As a curator at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart I am responsible for collecting and presenting contemporary art within the historical context of a collection that has grown over almost two centuries. For me, a museum that collects and exhibits contemporary art must be actively involved in its process of production and communication, and as an institution it should reflect current conditions and attitudes. At the same time, a museum is a place where art and its conditions of production and reception, along with exhibition practice, are continually renegotiated from a contemporary perspective – not only in terms of collection displays and new acquisitions but also in the context of monographic or thematic exhibitions and discussion-based events. In this respect, a central concern of my work is to consider contemporary art both as a social practice and with regard to its history, to present it in interaction with the collection and to examine the current relevance of historical artistic positions and those which influence younger generations of artists. The emphasis upon contemporary art is therefore not restricted to new or recently created works, but also extends to works of art that are of particular significance to us in the present day.
Art preoccupies me as an initiator of altered possibilities of perception and action. Working and acting as a curator means establishing, communicating and negotiating relations – between people, places, objects and contexts – providing the necessary scope for exchange and debate while recognizing its aesthetic and social potential.
Alice Koegel (2009)