In the first instance, exhibition projects offer individual aesthetic experiences, whereby basic positions arise from the perception of identification and difference. Another particularly important aspect for me is that by combining several artistic positions in an exhibition, tensions between them can be rendered visible – and also generated – in the individual presentation determined by the exhibition venue.
In my curatorial work I organize thematic group exhibitions focussing on themes that are currently emerging from the social, cultural, historical and economic contexts of our global political reality. These have included topics such as the trend towards a culture of entertainment in all areas of society, the promises of media-influenced perception and their ‘dissolution’, the role of religion and belief systems in today’s world, and forgetting as a means of dealing with history. I regard the curatorial practice of formulating, selecting and communicating art, as well as artistic practice itself, as an attempt to utilize the current situation and participate in a debate on potential positions and conceptual designs. Curatorial work thus sets out to create new arenas for aesthetic reflection upon the world around us and to provide a platform for exchange and dialogue – with the aim of creating a sense of involvement.
I have consciously chosen to work across a wide range of artistic formats: photography and sculpture, film and video art, computer-based media art and installations, performance and sound art, as well as artistic projects in and with space. The combination of different formats not only contributes to the development of a successful exhibition, it also underlines the equal status of these formats in the context of artistic and social engagement.
Having experienced collective curatorial practice in my work for transmediale, the NGBK and the Werkleitz Biennale, I now consider it to be a necessary structural basis for my work. As a curatorial practice, collaborative exchange demands continual questioning and the adoption of an individual critical stance; this approach in itself raises and addresses systemic questions related to hierarchical structures and the conditions of artistic and cultural production.
(Anke Hoffmann, 2009)