The collection of innovative exhibitions in Show Time have been 25 years in the making, documenting the gradual shift from shows revolving mostly around conservation, interpretation and display into a creative vehicle used to express curators’ subjectivity, curatorial experiments, and the creation of a dialogue between different cultures. Throughout the book, Hoffmann presents a large variety of exhibition models, which celebrate the diversity of curatorial approaches that have been developed over the past two decades. Through these examples, Hoffmann has shown how the curator has evolved from simply the selector of art or historical exhibition maker into what he describes as “an author who makes choices in regards to ideas and objects in the world, these choices can be seen as bringing order into the chaos of information that history has accumulated and which the presents continues to produce. “
Hoffmann attributes a variety of factors to spurring the shift in curatorial form. From the end of the Cold War era which sparked globalization, to the more recent effect of the internet to allow curators direct access to art and artists around the world, this progression created an opportunity for curators to use art to engage with every day experiences, connect art to audiences in private and public forums, to make socio-political statements, and to create collaborations with theater, architecture, literature and science.
Okwui Enwezor has been named director of the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale, slated to open in May of 2015. The Nigerian-born writer, editor and curator, age 50, has held the post of director at Munich's Haus der Kunst since 2011.
Enwezor brings with him a wide range of curatorial interests and experiences, having served as artistic director of a number of large-scale, international exhibitions: the Johannesburg Biennale (1997); Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany (2002); the Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla in Spain (2007); the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea (2008); and the Triennal d'Art Contemporain in Paris (2012).
Mary Jane Jacob is a curator who holds the position of Professor and Executive Director of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago [SAIC]. As chief curator of the Museums of Contemporary Art in Chicago and Los Angeles, she staged some of the first U.S. shows of American and European artists. Then shifting her workplace from the museum to the street, she critically engaged the discourse around public space with such landmark site-specific and community-based programs as “Culture in Action” in Chicago, and “Conversations at The Castle” during the Atlanta Olympics, and “Places with a Past” for the Spoleto Festival USA-which launched two decades of public engagement in Charleston, South Carolina. More recently her programs have led to co-edited anthologies: Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art, Learning Mind: Experience into Art,The Studio Reader: On the Space of Artists, and Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society.
Jean Hubert Martin’s main interest is in discovering young, as yet unknown artists and artistic experiments. As early as in 1983, for example in the „Konstruierte Orte“ exhibition, he showed works by the Düsseldorf artists Thomas Huber, Reinhard Mucha and Thomas Schütte. In 1985 in the Bern Kunsthalle, he organised Ilya Kabakov’s first individual exhibition, which was later shown in Düsseldorf. Then came his discovery and presentation of previously unknown artists such as Bruly Bouabré, Bodys Kingelez and Huang Yong Ping, whom Martin first presented at the „Magiciens de la terre“ exhibition (1989).
Non-Western Art – Martin is also an internationally renowned connoisseur of non-Western art. As one of the first curators ever, he has shown examples of this art genre from all over the world in such exhibitions as the „Magiciens de la terre“, thus triggering a lively discussion – which has still going on today – about the significance and value of this art.