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by San Keller


17 September 2010, 5 – 6.45 p.m.
Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Friedrichsplatz 18, Kassel
Participants: San Keller (SK), Rein Wolfs (RW) and approx. 19 guests
Minutes: Sylvia Rüttimann

Rein Wolfs (RW) initiates the conversation by asking San Keller (SK) to talk about his recent performance staged at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen on the occasion of a symposiumorganised by the local university. This performance, so SK, was exceptional insofar as his first concept had been turned down by the event's organisers, prompting him to thematisethis fact in his alternative suggestion: he invited the symposium's participants to a dinner whose main course consisted in him reading out the concept of the original performance.Furthermore, as part of the performance, SK was paid his fee directly after the dinner. As SK mentions this, RW is prompted to bring up the difficult question how performative artists should be remunerated, a question already touched on in prior conversations.

SK then moves to the main subject of the discussion: developing a project for an exhibition. Firstly, he sums up what has happened so far: following RW's rather negative responseto a suggestion put forward in the last Preview session, SK rethought the project taking his most recent works as a point of departure and honing in on the conference room as a possible concept for showing an installation work. This, however, also met with little enthusiasm on RW's part. SK now asks the curator to elaborate on his reasons for reactingin this way.

Before answering RW points out his satisfaction with SK's two current works. What RW particularly likes about Digestiv(Walk), which also results in publications, and the Preview discussions staged at regular intervals is their daring performativeapproach opening up new perspectives. He adds that for him even the Preview series works as a performance, stressing that it seems no prerequisite to end this project in an exhibition, even if it does have the process of developing an exhibition at its core. But then RW admits that there is quite a concrete problem to actually staging an exhibition: there is no room left for a largeexhibition in the coming year. This is why RW makes a suggestion. Next summer two exhibitions will take place, one of thempresenting the collection of the Migros Museum. To help him stage this exhibition RW would like to consult two artists, SK being one of them, particularly because his work suits on account of hisintellectual, performative and sometimes even curatorial approach.

SK likes this idea, although he is not sure whether this will tie in with his other projects. Moreover, rather than working on a reflective level, he is interested in working with real places and examining spatial possibilities. Unfortunately, the discussions between him and RW have not brought him any closer to this objective, so that he cannot help but wonder whether the Preview discussions are adequate tools for developing an exhibition. It might be a good ideato lift the time limit of approximately an hour and keep the discussion going for as long as it takes to come to a conclusion. One might either consult the public or exclude it altogether.

RW on the other hand is quite happy with the format of the discussions and again emphasises their performative character. In the course of the discussion the main discrepancybetween RW's and SK's points of view is finally revealed and sum- marised by RW as follows: whereas he is interested in the performative aspects of SK's art, SK is looking foran opportunity to develop the spatial and visual potential of his works. RW adds that SK has not much experience in de- veloping museum shows, which the artist counters byhumorously accusing the curator of not showing much confidence in his aesthetic ability. As the discussion comes to a close, artist and curator finally agree on three things: reconsidering the idea of collaborating on the Migros Museums's collection exhibition, finding a more precise time slot and working on a new concept for an exhibition. For this they now envisage the Fridericianum's rotunda.



San Keller was born in Berne in 1971. He completed his studies at the Hochschule der Künste in Zurich, where he now lives and works. Among his most recent solo exhibitions are R S - K P R S G B at the Neuer Kunstverein Giessen (2009), Show Show at the Centre Pasquart, Biel (2008), Concept and Commerce at the Maes & Matthys Gallery, Antwerp and Clever and Smart at the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (both 2007). San Keller participated in several group exhibitions including Our Subject Is You at the Weather Spoon Art Museum, Greensboro, Eine bessere Welt at the Bonner Kunstverein (beide 2009), Shifting Identites at the Kunsthaus Zürich (2008), Wenn Handlungen Form werden (2007/08) at the Neues Museum Nürnberg and The Go-Between at the De Appel, Amsterdam (2007).


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