HANS ULRICH OBRIST
HANS ULRICH OBRIST is wearing the Leo No.006. He is artistic director of the Serpentine Gallery living in London.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Coffee, coffee, coffee.
What is the last thing you do at night?
Where do you find good design?
What should we be reading?
Edouard Glissant, because his work on mondiality, archipelago, opacity, and creolisation is a major toolbox for the 21st century.
Who are your heroes or heroines in history?
Hildegard von Bingen.
What is a rule that should never be broken?
To always be generous.
What is a rule that should always be broken?
To follow the rules.
What is your favorite word in any language?
What is most difficult to find in contemporary culture?
What do you collect?
The best arthouse film(s)?
Anything by Agnes Varda and Jim Jarmusch.
What was your last download?
Joachim Trier’s film The Worst Person in the World (2021) and the game Eldenring.
What thoughts occupy you currently?
How can we be good ancestors?
What is good design?
Enzo Mari has taught us that design has to last, and in terms of sustainable design, it is crucial that this lesson is carried on to the future generations of designers. Mari explained to me that throughout his trajectory he would exercise; ‘Exercise to acquire almost automatic capacity of expression’. To exercise is to learn and we have to re-learn new forms of design that will last.
Who are your ideal guests?
Hildegard von Bingen, Etel Adnan, Octavia Butler, and Francisco de Goya.
What does progression mean to you?
Paula Rego told me ‘’You don’t get better you just get better at it.’’
What do you find most exciting in contemporary culture?
Artists making games.
What was the first piece of cultural work that really mattered to you?
The exhibition Der Hang Zum Gesamtkunstwerk curated by Harald Szeemann. I saw it as a teenager at Kunsthaus Zurich, and I ended up visiting it 41 times. The exhibition was one of the main reasons I became a curator.
What is still a mystery?
What is in your house?
Books do furnish a room.
Where would you find your doppelgänger?
Are you here?
What is your favorite representation of simplicity?
What is your favorite representation of complexity?
Both and instead of either or instead of nor nor.
What music makes you feel nostalgic?
What are you bored by?
The absence of art.
What do you find humorous?
Playing Exquisite Corpses, as seen in the new Drawing Together (2022) book.
What is your favorite slogan?