art curated by peter noever

presentation “the open university of diversity”
january 29th, 2012 hasselt/belgium

one foot in the western world and the other in the east, the city in the laguna: venice, a hub between east and west.

at the 54th biennale in venice, this place which somehow succeeds in integrating opposites, ambivalences and differences like no other, this place with its proud 13th-century palazzo loredan, the ‘instituto veneto di science’ was the starting point for our artistic intervention.

upon entering the old historic building on campo s. stefano, one is immediately confronted with the true ambassadors of intellectual life in venice and the veneto during that period.

heavy stone busts of palladio, marco polo, paolo veronese and dante preside over this pantheon of science. it is with a special kind of performance, namely the presentation of koen vanmechelen’s sculpture mechelse fayomi, a strange creature indeed among the history-laden busts, that we founded the ‘open university of diversity’ as part of the exhibition nato a venezia (born in venice), which i curated.

in this city, home of veronese, tizian and tintoretto, but also of nono, vedova and scarpa, 2011 saw the birth of ‘mechelse fayomi’, the 15th generation of koen vanmechelen’s cosmopolitan chicken project. with this art intervention, we just might also have succeeded in bringing into our lives a few moments of the contemporary, of diversity and hence also of light. 

koen vanmechelen is a most special artist of exceptional qualities positioned on the borderline between art and science.

and hasselt, the ambitious young university town, would do well to engage with art’s border regions in an interdisciplinary fashion. ‘the present must still to be fought for.’ (peter noever in chronisch obsessiv, 2007, ed. g.r. schor, verlag moderne kunst, nuremberg).

the video clip ART CURATED BY ... with vito acconci, kenneth anger, chris burden, eileen cowen, anish kapoor, david lamelas, raymond pettibon, koen vanmechelen and franz west was produced for the january 2012 opening of koen vanmechelen’s studio-laboratory ‘the university of diversity’ in hasselt, belgium.

peter noever