As curator I see my role as that of a mentor and facilitator. This involves not only the promotion of autonomous artistic positions but also the presentation and communication of these positions to an audience of viewers with varying interests and levels of sophistication. Parallel to the exhibitions – which are invariably based upon new artistic productions – the Kunstverein organizes events aimed at encouraging discussion and reflection upon the work on show.
I fundamentally believe that exhibition design, the compilation of group shows and the dramaturgy of an exhibition programme have a very strong influence on how art is received. Based on this premise, I have a high level of personal responsibility in dealing sensitively with the contents of individual artworks in dialogue with other exhibits, positions, the aesthetics of the presentation, as well as with the space and programme of the Kunstverein as a whole. I attach great importance to how artworks are installed and presented in the specific context of the spatial surroundings.
Thematically I am interested in positions that address issues related to the perception of reality and different aspects of art communication, above all in the context of performative and participatory projects. From my perspective as a sociologist and social psychologist I am interested in projects that deal with biographies and the extent to which they can be depicted, with the telling of subjective truths, with fiction and reality as well as social reality in the context of the individual, and with the appropriation of space through individual and social action. Artists from Scandinavia in particular seem to me to be currently addressing existential themes such as personal life situations, dreams and desires, and emotional and epistemological issues, which is why they are frequently included in the exhibition programme of the Städtische Galerie Nordhorn.
(Veronika Olbrich, 2007)