Cordelia Oppliger is a curator and communication expert who lives in Zurich, Switzerland. She has participated as a curator and contributor in a variety of national exhibitions, for example "They Printed It" at Kunsthalle Zurich (2015-2016), "Involvement requires perception" and Museum Bärengasse Zurich (2015), and her publications, for example about Manifesta (2016), have been printed in art journals such as OnCurating. Today she works at the Museum Kulturama in Zurich.
Cordelia considers art exhibitions a form of communication with the visitors. For her, good art stirs emotions.
Read about her view of the art world and tips for collectors in the interview below. At the end of the page, find her favorite selection of Artig Gallery art works - a curation she deems bound together by reduction.
PERSONAL INTERVIEW & THE CURATION
What does Art mean for you?
For me, art means an opening, an out-of-the-box thinking, an access to a new perspective.
When did you get in touch fort he first time with art?
Probably when I created my first drawing ☺ But I think I really started to get in touch with art much later, when I was about 35. I always had the impression that one has to have certain knowledge to understand art – which I didn’t have. But then I started visiting museums and understood quickly that some artworks really touched me, did something to me, made me think. I stopped trying to understand, for the sake of understanding, and started to feel what moved me. Today, with a degree and more knowledge, I can say that good art is for me the art that moves something inside of me.
How did you become a curator? What is it that most interests you about curating?
Through my background in communication I consider exhibitions a form of it. With my degree in Curating, I wanted to attain knowledge about communication in spaces. In our classic communication studies, there was no further training in this direction available in Switzerland. Since I really like art, I decided to study Curating and during the master program, I felt more and more drawn towards art curation. I am especially interested in which way we can communicate through artworks, through different forms of exhibitions, through context, spaces and their design, through texts, displays, etc. in short: through everything.
I am also fascinated by how connections change through a slight change of context, and how as female curators, we are able to express our position by how we create an exhibition.
You currently work fort he Museum Kulturama in Zurich and combine both of your passions: Communication and Curation. Can you tell us more about your work?
I am responsible for communication and the exhibition team. Beside the permanent exhibitions, we offer yearly changing temporary exhibitions; the next one will be our own creation. Together with the director, the coordinator, the graphic designer and the technical staff, I can influence the concept of the exhibition and turn the project into reality, from the initial idea, the execution, to the sale. We discuss internally the platforms we want to communicate through: texts, materials, and arrangement. This is very complex, challenging and exciting. The work challenges me every day and is full of surprises – that’s what I like.
What would you like the visitors to take home with them?
I want them to become excited and tickle their curiosity. Not only would I like them to come back to visit us again, but I hope it also encourages them to visit more museums and exhibitions. I want our visitors to gain access to something new, find new perspectives and realities. I want them to see museums and cultural institutions as spaces of exchange, inspiration and a break from their daily routine.
How does the Internet influence art? Can today’s art exist without the Internet?
The Internet is for me another global space for art communication. In general art could exist without the Internet – this has been the case for a long time – but it would be a pity to not use this space. Instead of fearing that the Internet reduces the number of visitor in physical galleries and museums, I see a great potential in this digital space: Art becomes globally accessible, I can visit small art spaces virtually, I can do interdisciplinary and intercultural work. The Internet opens new possibilities, ignoring them, would be a pitty and not contemporary.
Which emerging artist has impressed you lately?
I can think of one artist right away: Markus Kraft. He works at the cross roads of graphic design, communication and art. This intersection fascinates me, he moves on either side, mixes and blends and creates new things through it.
Which museum or which exhibition would you like to created/invent?
I would like to create an exhibition about a moment in time and the difficulties of trying to grasp it and letting it go, about the change that lives within everything. The exhibition would be a space one has to return to, because it changes constantly and a space where participative art is created.
Which artistic trends can you see in 2017?
Spontaneously I would say it’s the variety that is trending. From the rediscovering of the old masters, towards interdisciplinary forms, like for example Science and Art, all the way to participated (performance) art forms – everything is happening right now.
Do you collect art yourself?
Yes, but on a very small scale. For example, I have works by Markus Kraft and Golrang Daneshgar, an amazing Iranian female artist, who creates works between architecture and illustration. I fell in love with her precise and unpretentious lines.
Any advice for our emerging artists?
From the point of view of a communications expert, I would recommend to carefully evaluate, choose and maintain the different on- and offline channels. Many artists concentrate on physical exhibitions, I think there is much potential and the digital space bears an important opportunity.
Any advice for a new art collector?
I would collect with passion, collect what I love. The common thread, the “superstructure”, will show itself eventually. As a visitor, I can see if a collection has been created for its value. Such collections lack power and charisma. I prefer a mix that expresses something about the collector. For me the most interesting part is the context: why was a work chosen, where is the connection to the artwork, what is the story behind it? Where does the passion for an artwork lay?
What has inspired you to choose your works?
I felt inspired by the artists that surprised me, that work with detail, rhythm and contrasts, through which they shift something mundane or well-know towards art.
Please tell us about the concept behind your selection?
What holds my selections together is reduction. At first glance, reduction is simplification. If we get confronted with simplicity, it invites us to new interpretations, questions everything, lets us explore the complex, the context and helps us gain a new perspective.
What kind of person will enjoy your selection?
For curious people and those who want to experience. The ones that think for themselves, not searching the absolute, but open-mindedness.
Thank you for your time.