Alte Hasen: René Block in conversation with Gabriele Knapstein
When René Block (born 1942) was 22 years old he opened a gallery in Berlin whose initial exhibitions and performances were done by artists who back then were still emergent: Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, KP Brehmer, KH Hödicke, Wolf Vostell, Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik. In addition to the gallery, in 1972 Block began to work as a curator for the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, the Berliner Festwochen as well as for the Academy of the Arts. From 1982 to 1992 he directed the departments Visual Arts and Music at the The Arts-in-Berlin Programme of the DAAD, from 1993 to 1995 the Exhibitions Department of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) in Stuttgart. In 1990 he curated the 8th Sydney Biennial and in 1995 the 4th Istanbul Biennial. From 1997 to 2006 René Block was the director of the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel. He concluded to work on large art projects by curating the Nordic Pavilion (Welfare-Fare Wel) at the 52th Biennale di Venezia (2007) as his final large exhibition. That same year, in Berlin, he founded TANAS, a space for contemporary Turkish art, which opened its doors in 2008 with a solo exhibition of Kutluğ Ataman.
Since 1994 the art historian Gabriele Knapstein (born 1963) has been a curator at the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) and since 2003 also at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart (Museum for Contemporary Art) in Berlin. Selected exhibitions curated by her at Hamburger Bahnhof: “I can’t just slice off an ear every day”. Decontructing the Myth of the Artist (2008), there is never a stop and never a finish. In memoriam Jason Rhoades (2007), Beyond Cinema. The Art of Projection Works (2006). Further exhibitions at Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery): Berlin-Tokyo/Tokyo-Berlin. The Art of Two Cities (2006), Berlin North. Contemporary Artists from the Nordic Countries in Berlin (2004).
Talk in German