CCA Wattis Director Jens Hoffmann Appointed Curator of 12th International Istanbul Biennial

Jens Hoffmann (photo by Bob Adler)

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts Director Jens Hoffmann and the independent Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa have been named cocurators of the 12th International Istanbul Biennial to be held September 17–November 13, 2011. Hoffmann and Pedrosa are expected to announce a conceptual framework for the biennial in fall 2010.

Hoffmann commented, "It is an honor to be asked to curate the International Istanbul Biennial, one of the world's most important exhibitions of contemporary art. I am looking forward to working with Adriano on what we hope will be an outstanding program. I'm also pleased that the international art world has taken notice of the work of the CCA Wattis Institute."

California College of the Arts President Stephen Beal said, "We are very proud of Jens, and we are looking forward to what will surely be an exciting opportunity for the college to connect with the international art scene. We hope that our students and faculty will be involved in some of the programming surrounding the biennial."

Hoffmann and Pedrosa were appointed by the advisory board of the International Istanbul Biennial. The board consists of Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, artistic director of Documenta 13; Ayse Erkmen, contemporary artist; Melih Fereli, art consultant; Hou Hanru, director of exhibitions and public programs and chair of the exhibitions and museum studies program at the San Francisco Art Institute; and Jack Persekian, director of the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Al-Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art.

About the International Istanbul Biennial
The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts has been organizing the International Istanbul Biennial since 1987. It is one of the world's most prestigious biennials, alongside Venice, São Paulo, and Sydney. Its exhibition model encourages direct dialogue between artists and audiences, rather than being based on national representation. The curators, who are appointed by an international advisory board, develop a distinct conceptual framework each time and invite a variety of international artists to participate.

The biennial also offers the opportunity to follow developments and discussions in the art world through a complementary educational program that includes exhibitions, panel discussions, conferences, and workshops.

About Jens Hoffmann
Jens Hoffmann has been director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts since November 2006. He has organized several group exhibitions during that time, including Passengers and The Exhibition Formerly Known as Passengers (2007–9), Apocalypse Now: The Theater of War (2007), The Wizard of Oz (2008), Moby-Dick (2009), and Huckleberry Finn (forthcoming 2010). He has also directed the Capp Street Project artist residency program, working with artists such as Tim Lee, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, and Mario Ybarra Jr., and he has organized various solo exhibitions, including an ongoing presentation by Tino Seghal.

Prior to coming to CCA, Hoffmann was director of exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London from 2004 to 2007. He has worked for the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Dia Center for the Arts, New York; Documenta X, Kassel; and Portikus Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; and he has curated exhibitions for KIASMA—Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Kolnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; Der Kunstverein, Hamburg; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) as well as several other institutions in Europe, South America, and the United States. He was a cocurator of the 2nd Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan, Puerto Rico (2009).

With the artist Harrell Fletcher, Hoffmann is currently cocurating the 1st People's Biennial, which will take place in 2010 at five art institutions across the United States. Hoffmann is a lecturer in CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, a guest professor at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, and an adjunct faculty member in the curatorial studies program at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the founding editor of The Exhibitionist: Journal on Exhibition Making.

About the CCA Wattis Institute
The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts was established in 1998 in San Francisco at California College of the Arts. It serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary art and curatorial practice. Through groundbreaking exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, and publications, the Wattis Institute has become one of the leading art institutions in the United States and an active site for contemporary culture in the Bay Area. For more information about the Wattis Institute, visit