Hans Ulrich Obrist on His New Art Movement "Posthastism"
Very few art-world figures can rival the powerhouse Hans Ulrich Obrist. Since his first show, famously held in his St Gallen kitchen in 1991, the Swiss curator has rarely left the airport, curating shows by the dozen, and relentlessly pushing the boundaries of the exhibition format: from the exhibition-as-a-bunch-of-instructions "Do It" in 1997, to the exhibition-as-a-time-based-spectacle "Il Tempo del Postino" with Philippe Parreno in 2007.
The co-director of exhibitions at London's Serpentine Gallery has also been conducting endless interviews with artists and thinkers of all kinds since his teenage years. Several of them are published in the "Interviews Volume 1 and 2" and the ongoing "Conversation Series." Yet for Obrist interviewing is more than a tool; it is an attitude towards life — one that perhaps culminated with the 24-hour "Interview Marathon" he conducted with Rem Koolhaas in 2006.
Obrist has just published an oral history of the architecture movement Metabolism in Japan together with Koolhaas, and only last week launched a new would-be movement, "posthastism," with Shumon Basar and Joseph Grima. In the pipeline — besides the supervision of the Serpentine Gallery extension in a nearby former munitions store — are another book on curating, an intimate show at the Lina Bo Bardi house in Brazil, and a "Brief History of Sound" book, as well as the touring of his "Agency for Unrealised Projects" to Berlin and of the "Indian Highway" show to Beijing. How does he do it?
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