CATALOGUE 4.5 guest edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist is out now. Discover and download.
CATALOGUE, the art journal published by Cork Street Galleries, exists to capture the atmosphere of our time.
Beyond Cork Street and Mayfair, through our lens, the magazine has instigated head-to-head interviews celebrating conversation, ideas and the energy of creative exchange.
CATALOGUE 4.5, the new issue, is the magazine as a special edition. Serpentine Galleries Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist, invited as Guest Editor, has asked 39 new-generation artists to share their unrealised projects.
Discover Hans Ulrich’s Editor’s Letter and download your digital copy below.
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, has spent his life asking ‘What is your unrealised project?’ As Guest Editor of this special edition of CATALOGUE, 39 artists responded.
Everything began for me as a teenager, visiting the studios of artists. It is still what I do today.
My first visit was to Claude Sandoz. My second was with Peter Fischli and David Weiss. It was an incredible moment because they were working on the famous chain reaction The Way Things Go. Pio Corradi was their director of photography and it was magical as a 17-year-old to see that work. Not only did I decide that day I wanted to work with artists and become a curator, it triggered a whole chain reaction of further studio visits: Fischli and Weiss sent me to Alighiero Boetti in Rome.
Boetti gave me a task, which was asking artists about their unrealised projects. We know a lot about architects’ unrealised projects because whether they win or lose competitions they usually publish the work. Very often even if a project isn’t built, it is shown.
Yet we know next to nothing about visual artists’ unrealised projects, composers’ unrealised projects, or those of designers or musicians.
The question is asked with not only curiosity for what these projects are, but with the pragmatism of trying to get them done. With help, they can be realised.
Projects can be unrealised because they’re too big, too expensive or the technology doesn’t exist. Because one has not had the time, or the space. There are the projects on file one has forgotten about. Sometimes they can be partially realised, or even too small. There are censored projects. Doris Lessing, whom I knew well when I moved to London in 2006, would tell me, “There are the projects one hasn’t dared to do.” Which is a form of self-censorship.
Curating printed matter such as this issue is to realise another exhibition space and can be thought of as a group show. So when the invitation came, I thought it would be interesting to invite a younger generation of artists to tell us about their unrealised projects. I hope that many of these projects can soon be realised.
I am often asked in interviews about my own unrealised project. I have many, from writing a novel to curating a city. But my main unrealised project is actually an exhibition of all the unrealised projects of artists I have gathered. At some point, we even commissioned several architects to think about how a building could house this archive as not only an exhibit but a permanent display¹.
CATALOGUE 4.5 artists:
Cannupa Hanska Luger
Luki von der Gracht
Tosh Basco & Wu Tsang
Guest Editor: Hans Ulrich Obrist
Editor-in-Chief: Dean Mayo Davies
Executive Editor: Gillian McVey
Editorial Assistant: Ella De Cleyn
Art Director: Tom Hingston
Design: Hingston Studio
Print: Push Print
Editorial Board: Simon Turnbull at Industrie Futura, Andrew Hale
With special thanks to: Rose Dempsey, Max Shackleton, Snowy Hanbury,
Lydia Rowe and all the artists, their studios and their galleries.