The Finding Commission for documenta 15, which will take place in Kassel from 18 June to 25 September 2022, has been formed.
In accordance with the circular resolution recently presented to the members of the Supervisory Board of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH, the following experts have been appointed for the purpose of selecting the Artistic Director of documenta 15:
• Ute Meta Bauer, founder and Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Singapore • Charles Esche, Director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands
• Amar Kanwar, artists, New Delhi, India
• Frances Morris, Director of the Tate Modern in London, Great Britain
• Gabi Ngcobo, Curator of the 10th Berlin Biennale 2018, South Africa
• Elvira Dyangani Ose, Curator, Creative Time, New York, USA
(Director of The Showroom in London, Great Britain, effective September 2018)
• Philippe Pirotte, Director of the Staatl. Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule in Frankfurt/M., Germany (Belgium)
• Jochen Volz, Director of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil
The task facing the Finding Committee constituted on the basis of the recommendation by designated General Director Dr. Sabine Schormann is to appoint an Artistic Director for the 15th edition of documenta, which is regarded as the most important exhibition of contemporary art in the world.
Kassel’s Mayor Christian Geselle, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, expressed pleasure in noting that preparations for documenta 15 are now picking up speed. “documenta is an essential forum for contemporary art and, as the legacy of Arnold Bode, a treasure that enhances the image of the city of Kassel. I am very pleased to note that an international finding commission composed of outstanding experts has been chosen to find an artistic director for documenta 15. And we are right on schedule. I wish to express special thanks to Dr. Sabine Schormann, who has played an instrumental role in preparations for the appointment of members of the Selection Commission, even though she will not officially assume her duties as General Director of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH in Kassel until 1 November 2018.”
As Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hessian Minister of Art and Culture Boris Rhein also expressed thanks to Dr. Sabine Schormann for having made such an important contribution to the process of forming the Finding Commission before taking office as General Director. “We are proud to realize that documenta in Kassel has gained global recognition as one of the most significant and best-known international exhibitions of contemporary art in the world. For the city of Kassel and the state of Hesse, this high honor goes hand in hand with the obligation to ensure that such an ambitious exhibition can be successful in the future as well and that the artistic director chosen by the Finding Commission is equipped with the means to achieve that goal. However, that objective represents both a duty and an incentive for the future artistic director as well. documenta is ideally suited for the purpose of learning from history and thus enabling us to with courage to the future.”
“In view of the members’ expertise, their extensive network of ties within the cosmos of contemporary art and their different artistic and curatorial approaches, I am confident that the Finding Commission will succeed in appointing an outstanding curator to the position of Artistic Director by early next year,” said Dr. Sabine Schormann. “Personally, I am very eager to see where the journey takes us and whether documenta 15 will be more concerned with such issues as sharing and participation, intercultural networking, performance and discourse, the role of digital media or our approach to the use of public space – to name only a few conceivable focal points of interest.”
Brief biographies of the members of the Finding Commission:
• Ute Meta Bauer (*Stuttgart, 1958)
Ute Meta Bauer has served as an international curator and professor of contemporary art and as the founding Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Singapore since 2013. She studied at the Hochschule für Bildenden Künste in Hamburg. She was Artistic Director of the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart from 1990 to 1994. Ute Meta Bauer has worked as an independent curator since 1985 and held several different adjunct academic positions: as Associate Professor for Visual Arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 2005 to 2012, as Dean of Fine Arts at the Royal College of Art in London in 2012 and 2013 and as Professor of Theory and Practice in Contemporary Art at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. She served as founding Director of the Office for Contemporary Art in Norway from 2002 to 2005, Artistic Director of the 3rd Berlin Biennale für zeitgenössische Kunst in 2004, Director of the MIT Visual Arts Program from 2005 to 2009 and founding Director of the Program for Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) from 2009-2012. She has worked as co-curator for several different exhibition events, including the World Biennial Forum No. 1 in Gwangju, South Korea in 2012 and documenta 11. Ute Meta Bauer chairs the Beirat für Bildende Kunst of the Goethe–Institutes and is a member of the scholarly Advisory Board of the Stiftung Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany.
• Charles Esche (*England, 1963)
Charles Esche is a museum director and art curator who lives in Edinburgh and Eindhoven. Esche has served as Director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands, since 2004. From 2000 to 2004 he was Director of the Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art in Malmö, Sweden. He worked for Tramway in Glasgow (from 1993 to 1997) and has helped launch an art education program at the Edinburgh College of Art (called the Proto-academy) in 1997, where he participated until 2001.
In 2012, Esche joined six other European museums to found L’Internationale confederation as a European institution devoted to modern and contemporary art. He has curated numerous international biennials. Charles Esche is a professor of Curating and Contemporary Art at the University of the Arts in London and Co-Editorial Director of the Afterall Journal and Afterall Books (with Mark Lewis).
• Amar Kanwar (*New Delhi, 1964)
Amar Kanwar is an Indian artist and documentary filmmaker who lives and works in New Delhi. Kanwar is concerned with the recent and past history of the Indian subcontinent and especially with the Indo-Pakistani wars. He has produced more than 40 video installations and films, which have been presented at various exhibitions and at a number of international museums, including the Biennale of Sydney in 2006, documenta exhibitions 11, 12, 13 and 14, kw-Berlin, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, the Stedelijik Museum in Amsterdam and the Haus der Kunst in Munich. Kanwar has received awards at the film festivals in San Francisco, Mumbai and Turin and was honored with the Award for Contemporary Art by a foundation established by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture in 2005.
• Frances Morris (*London, 1959)
Frances Morris has played a key role in the development of the Tate Galleries. Engaged as a curator in 1987, she was appointed Head of Displays at the Tate Modern in 2000 and has served as Director of Collection, International Art (from 2006 to 2016) and Director of the Tate Modern since 2016. Morris has curated several pioneering exhibitions, including most notably major retrospectives devoted to women artists, several of which were presented as broad-based international cooperative projects. Morris holds a BA in Art History from Cambridge University and an MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She is a member of the boards of the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh and CIMAM as well as the Advisory Committee of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto.
• Gabi Ngcobo (*South Africa, 1974)
Gabi Ngcobo is an artist, independent curator and educator who lives in Johannesburg. She studied at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York and has been a member of the faculty of the Wits University School of Arts in Johannesburg since 2011. Ngcobo founded the Center for Historical Reenactments in Johannesburg in 2010 and is now serving as its director. She curated the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art in 2018.
• Elvira Dyangani Ose (*Spain, 1964)
Elvira Dyangi Ose has been a curator at Creative Time in New York since 2017. She will assume her duties as Director of the Schowroom in London in September 2018. Ose studied Art History at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona and Architectural Theory at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. She earned a Ph.D. in Art History and Visual Studies at Cornell University in New York. Elvira Dyangasi Ose worked as a curator at the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM) on Gran Canaria from 2004 to 2006 and at the CENTRO ANDALUZ DE ARTE CONTEMPORANEO (Andalusian Center for Contemporary Art) from 2006 to 2008. In 2009 and 2010 she served as curator for the Arte Invisible Program of ARCOmadrid. Between 2011 and 2014 she worked as a curator of international art at the Tate Modern in London, where she was responsible for developing the art collections from Africa and the African diaspora. Since 2014 she teaches Visual Studies at Goldsmiths University of London and in 2015 she curated the eighth International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) in Göteborg.
• Philippe Pirotte (*Antwerp, Belgium, 1972)
Philippe Pirotte lives and works in Frankfurt as Dean of the Staedelschule and Director of Kunsthalle Portikus
Next to that he is adjunct senior curator at the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. He serves as an advisor for the Kadist Art Foundation (Paris/San Francisco).Pirotte was one of the co-founders (in 1999) of the contemporary art center objectif_exhibitions in Antwerp, Belgium, and was the organization’s artistic director till 2005. From 2004 to 2013, Pirotte held the position of Senior Advisor at the Rijksakademie for Visual Arts in Amsterdam. From 2005 to 2011, he was Director of the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland. As a freelance curator Pirotte co-curated and organized a.o. exhibitions for the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (2014); for the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2001); the Weltkulturenmuseum Frankfurt (2015), for TOP contemporary Art Space Shanghai; for the Shanghai Biennale; the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo or the Fundación Celarg in Caracas, Venezuela. He also served as Advising Program Director for the Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing. He was curator of the 2016 edition of La Biennale de Montréal, and he was part of the curatorial team of the 2017 Jakarta Biennale. Philippe Pirotte has written numerous essays about contemporary art and artists.
• Jochen Volz (*Braunschweig, 1971)
Jochen Volz is an art historian and exhibition curator. He was appointed Director of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil, in 2017. Volz studied Art History, Communication and Education at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and Humboldt-Universität in Berlin from 1993 to 1999. Jochen Volz served as a curator at the Portikus Ausstellungshalle in Frankfurt am Main from 2001 to 2004, as Head of Programmes at the Serpentine Galleries in London from 2012 to 2015 and as Curator of the 32nd Biennale do São Paulo in 2016. He curated the Brazilian Pavilion at the 57th Biennale di Venezia in 2017