Visiting Curators 2022

Valuable tips, criticism and exchange: four curators from four different art and cultural institutions in Germany, Belgium and Denmark visited a total of 27 artists from Bremen in November and December 2022 in their studios as part of the Visiting Curators program. The curators and artists exchanged views on their respective artistic or curatorial positions, programs and projects. But current circumstances, obstacles and challenges, such as the after-effects of the pandemic on their work and points of view, were also topics. The informal studio discussions gave the artists new impulses, valuable tips and the opportunity to take a fresh look at their own work: “The view from outside is enriching. Being able to assume mutual interest without persuasion, offers the chance to enter quickly into an intensive exchange,” says participating artist Gertrud Schleising.

The guest curators in 2022: Stef Van Bellingen (curator at WARP, platform for contemporary art in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium), Lisa Britzger (curator at the municipal art space Lothringer 13 Halle in Munich), Anne Hagen Kielgast (curator at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND in Copenhagen, Denmark) and Susanne Weiß (freelance curator, most recently interim director of ifa-Galerie Berlin in 2021/2022 together with Inka Gressel, Berlin).

The Visiting Curators program organized by the Künstlerhaus Bremen enabled artists from Bremen to meet and exchange with foreign curators for the fifth time in 2022. The program aims to connect Bremen artists with curators and provide them with professional feedback on their artistic work through one-on-one meetings in their studios. The aim is to introduce artists to established curators outside the Bremen art scene and to gain new perspectives on their own work. For this purpose, the artists showed their original works or sketches during the visits, discussed ideas or looked at their portfolios together with the curators and considered how their visibility could be improved: “I think the Visiting Curators program is a great way to introduce artists to curators and their thinking. The assessments, tips, comments and criticism from these extremely respectable people are invaluable,” says the artist Klaas Wurtmann after his visit by Anne Hagen Kielgast.

The curators - some of whom are internationally active - were invited by their respective colleagues from the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, the GAK Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst, the Städtische Galerie Bremen and the Künstlerhaus Bremen. At a get-together in the Weserburg library with curators and directors of Bremen art institutions, the guests gained additional insight into the local art scene and could network with their colleagues.

Their visits to artists in Bremen gave them a glimpse behind studio doors that were previously unknown to them, confronted them with artistic positions that provoked new ideas, and in some cases led to concrete invitations. For example, the Bremen-based artist Paula Hurtado Otero will be shown in Lisa Britzger’s group exhibition PART TIME COMMITMENT SERIES - Prologue: What does work mean at the end of the day? at Lothringer 13 Halle in Munich at the end of March.

Visiting Curators is a joint project of the Bremen Artists’ Association BBK, the Bremen Artists’ Association, GEDOK, the Künstlerhaus Bremen and the Städtische Galerie Bremen. The Visiting Curators program will enter its next round in autumn 2023. The call for applications will be published in September. Applications are open to all professional artists working in Bremen who have completed their studies at an art academy or can prove that they are working professionally as an artist.

  • Cooperation

    Visiting Curators is a joint project of the Bremen Artists’ Association BBK, the Bremen Women Artists’ Association, GEDOK, the Künstler:innenhaus Bremen and the Städtische Galerie Bremen. All professional artists with a centre of work in Bremen who have completed their studies at an art academy or who can prove that they work professionally as an artist are invited to apply.

  • Stef Van Bellingen

    … has been working as a curator since the early 1990s and has organized exhibitions in Brussels, Dakar, Dublin, London, Ljubljana, Ludwigshafen, The Hague, Venice and Vienna. He tries to establish long-term relationships and collaborations with artists and art institutes. Due to his origin (Caribbean) he is interested in a comparative perspective on art history and, based on his archaeological studies, he deals with the theme of deep time. He studied archaeology and art history at Ghent University and started his career at SMAK Ghent with several artistic collaborations with Jan Hoet. In 2006 he founded WARP, a contemporary art platform in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium) - the small town where he grew up.
    (Proposed by Arie Hartog, Director, Gerhard-Marcks-Haus)

  • Lisa Britzger

    … studied cultural studies and aesthetic practice in Hildesheim and began to realize exhibition projects at different venues in 2005 as a member of the curators’ collective a7.ausstellungen. She worked as assistant curator at the Kunstverein Munich, as director of the Kunstverein Hildesheim and in the team of the city curator Hamburg. From 2016 to 2018, she co-directed the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof in Hamburg with Jennifer Smailes and Annette Hans. Since January 2020, she has been curator of the urban art space Lothringer 13 Halle in Munich. She has realized projects with individual artists and repeatedly with groups such as Galerie BRD, COPS (Corporation of people’s situations) or K Hybrid. In her curatorial practice she focuses on processual and context-specific projects, artistic research, a linking of artistic production, presentation and discourse as well as collaborative and communal methods and practices.
    (Proposed by Annette Hans, Artistic Director and Executive Director, GAK Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst).

  • Anne Hagen Kielgast

    … has been a curator at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND in Copenhagen, Denmark since 2006, where she now serves as lead curator. Under her direction, exhibitions have included Anette Harboe Flensburg: Montanasalen (2022), Thomas Hirschhorn: COMMUNITY OF FRAGMENTS (2021), Asger Harbou Gjerdevik: Driving Home for Christmas (2019). Previously, she worked as a consultant and manager for exhibitions in the municipality of Frederiksberg in Denmark. Kielgast studied art history, art criticism, and conservation at Humboldt University in Berlin and the University of Copenhagen.
    (Proposed by Dr. Ingmar Lähnemann, Curator, Städtische Galerie Bremen).

  • Tobias Peper

    … has been director of the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof since 2021. Previously, he worked for five years at the Kunstverein in Hamburg, where he curated exhibitions with FORT, Cana Bilir-Meier, Hannah Perry, Matheus Rocha Pitta and Prem Sahib, among others. Previously, he completed his traineeship at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich and studied art history, sociology and German philology in Cologne. Tobias Peper is the editor of Lerato Shadi’s first monograph, published by Archive Books in 2022, and regularly publishes texts on contemporary artistic positions.
    (Proposed by Janneke de Vries, Director, Weserburg Museum of Modern Art).

  • Susanne Weiß

    … is a museologist working at the intersection of curating and mediating. Since March 2021, she has co-directed the ifa Gallery in Berlin with Inka Gressel. From 2017 to 2021 she worked as a lecturer for special tasks at Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle with a focus on exhibiting, presenting, network art. From 2012 - 2016 she directed the Heidelberger Kunstverein, for which she conceived various exhibition series that expanded the radius of the exhibition and the static format of the exhibition in a site-specific way. In the fall of 2013, she was a fellow at the Tarabya Cultural Academy in Istanbul. Since 2015, she has been developing the ifa touring exhibition “The Event of a Thread/Das Ereignis eines Threadens” together with Inka Gressel for the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, which takes global narratives in the medium of textiles as its point of departure.
    (Proposed by Nadja Quante, Artistic Director/Curator, Künstlerhaus Bremen).