Federal Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier has again appointed Nicolaus Schafhausen, Director of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, Curator of the official German contribution to the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Schafhausen curated the German Pavilion in 2007, with an exhibition by the artist Isa Genzken. The appointment was made on the basis of a recommendation by the Federal Foreign Office Art and Exhibitions Committee, which includes museum directors and art experts.
Nicolaus Schafhausen is well-known as the artistic director of various art institutions, as an exhibition curator and as the publisher of works on contemporary art. Particular mention should be made of his tenure as Director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein (1999-2005), his commitment as Founding Director of the European Art Hall Cologne (2005-2007) and his time as Curator at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki (2003-2005). His other positions include being a founding member of the Roosendaal Committee, an advisor to the Mondriaan Foundation and a member of the advisory board of Independent Curators International (ICI), New York.
"La Biennale di Venezia", which takes place every two years, is the most important international forum for contemporary visual arts. The Federal Republic of Germany traditionally makes a national contribution commissioned and largely cofinanced by the Federal Foreign Office. The Federal Foreign Office thus makes a major contribution both towards a vital arts scene in Germany and towards worldwide cultural exchange. The German Pavilion will be realized in cooperation with the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa).