Hans Ulrich Obrist

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Joanna Przetakiewicz

Curator's Club

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Curator's Club

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Cinematography by Olan Collardy

As a child, growing up in Zurich, Hans Ulrich Obrist collected postcards of the art works he most loved, classifying them meticulously and gradually building up his own imaginary museum. A few decades on, to say that the artistic director at the Serpentine Galleries takes curating very, very seriously would be a woeful understatement; this is an individual, it’s more accurate to say, who is determined to take the entire concept of discerning content selection into altogether more sophisticated new realms.

“There’s a long history of curating, and I think there’s an amnesia about that history,” he tells ESSENCE Lifestyle. “[So] it’s an interesting paradox that more and more things are being curated, and the word has broadened a lot and is now used outside of exhibitions.”

In an exchange with J.G Ballard, the late English novelist once told Obrist that he defines curating as “junction making”, and it’s exactly that concept – the mass connection of terminally curious homo sapiens – that excites Obrist about his role. Here, in this exclusive video interview, the most pioneering compiler of human endeavour – whose extraordinary conversations with artists, architects, scientists and other luminaries over the years comprise the archives underpinning his on-going series of books, ‘The Conversation Series’ – reveals the inner workings of a truly extraordinary mind.

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