Launch & Debating Chamber
with Defne Ayas, Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou
NERVES – Risk and Transgression in Curatorial Practice

  1. 11 October 23, 6.30 pm

    In English

    Online Event via

  2. Registration via


<p>Metabolic Museum University, MM-U. Design: Rana Karan, Cécile Kobel.</p>

Metabolic Museum University, MM-U. Design: Rana Karan, Cécile Kobel.


Launching on 11 October 2023, is the new digital venue of the Metabolic Museum-University (MM-U), a platform for curatorial research into historical and contemporary collections created by Clémentine Deliss.


The launch will include a short introduction to the venue with its Library, Reservoir, and Bureau d’Esprit (or Office for Visual Thinking), followed by the first of four Debating Chambers NERVES, BREATH, MUSCLES, BLOOD related to the exhibition SKIN IN THE GAME.


With NERVES – Risk and Transgression in Curatorial Practice, the speakers question the current normativity of exhibitions and ask how artists and curators can work together without compromise under the roof of arts institutions today. Each Debating Chamber begins with 7-minute visual and verbal Provocations followed by a response or Sabotage of their propositions, and a public debate.



Defne Ayas is a curator who thrives at the confluence of where forces of art meet those of socio-historical processes and contexts. Ayas directed, co-directed and advised a number of art institutions and platforms across the world, including Kunstinstituut Melly (FKA Witte de With), 13th Gwangju Biennale (with Natasha Ginwala), 6th Moscow Biennale (with Bart de Baere and Nicolaus Schafhausen) and 11th Baltic Triennial (together with Benjamin Cook). Ayas was the curator of “Respiro” (2015) by Sarkis at the Pavilion of Turkey at the 56th Venice Biennale, with whom she is currently working on an exhibition at Kunsthalle Baden-Baden opening October 27, 2023. Ayas remains a Curator at Large to Performa in New York since 2005.


Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou are a duo of writers and curators based in Paris. Their current projects include Paris Orbital, a public program at the Bourse de Commerce — Pinault Collection on the links between Parisian mythologies and pulp culture, a publication on homosexual cruising with HEAD (Geneva) and Spector Books (Leipzig). They also organized the Art Basel’s Conversations de Paris+ program in October 2023 at Centre Pompidou (Paris), which included a panel on “Dangerous Collections”. In 2024, they will inaugurate the first session of “stavanger secession”, a discursive and visual program in Stavanger (Norway). 



Clémentine Deliss initiated the MM-U in 2015 and has directed different stations of the curatorial platform in Kyiv, Karlsruhe, Ljubljana and more recently at KW, where she has been Associate Curator since 2020. She is the curator of the exhibition SKIN IN THE GAME.


Winnie Zhu is a Member of the MM-U. She studied History of Art at the University of Cambridge where she ran the “Decolonize Art History” student activist group. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science. 


Metabolic Museum-University

Director: Dr. Clémentine Deliss

Coordinators: Jakob Karpus, Christina Scheib

MM-U Members 2023: Ollie George, Felipe Meres, Joana Owona, Toby Üpson, Edi Winarni, Winnie Zhu



IG: @metabolicmuseumuniversity