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By Hans Ulrich Obrist, Anne D'Harnoncourt, Werner Hoffman, Jean Leering, Franz Meyer, Seth Siegelaub, Walter Zanini, Johannes Cladd

A part of JRP|Ringer's cutting edge Documents sequence, released with Les Presses du Reel and devoted to severe writings, this booklet contains a distinct choice of interviews by means of Hans Ulrich Obrist mapping the advance of the curatorial field--from early self reliant curators within the Nineteen Sixties and 70s and the experimental institutional courses built in Europe and the U.S. in the course of the inception of Documenta and a number 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 loss of life in 2005, critic Aaron Schuster summed up, "the picture we have now of the curator this present day: the curator-as-artist, a roaming, freelance dressmaker of exhibitions, or in his personal witty formula, a 'spiritual visitor worker'... If artists considering that Marcel Duchamp have affirmed choice and association as valid creative thoughts, used to be it now not easily a question of time sooner than curatorial practice--itself outlined by way of choice and arrangement--would grow to be obvious as an artwork that operates at the box of paintings itself?"

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I used to be married to Chagall’s daughter, Ida Chagall. for this reason i used to be residing on the middle of the paintings scene. while Rüdlinger approached me, I accredited his provide gladly. Then in Bern I prepared six to 8 exhibitions a yr. at the moment it needed to be performed with only a few staff—a caretaker, a secretary, and a cashier. HUO That’s how Walter Hopps defined the placement to me too. The bureaucratic outlay used to be very small, and also you did such a lot issues your self. FM If we have been getting ready an exhibition with artists from Paris, we drove there with a truck and fetched the images ourselves. every thing occurred very without delay. Exhibitions continuously closed on a Sunday night. in a single day to Monday every little thing was once taken down. tomorrow the fabric for the hot exhibition used to be allotted within the rooms. We started to grasp the works. Then on Wednesday I regularly wrote textual content, which I needed to hand in at the Thursday morning. the next Saturday, the professional beginning happened. In that interval I exhibited an exceptional many Swiss artists, as the actions of the Kunsthalle Bern have been additionally strongly on the topic of the nearby context. in addition to that there have been after all additionally the ventures into foreign glossy artwork. those I take into account such a lot vividly are the exhibitions of Max Ernst and Alberto Giacometti, [Oskar] Schlemmer, [Alexei] Jawlensky, and [Henri] Matisse, oh, and Odilon Redon too. HUO have been those exhibitions collaboration with the artists? 131 equipped in direct FM definite, basically in relation to Giacometti and Max Ernst in fact. I knew Alberto Giacometti from my Paris days. He was once very welcoming if he sensed that the individual contacting him used to be sympathetic towards him. He can be a really good storyteller. i will be able to nonetheless pay attention his voice in my ear. realizing of his paintings got here from the adventure of being with him. For me the sculptures took delight of position, the 1956 exhibition in Bern used to be very centred, i feel. HUO Did Giacometti collaborate at the set up? FM No. in advance of it he had arrange his first exhibition on the Venice Biennale and arrived in Bern early on Thursday morning through teach. He was once very dissatisfied, simply because through the educate trip it had happened to him that the plinth of 1 sculptures he was once displaying on the Biennale was once a centimeter too low or too excessive. We needed to calm him down, and allow Venice understand by way of cellphone. He used to be particularly pleased with the deploy on the Kunsthalle Bern. HUO Which different exhibitions on your time in Bern have been in particular vital for you? FM The exhibition with works via Malevich. It was once handed directly to us by way of [Willem] Sandberg. He’d simply got the photographs for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. additionally there have been photos in deepest possession in Bern. i attempted to contain different Russian artists besides. yet at the moment Russian paintings from the fashionable interval was once nonetheless virgin territory. there has been no literature on it. HUO Did you shuttle to Moscow? 132 FM No, you couldn’t do this again then, in 1958. HUO It additionally needs to be borne in brain that the institutional infrastructure used to be a long way much less built.

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