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Let’s talk about us
Blockbuster or Betablocker: Biennale Curator, Museum curator

Saturday November, 26th – Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Let’s Talk about Us
Session 1 – Blockbuster or Betablocker: Biennale Curator, Museum curator
Speakers: Paolo Baratta, Bice Curiger, Germano Celant, Massimiliano Gioni, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Letizia Ragaglia
 
Paolo Baratta has been the President of the Biennale di Venezia since 2008, after having served a first term as president between 1998 and 2002.
Bice Curiger has been curator at the Kunsthaus in Zurich since 1993. She is the co-founder and has been the editor-in-chief of “Parkett” since 1984, and since 2004 has been the editorial director of the magazine “Tate etc” published by the Tate Gallery in London. She is the director of the 2011 Art Biennale ILLUMInations.
Germano Celant (1940) is an art critic and historian. He has been a senior curator at the Guggenheim Museum in New York since 1989 and artistic director of the Prada Foundation. He has been writing for Artforum since 1977 and for Interview since 1991. In Italy he writes for various magazines including Interni and L’Espresso. He was the director of the 47th International Art Exhibition in 2003.
Massimiliano Gioni (1973) is Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions at the New Museum of contemporary art in New York and, from 2003, Artistic Director of Trussardi Foundation in Milan. He curated the section titled La zona of the 50th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia in 2003 and the 8th Gwangju Biennial in 2010.
Hans Ulrich Obrist (Switzerland, 1968) has been curator and co-curator, since 1991, of over two hundred international exhibitions, including the 1st Biennale in Moscow (2005), the Biennale in Lyon (2007), the China Power Station (2008, Serpentine Gallery). He co-curated the section entitled Stazione Utopia at the 50th International Art Exhibition in 2003.
Letizia Ragaglia (1969) is a curator and art historian. She was a member of the jury for the KÖR-Kunst project in Vienna. Since 2008 she has been the director of the new Museion in Bolzano, where she curated personal exhibitions of artists such as Monica Bonvicini, Isa Genzken, Andro Wekua and VALIE EXPORT. She was a member of the international jury of the 54th International Art Exhibition.
 
Paolo Baratta, “What have we done?!”, presentation of Meetings on Art, September 2011
“The Biennale is a great pilgrimage in which the works of the artists and the work of the curators become a meeting point for the voices of the world that speak to us about our own and their future. Art is therefore understood as an activity that is constantly evolving. If a museum is qualified primarily by the works it houses, an institution such as the Biennale is qualified by its “modus operandi”, by the procedures it follows, by the very nature of the subjects that participate in it, by its choices of methods and the principles and rules that inspire its organization, by the spaces it exhibits in, etc.: in short, by the Form of the Institution that is reflected in the Form of the Exhibition that is held there every two years. And it is this Form that will determine whether or not we achieve our main objective: winning the respect of the world”.
 
Hans Ulrich Obrist, “BIENNALE MANIFESTO”, Flash Art, August-September 2009
“Biennials should encourage the unexpected; the curatorial position should be open to surprise. In a now legendary exchange, Sergei Diaghilev challenged Jean Cocteau to surprise him. His ‘Étonnez-moi !’ will always be important for biennials. [...] Biennials are a continuously articulated struggle between the past, the present and the future. This is a vision of history under perennial negotiation. Working through past biennial gestures, of course, is hardly novel. What, then, of the future of the biennial? We should emphasize that visions of the future across almost all phenomena (a) evolve over time and (b) proliferate. The future of the biennial, in other words, is both varied and plural”.