My curatorial work has always been accompanied by a theoretical, critical examination of curatorial practice. I have published essays and given lectures on this subject. For example, I held a seminar from 1995 to 2000 at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich entitled “The Art System,” which dealt with current forms of art mediation, art production, and distribution. At the end of 2004, I was invited by the Goethe Institute to hold a one-week workshop about new tendencies in curatorial practice in Europe for people working in art in Uruguay – two months previously I had accepted a similar invitation by the Canadian embassy to travel to Canada.
The main focus of my art-historical work is on the years 1910 -1920, the 1920s, and the 1960s, periods that are characterised by particular bursts of innovation and a new definition of the work of art or body of work. In particular, my interest in the relationship between everyday culture and fine art has been expressed in different exhibition projects: “If I ruled the world,” which dealt with political content in pop music and its images (Zurich 1997, Munich 1998), “There is no business like business,” on the theme of pop music and economy (Zurich 1998), “Programm Fernsehen / ProgrammeTelevision” (Zurich 1999), “TeleVisions” (Vienna 2001) and “Strips & Characters”, which explored the influence of comics on art (Munich and Wolfsburg 2004). The changes in the definition of production, urban developments, but also the influence that technological changes have on our culture are an important focus of my theoretical and curatorial practice.
The project “Elektropopklub” is an example of the innovative art mediation forms I conceived for the German-Polish year, following an invitation by the Federal Cultural Foundation. The 6-week interdisciplinary project took place in Bytom and later for the same period of time in Kunstverein Wolfsburg. It was targeted particularly at a young public and was a huge success. One part of the Kunstverein was transformed into a club for concerts, parties, performances, and film evenings, while the other was transformed into an exhibition space that became a lounge in the evening, with corresponding furniture. Representatives of different disciplines met in this German-Polish arena. In summer 2005, the Elektropopklub in Bytom was one of the hottest cultural tips in Poland.
Numerous lecturing posts at universities in Germany and abroad bear witness to the fact that I am very familiar with pedagogical work and enjoy working with students. Most recently, I worked as a guest professor for the Department of New Media during the winter semester 2003/2004 at the Kunstuniversität Linz. In winter 2006 I began a lecturing post at the Department of Art Theory at the University of the Arts Bremen.
(Justin Hoffmann, 2006)