Displaying Strategies

by Pietro Tondello

The KHBi4 shows what usually wouldn’t be shown. Thus the curator wants to tell what he usually wouldn’t tell. That means, no description of the show and no statement but, as a start, a mention of how he found the concept.

Everything started in the summer of 2017 when there was talk of big art all over the place – Venice, Kassel, Athens, Münster. At that time the KloHäuschen and Anja approached Kerol and me, to… well, the story should be known by now. So straight on!

All of a sudden I became the curator of the KHBi4! Great honor and great effort: I didn’t even know where to start! But I knew, that the KloHäuschen was kind of clueless about world exhibitions, too and, for a start, needed to learn how to do it. That’s great! Then I just come and join learning.

The occasion came straight away: On 1st August I started my internship at the Florence artist house Villa Romana. Artists and curators working together in southern spheres: ss good as it gets! One day a Villa Romana awardee showed me his work, a kind of cabinet consisting of piled up drawers that could display small objects. But the drawers were mobile. And depending on their positions one perceived the objects in different ways: once from one side, once from the other, once eye-catching, once invisible.

And then it was all clear to me: maybe the point is not what I show at the KHBi4 but how. Maybe, if I want to learn curating myself it makes sense to pick out the learning process itself and its underlying “strategies”. And this is how the story of the “displaying strategies” goes. In German it is a play on words that literally means “the strategies of display” and at the same time “to display strategies”!

At once this became clear to me. And this is what I wanted to put into question at the KHBi4: curatorial work is always about a choice that is a choice about what is being presented. Certain things are on display, others are not – because they are thought to be not interesting, unsuitable, disturbing or just not meant to be shown.

And yet these choices arouse most exciting questions: Why is something not shown or rather why is it shown at all. Who has the right to decide and by which criteria? Is the contemplation of art inevitably determined by its presentation? If yes, which are the consequences? And so on.

But well: Now I realize that after all I’m still formulating a statement about the exhibition… So I better finish and look forward to all that the KHBi4 has to tell or to “not tell”!

Pietro Tondello

hat Kunstgeschichte und Philosophie in München studiert. Jetzt arbeitet er im Diözesanmuseum Freising und als wissenschaftlicher Assistent bei Frau Prof. Dr. Schulz-Hoffmann. Seit Sommer 2017 kuratiert er in Zusammenarbeit mit Kerol Montagna die „Gartenlaube der Kunst“.