Stephan Berg

Curatorial Statement

My curatorial work is based on the primacy of artistic practice. This means that I employ an inductive curatorial method, whereby questions are formulated through in-depth analysis and appreciation of individual artistic positions rather than as reflections of an abstract theoretical disposition that is externally ascribed to artists and their works.

This constitutes neither a critical stance toward discourse, nor a naive emphasis on an apparently self-evident, intrinsic logic of the artwork. Rather, it represents a balancing act: it means taking care not to abuse the expressive power of a work of art as an arbitrary illustrative mass, while at the same time acknowledging its specific contextual relations. Ideally, the questions generated by the work itself lead to a form of representation and interpretation in which the artwork in its authenticity (Eigentlichkeit) simultaneously reveals its capacity to relate to other areas – also including non-artistic realms.

Contemplating and recognizing the particular social, political, economic, psychological or other relevance of an artistic language provides the framework for my curatorial pursuits, which are characterized by a strong interest in artistic hybridization and in genre- and media-spanning practices. Examples of projects I have carried out in this context are thematic exhibitions on the relationship between sculpture, architecture and models (“Archisculptures”, 2001), and on the connection between stage, theatre and art (“On Stage”, 2003), as well as monographic exhibitions by Peter Kogler (2004), Nedko Solakov (2008), Julian Rosefeldt (2009) and Erwin Wurm (2009).

A further area of interest is the development of painting and photography as part of a higher-order analysis of visual presentation and representation, and an investigation into what pictoriality can mean today in the wake of the iconic turn. Key projects in this area have included exhibitions with Thomas Demand (1998), David Reed (2002), Naoya Hatakeyama (2002), Luc Tuymans (2003), Walter Niedermayr (2003), Corinne Wasmuht (2006), Jörg Sasse (2006), Julie Mehretu (2007) and Albert Oehlen (2012).

(Stephan Berg, 2012)

Stephan Berg 2006, Copyright: Kunstverein Hannover
Stephan Berg
Director | Kunstmuseum Bonn

Contemporary art

Secretary to the director, Kunstmuseum Bonn