Curator’s Perspective: Jochen Volz

Image: © Sofia Colucci / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Curator’s Perspective: Jochen Volz
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Americas Society
680 Park Avenue (at East 68th Street)
New York, NY 10065

As part of ICI’s Curator’s Perspective—an itinerant public discussion series featuring national and international curators—Jochen Volz will speak about the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, entitled ‘Incerteza Viva (Live Uncertainty)’. This biennial sets out to reflect on the current conditions of life and strategies offered by contemporary art to harbor or inhabit uncertainties.

For his Curator’s Perspective talk, Volz will present on the development for the São Paulo Biennial, opening in September 2016. In accordance with issues that drive contemporary artistic production, Volz will discuss cosmological thinking, ambient and collective intelligence, systemic and natural ecologies as themes of ‘Incerteza Viva (Live Uncertainty)’.

Inspired by disciplines ranging from thermodynamics to the theory of information, Volz begins with the concepts of “uncertainty” and “entropy” to consider a system’s proximity to equilibrium or disorder, keeping in mind that attempts to quantify uncertainty can be seen in various disciplines, ranging from mathematics to astronomy, and including linguistics, biology, sociology, anthropology and history. According to Volz, art, unlike other disciplines, points to disorder in the system, taking ambiguity and contradiction into account. Seen in this light, the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo deals precisely with speculative disciplines, art can supply strategies for life in an era of uncertainty.

Please click here to listen to this talk.

Hosted by the Americas Society

The Curator’s Perspective is a free, itinerant public discussion series ICI developed as a way for national and international curators to share their research and experiences with audiences in New York. These talks provide ICI the opportunity to assemble documentation on and disseminate information about a wide variety of international perspectives on art today. In 2016, audiences will hear perspectives on art, culture, and exhibition-making from curators based in London, Manila, Paris, and São Paulo. Practitioners will talk about what they’re most interested in at the moment, including the artists and the sociopolitical contexts that are shaping practices now.

The Curator’s Perspective series has been made possible, in part, by grants from the Hartfield Foundation and by generous contributions from the ICI Board of Trustees and ICI Access Fund.

May 10, 2016

Americas Society
680 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065


Jochen Volz

Jochen Volz is the General Director of Pinacoteca de São Paulo and the curator of the Brazilian Pavilion at the 57th Biennale di Venezia (2017). He was the chief curator of the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016). Between 2012 and 2015 he was Head of Programmes at the Serpentine Galleries in London. Prior, he was a curator at the Instituto Inhotim, Minas Gerais, since 2004, where he has served as General Director between 2005 and 2007 and Artistic Director between 2007 and 2012. Furthermore, he has contributed to many exhibitions throughout the world, including Terra Comunal – Marina Abramović in sesc Pompeia, São Paulo (2015), Planos de fuga, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo (2012), Olafur Eliasson – Your Body of Work as part of the 17th International Festival of Contemporary Art – sesc Videobrasil in the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, in sesc Pompeia and sesc Belenzinho, São Paulo (2011), The Spiral and the Square at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, at Gråmølna Kunstmuseum, Trondheim, and at Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand (2011), the 1st Aichi Triennale in Nagoya (2010) and the presentation of Cinthia Marcelle at the Biennale de Lyon (2007). In 2009, he organized Fare Mondi / Making Worlds, the international section of the 53rd International Venice Biennale together with Daniel Birnbaum. In 2006, he guest curated for the 27th São Paulo Biennial a special exhibition project in homage to Marcel Broodthaers with Juan Araujo, Mabe Bethônico, Marcel Broodthaers, Marilá Dardot, Tacita Dean, Meschac Gaba, Goshka Macuga, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Haegue Yang. Between 2001 and 2004, he was curator of Portikus Frankfurt am Main, where he organized individual exhibitions with Cildo Meireles, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Gilbert & George, Janet Cardiff, Jason Rhoades, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Philippe Parreno, Renée Green, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Rivane Neuenschwander and Simon Starling, amongst others. As a critic he is writing for magazines and catalogues and is contributing editor to Frieze.

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