Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has appointed Dr Yilmaz Dziewior, Director of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, as curator of the official German contribution to the 59th Venice Biennale in 2021. The appointment was made following a recommendation by the Federal Foreign Office Art and Exhibitions Committee, which is composed of leading art and museum experts.
Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement about this in Berlin today (4 May):
Yilmaz Dziewior is an exceptional curator and expert on museums. With topics such as art and society, art and globalisation, and cultural identity and influence, he poses questions that are at the heart of our cultural relations and education policy. He is a wonderful bonus for our pavilion! I am most delighted that he will serve as curator and I wish him every success.
Together with documenta in Kassel, the International Art Exhibition in Venice is the world’s most important exhibition of contemporary art. Every two years, artists and art aficionados from around the world meet in Venice to highlight, discover and discuss the latest trends in art. Germany has its own national pavilion at the Biennale.
The Biennale in Venice is the only international art exhibition in which countries have a national pavilion to house their contribution. The German Pavilion, originally built as the Bavarian Pavilion in 1908, was given a major facelift in 1938 and a short while later presented to the German Empire. The property has been the responsibility of the Federal Foreign Office since 1950 and the Ministry also provides the German contribution with financial support as part of its cultural relations policy. The German contribution is being realised in cooperation with ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), the institute for international and cultural relations in Stuttgart.
Dr Yilmaz Dziewior has been the Director of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne since 2015. Prior to this, he was, among other things, Director of the Kunstverein in Hamburg from 2001 to 2008 and Director of Kunsthaus Bregenz from 2009 to 2015. He has also curated a number of art projects in a freelance capacity.