“Adorno”, was an exhibition in the Kunstverein Frankfurt which I visited in 2003. It was the first exhibition of Nicolaus Schafhausen and Vanessa Joan Mueller that I saw. I remember knowing Nicolaus before that from IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art) congresses.
The last seven years he was directing the Kunsthalle Vienna, which he left the end of March. Nicolaus was twice member of a grant jury for the summeracademy, when he told me that he was interested in teaching at summeracademy. Of course I accepted this offer happily.
“Curating contemporary art against the backdrop of a local context” is the title of his course, dealing with issues which are closely connected with Nicolaus’ upcoming project for the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. I can imagine that the local context in Vienna, which has not always been easy to deal with for Nicolaus (and many others not only those who are not Viennese of origin) might also be a topic in the course. As well as new populist right wing parties and their influence on the societies and cultural politics here in Europe.
"For me, the International Summer Academy is a very special place. The intensive, creative and inspiring atmosphere in all our activities never ceases to fascinate me. Artists come to us – as teachers and students – from all over the world, taking advantage of this summer time-slot to concentrate exclusively on production, reflection and presentation, far removed from their everyday life. Disillusionment and re-enchantment, downfall and upswing – all this is possible; there emerge not only exceptional works of art, but also friendships and networks that often last a lifetime. The long-term project Global/Planetary Academy is at present my main objective. Its aim is to further establish the Summer Academy as a hotspot for global art, tackling relevant questions and strengthening worldwide connections. The project focuses on questions of how art can be learned and taught in the globalised world."