Individual Methodology Harald Szeemann
Edited by Florence Derieux. Text by Harald Szeemann, Hal Foster, Jean-Marc Poinsot, Tobia Bezzola.
We owe our idea of the contemporary exhibition to Harald Szeemann--the first of the jet-setting international curators. From 1961 to 1969, he was Curator of the Kunsthalle Bern, where in 1968 he had the foresight to give Christo and Jeanne-Claude the opportunity to wrap the entire museum building. Szeemann’s groundbreaking 1969 exhibition When Attitudes Become Form, also at the Kunsthalle, introduced European audiences to artists like Joseph Beuys, Eva Hesse, Richard Serra and Lawrence Weiner. It also introduced the now-commonplace practice of curating an exhibition around a theme. Since Szeemann’s death in 2005, there has been research underway at his archive in Tessin, Switzerland. An invaluable resource, this volume provides access to previously unpublished plans, documents and photographs from the archive, along with important essays by Hal Foster and Jean-Marc Poinsot. There is also an informative interview with Tobia Bezzola--curator at the Kunsthauz Zurich and Szeemann’s collaborator for many years. Two of Szeemann’s most ambitious exhibitions are presented as case studies: Documenta V (1972) and L’Autre, the 4th Lyon Biennial (1997). A biography, an illustrated chronology of Szeemann’s exhibitions and a selection of his writings complete this exhaustive survey.