Professor Chus Martínez appointed Head of the Institute of Art

Professor Chus Martínez appointed Head of the Institute of Art

FHNW Academy of Art and Design


January 12, 2014

Chus Martínez appointed Head of the Institute of Art at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel

FHNW Academy of Art and Design 
Freilager-Platz 1
4123 Basel

T +41 61 228 44 11
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Chus Martínez (b. 1972) will assume her new position as Head of the Institute of Art at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in April 2014. The appointment of the internationally renowned curator to the Basel Academy of Art and Design highlights the Academy’s dynamic development and strengthens the importance of praxis, of the relationship between artist’s education, artistic research and curatorial performance. The aim is to enroot a novel interdisciplinary culture on campus. The Institute of Art is part of a whole new expansion of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in an area of Basel known as Dreispitz. The new buildings that will host, from early 2014, the different institutes correspond with an ambition to implement dialogue among the institutes, research, as well as to add, through the different exhibition spaces on campus, a public profile.

“In the person of Chus Martínez we have been able to engage an internationally networked curator who is an innovative thinker and who will initiate, implement and communicate findings, processes and products in the world of art and design through new ways of cultivating a productive environment for learning, research and practice. Her commitment to teaching, like her contributions to catalogues and book publications, testifies to an intertwining of artistic production and theoretical reflection. She will support the ongoing process of transformation at the Academy of Art and Design that is also reflected in the imminent move to our new Campus of the Arts in Basel,” says Academy director Kirsten Merete Langkilde.

In the words of Chus Martínez, “How can we then best address the changes in art practice today? How can we best foster a practice actively concerned with both display and world inquiring? The art school of the 21st century should not only be dedicated to the development of artists, but ultimately to enriching our public life. As I see it, the possibility of art comes from a combination of loose and strict thinking and this combination is praxis’ most precious tool. Art enhances perception and, as soon as we perceive—with objects, with our companion species, with other humans—we are part of a communicative process where influence is possible. This is a process inhabited by figurations and figures that restitute a sense of fulfillment, of collective inclusion in figures. And so art is our best resource with which to find new ways of exposing ourselves to the experience of knowledge.”

Chus Martínez will take up her post in conjunction with a significant milestone in the dynamic development of the Academy of Art and Design. For the first time in its history, the Academy will move onto a single, unified campus. Roughly 1000 art and design students, faculty and staff members will move into new studios and workspaces in southern Basel by the fall of 2014. The new Campus of the Arts also provides space for curatorial experimentation: functionally and architecturally diverse spaces enable the production of presentations and exhibition concepts characterized by changing conditions for the reception of creative work. The new Campus of the Arts, which is located on a former industrial and commercial site known as the Dreispitz, borders on an expansive public space that is also accessible to neighboring institutions. Along with the Schaulager, the House of Electronic Arts, the space for contemporary art Oslo 10, the International Exchange and Studio Program Basel (iaab), and a building being constructed by Herzog & de Meuron for archival and residential use, the FHNW Academy of Art and Design will have an important influence on the cultural development of this rapidly evolving quarter.

Martínez, who was born in Spain and studied art history and philosophy, has been a guest professor at the Academy of Art and Design since early 2013. She will be going to Basel from New York, where she worked as chief curator at El Museo del Barrio. Prior to that she was head of the department of artistic direction and a member of the core agent group for dOCUMENTA(13). In her former capacities as chief curator at El Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona MACBA (2008–2010), director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2005–2008) and artistic director at Sala Rekalde in Bilbao (2002–2005), she has organized numerous exhibitions and publications with contemporary artists. Martínez curated the Cypriot Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale (2005), and in 2010 she was curatorial advisor for the 29th Bienal de São Paulo. Chus Martínez will succeed Professor René Pulfer, who is retiring after years of dedicated service at the Academy.

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January 12, 2014

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