Hans Ulrich Obrist - The Past Can be a Toolbox

Avant/Garde Diaries
Jan 28, 2013 10:20PM

Hans Ulrich Obrist organized his first art exhibition in the kitchen of his St. Gallen apartment when he was 23, encouraged by artists Christian Boltanski, Peter Fischli, and David Weiss. From there, the former politics and economics student worked his way up to become one of the most influential people in the art world. He has curated more than 250 exhibitions, written countless books, and served as a curator at Vienna's museum in progress, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and is currently the co-director of London's Serpentine Gallery. The tireless, fast-talking impresario is in high demand, so we were lucky to meet him between gallery openings and speeches during the London Art Fair. We sat down in the garden of the Zumthor Pavillion at Serpentine Gallery to get his view on the avant-garde: “I think it is very important that we find a way through curating to actually engage in a global dialogue," he says "That we don’t loose this opportunity – the current moment offers us endless opportunities to really have a global dialogue – but that we do it in a way which is not homogenizing but which produces difference. I think that is something which exhibitions can do, in space and in time – to try to resist the homogenization of time and space by creating very unexpected situations.”

Editorial Lead by Kitty Bolhoefer / Filming & Photos by Fridolin Schöpper / Editing by Konterfei  / Music by Bunnystripes

Avant/Garde Diaries
Get the Artsy app
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019