Dr Petra Reichensperger, born in 1966, works as a writer, and as an independent curator.
Having completed her degree in applied cultural sciences and aesthetic practice in Hildesheim, she gained her PhD in 2000 with a dissertation on anti-illusionism as a category within the art discourse of the 1960s and the work of Eva Hesse. From 2000 to 2002 she was a postdoctoral research assistant at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, where she worked on two exhibitions and curated “Hilka Nordhausen. Montags Realität herstellen” (2001). Reichensperger’s curatorial work in public space includes the project “Berlin Alexanderplatz. Urban Art Stories” (2005); further interventions she co-initiated took place in 2010 and 2011. From 2008 to 2009 she was artistic director of M.1, an exhibition space and an artist residency of the Arthur Boskamp-Stiftung in Hohenlockstedt, and in 2010 she was responsible for the Goethe-Institut project “Space for Space” taking place in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. From 2011 to 2013 she ran the Kunsthaus Dresden – Municipal Gallery for Contemporary Art, where she curated several theme and artist exhibitions. Her latest project which she directed was the festival “Testing (Re-)Production” at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, in 2013. In 2015 she was curator for the Generali Foundation an co-curated two exhibitions at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg.
Reichensperger’s publishing activities mainly focus on the relationship between theatricality and performativity, spatializations and temporalizations, art and public. Her book “Eva Hesse – Die dritte Kategorie” was published in 2005 by Silke Schreiber Verlag, Munich, and in the same year she edited “The Making of Alex” (Revolver Verlag, Frankfurt am Main). In 2010 she completed “never trust a curator” and numerous artist publications with the Textem Verlag, Hamburg. Her most recent edited book “Terms of Exhibiting (from A to Z)” appeared 2013 (Sternberg Press, Berlin).
From 2005 to 2011 Petra Reichensperger regularly taught seminars on art-theoretical topics at various colleges and universities of fine art; since 2007 she has also held workshops on the genesis of exhibition spaces and the relationship between exhibition format, gesture and authorship. Her current research focuses on the materialisation of artworks in and for exhibitions. The question of the exhibition format is just as important in this context as the issue of who owns what rights. In 2016 she explored these and other questions related to the new production of a work and the development of a collection during a Research Library scholarship at the Getty Institute.
She has received various travel and research grants, which took her to Hungary (Projekt Relations e.V.) and Southeast Asia (Goethe-Institut) in 2006, to France in 2002 as part of a tri-national museum trainee exchange programme (spent at ARC, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris), and to the United States of America (NaFöG, DAAD) in 1994/1995.