Beatrice von Bismarck

Beatrice von Bismarck is Professor of Art History at the Academy of Fine Arts (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst) Leipzig, where she also teaches Visual Culture and Cultures of the Curatorial. In 2018 she was Philippe Jabre Visiting Professor of Art History and Curating at the American University of Beirut.

  • The Curatorial Condition

    The Curatorial Condition

    Beatrice von Bismarck

    An analysis of the relations created by the curatorial—relations that also constitute it.

    In spite of the heightened interest in the curatorial since the late twentieth century, the structural conditions and potentials underpinning its special sociocultural status have yet to be defined. Taking this as a starting point, in this book Beatrice von Bismarck outlines the curatorial—that field of cultural activity and knowledge which relates to the becoming-public of art and culture—as a domain of practice and meaning with its own structures, conditions, rules, and procedures.

    Von Bismarck focuses on the relations created by the curatorial—relations that also constitute it. By concentrating on the dynamic fabric of relations between human and nonhuman participants, she carries out a shift within the discourse on the curatorial: rather than foregrounding partial definitions of the activity of curating, the subjectivization of the curator, and the presentation format of the exhibition, she emphasizes the interplay of all these factors. She proposes a conceptual framework geared toward highlighting the activity, the subject position, and the resulting product as always already dynamically interrelated in its genesis, articulation, and function. Not least, this situates the curatorial condition in the context of key parameters of societal developments over the last half century.

    • Paperback $25.95
  • Curatorial Things

    Curatorial Things

    Cultures of the Curatorial 4

    Beatrice von Bismarck and Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer

    Considerations of thingness, intertwining transdisciplinary discourses, transcultural perspectives, and methods of practice-theory.

    The meaning, function, and status of things have changed decisively over the past two decades. This development can be traced back to a growing skepticism since the second half of the twentieth century that culture can be presented through things. The questioning of thingness is an integral part of presentation and has informed and shaped the social relevance of the field of the curatorial. Immanent to presentation as a mode of being (public) in the world, the curatorial has the potential to address, visualize, and question the central effects of the changing status and function of things. The presentational mode has played a generative role, vitally participating in the mobilization of things through its aesthetic, semantic, social, and, not least, economic dimensions. Intertwining transdisciplinary discourses, transcultural perspectives, and methods of practice-theory, the anthology Curatorial Things is a new orientation of the analysis of things.


    Arjun Appadurai, Annette Bhagwati, Beatrice von Bismarck, Bill Brown, Sabeth Buchmann, Clémentine Deliss, André Lepecki, Maria Lind, Sven Lütticken, Florian Malzacher, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer, Sarah Pierce, Peter J. Schneemann, Jana Scholze, Kavita Singh, Lucy Steeds, Leire Vergara, Katharina Weinstock, Judith Welter

    • Paperback $23.00
  • Cultures of the Curatorial 3

    Cultures of the Curatorial 3

    Hospitality: Hosting Relations in Exhibitions

    Beatrice von Bismarck and Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer

    A curatorial situation is always one of hospitality. It implies invitations to artists, artworks, curators, audiences, and institutions; people and objects are received, welcomed, and temporarily brought together. It offers resources for material and physical support while also responding to a need for recognition, respect, or attention. Finally, and very importantly, a curatorial situation operates in the space between an unconditional acceptance of the other and exclusions legitimized through various rules and regulations.

    This publication analyzes, from the perspective of hospitality, the curatorial within the current sociopolitical context through key topics concerning immigration, conditions along borders, and accommodations for refugees. The contributions in this volume, by international curators, artists, critics, and theoreticians, deal with conditions of decontextualization and displacement, encounters between the local and the foreign, as well as the satisfaction of basic human needs. Hospitality: Hosting Relations in Exhibitions is the third volume in the Cultures of the Curatorial book series.

    Copublished with Kulturen des Kuratorischen, Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig

    ContributorsBeatrice von Bismarck, Nanne Buurman, Maja Ćirić, Alice Creischer, Andrea Fraser, Lorenzo Fusi, Wiebke Gronemeyer, Erik Hagoort, Anthony Huberman, Thomas Locher, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer, Dieter Roelstraete, Stefan Römer, Jörn Schafaff, Andreas Siekmann, Ruth Sonderegger

    • Paperback $26.00


  • Tensta Museum

    Tensta Museum

    Reports from New Sweden

    Maria Lind

    Documenting a project that turned a suburb of Stockholm into a museum that produced concrete images of a Sweden where divides are intensifying.

    This book documents and discusses Tensta konsthall's experimental multiyear project “Tensta Museum: Reports from New Sweden” that ran from 2013–18 in the Stockholm suburb of Tensta and beyond. Tensta is dominated by a late modernist housing estate, built on old farmland with traces from both the Iron Age and the Viking era, where today nearly 20,000 people live, a majority with a trans-local backgrounds. More than fifty artists, architects, performers, sociologists, cultural geographers, philosophers, and others contributed artworks, research projects, seminars, guided walks, workshops and much more, reporting on the past and present of Tensta, creating a “museum.”

    The project produced concrete images of what can be described as the New Sweden—a place with people of vastly different backgrounds, where economic and social divides are intensifying. Tensta Museum also engaged with the concept of cultural heritage and the complicated matter of how it is used in Sweden and elsewhere.


    Action Archive, Adam Tensta, Ahmet Ögut, Babi Badalov, Carl Larsson, Dominique Gonzalez Foerster, Emily Fahlén, Erik Stenberg, Irene Molina, the Kurdish Association, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Mekonen Tekeste, Meron Mangasha, Petra Bauer, Ricardo-Osvaldo Alvarado, Spånga Local Heritage Association, Tarek Atoui, the Tensta Hjulsta Women's Center, Tensta Library, Beatrice von Bismarck, Boris Buden, Christina Zetterlund

    Copublished with Tensta konsthall

    • Paperback $26.00