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Pictures of the End of the American Dream - Philip-Lorca diCorcia in the Schirn Kunsthalle
It's Only a Step from a Miracle to a Disaster - Visiting the 55th Biennale di Venezia
Theaster Gates: Inner City Blues
Music as an Art Form - A Conversation between Anri Sala and Ari Benjamin Meyers
Deutsche Bank Opening New KunstHalle in Berlin
Violence and Creation: Imran Qureshi in the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle
Why drawing? Three questions for Victoria Noorthoorn
Question of Faith: Is There a Return of the Religious in Contemporary Art?
Searching for Pakistan - How Imran Qureshi is being celebrated as "Artist of the Year" in Lahore
City in Sight - The Deutsche Bank Collection at the Dortmunder U
"These are not Sunday painters" - Sophie von Olfers on MACHT KUNST
Make Art - The KunstHalle invites all Berlin artists to take part in a 24-hour exhibition
Barometer of the Art Scene - Preview of Frieze New York and Art Basel Hong Kong


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Why drawing?
Three questions for Victoria Noorthoorn

One of the year’s highlights at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle will be an exhibition of international drawings from the Deutsche Bank Collection made after 1945. She talks with ArtMag about the fascination of the medium of drawing and her love for Berlin.

Since 2012 Victoria Noorthoorn has been a member of the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council alongside Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, and Udo Kittelmann. The curator, who lives in Buenos Aires, belongs to a globally active generation of curators who are influencing current discourse with idiosyncratic concepts. In 2011, she renewed the 11th Lyon Biennial under the slogan “A Terrible Beauty is Born,” and she has presented often overlooked South American artists and unexpected historical perspectives in Europe. Visitors and critics alike were enthusiastic. In November, Noorthoorn will curate THE CIRCLE WALKED CASUALLY, an exhibition with international drawings from the Deutsche Bank Collection in the new KunstHalle in Berlin. We asked her three questions in advance.

ArtMag: Why is the medium of drawing (still) so relevant for contemporary art?

Victoria Noorthoorn: I choose to conceive drawing as the fundamental medium of contemporary art. Drawing entails the idea of a project; it reflects the need to propose a future change or transformation. It entails a projection in time and space, and in the artist’s imagination is a vehicle of ideas on art, the world and the artist’s own social situation. A drawing is pure truth, or, if we follow Oscar Wilde, a pure lie!, but it never deceives, it never says something other. It is a medium that unfolds beyond its own materiality – paper - taking to the breaking point its own parameters and its own autonomy. Drawing implies transcendence: it is the basis for a project where diverse disciplines and practices collide, making evident the endless potential and possibilities that lie in this age-old practice.
Drawing is, perhaps, the discipline that most clearly reveals the artist's thinking during the creative process. Generally, an artist who draws does so in private, alone before a sheet of paper. The creative act manifests itself in a single instant or through the process of trial and error that is an integral part of all research. With very few means, the imaginary aspect of the subject unfolds. Often, this entails responding to and incorporating noise and information from the outside world; at other times, the process of drawing serves to articulate the silence and pause that allow for the later development of distinct stances or narratives. The intimate nature of drawing, by which a world or a beloved is revealed, or a shout of protest before a certain state of affairs is voiced, is what, in my exhibitions I attempt to expose. The viewer is invited to explore works that open up a world of – sometimes contradictory – possibilities that range from questioning the very need for the image to the urgency to communicate a stance on a given state of affairs or of knowledge. If I may generalize, I love thinking of my exhibitions as echo chambers that attempt to amplify the sound produced by the multiple ideas expressed, initially, on a single sheet of paper. And I am, in general, determined to explore the magic excess and dissonance that images in art entail. How may images provoke? What tools and strategies do they use to draw attention to larger concepts and investigations? What is the image’s specific form of eloquence and relevance? How does it transcend its own visuality? Is this transcendence productive? What would the characteristics of an image that formulates listening as the primary state of contemplation and of perception be like? What would be the characteristics of an image that formulates a radical questioning of the categories of time, space and knowledge?

As a globally operating curator living in Buenos Aires, what is your relationship with Berlin and its art scene?

Berlin is one of today’s most fantastic melting pots, having attracted artists as magnetic and diverse as Tino Sehgal, Arturo Herrera, Alexander Schellow and Tracey Rose, to mention but a few. Berlin has the fantastic possibility to be fresh and new and young while remaining poignant and tough in its criticism and demands. Living in Berlin implies assuming a voice that honors history and the strength to enunciate meaningful utopias. Yet of course I follow Berlin from a distance, as I live and work in Buenos Aires, another utopist city at the opposite end of the globe!

Which aspects of the Deutsche Bank Collection fascinate you as a curator and member of Deutsche Bank’s art advisory board?

I have followed the Deutsche Bank Collection since my early days working at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, some 15 years ago. Across the street on West 53rd Street, small exhibitions from the collection were installed, and each time, there were wonderful surprises to discover. Today, I find myself experiencing the same attitude of amazement as I navigate this important collection searching for those unique drawings that will reveal a universe to the viewer in the exhibition that I am in the process of constructing. And these unique works are indeed numerous! And they haunt back, like ghosts, demanding their presence and demanding an interpretation of their signifying excess – as all meaningful images do. The collection is, of course, an open door to an in-depth history of German contemporary drawing – and an exhibition on this area would be fabulous to view! It includes, as well, many instances of clarity on specific European movements and specific American artists. And even though a few steps have been taken in terms of representing a more global art history of contemporary art, as a member of the bank’s art advisory board, I see lots to still explore in this direction. I am, in this sense, very much looking forward to working with the bank’s art department to assess, together, the pertinence of so many images and so many artists that I would love to see enter the Deutsche Bank Collection.

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On View
Photo Artists Make History - Becher Students in Deutsche Bank Luxembourg / City in Sight - Artists from the Deutsche Bank Collection look at urban life
Villa Romana Fellows 2014 - International Artists Live in Florence / AxME - Ellen Gallagher at the Tate Modern / In the Urban Jungle - Hou Hanru Curates the 5th Auckland Triennial / The Golden Rider: Lenbachhaus Radiates New Splendor - supported by Deutsche Bank Stiftung / Imran Qureshi in New York´s Metropolitan Museum / Beyond Borders - Arab Female Artists at the ZKM / Master of Institutional Critique - Deutsche Bank Foundation Sponsors John Knight Project in Portikus / A Fantastic Journey - Wangechi Mutu in Sydney and Durham
"A Great Start" The Press on the First Exhibition at the KunstHalle / "No Longer a British invasion But a Local Institution" - The Press on the Second Edition of Frieze New York / "Picasso, That's Me" - The Press on MACHT KUNST
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