The programmatic role of a curator in current art discourse is closely dependent on the various manifestations of contemporary artistic practice. In the last few years this has been marked by an increasing preoccupation with social and interdisciplinary issues. Those involved in communicating and teaching art can respond by setting focal highlights within the thematic orientation and by incorporating new exhibition formats. So, for example, the processual character inherent in many artistic approaches is reflected in projects hosted by the Kunstverein in Hamburg, such as “Mapping a City: Hamburg-Kartierung” (2003), which extended over a period of nine months and to which, besides artists, specialists from various other fields were also invited.
A similar idea lay at the core of events such as “Bühne 03” (2003) and “Drei Geschäfte. Mode, Musik & Bücher” (2006), which also evolved over lengthy periods of time and explored the correspondence between art and related spheres of popular culture. A key factor in curatorial work is its educative aspect, which not only takes the form of lectures, workshops and film screenings but is also manifested in the appointment by the Hamburger Kunstverein of its own in-house “thinker”. To begin with, Diedrich Diederichsen was invited to hold a lecture once a month for the duration of a year. His twelve lectures were subsequently summarized in a publication.
Ideally, the task of conveying and communicating art reflects the complexity of contemporary life; rather than viewing itself simply as part of life, it should become actively involved in social concerns through exhibitions and events. In this respect curatorial practice is always also a political activity.
Yilmaz Dziewior (2007)