About my curatorial work


Philippe Parreno’s 2013 exhibition «ANYWHERE, ANYWHERE OUT OF THE WORLD» at the Palais de Tokyo fundamentally changed my idea of what exhibitions can be. Parreno’s practice of transforming an exhibition without objects into an exhibition as object took my view of the work of visual artists and my understanding of the role of institutions as producers in a new direction. This led to a different understanding of what visitors can experience in exhibitions. In this respect, my collaboration with Philippe Parreno in 2018 on the project «Looking Back at a Future Exhibition» at the Martin Gropius Bau was an essential experience for me as a curator. 

I have been working with visual artists in a variety of contexts since the 2000s. Through my background as a theatre writer and dramaturge, my view of the «art world» was closely influenced by questions of representation, specific spaces and time-based structures. Thus, in 2004, through an unexpected find, I put the hitherto largely unknown coloured ink drawing by Emilia Kolewas from 1984 at the centre of a symposium dedicated to Heiner Müller’s text «Bildbeschreibung», which was inspired by this picture.  

A few years later, I developed large scenic environments in the Jahrhunderthalle in Bochum for the literary programmes «Die Wiederherrichtung des Himmels» and the «Schule der Romantik» of the Ruhrtriennale, for whose programme I invited Tim Eitel and Harun Farocki. At the Salzburg Festival in 2007, I initiated the first exhibition of Tacita Dean’s series «Die Regimentstochter» at the Salzburg Landestheater and Thomas Demand’s presentation of the animated film «Rain» and his «Embassy» series at the Haus für Mozart, which came about through my invitation of the writer Jeffrey Euginidis as «Dichter zu Gast».

At the Berliner Festspiele, I initiated various exhibitions at the Martin Gropius Bau, including the «David Bowie is» show from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), but most importantly, I created a series of art-related projects in the «Immersion» (2016-2021) and «The New Infinity» (2017-2021) programmes I conceived. 

Within the framework of the «Immersion» series, in addition to solo exhibitions by Philippe Parreno, Ed Atkins, Omer Fast and Tino Sehgal, complex, time-based exhibition formats were created that combined classical presentations of visual works, sculptures, VR presentations and films simultaneously with performances, workshops and discourse spaces, thus creating an experience between a visual parcours and a permanent festival for the exhibition visitors. 

The format of the exhibition was itself understood in these projects as an artistic structure that is time-based, changing its form, offerings and atmosphere every hour and every day, and is thought of and curated more in terms of an ecology. The format of the exhibition is not understood here as a presentation of objects, but as a living organism. The concept and the projects have been described in the book «The Living Exhibition» by various art scholars, curators and authors.

Hybrid exhibition and live projects include «Schule der Distanz», «Into Worlds», «Palast der Republik» and «The Sun Machine Is Coming Down» Berlin ICC, which were created in large curatorial teams. 

In 2018, together with Tino Sehgal and Annika Kuhlmann, I curated the time-based exhibition project «World Without Outside», which explores the history of immersive artworks, and in 2020, on the theme of climate change, the exhibition and unplugged programme «Down to Earth» together with Julia Badaljan, Jeroen Versteele, Anja Predeick and Tino Sehgal.  

The idea for the series «The New Infinity» arose from the observation that planetariums built since 1924 have created a now global structure of immersive spaces whose architecture enables visitors to immerse themselves collectively in moving visual worlds. Today, planetariums are still primarily used to impart knowledge, but at the same time they have the most advanced projection and sound technologies for space-based arts and the largest image surfaces of all. This gave rise to the idea of opening these spaces to artists of the digital age and using them as a «gallery of the future». Between 2017 and 2021, almost thirty works were commissioned from contemporary artists, composers or game designers and shown in various planetariums around the world. The works were produced in collaboration with the Hamburg Planetarium under the direction of Thomas Kraupe and the Zeiss Grossplanetarium Berlin under the direction of Tim Florian Horn. The curatorial team for the series included Marie Kristin Meier, Adrian Waschmann and Sebastian Häger. 

In addition to my curatorial work, I write about visual artists, including texts and interviews with Thomas Demand, Philippe Parreno, Anne Imhoff, Ed Atkins, Stefan Balkenhol, Christiane Baumgarten, Tomás Saraceno, Brian Eno, Tacita Dean or Fatmir Mustafa Karllo, whose exhibition «Strange Seeds» I curated for the National Gallery in Pristina in 2023.  

Philippe Parreno’s «Memory of an Exhibition» was chosen as «Exhibition of the Year» in London in 2018. 

The exhibition «Down to Earth» received one of the «Segal centre awards for civic engagement in the arts» in New York in 2021.