Iris Dressler (born in 1966, studied art history in Marburg and Bochum) and Hans D. Christ (born in 1963, studied art and German language and literature in Dortmund) have co-directed the Wuerttembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart since 2005.
In 1996 Hans D. Christ and Iris Dressler founded the ‘hartware medien kunst verein’ as an independent platform for contemporary art in Dortmund. An essential feature of their work until 2003 was the development of their own institution for contemporary art. Throughout the early years, hartware medien kunst verein’s exhibitions were held at different venues ranging from established museums, public space or listed industrial heritage sites. In 2003, hartware medien kunst verein moved into a 2500sqm, former industrial hall. Following Dressler and Christ’s move to the Wuerttemberg Kunstverein in 2005, Inke Arns became director of the institution.
The focal activities initiated since 1996 by the Dressler/Christ curator team include several major international exhibitions as well as workshops, screenings and research projects. The exhibition programme primarily addresses topical questions of curatorial work. It is based on international co-operations that broaden the programme’s thematic content and perspectives, rather than on a pre-defined position. Exemplary for this were projects such as “Muntadas-Protokolle” or “On Difference #1 / #2” (both 2006). The latter was organised in cooperation with artists such as Ricardo Basbaum (Rio de Janeiro), Dan und Lia Perjovschi from Bucharest’s Centre for Art Analysis, Lucien Samaha from the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut, and further partners from Budapest, Sofia, Ljubljana, Seoul, New Delhi, Rotterdam, Valencia and Novi Sad.
A further recurring focus has been forms of contemporary art production that have not yet been admitted to the usual canons, such as the exhibition, “games. Computer games of artists” (2003), developed in cooperation with Tilman Baumgärtel. Event formats such as the international congress on the production, presentation and conservation of media arts, “404. Object Not Found. What remains of media art?” (2003) have also featured strongly in the programme.