My guiding principle in the conception of exhibitions within the historically completed contexts of modernism is the acceptance of a broadly conceived notion of intuition. This assumes on the one hand that artworks have a visual structure and can be accessed by means of formal analysis, but on the other, that additional modes of intuition related to ‘inner seeing’ and memory processes are equally important in the comprehension of more complex works. My exhibition practice does not treat the visual apprehension of artworks as being opposed to discursive modes of access; instead it aims to open up differentiated forms of access to the multi-layered semantic structure of complex artistic works. Particularly in relation to historically completed oeuvres, I am keen to put new methodical approaches and issues up for discussion. At the same time, I believe that an exhibition must present visual arguments above all; in other words, however important accompanying media and textual commentaries are for the understanding of artworks, the exhibition’s primary task must be to use the visual logic of the presentation to enable the viewer to make connections and draw conclusions.
Over and above this, my work involves the examination and assessment of contemporary art, which is much more difficult to communicate due to the simultaneous use of all kinds of techniques, media and contents. In my work with artists such as Katharina Sieverding, Jessica Stockholder, Jonathan Lasker and Hiroshi Sugimoto among others, I am guided by the belief that critical reflection upon art should not occupy a position higher than the art itself, and that the task of a museum is above all to provide the best possible architectural, aesthetic and discursive space for the presentation of the artwork. I do not consider the work of the exhibition curator to be a quasi artistic activity, even though I devote my undivided attention to successful dramaturgy when developing an exhibition design concept.
Pia Müller-Tamm (2006)