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International Curators’ Talk Series: Public Lecture by Jens Hoffmann

Feb 28, 2009
2:30 pm


Agnes b. CINEMA!, Hong Kong Arts Centre

Jens Hoffmann


Curating and Creating – Public Lecture by Jen Hoffmann

Para Site Art Space is honored to present a Public Lecture by Jens Hoffmann, Director of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art and senior lecturer at the Curatorial Practice Program of the California College of the Arts. Hoffmann gives a lecture at Hong Kong Arts Centre, Agnes b. CINEMA! on February 28.

For over a decade, exhibition maker and curator Jens Hoffmann has developed a very particular style of exhibition that sits between cultural history, theater, author theory and contemporary art. Emerging, unusually, from a training in theatre rather than art history or curatorial studies, Hoffmann has used his directorial knowledge in particular to articulate his unique approach to curating. Of key importance for all of his exhibitions is the actual staging of the experience—ranging from the design of the space and installation, the conceptualization of the catalogue and related programming, to the attention paid to the performance of the work itself. The ‘stage-set’ or rather the exhibition space, site, or geographical location is itself an important factor in the development of his ideas which respond to both time and place. Hoffmann takes into account both the larger historical and socio-political context in which an exhibition takes place as well as the relevant curatorial or art historical relationships pertaining to a project. Using the ideas and strategies of artists, in particular conceptual art, and applying this approach to a curatorial idea of the author is a defining characteristic of Hoffmann’s work and results in a personalized exhibition history reflective of a creative development not dissimilar to that of an artist. In this lecture Hoffmann talks about some of his key exhibitions to elaborate further on his concept of the ‘curator as creator.’


More materials are available to view on site at Para Site. 

Click here to see a full inventory of all archive materials and contact us at archive@para-site.art for enquiries, to request an appointment to view materials, and for archival materials donations.


The Archive Project is financially supported by the Project Grant of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.



about the lecturer

Jens Hoffmann is a curator and writer based in San Francisco where he is the Director of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art and a senior lecturer at the Curatorial Practice Program of the California College of the Arts. Hoffmann has curated over three dozen exhibition since the late 1990s and is co-curator of the 2nd San Juan Triennial in Puerto Rico (2009). In addition to this Hoffmann is the Curatorial Director of the 101 Collection in San Francisco. With Harrell Fletcher, he is co-curates the 1st People’s Biennial, organized by Independent Curators International, New York in 2010. Since 2004 Hoffmann has been a faculty member of the Creative Curating program at Goldsmiths College, University of London and since 2005 a guest professor at the visual arts department of the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. From 2003-2007 Hoffmann was the Director of Exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. He has published numerous books including PERFORM, co-authored with Joan Jonas (Thames & Hudson, 2005) and Show Time with DuMont in 2010. His writing has appeared in numerous museum publications and exhibition catalogs as well as in art periodicals such as Artforum, Frieze, and Parkett.


press release (2009/pro_4/box 11/1)