Kasper König announced as curator of Manifesta 10 in St Petersburg, 2014

The official signing of the M10 Curatorial Contract, Photo: Zorina Myskova

Berlin based Kasper König, 69, has been selected as Chief Curator of Manifesta 10. The main venue for Manifesta 10 will be the State Hermitage Museum. The exhibition and program will take place 28 June – 31 October, 2014.

König is one of the most iconic figures in the contemporary art world, his experience spans a generation, as does his know-how and close relationships with international artists. Among the numerous large-scale exhibitions that König has previously curated are: Westkunst 1981 in Cologne, von hier aus – Zwei Monate neue deutsche Kunst in Düsseldorf 1984 and Der zerbrochene Spiegel in Vienna and Hamburg. He was also the co-initiator of the Skulptur Projekte Münster 1977. From 1988 to 1999 he was professor at the Städelschule in Frankfurt and was also founding director of the Portikus, Frankfurt/Main. König was the director of Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany, from 2000 to 2012.

“… Manifesta 10 in the Hermitage will be subtle and substantial; contemporary art and exhibits from the State Hermitage Museum should dance side by side. I look forward to the challenge of working with contemporary art in this context, hoping to make an exhibition that is intelligent and playful...” said Kasper König in the press conference.

As a nomadic biennial, Manifesta meaningfully invests in education, learning and public programes, which fits with König’s immense experience and knowledge in the field of artistic practices from his position in the Frankfurter Städelschule. König also has a clear understanding of the function of museums in a changing society, and the museum as a free place for ideas and criticality.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of Manifesta which was initiated in response to the new social, cultural and political reality that emerged in the aftermath of the Cold War. 2014 also marks the State Hermitage Museum’s 250th anniversary.

Kasper König at Museum Ludwig in Cologne preparing his last exhibition "One wish is always left unfulfilled. Kasper König takes stock". photo: Hermann J. Knippertz/dapd