Charles Esche

Masterstudiengang Curatorial and Critical Studies
Charles Esche: Living and Working in Historical Times
Dienstag, 20. November 2012, 19 Uhr, Aula

Charles Esche (* 1962) is a curator and writer. He is Director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and co-editor of Afterall Journal and Afterall Books based at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London. He is visiting lecturer at a number of European art academies and was a board member of Manifesta. In 2012 he received the European Cultural Foundation's Princess Margriet Award. In 2011, he co-curated Strange and Close for CAPC, Bordeaux. In the last years, he has curated the following biennials: in 2010 U3, the Slovenian Triennale in Ljubljana; in 2009 and 2007 with Khalil Rabah the 2nd RIWAQ Biennial, Ramallah, Palestine; in 2005 co-curator of the 9th International Istanbul Biennial with Vasif Kortun and in 2002 the co-curator with Hou Hanru and Song Wan Kyung of the Gwangju Biennale, Republic of Korea.

Between 2000 and 2004 he was the Director of Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art in Malmö, where he made solo exhibitions with Surasi Kusolwong, Nedko Solakov and Superflex a.o. and group shows including “Baltic Babel” and “Intentional Communities” From 1998 to 2002 he organised the international art academic research project called ‘protoacademy’ at Edinburgh College of Art. From 1993 to 1997 he was Visual Arts Director at Tramway, Glasgow where he curated exhibitions by Elisabeth Ballet, Christine Borland, Roderick Buchanan Douglas Gordon, Jonathan Monk, Stephen Willats and Richard Wright as well as group shows such as Trust and The Unbelievable Truth.

His main work has involved working on the constitution of art institutions, most recently the museum but also the qualities of the art centre or biennial. His writings on institutional possibility and policy are useful aids to rethinking the relation between art and social change. A book of his selected writings, Modest Proposals, was published by Baglam Press, Istanbul in 2005. He has written for numerous catalogues and magazines including: The Netherlands, for example (ed.), JP Ringier, 2007; Collective Creativity, Fredericianum, Kassel, 2006; Artur Zmijewski, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2005; Shifting Map, NAI, Rotterdam, 2004. He has written for art magazines Artforum, Frieze, Parkett and Art Monthly among others.