THIS troublesome, uncomfortable and questionable RELEVANCE of ART IN PUBLIC SPACE. In Search Of a Possible Paradigm


CECILIA ALEMANI is the Curator and Director of High Line Art, the program of public art that takes place on and around the High Line in New York. She also collaborates with the Frieze Art Fair, where she is in charge of Frieze Projects and Frieze Talk for the fair in New York. Prior to that, Alemani has collaborated with many museums, institutions and foundations, while also pursuing more unconventional projects with non-profits and informal organizations. In 2011 Alemani worked as guest curator for Performa. She is the co-founder of No Soul For Sale, a festival of independent spaces, non-profit organizations and artists collectives which took place at X Initiative in June 2009 and at Tate Modern – Turbine Hall in May 2010 as the main event for the museum’s tenth anniversary. From January 2009 to February 2010, she served as Curatorial Director of X Initiative, New York, a year-long experimental non-profit space in Chelsea, where she has curated numerous exhibitions including solo shows by Keren Cytter, Luke Fowler, Hans Haacke, Christian Holstad, Derek Jarman, Mika Tajima, Tris Vonna-Michell and Artur Zmijewski. Alemani also served as an advisor to the Film Festival in Venice, for the category Orizzonti, devoted to new tendencies in filmmaking, and she oversaw the organization of the Future Generation Art Prize, a new prize for emerging artists established by the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation, Kiev.

ADAM BUDAK is currently International Curator for Contemporary Art at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution. Up to 2011 he was curator for contemporary art at the Kunsthaus Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum in Graz, Austria. He studied theatre studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and history and philosophy of art and architecture at the Central European University in Prague. He has recently co-established the postgraduate studies programme in curatorial practice and theory at the Art History Institute of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Adam Budak has curated “Architectures: Metastructures of Humanity, Morphic Strategies of Exposure”, exhibition in the Polish Pavilion of the 9th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, 2004. He worked with acclaimed artists such as Louise Bourgeois, John Baldessari, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Cerith Wyn Evans and Monika Sosnowska, and has curated a large number of international exhibitions. Adam Budak is the co-curator of MANIFESTA 7 (“Principle Hope”), Trentino Alto Adige, Summer 2008. His recent exhibitions include: “Il Grande Ritratto” by Tatiana Trouve and “The World of Gimel” by Antje Majewski (both in Kunsthaus Graz) as well as “Beyond. Condition of Contemporary Photography” at KUMU Modern Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia. He is currently working on a solo show of Libia Castro and Olafur Olafsson for TENT (Rotterdam) and is preparing the Hirshhorn’s 40th anniversary collection show.

MEL CHIN (Houston, Tx 1951) has a broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. Known for pioneering works such as Revival Field (1989-ongoing) which has verified the use of plants to remove toxic metals from the soil and Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project which expands the catalytic possibilities of art into issues, such childhood lead (pb) poisoning, confronting entire cities. ( See: Chin is pioneering a way art can not only provide engagement, provoke greater social awareness and responsibility, but also activate scientific process and partnership to deliver a solution to the problem. His projects are consistent with a conceptual philosophy, which emphasizes the practice of art to include sculpting and bridging the natural and social ecology. Chin most recently a 2010 United States Artists Fellow, has been documented in Art of the 21st Century (PBS) and received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, and the Penny McCall, Pollock/Krasner, Joan Mitchell Foundations, among others.

CLAIRE DOHERTY is the founder Director of Situations, an art commissioning and publishing organisation based in Bristol, who are the producers of Nowhereisland, one of the primary public art projects of the Cultural Olympiad in the South West. Over the past ten years, Situations has been responsible for artworks which open up new and surprising encounters in the public realm: from-off artistic interventions (such as Heather and Ivan Morison’s Black Cloud now installed at the Hepworth, Wakefield) to cumulative programmes of temporary commissions such as One Day Sculpture, New Zealand. Claire has worked with artists of international repute including Susan Hiller, Phil Collins, Tim Etchells, Thomas Hirschhorn and Jeppe Hein, with a particular emphasis on new forms of engagement and research. Situations is currently pioneering a new programme of work in Oslo, Norway, along with new works for Bristol by writer Tony White and artist Anna Barriball. Claire has written and lectured extensively on contemporary art commissioning. Her books include Contemporary Art: From Studio to Situation (Black Dog Publishing, 2004); Situation (Whitechapel/MIT Press, 2009), Locating the Producers: Durational Approaches to Public Art (2010) and the forthcoming Out There: The new public art producers (2012). She advised the Olympic Park Public Realm Advisory Committee and in 2009, was awarded a Paul Hamlyn Breakthrough Award as an outstanding cultural entrepreneur. |

JULIA DRAGANOVIĆ is a German born and Italy based curator for contemporary art whose interest is focused on social practices, new artistic strategies and new media art. She has curated shows in Germany, Italy, Spain, the USA and Taiwan. Her thematic shows include “The Enterprise of Art” at PAN Palazzo delle Arti Napoli 2008; “Footsteps into the Furture” at Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Art, Taiwan 2008 and “In What We Trust?” at Art Miami 2010. Draganović is member of the committee of the Outdoor Gallery in Gdansk (Poland), board member of No Longer Empty, New York, member of the Scientific Committee of Mudam, Luxembourg and together with Claudia Löffelholz founding member of the collective LaRete Art Projects. She conceptually developed and is currently curating the second edition of the International Award for Participatory Art launched by the Legislative Assembly of the Italian Region Emilia-Romagna. Institutional positions covered by Julia Draganović include Curator of the European Studio Program of the ACC Galerie and the City of Weimar, Germany (1999 -2003), Artistic Director of the Chelsea Art Museum New York (2005-2006) and of PAN Palazzo delle Arti Napoli (2007-2009), curator for curatorial projects at Arte Fiera Art First Bologna 2010 -2012. Draganović is regularly lecturing on public art at the Curatorial Study Department of IED (European Design Institute) in Rome and at IULM (Free University of Languages and Communication) in Milan, Italy.

FULYA ERDEMCI a curator and writer based in Istanbul. She is the curator of the 13th Istanbul Biennial. Erdemci curated the 2011 Pavilion of Turkey at the 54th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale. She was the Director of SKOR (Stichting Kunst en Openbare Ruimte) Foundation For Art and Public Domain in Amsterdam between Jun 2008 – Sept 2012. Her projects at SKOR included: Morality Wall: Between You and I, four facade projects in collaboration with Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2010; Actors, Agents and Attendants, international research, symposium and publication series, Speculations on the Cultural Organisation of Civility co-curated with Andrea Philips and Markus Miessen in 2010, and the second edition Social Housing-Housing the Social (Amsterdam 2011) with Andrea Philips. Fulya Erdemci, was among the first directors of the Istanbul Biennial (1994-2000), was director of Proje 4L in Istanbul (2003-2004) and worked as temporary exhibitions curator at Istanbul Modern (2004-2005). She was invited to curate the Istanbul section of the 25th Biennale of São Paulo Metropolitan Iconographies: Cities in 2002 and joined the curatorial team of the 2nd Moscow Contemporary Art Biennial Footnotes on Geopolitics, Market and Amnesia (2007). Erdemci initiated the ‘Istanbul Pedestrian Exhibitions’ in 2002, the first urban public space exhibition in Turkey that centred on the “pedestrian” and co-curated the second edition in 2005 with Emre Baykal. In 2008 Erdemci co-curated SCAPE Wandering Lines: Towards A New Culture of Space, the 5th Biennial of Art in Public Space in Christchurch, New Zealand with Danae Mossman, presenting the work of 25 international artists throughout the urban spaces of Christchurch city.

MIKA HANNULA is a writer, curator, teacher and art critic. Currently, he is a professor for artistic research at the faculty of fine, applied and performing art at the university of Gothenburg, Sweden. Through the years 2000-2005 he was the director of the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland, also acting then as the chairman of KUNO, Nordic network of Art Academies. He holds a PhD in Political Science and is the author of numerous articles and of several books on contemporary art. He was the curator for the Estonian Pavilion at Venice Biennial 2007 and curated the show Situated Self with Branko Dimitrijevic in Belgrade and in Helsinki the year 2005. He also curated the show on artistic research called Talkin Loud and Saying Something – Four Perspectives into Artistic Research in Gothenburg in 2008. He will, again together with Branko Dimitrijevic, the 53rd. October Salon, opening in September 2012 in Belgrade. Recent books include: Tell It Like It Is – Contemporary Photography and the Lure of the Real, University of Gothenburg (2011) Politics, Identity and Public space, Expothesis (2009), The Politics of Small Gestures, art-ist, Istanbul (2006), It’ s All or Nothing – Critical Theory, Contemporary Visual Art and Culture (2003) and Rock the Boat – Localized Ethics, the Situated Self, and Particularism in Contemporary Art (2003, with Tere Vadén). Hannula lives and works in Berlin.

TONE HANSEN is Director of the Henie Onstad Art Centre. Previous to this she worked as curator for the art centre for 3 years. Hansen is the editor of the newly published reader (Re)Staging the Art Museum (Revolver) and responsible editor of Thousand Eyes: Media technology, law and aesthetics (Sternberg). Recent exhibition projects includes: In Translation with Saskia Holmkvist, World Rehearsal Court with Judy Radul, the reader and the symposium A Thousand Eyes: Media technology, the law and the aesthetics, Creative Act as well as he solo presentation of Hito Steyerl and To be Heard is to be Seen in 2009. Hansen held a research position at the Oslo National Academy of Art in Oslo from 2003-2008. Other projects include the 2007 exhibition and publication Megamonstermuseum; How to Imagine a Museum of Today? As well as the anthologies The New Administration of Aesthetics and What Does Public Mean? Art as a Participant in the Public Arena in 2007.

BARBARA HOLUB is an artist based in Vienna. In 1999, she founded transparadiso with Paul Rajakovics (architect and urbanist), a collaborative practice in between architecture, art, urban design and urban intervention. transparadiso is engaged in developing new urbanistic tools and strategies for „direct urbanism“ as third layer in addition to urban planning and urban design. Recently transparadiso realized a new urban quarter in Salzburg-Lehen with 144 apartments and an urban public zone with NGOs and cultural institutions. transparadiso is currently working on developing a test site for „direct urbanism“. Barbara Holub has been a member of the editorial board of dérive_magazine for urban research in Vienna since 2001; member of the Public Arts Committee of Lower Austria from 2005 to 2007; president of the Vienna Secession from 2006 to 2007. In 2004 transparadiso received the Schindler grant for the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, and in 2007 it was awarded the Otto-Wagner-Prize for Urban Design. Barbara Holub currently directs the research project “Planning Unplanned_Towards a New Positioning of Art in the Context of Urban Development“ at the Institute of Art and Design, Vienna University of Technology. |

CHANTAL MOUFFE is Professor of Political Theory at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster in London. She has taught and researched in many universities in Europe, North America and South America and she is a corresponding member of the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris. She is the editor of Gramsci and Marxist Theory (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1979), Dimensions of Radical Democracy. Pluralism, Citizenship, Community (Verso, London, 1992), Deconstruction and Pragmatism (Routledge, 1996) and The Challenge of Carl Schmitt (Verso, London, 1999); the co-author with Ernesto Laclau of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (Verso, London, 1985) and the author of The Return of the Political (Verso, London, 1993), The Democratic Paradox (Verso, London, 2000) and On the Political (Routledge. London, 2005)

MARIA PAPADIMITRIOU was born in Athens in 1957, and today still lives in Volos, Athens. She studied at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris (1981-1986). She holds the title of Associate Professor of Art and Environment at the Architectural Department of the University of Thessaly, Greece. She is known as an artist for her ability to investigate collaborative projects and collective activities that highlight the interconnection between art and social reality. She is founder of T.A.M.A (Temporary Autonomous Museum for All) and ongoing social project that in 2002 she presented at the 25th Biennial of Sao Paulo and in 2003 was transformed into a non profit association. That same year she won the prize for Contemporary Greek Art awarded by the Deste Foundation. Her most recent project Souzy Tros (Suzy you’ve been eating) is the new para-site art space by T.A.M.A in Elaionas, Athens. Her work has been exhibited in multiple biennials including the 2007 Thessaloniki Biennial and the Lyon Biennial in 2009, where she co-curated her Roma project with Gabi Scardi and Lucy Orta. She has also produced numerous in situ projects including her ongoing Free Hotels projects which include Hotel Isola in Milano (2006), Plug Inn Hotel in the Canarias Islands (2006), Hotel Haifa in Israel (2010) and Otel Nokul in Sinop, Turkey (2010). Her latest projects are Roma Coats presented at the National Academy of Arts in London, her Murano based installation Apparatus exhibited at the MAC Marseille and Tear & Repair workshop as part of her Souzy Tros project.

SIMON SHEIKH is a freelance curator and critic. He is a correspondent for Springerin, Vienna, and a columnist for e-flux Journal, New York. He is a researcher for the on-going Former West project, initiated by BAK in Utrecht, as well as undertaking doctoral studies at in Lund on the topic of exhibition-making and political imaginaries. He was Coordinator of the Critical Studies Program, Malmö Art Academy in Sweden, 2002-2009. Beginning September 2012, Sheikh is a Senior Lecturer in Curating at Goldsmiths University, London. He was director of Overgaden – Institute for Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, 1999-2002 and Curator at NIFCA, Helsinki, 2003-2004. Editor of the magazine Øjeblikket 1996-2000, and a member of the project group GLOBE 1993-2000. His recent curatorial work includes exhibitions such as Vectors of Possibility, BAK, Utrecht, 2010, All That Fits: The Aesthetics of Journalism, QUAD, Derby, 2011, Do You Remember the Future?, Etagi, St. Petersburg, 2011, and Unauthorized, Inter Arts Center, Malmö, 2012. Recent publications include the anthologies We are all Normal (with Katya Sander), Black Dog Publishing, London 2001, Knut Åsdam (monograph), Fine Arts Unternehmen, Zug, 2004, In the Place of the Public Sphere?, b_books, Berlin, 2005, Capital (It Fails Us Now), b_books, Berlin, 2006, and On Horizons (with Maria Hlavajova and Jill Winder, BAK, 2011. A collection of his essays is forthcoming from b_books.

BERT THEIS is an artist, activist and curator based in Isola, Milan, Italy. Co-founder of Isola Art Center and out-Office for Urban Transformation. Sub-Curator of several projects for Isola Art Center and curator of Territoria 4 / The Great Leap, for the Pecci Art Center, Prato, Italy 2009. His works have been mainly created for public spaces in cities like Brussels, Milan, Strasbourg, Paris, Chamarande, Luxembourg, Volterra, Shenzen, Gdansk and other spots. He participated in Münster Sculpture Projects 1997, Manifesta 2 and numerous international shows including the Venice Biennale and the biennials of Taipei, Tirana, Istanbul, Gwangju and Busan. His monograph Some Works (g/eng) was published by Hatje Cantz in 2003, and his second monograph Building Philosophy (f/it/eng) by Domaine départemental de Chamarande, France, in 2010.

MIRJAM VARADINIS is art historian and a curator at Kunsthaus Zürich since September 2002. There she is in charge for contemporary art and has organized various exhibitions, among others the group show “Shifting Identities – (Swiss) Art Now” and solo exhibitions with Rosa Barba, Adrian Paci, Mircea Cantor, Runa Islam, Tino Sehgal, Erik van Lieshout, Aleksandra Mir, Nedko Solakov, Urs Fischer, David Shrigley a.o. She has published numerous catalogues and artist books. In 2012 she has been the co-curator of TRACK, an exhibition with 41 international artists in the city of Ghent, Belgium ( In 2006 she has curated the annual festival “Printemps de Septembre” in Toulouse (France). In 2005 she launched Internet-Platform (in collaboration with Annie Wu).

JOANNA WARSZA is a curator for performing, visual arts and architecture. She has been an associate curator of the 7th Berlin Biennale (together with Artur Żmijewski). She graduated from the Warsaw Theater Academy and completed a postgraduate course at the University of Paris 8 dance department. She is a founder of the independent platform Laura Palmer Foundation. Joanna has worked mostly in the public realm, curating projects that examine social and political agendas, such as the invisibility of the Vietnamese community in Warsaw, the phenomenon of Israeli Youth Delegations to Poland, or the legacy of post-Soviet architecture in the Caucasus. Together with Krzysztof Wodiczko she runs a seminar on conflict, trauma and art at the Warsaw Higher School for Social Psychology as well as on the performativity in contemporary culture. She has realized projects with Berlin theater Hebbel am Ufer, Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, the AICA Armenia, the GeoAir Tbilisi, the Centre Pompidou or Biennale de Belleville, among others. She is an editor of ‘Stadium-X – A Place That Never Was’ (2009) and Forget Fear (2012). She is a curator in residence in Iaspis Stockholm in the autumn 2012. Joanna lives and works in Berlin and Warsaw.