Institute for Concept Work (2020)

In 2019, I was invited by Krist Gruijthuijsen, Director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin to become an Associate Curator starting in June 2020. This was the second time I engaged with KW. In 1997, Klaus Biesenbach had given me at studio on the fourth floor of the building. At the time, KW was full of artists’ studios and my neighbours were Monica Bonvicini, Johannes Kahrs, and Thomas Demand among others. Krist’s invitation made me think about KW and whether one might not set up an Institute for Concept-Work, playing on the name of the institution, which was originally Kunst-Werke (Art-Works), now abbreviated to KW. It felt timely in 2020 to provide artists and intellectuals with a space to meet and talk without the public looking in. This backstage venue would nurture concept-work and the prototyping of ideas. The proposal was transformed on Krist’s request to a further development of the Metabolic Museum-University, which I had begun in Kyiv in 2015. In July 2020, we held our first experimental Debating Chamber within the exhibition of Hassan Sharif. In October 2020, we launched “The Metabolic Museum-University” published by Hatje Cantz and KW, with a conversation between Tom McCarthy and myself held in the courtyard of the building.