Martin Fritz

Contracts, Conflicts, Censorship

13 November 2015, 18:00
Post Graduate Programme in Curating, ZHdK Room 6.K04

Constitutional provisions guaranteeing the freedom of art are no guarantees for a trouble-free production process. Indeed – most of the conflicts arising between artists and presenting institutions (or artists and curators for that matter) do not even come close to the narrowly defined notion of censorship as an act of the state. Theoretically at least most of the questions pertaining to the shared work of exhibition-making can be quite freely negotiated and agreed upon by way of private agreements. Each aspiring exhibition merely represents the final station in a process of negotiation that cannot be viewed separately from the interests of all involved parties. The rejection of individual works of art or project proposals may in fact happen much more frequently than assumed by those who, lacking practical experience, believe that artists enjoy absolute freedom after having accepted an invitation. The presentation´s point of departure are the controversies surrounding the exhibition »The Beast and is the Sovereign« at MACBA in 2015.

Martin Fritz has studied law in Vienna from 1981 to 1986. Since then he has worked in the field of contemporary art production in Vienna, New York, Germany and other countries. Starting with independent projects in theatre, visual arts and film in the 1980ies, he has specialized on producing and conceiving visual arts projects in collaboration with curators and institutions, with a special emphasis on project-management and art-production in the public space. Among many other assignments he has worked as Director of Operations for the re-opening of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre in New York, General Co-ordinator of Manifesta 4 – European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Frankfurt (Main) and Managing Director of In Between – The Art Project of EXPO 2000 in Hanover. Recently he has worked as a consultant on structural and organizational issues for art-funding initiatives such as relations – a project initiated by the German Federal Cultural Foundation in Berlin and ERSTE Foundation in Vienna.
Martin Fritz is a member of the supervisory board of Kunsthalle Wien and a member of the board of »Wienwoche«.