Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Nikolaus Hirsch interviewed by Marco De Michelis – The Most Beautiful Kunsthalle in the World

26 December 2012
FAR – Villa Sucota

Watch on Vimeo Part I, Part II, Part III

The Most Beautiful Kunsthalle in the World started the year 2012 with its seventeenth encounter, a conversation between Marco De Michelis and Nikolaus Hirsch about how to give life to The Most Beautiful Kunsthalle in the World.

Nikolaus Hirsch is an architect, curator, editor, and educator. He has worked as dean of the Städelschule and director of Portikus, the art gallery that constitutes an important reference for contemporary art in Frankfurt and worldwide.

Hirsch has given important contributions for the reflection about the constitution of an exhibition space, through the projects developed in Cologne, Berlin, and in India. His work includes the internationally acclaimed Dresden Synagogue, the Hinzert Document Center, the European Kunsthalle in Cologne and United Nations Plaza (with Anton Vidokle) in Berlin. He has curated ErsatzStadt: Repräsentationen des Urbanen at the Berlin Volksbàhne. His work has been awarded a number of prizes, including the World Architecture Award 2002, and has been shown in exhibitions such as New German Architecture in Berlin, Utopia Station at the Venice Biennial and Can Buildings Curate, AA London/Storefront Gallery in New York.

Marco De Michelis asked Nikolaus Hirsch some crucial questions: what is the need to create a new exhibition art centre? On who's advantage? Which is its best location within the urban structure? Is it preferable for the use of a pre-existent building or the construction of a new venue? What forms of governance to use? Which should be its terrains of activity?

Nikolaus Hirsch is the director of CIVA in Brussels and was the Dean of the Städelschule and the Director of Portikus, in Frankfurt. He was a Unit Master at the Architectural Association in London (2000-2005) as well as visiting professor at the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies at Giessen University, Hochschule fur Gestaltung Karlsruhe and University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (2006). His work includes the Synagogue in Dresden (2001), a sound architecture for "Frequencies Hfz" (2002), Bockenheimer Depot Theatre in collaboration with choreographer William Forsythe (2003), music pavillon Soundchambers for Museu Serralves in Porto (2003), an architectural structure for Bruno Latour's exhibition Making Things Public (2005), the Synagogue and Jewish Museum in Munich (2006) and the Hinzert Museum and Document Center (2006). More recent projects include an office building in Tbilisi, an art lab for Raqs Media Collective in Dehli, the united nations plaza art institute in Berlin and the European Kunsthalle in Cologne.

Nikolaus Hirsch has curated ErsatzStadt: Representations of the Urban at Volksbuehne Berlin. His work was awarded German Critics Award 2001, World Architecture Award 2002, and BDA-Prize 2006 and was shown in numerous exhibitions such as Neue Welt (Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2001), New German Architecture (Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Milano, 2003), Utopia Station at the Venice Biennal 2003, and Can Buildings Curate (Architectural Association London / Storefront Gallery, New York, 2005).

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