Jens Hoffmann: The Exhibition as a Dramatic Construction

  • 24/09/13 – 24/09/13
  • Time: 16:00 – 18:00
  • Venue: Nelson Mandela Auditorium, The South African Jewish Museum, 88 Hatfield Street, Cape Town, 8001
  • Contact: 021 480 7111

In this talk, Hoffmann will discuss a trilogy of exhibitions he organized for the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, all of which were based on iconic American novels: The Wizard of Oz (2008), Moby Dick (2009), and Huckleberry Finn (2010).

Michaelis Scool of Fine Art in association with the South African Jewish Museum is pleased to present The Exhibition as a Dramatic Construction, an open talk by Jens Hoffmann. In this talk, Hoffmann will discuss a trilogy of exhibitions he organized for the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, all of which were based on iconic American novels: The Wizard of Oz (2008), Moby Dick (2009), and Huckleberry Finn (2010). The exhibitions explored the relationship between art, politics and cultural history through the lens of literature to reveal how elements such as time, process, movement and space can form the nexus of an exhibition, turning it into a dynamic set of juxtapositions as opposed to simply as a static environment in a neutral space.

Jens Hoffmann is an exhibition maker and writer based in New York. He is currently Deputy Director and Head of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the Jewish Museum in New York. From 2007 to 2012 he was the Director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco and prior to that Director of Exhibitions at the ICA in London. Hoffmann has curated a number of large-scale exhibitions most recently the 9th Shanghai Biennial (2012) and the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011). He is the founding editor of The Exhibitionist: Journal on Exhibitions Making, which he started in 2009. His most recent books include Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating published by Mousse Publications, Milan (2013) and Show Time: A History of Exhibitions published by Thames & Hudson, London (2013). Hoffmann has been a Visiting Professor at the Nova Academia De Belle Arti in Milan since 2004 and was Associate Professor at the Curatorial Practice Program of the California College of the Arts in San Francisco from 2007 to 2012.

This talk has been organized by the Centre for Curating the Archive at Michaelis School of Fine Art and is part of the Honours in Curatorship programme, offered jointly by the University of Cape Town and Iziko Museums of South Africa. We are grateful to our media partner, the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts for publicising this event.

Email nancy.dantas@uct.ac.za by September 24th to secure a seat