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HomeCurrent EditionAfrican: Okwui Enwezor is director of one of Germany´s oldest and prestigious Museum “the Haus der Kunst in Munich”

African: Okwui Enwezor is director of one of Germany´s oldest and prestigious Museum “the Haus der Kunst in Munich”

African: Okwui Enwezor is director of one of Germany´s oldest and prestigious Museum “the Haus der Kunst in Munich”

House of the Arts (Haus der Kunst) Munich

The House of the Arts (Haus der Kunst), Munich is an art gallery which exhibits architectural and historical challenge. Located at Prinzregentenstrasse 1, Munich 80538 at the southern edge of Munich’s largest park Englischer Garten, this world-class art museum was constructed from 1934 to 1937. The museum was opened in the Nazi era as the “House of German Art” but was closed immediately after the World War II.

The House of the Arts (Haus der Kunst), Munich was renovated and reopened in the early nineties and over the years it has emerged as a renowned exhibition centre under the directorship of a multitalented personality named Christoph Vitali.
The House of the Arts (Haus der Kunst), Munich was constructed on Hitler’s orders. The museum building was built following the plan of one of the most distinguished architect Paul Ludwig Troost as the Third Reich’s first monumental propaganda building. The museum was then called “Haus der deutschen Kunst” (House of German Art). The House of the Arts (Haus der Kunst), Munich was built to replace the Glaspalast which was destroyed by fire in 1931. This finest piece of architecture was modeled on Schinkel’s museum in Berlin. The building was first used as officer’s mess by the American occupation forces and was handed back to the Bavarian government in 1948.

House of the Arts (Haus der Kunst), Munich under the advisory guidance of P.A. Ade became one of the finest galleries for modern and contemporary art. The museum rooms are partitioned into several smaller exhibition rooms to display temporary trade shows and visiting art exhibitions. Even some parts of the museum are used to display works of those of Munich’s art galleries which were destroyed during the war. Among other displays Tutankhamun and the Zeit der Staufer exhibits are the most impressive one. The museum building also houses the P1 nightclub.

The museum remains open from 10.00 am – 8.00 pm daily except for the Thursdays (10.00 am – 10.00 pm).Prices vary depending on the exhibition. Children up to 12 years of age are free. Bus 53, Tram 17 “National museum /Haus der Kunst can be availed to reach the museum.
Munich which is populated by almost 1.5 million is the capital of Bavaria.Munich is Germany’s most festive cities and is also the hub of cultural activities. It has large scale excitements to offer and the city also includes several art galleries. Munich draws visitors from virtually everywhere in the world with its beauty and rich culture.

Biography

Okwui Enwezor was born in Calabar in Nigeria in 1963. In 1987 he earned a bachelor of arts degree in political sciences at the New Jersey City University. In January 2011, he was appointed Director, Haus der Kunst, Munich.

He was artistic director of the second edition of the Johannesburg Biennale organised in South Africa in 1997; this exhibition with the title Trade Routes gives him the first greatest visibility. He was artistic director of the Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla, in Seville, Spain.[3]. He is adjunct curator at the International Center for Photography, New York.

He was Dean of Academic Affairs at San Francisco Art Institute until fall 2009. He held positions as Visiting Professor in art history at University of Pittsburgh; Columbia University, New York; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and University of Umea, Sweden. He is adjunct-curator of the International Center of Photography in New York, and Joanne Cassulo Fellow at the Whitney Museum, New York. In 2011 he was appointed director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich.

Curator

Enwezor is artistic director of the Documenta 11 exhibition in Germany (1998–2002) and the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1996–1997), the 7th Gwang-ju Biennale in South Korea (2008). He has curated numerous exhibitions in some of the most distinguished museums around the world, including Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, International Center of Photography; The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Gropius Bau, Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and P.S.1 and Museum of Modern Art, New York; Century City, Tate Modern, London; Mirror’s Edge, Bildmuseet, Umeå, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Tramway, Glasgow, Castello di Rivoli, Torino; In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940–Present, Guggenheim Museum; Global Conceptualism, Queens Museum, New York, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, List Gallery at MIT, Cambridge; David Goldblatt: Fifty One Years, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, AXA Gallery, New York, Palais des Beaux Art, Brussels, Lenbach Haus, Munich, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, Witte de With, Rotterdam; co-curator of Echigo-Tsumari Sculpture Biennale in Japan; co-curator of Cinco Continente: Biennale of Painting, Mexico City; Stan Douglas: Le Detroit, Art Institute of Chicago.

He is currently organizing an exhibition, “The Rise and Fall of Apartheid” for the International Center for Photography, New York, and “Meeting Points 6”, a multidisciplinary exhibition and programs “which will take place in nine Middle East, North African and European cities, from Ramallah to Tangier to Berlin, starting in Beirut in April 2011.”[4]. Enwezor was also recently appointed the Artistic Director of the 2012 Paris Triennial[5]

Okwui Enwezor serves on numerous juries, advisory bodies, and curatorial teams including: the advisory team of Carnegie International in 1999; Venice Biennale; Hugo Boss Prize, Guggenheim Museum; Foto Press, Barcelona; Carnegie Prize; International Center for Photography Infinity Awards; Young Palestinian Artist Award, Ramallah; and the Cairo, Istanbul, Sharjah, and Shanghai Biennales.

Publications

As a writer, critic, and editor, Enwezor has been a regular contributor to numerous exhibition catalogues, anthologies, and journals. He is founding editor and publisher of the critical art journal NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art established in 1994, and currently published by Duke University Press.

His writings have appeared in numerous journals, catalogues, books, and magazines including: Third Text, Documents, Texte zur Kunst, Grand Street, Parkett, Artforum, Frieze, Art Journal, Research in African Literatures, Index on Censorship, Engage, Glendora, and Atlantica.

Among his books are Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Bologna: Damiani, 2009), Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008), Reading the Contemporary: African Art, from Theory to the Marketplace (MIT Press, Cambridge and INIVA, London) and Mega Exhibitions: Antinomies of a Transnational Global Form (Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich), Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, and The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society. He is also the editor of a four volume publication of Documenta 11 Platforms: Democracy Unrealized; Experiments with Truth: Transitional Justice and the Processes of Truth and Reconciliation; Creolité and Creolization; Under Siege: Four African Cities, Freetown, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos (Hatje Cantz, Verlag, Stuttgart).

In 2006, Enwezor received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for art criticism from the College Art Association.

January 23, 2011 12:27AM

US-based Nigerian curator and art historian, Okwui Enwezor, has been appointed the new director of German art museum, Haus der Kunst, located in Munich.

A release from the organisation disclosed that Enwezor will take over from Chris Dercon, the outgoing director later in October.Enwezor, who has been active in academic and curatorial fields, is currently Adjunct curator at International Centre of Photography, New York, and Joanne Cassulo Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Programme in New York City.

The appointment is the latest for the man who initially left Nigeria in the 1980s to study Political Science and Literature in the US before delving into Art History. He was recently appointed chief curator of La Triennale, Paris 2012 and serves as advisory curator of ‘Dublin Contemporary’ in 2011.

The curator who has already accepted the offer said, “I am immensely delighted and honoured to be joining Haus der Kunst in the next phase of its growth in the global landscape of contemporary art. In the last decade, Haus der Kunst has been a place of great vitality and a formidable voice in advancing the key argument that serious contemporary art is as varied as the artists whose practices have been presented in its exhibitions. Munich is a great city that represents many crossroads of the global community and I look forward to working with the team at the Haus der Kunst in building an exciting platform for exhibitions, debates, and ideas.”

The appointment is a sort of home coming for Enwezor who is not new to Munich’s public. His 2001 exhibition, ‘The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945-1994’, presented the most extensive overview to date of artistic production in late and postcolonial Africa.

The first non-European to direct the still talked about Documenta II in Kassel, Germany has also directed several other major exhibitions. He was artistic director of the second Johannesburg Biennale in South Africa held from 1996 to 1997. He curated the Biennale for Contemporary Art Seville titled ‘The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society’ in 2006 and the 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea in 2007-2008 The German minister for education said of the new director and his vast experience, “Okwui Enwezor brilliantly directed Documenta 11 in 2002, creating outstanding art experiences that continue to impact the world of art. As artistic director Mr Enwezor held leading positions in Seville and Johannesburg. He is anchored in both the European and international art scene like few other figures.”

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