International Curators’ Talk Series: 2009 Public Lecture ‘Curating and Creating’ by Jens Hoffmann

Jens Hoffmann

Feb 28, 2009

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 will give a lecture at Hong Kong Arts Centre, Agnes b. CINEMA! on the 28th of February.

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 will talk about some of his key exhibitions to elaborate further on his concept of the 'curator as creator.'

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 currently co-curator of the 2nd San Juan Triennial in Puerto Rico (opening in April 2009). In addition to this Hoffmann is the Curatorial Director of the 101 Collection in San Francisco. With Harrell Fletcher he is co-curating the 1st People's Biennial, organized by Independent Curators International, New York, opening 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 most recently PERFORM, co-authored with Joan Jonas (Thames & Hudson, 2005) and is currently working on Show Time, forthcoming 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.

For more information, please contact Sherona Chan at 2517-4620 or


"Curating and Creating" by Jens Hoffmann 
Time and Venue: Saturday 28 February, 2009 ; 2:30 pm at Agnes b. CINEMA!, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. Limited Seats: 190