Top Tens

UbuWeb Top Ten:
September 2009

Selected by Hans Ulrich Obrist & Andy Dancer

Ten Oulipian-inspired UbuWeb Resources

1. Caroline Bergvall - Via (MP3)
2. Christian Bök - Chapter E from Eunoia
3. Claude Closky - All the Musical Notes Classified in Alphabetical Order (French and English Versions)
4. Cheryl Donegan - Refuses
5. Marcel Duchamp - La Mariée mise à nu par ses Célibataires, même" (MP3)
6. Xavier Gautier - Lydia (MP3)
7. Kenneth Goldsmith - No. 111 2.7.92-10.20.96
8. Helmut Herbst - Deutschland Dada
9. Hollis Frampton - Palindrome
10. Peter Manson English in Mallarmé (PDF, 684k)

My first Eureka moments in terms of curating was when I met Fischli/Weiss in 1985.

They sent me to see Alighiero Boetti in Rome and soon after I met Christian Boltanski in Paris. These conversations had freed me up in terms of what curating was concerned. I started to think about exhibitions which were unlike anything I had thought about before. They taught me the importance of experimentation, that there was not a prescriptive way of doing exhibitions. They also taught me that we only remember exhibitions which invent new rules of the game. These conversations and many other conversations led to my first exhibition World Soup the Kitchen show where my kitchen was transformed into an exhibition space and then one thing led to the next. Soon after these first conversations with artists I was very inspired by literature . Particularly important for me in relation to constraints and the invention of new rules of the games of exhibitions was the Oulipo group through which I became familiar thanks so Christian Boltanski who urged me to read Georges Perec and Jacques Roubaud. I then also read Raymond Roussel's How I Wrote Certain of my Books where he describes the games he plays with language and how these games would produce what Harry Mathews one of the protagonists of the group calls "absolutely unimaginable incidents of fiction".

Francois Le Lionnais another Oulipo protagonist emphasizes the importance of the term potentiality which he prefers to experimental, potentiality meaning the attempt to find something which has not yet been done and which could be realised.

Oulipo became the trigger for many of my curatorial projects in the 90s such as do it and unbuilt road.

-- Hans Ulrich Obrist, September 2009

Hans Ulrich Obrist is the Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery in London.

Andy Dancer is a freelance curator.