After serving as artistic director of Documenta 14 in 2017, Adam Szymczyk is making his next move. He will now serve as a lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, where he will also oversee a project called Principle of Equality—Open Studio. He will work at the academy until February 2020.
The Principle of Equality project, which focuses on notions related to freedom, will include an exhibition at the academy later this year. “Attention is given to listening and being listened to, those two states that form reciprocity, as seen in the dual figures of speaker/receiver (as per artist Moyra Davey), writer/reader, artist/viewer,” a description for the project reads. “At some point in the process, these distinctions and their attendant hierarchies must give way to new relationships between equals.”
Szymczyk served as Documeta’s artistic director from 2013 to 2017. His edition of the quinquennial exhibition was titled “Learning from Athens” and was split between Kassel, Germany, and Athens. The show garnered mixed reviews, and a controversy surrounding Documenta 14 followed once it was reported that the exhibition had run up a budget deficit of €7 million.
Prior to overseeing Documenta 14, Szymczyk was director and chief curator of the Kunsthalle Basel. He was also the co-curator of the 2008 edition of the Berlin Biennale, and he cofounded the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw, Poland. In 2011, the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, gave him the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement.