CHRIS DERCON, Ridiculously Modest
The idea is simple. I collect ‘things.’ Not necessarily artworks, but things, which have to do with artistic disciplines or which reflect these disciplines: postcards, invitation cards, notes, sketches, records, photographs, films and videotapes, remnants of installations, and so on. Most of these things were given to me by friends, who are artistically engaged, including my own small children. Many would view these objects as souvenirs. I, however, regard them, or at least some of them, as fetishes.
In order to master this bulk of things, which over the years have accumulated in various ateliers and studios, I had to come up with a system. ‘It’ grew into an art archive. My visits to the domains of outstanding archivists—Harald Szeemann in Tegna, Hans Ulrich Obrist, formerly St. Gallen, and Thomas Hirschhorn in Paris—encouraged me to tend to my own things more efficiently. I devised categories and titles, such as MARCEL AND MARIEPUCK B., FOR DANIEL B., MAGNIFICENT NOISES, EVOL OR STRONG WOMEN DEFEATING MEN. Whereas the categories of some objects depend on my current mood.”
Evol oder Starke Frauen besiegen Männer (2005).
In conjunction with the release of 032c’s summer 2008 issue, which features a Haus der Kunst cover story, “Ridiculously Modest” occupies 032c workshop’s vitrine with the SECTION ARCHITECTURE, a part of Dercon’s archive featuring collected “things” by Marcel Broodthaers, Maurizio Cattelan, Meschac Gaba, Jean-Luc Godard, Jack Goldstein, Douglas Gordon, Rodney Graham, Konstantin Grcic, Herzog & de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas, Alexander Kluge, Henri Langlois, Louise Lawler, Le Corbusier, M/M, Thomas Mayfried, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Pablo Picasso, Florian Suessmayr, Mies van der Rohe, Atelier van Lieshout, Lawrence Weiner, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Chris Dercon is an art historian, documentary filmmaker, and cultural producer. He has acted as program director of the PS1 Museum in New York, and director of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, both in Rotterdam. He has curated exhibitions for the Venice Biennale and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Dercon has been the director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich since 2003.