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“Exhibitions of an Exhibition”

Casey Kaplan

When Swiss curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist began organizing exhibitions in the early ’90s, his clear point of reference was the ’60s and ’70s, in terms of both content and his own persona, which drew on Harald Szeemann’s transformation of the curator into an auteur. Whatever one thought of shows like Obrist’s “Do it”—which self-consciously revived Fluxus-era instruction-based projects—he never hid his historical debts. By contrast, Obrist’s less rigorous followers—and they are many—thrive on the knowledge that current curatorial practice is a voracious and permissive beast and allows for greatly exaggerated claims to innovation and criticality. Jens Hoffmann, a Berlin-based Obrist protégé who started mounting exhibitions in the late ’90s, may be the most ambitious among them.

As summer group shows go, Hoffmann’s “Exhibitions of an Exhibition” was not terrible. On view were works by Meschac

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