Søren Grammel

Curatorial Statement

Curatorial form is non-total. It “does not assert the thesis of the identity of thought and thing” (Adorno), but rather operates with the awareness that truth is something artificial and temporary.

Exhibitions are imaginary sites, short-term gatherings of disparate agents and ideas. They are forms which emphasize the synthetic nature of all concepts. This is why I think the exhibition format is still so important to curatorial work, because it offers the paradox of a simultaneous variety of different, often opposite or contradictory chronologies in a way no other format does.

For me, a programmatically playful approach that involves breaking a project up into numerous dynamic fragments is what constitutes the specific nature of curatorial authorship in exhibition-making. Curatorial practice deliberately creates unstable constellations that contradict the notion of truth as something ‘finished’. It is not, therefore, a mediating activity in the sense of providing enlightenment as a service or an interface between cultural production and its consumers; it is a mediating activity in that it constantly asserts the impossibility of the unmediated. For me, curatorial practice implies an approach that is oriented toward change and abandons the notion of fixed meaning, that keeps meaning open, enables continual speculation and – by inventing new movements and operations – relativizes, complements and changes the institutional rules and boundaries within which it manoeuvres.

(Søren Grammel, 2010)

Søren Grammel 2009, Copyright: Sunah Choi
Søren Grammel
Artistic director, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne

Contemporary art
Cultural theory
Artists’ and curators’ support
Project-based approaches

Søren Grammel