Launching a new series recalling exhibitions through the personal accounts of curators, Ute Meta Bauer, Dean of the School of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art, talks to Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick. Co-organised with research and publishing organisation Afterall.
Ute Meta Bauer is Dean of the School of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. Previously, she served as the Founding Director of the Program in Art, Culture, and Technology in the School of Architecture and Planning from October 2009 to January 2012, and was Director of the MIT Visual Arts Program from 2005–9.
From 1996 until 2006, Bauer was Professor of Theory and Practice of Contemporary Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (Austria), where she also served as Head of the Institute of Contemporary Art, 1996–2001, and as Head of the Institute for Art and Cultural Science, 2003–5). In 2002–3 she was Vice Rector and responsible for International Affairs.
Working as an independent curator, Bauer began her institutional career as Artistic Director of the Kuenstlerhaus Stuttgart e.V. in 1990, where she curated numerous exhibitions by emerging artists, as well as historical exhibitions that linked to contemporary discourses. At Kuenstlerhaus Stuttgart she also organised symposia of international scope: 'A new spirit in curating?' (1992), and 'Radical Chic' (1993). Bauer also curated section '?' along with artist Fareed Armaly for the exhibition NowHere at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art on the occasion of Copenhagen Cultural Capital of Europe 1996. In 2001 she curated First Story – Women Building/New Narratives for the 21st Century for Porto 2001 – Cultural Capital of Europe and Architecture of Discourse for the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona. She was a Co-Curator of Documenta11 (2001/2) on the team of Okwui Enwezor and the Artistic Director of the 3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2004). In 2005 she curated the Mobile_Transborder Archive for InSite05, Tijuana / San Diego, and in 2008 she was the Director of SITAC VI (Symposio International Arte Contemporanea, Mexico City).
Bauer served as Founding Director of the Office For Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) from 2002–5 and was the Commissioner for the Scandinavian Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) and for the official Norwegian contribution for the 26th São Paulo Biennale (2004).
She was the Chairwoman of the Art Advisory Board of the Goethe Institutes and served as General Secretary for the International Curators Association (IKT). Currently, she is a member of the International Scientific Board of the Bauhaus Foundation in Dessau (Germany), of the Advisory Board of the LIST Visual Art Center at MIT, and of the Advisory Board of the newly established Bergen Assembly (Norway).
Bauer has edited numerous publications in the field of contemporary art, including: What’s left… What remains?, SITAC VI (Mexico City, 2009), 3rd Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, Komplex Berlin (Cologne, 2004), Education, Information, Entertainment. New Approaches in Higher Artistic Education (Vienna, 2001), and the art periodicals META 1-4 (Stuttgart, 1992–94), case (Barcelona, 2001; Porto, 2002), and Verksted # 1–6 (Oslo, 2003–6).
Image: 'Architectures of Discourse' curated by Ute Meta Bauer at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, September 18 – November 11, 2001. Installation view into the library of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies. On the back mezzanine wall you can see Cloud (2001) by Fareed Armaly. The red string in the foreground is also by Fareed Armaly - he did a work that included all exhibition designs, ID-entity, (2001). The wall works hung below are Approaching the Library as Activists: An Exercise in Speculative Erraticism (2001) by madeinbarcelona. Photograph © Ute Meta Bauer
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