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Swiss Institute announces new Director
Simon Castets (b. France, 1984) has been based in New York for the past 7 years, working as an independent curator.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Trustees of Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art, New York, announced the appointment of Simon Castets as Director and Curator.

Castets brings significant knowledge, skills and international networks to lead the Institute toward a new chapter of its history as one of New York's leading non-for-profit contemporary art institutions. He will take up his position in November 2013. Castets succeeds Gianni Jetzer, who was Director for the past seven years and confirmed the Swiss Institute's unique position with an outstanding program and the move to its new home at 18 Wooster Street.

On making the announcement today, Fabienne Abrecht, Chairwoman of Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art, said: “Over the past 27 years, Swiss Institute has become the key venue for innovative cultural dialogue between Switzerland and the US. Simon’s international background makes him a natural choice for us, being a New York institution with Swiss roots. As one of today’s most exciting young curatorial voices, Simon brings a fresh vision to the Swiss Institute and opens the door to the next generation. Together with our Board and the team, he will lead the Swiss Institute to new heights.”

Simon Castets (b. France, 1984) has been based in New York for the past 7 years, working as an independent curator. He holds an MA in Curatorial Studies from Columbia University (New York) and an MA in Cultural Management from Sciences Po (Paris). Most recently he co-curated the group exhibition "Champs Elysées" with Julie Boukobza & Nicola Trezzi at Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Earlier this year, with Hans Ulrich Obrist, he co-founded "89plus", a long-term research projects about the generation born in 1989 and after. This inquiry into the effects of the internet on creative practices is providing the foundation for the next "Marathon" at the Serpentine Galleries, London, which he is co-curating with Obrist and Jochen Volz. Other recent projects include a solo exhibition of Sarah Ortmeyer's work at Federico Vavassori, Milan, the group exhibitions "Cherry Picking" at Karma International, Zürich, "A Stone Left Unturned" at Yvon Lambert, Paris, and "Aftermath" at Taka Ishii Gallery, Kyoto. His writing has appeared in numerous catalogues and periodicals including Mousse, PIN UP, Flash Art and Kaleidoscope.

Founded on May 7, 1986, Swiss Institute (SI) is officially registered with the State and City of New York as an independent, not-for-profit organization.

Originally, the SI was run entirely by volunteers and occupied two living rooms on the Upper West Side. Since then, each year has been marked by the growth in programs, outreach, and funding. Although the Swiss Institute is not affiliated with the Swiss government, Pro Helvetia (Swiss Arts Council) provides a significant part of its resources.

In 1995 the first SI Benefit was introduced to further its financial support. Today the Annual SI Benefit Dinner & Auction is an important financial pillar and networking event for the SI and its community. In 2010 the Friends of the Swiss Institute (FOSI) was founded in Switzerland to forge relationships between the Swiss and American art communities and support Swiss Institute.

Together with special funding by a handful of Swiss corporations, foundations and individuals, the Swiss Institute was able to accomplish in 2011 its long-term wish to move into a street-level space, which it found at the renowned 18 Wooster Street building (formerly home to Deitch Projects).

The Swiss Institute has grown into an innovative international venue for art that provides a significant forum for cultural dialogue between Switzerland, Europe, and the United States. This unique angle fosters the interaction between the Swiss and the many other communities and nationalities found in New York City.

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