Robert Fleck has been named new director of the Kunst und Ausstelungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
( Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany) replacing interim director C. Vitali. Robert Fleck had been director of the Deichtorhallen Haus der Photographie und Aktuelle Kunst
(House of photography and contemporary art) in Hamburg since 2004.
Fleck completed his studies in philosophy and history in Paris (as a student of, among others, Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault) with a PhD thesis on the history of democracy at the University of Innsbruck. Having gone to France at the age of 24 and lived there from 1981 to 2003, Fleck has worked as a freelance art critic and independent exhibition organizer since 1982. Among others, he was French correspondent for the German art journal art, served as the Federal Curator for visual arts in Austria (19911993) and was co-curator of Manifesta 2 European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Luxembourg in 1998. From 1998 to 1999 he was in charge of the international postgraduate programme of the School of fine arts in Nantes and became its director from 2000 to 2003.
In January 2004 Robert Fleck was appointed director of the Deichtorhallen. With over 6,000 m2 the Deichtorhallen is one of the largest venues for changing exhibitions of contemporary art in Germany. Whereas the smaller south hall has housed the Internationales Haus der Photographie since its refurbishment in autumn 2003, the key emphasis of the north hall continues to lie on international contemporary art, where, besides exhibitions, workshops, symposia and artists talks are also held. One of Flecks priorities is to conceive museum work differently by involving the city in an attempt to also address new visitor groups (approach the city on a local level, act globally). One step in this direction is to make greater use of the Deichtorplatz, the plaza separating both halls, that can also been seen from passing trains, for outdoor presentations; another is to send ambassadors of the Deichtorhallen into other urban districts and scenes in order to initiate a dialogue with various social groups in the city.
Since 2005, the Grosse Deichtorhalle the larger of the two halls has been devoted to monographic exhibitions of work by artists such as Dokoupil, Michel Majerus, Jonathan Meese, Hans Haacke, Erwin Wurm, Georg Baselitz, Stephan Balkenhol and Peter Fischli & David Weiss. These presentations deliberately confront a single artistic position with 4,000 m2 of display space. Exhibitions on various historical and contemporary aspects of photography are held in the Haus der Photographie in the Kleine Deichtorhalle. Both programmes aim to explore the wide range of issues and approaches within contemporary art practice.