Birnbaum to curate 53rd Venice Biennale

April 7, 2008

A meeting held today by the Fondazione la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, nominated Daniel Birnbaum as the curator of the 53rd Venice Bienniale, in 2009.

Born in 1963, Birnbaum has been Rector of the Stadelschule in Frankfurt-am-Main in Germany since 2001 and has established his name internationally both as a curator and critic. He is also noted for his work as director of Portikus, a position which he previously held from 1987. Since 1998 he has been contributing editor of Artforum in New York.

Birnbaum commented “My recent exhibitions have all been close collaborations with artists, often individually, sometimes in larger contexts […] The Venice Biennale is a new kind of challenge, but the principle remains the same: the artist’s vision is at the center. How does one steer clear of the hierarchies dictated by commercial interests and fashion? As the director of an art academy, my interest has long been directed towards another kind of influence and another kind of significance. There are artists who inspire entire generations and these key artists are not always the most visibile in the world of museums and fairs. I would like to explore strings of inspiration that involve several generations and to display the roots as well as the branches that grow into a future not yet defined. The geography of the art world has been expanding rapidly with new centers emerging: China, India, the Middle East… It will be my ambition to create a show that, although articulated into individual zones of intensity, remains one exhibition.”

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