Curatorial practice is becoming ever closer to artistic modes of production, while conversely artists are using curatorial strategies in their work. As a consequence of this reversal, the role of the curator has become highly specialised, and that of the artist has expanded. At the same time, the debate around the dissolution of authorship has intensified. The increasing emphasis in artistic and curatorial activity on interdisciplinarity, context and display also plays a role. In his curatorial practice, Willem de Rooij repeatedly integrates aspects of exhibition display, collating and research, as can be seen in his exhibition Intolerance, 2010, at the New National Gallery in Berlin, where he juxtaposed bird portraits by Melchior d’Hondecoeter from the 17th century with Hawaiian ceremonial objects from the 18th century. Similarly, Simon Rees invites artists to participate in the presentation of the museum’s collections.
Simon Rees (*1972) is the head of museum management, curatorial issues, and fundraising at MAK in Vienna. He lives and works in Vienna, and writes for such magazines as Frieze and Frieze D/E.
Willem de Rooij (*1969) is an artist. He lives in Berlin. De Rooij teaches at Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule in Frankfurt. He has had exhibitions at Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Kunstverein München and, Secession in Vienna.