CIMAM NEWSLETTER JUNE 2012                                                                       

by Yevgenia Belorusets

On the 18th of June 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine, art gallery administrators prematurely shut down an exhibition called Apocalypse and Renaissance at the Chocolate House. The exhibition was a Mironova Gallery project, organised by curators Konstantin Doroshenko and Anastasia Shavlokhova. The ideas on which the exhibition was based were the brainchild of a famous Russian contemporary artist, Oleg Kulik. The show was part of the parallel programme of the First Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art – Arsenale 2012. It comprised works by 43 artists from Russia and Ukraine.

We imagine that you have been following the current news in Tunisia these days. You will find a short recap and the link to sign the online petition.

CIMAM I invites you to support the e-flux application for the rights to develop and administer the .art domain.

The following biennials have recently agreed to offer free admission to card carrying CIMAM members:  5th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2012; 2nd Land Art Mongolia Biennial LAM 360°. Art & Politics; 30th São Paulo International Biennial. The Imminence of Poetics. 

We have received over 100 travel grant applications to attend the 2012 CIMAM Annual Conference Museums Beyond The Crises in Istanbul. The final recipients will be announced from July 16th at


          CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUMS WATCH                                                          

by Yevgenia Belorusets

On the 18th of June 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine, art gallery administrators prematurely shut down an exhibition called Apocalypse and Renaissance at the Chocolate House. The exhibition was a Mironova Gallery project, organised by curators Konstantin Doroshenko and Anastasia Shavlokhova. The ideas on which the exhibition was based were the brainchild of a famous Russian contemporary artist, Oleg Kulik. The show was part of the parallel programme of the First Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art – Arsenale 2012. It comprised works by 43 artists from Russia and Ukraine.

The Chocolate House is a branch of the Kiev Museum of Russian Art. The administrators of this museum, primarily its directors Yuriy Vakulenko and Tatyana Skyrda, initiated the exhibition´s closure. According to Skyrda, the reason for shutting down the exhibition was that they had received a decree to do so from the Ukrainian National Expert Commission for the Protection of Public Morality (NEC). Yet when asked, the director of the NEC said that the Commission had not heard that the exhibition had been closed. The museum administrators subsequently explained that their decisions were in actual fact a result of the inadmissible nature of certain artistic statements expressed within the exhibition. When pressed for details, they said the closure was due to “the presence of pornography, and of works of art which represented a threat to the health of museum staff and visitors”.

The exhibition had been intended to run until the 31st of July 2012, but its problems started immediately, on the day of the official opening, on the 15th of May.

A couple of hours before members of the press arrived, Yuriy Vakulenko, himself an artist, and whose work was also displayed as part of the exhibition, took the extraordinary step of censoring the work of his colleagues. Vakulenko deemed it necessary to remove certain cardboard figures, which in his view constituted unduly improper statements. The offending work was by Russian artists Lusine Djanyan and Alexei Knedlyakovski, and was called “White Ring”.

Not doubting for a moment that he was justified in treating his contemporaries´ work in this way, Vakulenko told journalists that he had no other option; he said the work he was censoring constituted a personal insult to the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.

The authors of the work, predictably outraged, were nonetheless ordered to take down the greater part of their installation. But the museum directors considered that even this was not sufficient. A few days later, the artists were told to urgently remove the rest of their work. The installation was then fully dismantled.

Seemingly inspired by the successful removal of this work, the museum directors decided to conduct further acts of censorship. The Chocolate House suddenly found itself closed at different times, and under a variety of pretences. On a number of days it was shut for “cleaning”. On certain other days, it was announced that not only visitors, but also curators and exhibition organisers would be denied admission to the Chocolate House until specific works of art had been removed. Spontaneous acts of censorship were also performed, whereby during opening days museum staff cordoned off certain installations, in order not to disturb visitors´ eyes.

During this time, works which had been on display were moved about at the discretion of gallery attendants and museum directors. Surprisingly, neither curators, nor artists, nor exhibition organisers were consulted as to how to conduct the removal of items which had been deemed inappropriate. As a result, at least two works – belonging to Dmitri Gutov and Andrei Siguntsov – were completely destroyed. A further two works, by Andrey Kuzkin and Masha Sha, were dismantled without seeking approval or advice from their creators or curators.

It is perfectly possible that the exhibition would thus have continued its unlikely radical transformations at the hands of the directors of the Kiev Museum of Russian Art and the Chocolate House. In the end, the Mironova Gallery decided together with the curators that enough was enough, and shut down the exhibition entirely in order to complete its dismantling. Apocalypse and Renaissance at the Chocolate House had been due to run for a total of two and a half months. In the end, it was open to visitors for just 15 days.

In Ukraine, this type of practice in relation to contemporary art is nothing new. In February 2012, the directors of one of the country´s most prestigious and supposedly independent and free-thinking university institutions, the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, went about the noisy public closure of an exhibition called Ukrainian Body. A few weeks later, the University board of directors also shut down the Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC), which had organised the exhibition and had been a part of the University since 2008.

So what of the contents of these exhibitions? Were they really so shocking as to merit censorship? The press release to the exhibition Apocalypse and Rebirth in the Chocolate House describes its contents in good faith and accurately. The idea for the exhibition had come about as a reaction to the Kiev Biennale, curated by David Elliot, which ran under the working title: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times - Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art. The Chocolate House exhibition was conceived “as a reaction to a desperate global crisis which hopes for light at the end of the tunnel”. In contrast to Ukrainian Body, the majority of artists participating in this exhibition were already very well established; similarly, the exhibition itself did not contain experimental works.

As with the main Biennale, only a small part of the works on display at the Chocolate House concerned themselves with political critique. The main narrative, the culmination of which was a video installation by Oleg Kulik called Messiah, addressed questions such as “life and death”, “personal initiative and cultural development”, and “creative identity and the difficulties of the modern world”. In other words, the exhibition had nothing particularly seditious to say for itself. Pornography was also not among its elements – the most that could be said of it in this area was that a small number of works portrayed de-eroticised naked bodies.

So why did this Apocalypse meet such a sad destiny? Did it deserve the kind of fate usually reserved for revolutionary ideas emerging unsanctioned in a police state?

If we analyse what happened, it seems that as with Ukrainian Body, the artists´ works came as a complete surprise to the directors of the institutions in which they were exhibited. They caught them off guard. We may infer that the problem does not lie in the contents of the exhibition, which could have been more or less anything except purely decorative. The problem is that in reality, a significant number of Ukrainian cultural institutions, despite superficially adhering to their functions, in truth perform quite different roles.

Institutions such as the Kyiv Museum of Russian Art, and a number of other similar organs, associate themselves very closely with the State. Indeed, they feel like governments, and at best have a disconnected, highly vicarious relationship to Art.

This type of structure views the contemporary artist as an anti-social, harmful figure, whom fate has allowed to uncontrollably violate the natural order, like an adolescent scratching obscenities on walls in public spaces.

In the eyes of these kinds of museums, artistic expression is a blunt narrative whose contents are highly suspicious. The institution, whether it be the Kiev Museum of Russian Art, the Kiev-Mohyla Academy, or another museum, adopts the patriarchal stance of the guardian of propriety. It considers its duty is to wash the walls clean of smut, to make the world politically correct, to save both itself and society from this type of art.

The absence of negative consequences for institutions such as these, and the historical weakness of the fight put up by artistic communities in the face of such actions means that they are on the increase. But even if sudden, reactionary closures of exhibitions were to become impossible or illegal in Ukraine, it is likely that without educational workshops for museum directors, and reforms to institutional policy, nothing will change.

Exhibitions in Ukraine do not need protecting from state intervention, which is virtually non-existent in this country. What they need protecting from are absurd institutional acts of self-censorship which don´t stand up to logical analysis, but which act instead according to the principle of forestalling criticism, and anticipating management´s whims and moods.

A number of Ukrainian museums continue to lead strange existences, standing on the outside of, rather than within, the global context of the History of Art. It seems that these institutions do not understand why Contemporary Art is necessary. It also seems likely that they are frightened, concerned about the position they would occupy on the map of World Art, if they were to take the leap forward into the present day, and actually participate in the artistic process.
Translated by Patrick Evans


Dear Friends,
We imagine that you have been following the current news in Tunisia these days. Here is a short recap:

Repeated physical aggressions against Tunisian artists and intellectuals have taken place in several regions of the country: March 2012, a theatrical event was attacked by thousands of Salafists in downtown Tunis and artists were aggressed. Intellectuals were attacked during public conferences. May 2012, an attempt to murder with severe physical aggression took place on a theatre professor and artist and the members of an artistic association in Kef… All this happened openly and publicly without intervention of the police and without a serious position being taken by the government to protect artists and condemn and arrest the aggressors!

From June 1st to 10th 2012, the «Printemps des Arts» exhibition took place in Tunis. All went well until the last day when a bailiff took photos a few of the paintings and took them to a Mosque held by fundamentalists, claiming that the works were blasphemous. Islamist groups on Facebook then made a montage of a few of the paintings they judged blasphemous (the caricature of a bearded man, the installation of women’s busts being lapidated, ants coming out of a schoolchild’s bag and forming the word «Glory to God» knowing that the ant is a privileged insect in the Qur’an) and adding photos of paintings and works that had never been exhibited in the event let alone in Tunisia.

From that moment, a snowball effect ensued: extremists attacked the Abdelliya Palace were the exhibition took place, destroying and burning works of art, private and public premises were vandalised, confrontations between the police and fundamentalists took place causing dozens of wounded and even one death among the ranks of the Salafist trouble makers….Instead of appeasing tensions and re-establishing the truth about the exhibition, the members of Government accused the artists of attacking symbols of Islam.

The authorities thus entertained the confusion in the minds of the people and participated to the division. And on top of all that, our own Minister, M Mehdi Mabrouk, Minister of Culture, contributed to blacklisting of creators by deciding to close the space Abdelliya and by suing the organisers of the exhibition, thus exposing the artists to popular condemnation and trial by the mob.
Some leaders of opinion such as the Imam of the Zitouna Mosque ( , or heads of Salafist groups, clearly called out for the murder of our artists. Many artists now receive death threats by text message, or phone calls or through the social networks every day.
The Union of visual artists announced in a press conference that they would sue three Ministers including the Minister of Culture.

We are writing to you, dear colleagues, friends of Art and freedom in order for you to support us in the face of this new Inquisition. We ask you to publish press releases expressing your solidarity with the Tunisian artists. In order for this to have a strong and efficient impact, these releases should be official and signed by a large number of unions and associations in the fields of Art (visual art, cinema, dance, theatre, music…)
A very vigorous international denunciation addressed to this government published in Newspapers and on the Net would represent and extraordinary disavowal which would force them to preserve freedom of conscience, creation, expression and the life of artists.
The situation is very critical and your support and commitment for our cause would be a salutary action.
Thanking you in advance for your support.

The Tunisian collective for Art, Culture and Freedom.


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Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the board of CIMAM I invite you to support to the e-flux application for the rights to develop and administer the .art domain, with the hopes of maintaining and distributing such a domain in a way that emphasizes the quality, content, and educational and ethical values of the art community, something they have been able to achieve with e-flux announcement service for over a decade.
They have also pledged in their application to re-distribute a significant part of the income produced by this business in the form of grants and funding for art institutions and projects in places where such funding is lacking.

e-flux, an artist run organization based in New York, is the only applicant from within the art community, and many of the other companies competing for the art domain are strictly commercial groups, venture capitalists and other such entities that will seek to exploit this resource strictly for monetary gain.

Beginning in 1999 as an informal mailing list, e-flux has grown tremendously over the past ten years. In 2008 they have been able to start a free monthly journal whose vast readership now extends to many parts of the world, publish books, realize many projects, exhibitions, lectures, and seminars, all of which were made available to audiences internationally. Most importantly, they have been able to develop and maintain a truly independent resource for information on contemporary art that is trusted, highly regarded, and accessible to readers for free.

Best regards,

Zdenka Badovinac

President of CIMAM

For those of you who would like to learn more about e-flux plans and commitment to the art community as regards the .ART TLD, please review e-flux application HERE.

ICANN is also accepting public comments, which can be made via this LINK.

A draft endorsement comment could look like this:
Our organization, (insert name), is an active member of the art community since (insert date / year). Our activities consist of (briefly describe your organization), as can be seen on our website (insert URL).
We fully support and endorse e-flux' application for the .ART gTLD, and share their forward-looking vision for this innovative name space.
(insert name of representative)

(insert name of organization)

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          CIMAM NEWS                                                                                                        


We would like to thank the biennales that, as a matter of professional courtesy, have agreed to offer free admission to card carrying CIMAM members. Biennales have become important forums for the dissemination about current developments in international art, CIMAM continues developing a program to gain free admission during the professional preview days for CIMAM members.

5th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2012 (July 29 - September 17, 2012) General Director: Fram Kitagawa. General Producer: Soichiro Fukutake. Some of the CIMAM members will receive a yellow passport which gives an access to approximately 360 artworks exhibited during the Triennale. If you don´t receive the passport but would like to receive accreditation, please send an email to Miwa Worrall at including your name, surname, position, institution, postal address and CIMAM membership username. Miwa will contact you how to receive the passport on your arrival at the Echigo-Tsumari.

2nd Land Art Mongolia Biennial LAM 360°. Art & Politics. (11 August, 2012 – November 2012) Curators: Anna Brietzke, Fumio Nanjo and Orna Tsultem. Official opening on August 11, 2012 at Ikh Gazriin Chuluu, Dundgovi, Mongolia. To receive your accreditation please send an email to; subject: Land Art Biennial2012 Accreditation, including your name, surname, position, institution, postal address and CIMAM membership username. You will be required to show your CIMAM membership card upon entrance. For further information on schedule and programs please refer to the following link The Land Art Mongolia Biennial was founded to consistently create site specific artwork and develop a Walking Museum in various locations throughout Mongolia. At the same time it is raising the attention to issues and questions concerning the impact and change of local politics by giving artists the chance to express their own opinions and thus reflecting the local issues. It aims to become an interactive and international forum for artists and anyone interested about what Art, specifically Land Art, can reveal about Art & Politics.

30th São Paulo International Biennial. The Imminence of Poetics. (September 07 – December, 09 2012) Chief curator: Luis Pérez-Oramas. Associated curators: Tobi Maier and André Severo. Assistant curator: Isabela Villanueva. CIMAM members are welcome during the Biennale preview on Tuesday 04, September, 2012 and during the Biennale. To add your name to the guest list, please send an email to including your name, surname, position, institution, postal address and CIMAM membership username. For more information on the program and venues, please visit the Biennial´s website:

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          OPEN CALLS & APPOINTMENTS                                                                      


Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen is seeking an artist/curator to manage the institution from November 2012. Overgaden is a major player on the Copenhagen contemporary art scene. The institution has more than 700 square metres at its disposal, divided into two storeys, and its activities include exhibitions based on submitted applications and curated exhibitions, as well as a number of other activities ranging from artist talks to seminars, performances, and film screenings. Overgaden emphasises the possibility of presenting Danish and international contemporary art via experimental forms of exhibition, across the boundaries of generations and idioms.

Overgaden is an independent institution founded in 1986. Overgaden receives an annual grant from the Danish Arts Council. In addition, over the next three years, support from the Obel Family Foundation will enable an enhanced focus on the interface between Danish and international art, as well as increased investment in new communication initiatives. In collaboration with the board, the new director will lay down a framework for the strategic objectives.

Position description As director, your primary tasks will be to:
Further develop Overgaden´s distinctive artistic profile, both locally and internationally

Act as daily manager and secure and develop the exhibition venue´s economic future, artistic programme, and communicative initiative.
Appoint and manage the other staff members
Co-operate with the board of Overgaden on the above.
The director reports to a board with five members, three of whom are visual artists.

Qualifications Emphasis is placed upon both managerial skills and skills within the art world, including:

Experience in managing an exhibition venue, including the practical aspects
The ability to prioritise both one´s own resources and the resources available
A theoretical and practical understanding of contemporary art

The ability to practise outreach and display an extrovert attitude scene
Experience with and the desire to experiment and collaborate across traditional professional boundaries

Willingness to engage in all facets of the work of Overgaden, from the strategic to the practical.

It would be an advantage if you:
Possess managerial experience from similar organisations or contexts
Have experience working with boards and with fund-raising

Possess experience in information management and strategic communication

Speak a Nordic language
Have an interest in and knowledge of the Danish art scene.

The position is full-time, for a four-year, fixed-term period of employment, with the possibility of renewal for a further two years. The salary will be negotiated in accordance with the applicable collective agreement.

In addition to a CV, your application should contain a proposal for the development of Overgaden´s artistic, strategic, and administrative future. Please send your application by e-mail to board chairperson Charlotte Bagger Brandt, with the subject line "Director Overgaden."

More information about Overgaden is available at If you have any questions, the board chairperson can be contacted via Overgaden during week 26 (25 June–6 July). Final date for receipt of applications is 23 July 2012. The interviews are expected to be held in mid-August.


The Gwangju Biennale Foundation has appointed Nikolaus Hirsch as director and Philipp Misselwitz and Eui Young Chun as curators of the Gwangju Folly 2012 project. Their curatorial approach describes a folly as a critical object that oscillates between aesthetic autonomy and social-political potential. Situated in a field between a decontextualized status and contextualized condition the urban folly aims to readdress the contested question of public space.
The negotiation of public space in Gwangju has played a crucial role in the democratization of South Korea and has eventually become a global model and reference point for effective grassroots political mobilization. During the May 18, 1980 democratic uprising the city center became an urban stage for public demonstrations that triggered political transformation in the country. Today, a multitude of commemorative plaques, signs, and memorials mark historical sites of the uprising throughout Gwangju. In 2011, the Gwangju Uprising received global recognition through UNESCO, which included the movement into the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
Instead of understanding public space as a mere question of preservation, the project aims to use the Gwangju Folly project as an investigative frame to examine the present day constitution of spatial practice—in contemporary Gwangju as well as in a global arena. The project will feature several artists, architects, writers, and collectives from diverse contexts. Expanding select locations across the city, Gwangju Folly will present new commissions in November 2012. The physical manifestations of the project will be accompanied by a symposium, several workshops, and a publication.

Nikolaus Hirsch is the director of Städelschule and Portikus in Frankfurt. His architectural work includes the award-winning Dresden Synagogue (2001), unitednationsplaza (2007), European Kunsthalle (2007), the Cybermohalla Hub in Delhi (2008–2012), and currently a new studio structure for The Land (with Rirkrit Tiravanija and Kamin Letchaiprasert). Hirsch curated ErsatzStadt: Representations of the Urban at Volksbühne Berlin (2005), Cultural Agencies in Istanbul (2010), Globe (2011), The Frankfurt Conversation (with Hans Ulrich Obrist, 2011), and numerous exhibitions at the Portikus Kunsthalle. He is the author of the books On Boundaries (2007), Track 17 (2009), Institution Building (2009), and Cybermohalla Hub (2012).

Philipp Misselwitz is an architect and curator based in Berlin and currently a professor of International Urbanism at Stuttgart University. He has worked as a consultant, researcher, and curator for a number of organizations including German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and the United Nations. His curatorial work includes Space Time Dignity Rights (DAZ Berlin, 2012) which will be shown at the World Urban Forum in Naples in September 2012. His curatorial work (with Can Altay) also includes Refuge (2009), commissioned by the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (2009); Open City Istanbul (2010), Cultural Agencies (2010) in Istanbul; City of Collision in Jerusalem (2008); European Kunsthalle (2007); and Liminal Spaces (2007).

Eui Young Chun is a Seoul-based architect and professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at Kyonggi University. He completed his PhD at Seoul National University in 1999 and is a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His work includes the remodeling of L-view Building in Seoul (2000), the Kwon hospital in Suwon-City (2002), the headquarters for Noblesse in Seoul (2004), ´K´ Publishing in Paju (2005), and the Kyonggi University Graduate School of Architecture Building (2011). Chun also led the Seoul Design Olympiad in 2009 as Director General.

About the Gwangju Biennale
Founded in 1995 in memory of the civil uprising and the 1980 Gwangju Democratization Movement, the Gwangju Biennale is Asia´s oldest and most prestigious bienniale of contemporary art. Under the helm of previous curators—including Massimiliano Gioni, Okwui Enwezor, Charles Esche, Hou Hanru, Honghee Kim, Yongwoo Lee, Kwangsoo Oh, Wankyoung Sung, and Harald Szeemann—the Gwangju Biennale has established itself as a highlight of the international contemporary art biennale circuit.

The Gwangju Folly Project
Previously an integral part of the Design Biennale, the Gwangju Folly project will be completed by November 2012, for the first time, as an independent event. Under the curatorship of leading artists and architects such as Seung H-sang and Ai Weiwei in the previous edition, the Gwangju Folly project has invited some of the most renowned spatial practitioners in the world, such as Peter Eisenman and Alejandro Zaera-Polo, to construct permanent follies in the urban space of Gwangju.


The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) announced the hiring of Apsara DiQuinzioto the position of Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator and Philippe Pirotte to the position of Adjunct Senior Curator.

“With these two hires BAM/PFA adds tremendous depth and vitality to our already strong curatorial team,” says BAM/PFA Director Lawrence Rinder. “Apsara and Philippe will both bring extraordinary knowledge, discernment, and creative thinking about modern and contemporary art across a wide range of global cultures. Apsara´s strong engagement with artists, enthusiasm for non-mainstream art and culture, and commitment to art´s social role wonderfully complement Philippe´s passionate connection to the contemporary art of Africa and Asia, his deep knowledge of historical and contemporary film and video, and his special interest in international conceptual art practices. I look forward to working with them on many exciting projects over the coming years.”

DiQuinzio is currently assistant curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she has organized solo exhibitions with Vincent Fecteau, Mai-Thu Perret, R. H. Quaytman, Felix Schramm, Paul Sietsema, and Katharina Wulff as part of the New Work series. She was a co-curator of the 2010 and 2008 SECA Art Award exhibitions, SFMOMA´s biennial award for local emerging artists. She also edited the book The Air We Breathe: Artists and Poets Reflect on Marriage Equality, and organized the accompanying exhibition, and curated Abstract Rhythms: Paul Klee and Devendra Banhart. Prior to SFMOMA, DiQuinzio worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, where, among other exhibitions, she organized Burgeoning Geometries: Constructed Abstractions and Skin Is a Language. She also coproduced the Whitney´s series of live music events, SoundCheck.

At BAM/PFA, DiQuinzio will be responsible for exhibitions and collections in the modern and contemporary area, and will oversee the MATRIX program of contemporary art, which features six to eight exhibitions annually, often of new, rarely seen, or experimental work. She will remain with SFMOMA through late September as she prepares for the forthcoming fall 2012 exhibition Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art.

Based in Antwerp, Belgium, Pirotte is a freelance curator, a senior advisor at the Rijksakademie for Visual Arts in Amsterdam, and, until recently, the director of the internationally renowned Kunsthalle Bern, in Switzerland. He was also the founding director of the contemporary art center objectif_exhibitions in Antwerp, Belgium. At Kunsthalle Bern, Pirotte organized solo exhibitions, by artists such as Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Owen Land, Oscar Tuazon, Jutta Koether, Allan Kaprow, and Corey McCorkle, and group shows, including the trilogy The Idea of Africa (re-invented) and Voids—A Retrospective of Empty Exhibitions. Among his accomplishments as a freelance curator, he co-organized the presentation of Luc Tuymans—Mwana Kitoko (Beautiful White Man) in the Belgian Pavilion at the 2001 Venice Biennial and, more recently, he co-curated Frames and Documents, Conceptualist Practices: Selections from the Ella Fontanals Cisneros Collection for the Cisneros Fontanals Foundation in Miami.

As adjunct senior curator at BAM/PFA, Pirotte will organize special exhibitions and participate in collections development for the institution.


Nicolaus Schafhausen has been appointed as new artistic director of Kunsthalle Wien. The position had been internationally advertised, and Schafhausen was selected out of 66 candidates. Nicolaus Schafhausen will take up his new position at Kunsthalle Wien on 1 October 2012, where he has been appointed for a five-year term.
"With Nicolaus Schafhausen we have succeeded in bringing one of Europe´s most successful artistic director, curator and manager to Vienna´, says Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, Executive City Councillor for Cultural Affairs of the City of Vienna. ´He has shown in many ways that he has an eye for new developments and an instinct for new talent, and that he is able to promote them accordingly. He has headed several art institutions in the past and has the necessary leadership skills and experience for the position at Kunsthalle Wien."

"I very much look forward to the challenge of providing the renowned Kunsthalle Wien with a new profile. With its vital art scene, its many art institutions, and its open and very active audience, Vienna is a productive platform for contemporary art, its problems, and ideas", says Nicolaus Schafhausen.

Nicolaus Schafhausen studied art history at the Technische Universität Berlin and at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Before starting his career as a curator, Nicolaus Schafhausen worked as an artist. In 1991, during a scholarship at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, he founded the gallery “Lukas & Hoffmann” together with the artist Markus Schneider. The gallery later moved to Cologne.
From 1995 to 1998 Schafhausen served as artistic director of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, and from 1999 to 2005 as director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein. From 2003 to 2005 he was a curator at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki (NIFCA). From 2005 to 2007 he was the founding director of the European Kunsthalle, an initiative to establish a new art institution in Cologne. From 2006 to 2012 he headed the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. Nicolaus Schafhausen was the curator of the German Pavilion for the 52nd and the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2007 and 2009.
He was co-curator of the first Brussels Biennale in 2008, and co-curator of 2010 ´Media City Seoul´ festival. He was curator of the ´Dutch House´ at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, and, among others, also curated exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Lenbachhaus in Munich, National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, and the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) in Vilnius. Schafhausen was collection advisor for the FRAC Nord – Pas de Calais, Dunkerque, DekaBank and Lufthansa AG, Frankfurt. Nicolaus Schafhausen is also a lecturer at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Ghent. In addition to Schafhausen´s extensive experience in leading institutions and curating exhibitions, he is author and editor of numerous publications on contemporary art.

Currently, Schafhausen is the strategic director of Fogo Island Arts an initiative of the Canadian Shorefast Foundation ( that carries out a resident programme on the island of Fogo in Newfoundland and engages in a dialogue with artists and scientists to find alternative solutions for the revitalisation of the area that is prone to emigration.


Amy Sadao has been appointed The Daniel W. Dietrich,II Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania, and will assume the position this fall.
Throughout her career, Sadao has demonstrated a deep commitment to the belief that art and artists have the power not only to engage but to transform the social, political, and intellectual landscape of our time. She is presently Executive Director of Visual AIDS in New York City, a non-profit visual arts organization dedicated to HIV prevention, AIDS awareness, and the support of artists living with AIDS. She has held the position for ten years.

"We eagerly anticipate the arrival of Amy Sadao," says ICA Interim Director Robert Chaney. "Her compelling vision and collaborative spirit will provide invaluable leadership to one of the preeminent contemporary art museums in the country. As we continue to broaden the scope of our programming and deepen the cross-pollination of ideas across the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia community, and the contemporary artworld as a whole, Amy Sadao´s leadership will only strengthen our mission. We are thrilled that this brilliant talent will be leading ICA."
"The approach of our 50th anniversary makes this is a particularly exciting time for ICA," adds Senior Curator Ingrid Schaffner. "The director search drew tremendous interest, and we are delighted to welcome Amy, whose commitment to artists and ideas snaps with ICA´s own mission and ambition."

In addition to serving as Director of Visual AIDS, Sadao has had a highly visible career as a public speaker, moderator, juror, and consultant for a variety of arts organizations. She earned an M.A. in comparative ethnic studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.F.A. from The Cooper Union School of Art.
Says Sadao, "I´ve long been an admirer of the ICA´s groundbreaking program and its commitment to inclusive and expansive dialogues inspired by art and artists. I am thrilled to work with the talented students, faculty and staff at Penn."

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