it's a practice that goes hand in hand with the fashion for applying the word 'curating' to everything that involves simply making a choice - radio playlists, hotel decor, even the food stalls in New York's High Line Park. ---->>>

For me, the idea of curating can be expanded. Curating science, curating art, music and theater and performance and not only bring those things into art but bring art into those areas. ---->>>

For me, the making of exhibitions has always had to do with dialogue: a concentrated, in-depth, focused dialogue with artists, who keep teaching me that exhibitions should always invent new rules for the game. ---->>>

From 1991 to 2000, I was totally nomadic. I was travelling 300 days a year and building out my research. These were a bit like my learning and migrating years, so to say. ---->>>

I founded a club, which is called the Brutally Early Club. It's basically a breakfast salon for the 21st century where art meets science meets architecture meets literature. ---->>>

I have many intense friendships with artists. I don't mean we have intense one-day conversations but ongoing conversations that last in some cases for years. ---->>>

I met Gerhard Richter and Alighiero Boetti when I was a teenager, and I was really inspired by them. When Boetti died, I realized I only vaguely remembered so many things he told me. It was such a pity. Had I only recorded his voice, he would still be with me, and I could listen to it from time to time. ---->>>

I read whenever possible, and I buy books all the time, sometimes online, but mostly from bookshops. I love literature. If you want to understand art, it's important to understand what is also happening in literature, in music, in science, in architecture. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

I see a curator as a catalyst, generator and motivator - a sparring partner, accompanying the artist while they build a show, and a bridge builder, creating a bridge to the public. ---->>>

I spent 250 to 300 days of every year on the road. But in the end, I felt something was missing. I needed to be anchored so I could concentrate, so in 2000, I established a new methodology - the one I use today. I spent the week in my office and travelled every weekend, even at Christmas. ---->>>

I started going to exhibitions in Switzerland when I was 10 or 11. As a schoolboy, I would go every afternoon to see the long, thin figures of Giacometti. ---->>>

I still remember my first Giacometti exhibition, and going back to the museum every day, whenever I could, to look again and again at these long, thin stick figures, so beautiful, so graceful. That, I think, was the moment I became really obsessed by art. ---->>>

I think the art fair is very much a form of urbanism. I think something really happens to the cities when such a fair happens. The city becomes an exhibition; it's amazing.

I think the art fair is very much a form of urbanism. I think something really happens to the cities when such a fair happens. The city becomes an exhibition; it's amazing.

I went to the studio of Fischli Weiss, and it was magical. I thought: 'This is what I want to do with my life; I want to work with artists and be useful to them.' I was magnetically attracted. ---->>>

I'm trying to expand the notion of curating. Exhibitions need not only take place in galleries, need not only involve displaying objects. Art can appear where we expect it least. ---->>>

I'm very interested in the idea of unusual museums, ones that are not necessarily contemporary art museums - more like historical collections or house museums. ---->>>

Mr. Koons's work has always inspired architects, which I think is very interesting. I think he is an artist who has reinvented himself so many times and reinvented so many different series. ---->>>

My great inspiration has always been Studs Terkel, who is a wonderful American oral historian. He was a radio DJ at first, interviewed a lot of jazz musicians, and at some point started to interview Americans about work. ---->>>

My job is art curator, not artist. All I have ever wanted to do is immerse myself in art, to enjoy it, to learn about it, to write about it, to talk to others about it. ---->>>

Numerous are the posthumous museums and memorials devoted exclusively to one artist, architect or author and designed to preserve or artificially reconstruct the namesake's original working or living conditions. ---->>>

Our economy's growth functions by inciting us to produce more and more with each passing year. In turn, we require cultural forms to enable us to sort through the glut, and our rituals are once again directed towards the immaterial, towards quality and not quantity. ---->>>

Since 2000, I've been based in Paris at the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville, curating the programme there. Internationally, it's a very open situation that goes beyond national boundaries; directors and curators move from one country to another, which has opened up the museum landscape. ---->>>

Switzerland felt incredibly narrow, growing up. It was good, in a way. There were so many museums. But it was always a no-brainer that I would have to leave, and I'm grateful for that. ---->>>

To record is a process against forgetting. I do interviews because it's what I've been doing every day for a few hours since I was a kid. I've always talked to artists. ---->>>

When I was a kid and started to be obsessed by art in the 1980s, the art world was in this polarity Warhol/Beuys, Beuys/Warhol. Both expended the notion of art extremely, but in very different ways. ---->>>


Hans-Ulrich Obrist profile (hansulrich-obrist.jpg)
Nationality: Swiss
Birthplace: Z├╝rich, Switzerland
Occupation: Critic

Hans Ulrich Obrist (born 1968) is an art curator, critic and historian of art. He is artistic director at the Serpentine Galleries, London. Obrist is the author of The Interview Project, an extensive ongoing project of interviews. He is also co-editor of the Cahiers d'art revue. (wikipedia)