TABLE OF CONTENTS

Daniel Birnbaum and Hans Ulrich Obrist

EVERY SEPTEMBER, LIKE CLOCKWORK, it’s the same thing: quick handshakes in the haughty opera director’s pompous office, and then it’s off with the artist to meet the press. Quite a list, after all these years: Tacita Dean, Richard Hamilton, Jeff Koons, Maria Lassnig, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Rosemarie Trockel, Franz West, to name just a few out of a litany of luminaries who have collaborated with our host. So there we sit, onstage again. Brief statements from us, the curators, and perhaps a few words from the artist. Then the massive curtain drops, revealing a new work of art: a cut-off ear on a breakfast plate (Lassnig), say, or two green Incredible Hulks on their way to take on the Viennese bourgeoisie with the help of a few monkeys (Koons). Applause. “Since there are no questions, we’ll close the ceremony here,” our opera director extraordinaire announces, with a smile displaying teeth worthy

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