The German art historian, born in 1971 in Braunschweig, is currently the Head of Programmes at the Serpentine Galleries in London and curator at Inhotim in Minas Gerais, after having served as the Artistic Director of the same institution from 2005 to 2012. With a profound expertise in the art scene in Brazil and around the world, Volz was co-curator of the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009), alongside Artistic Director Daniel Birnbaum. In 2006, on invitation from Lisette Lagnado, he participated in the curatorship of the 27th Bienal de São Paulo, where he realized a special project in homage to Marcel Broodthaers.
At Inhotim, he worked on the artistic concept and production of new pavilions and installations, among them those of artists Adriana Varejão, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Doris Salcedo, Doug Aitken, Helio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Matthew Barney, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Tunga. The curator has also contributed to many exhibitions held around the world, including the Olafur Eliasson exhibit in São Paulo as part of the 17th Festival Sesc Vídeobrasil (2011), The Spiral and the Square at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm (2011), the Aichi Triennial in Nagoya, Japan (2010) and the Lyon Biennial in France (2007). From 2001 to 2004, he was curator of Portikus in Frankfurt, Germany.
Since 2012, on invitation from director Julia Peyton-Jones and co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist, Volz has headed the Programmes Department at London’s prestigious Serpentine Galleries, where he has contributed to the development of activities in the fields of art, architecture, design, education and public programmes, including dance, film, literature, music, performance, science and technology.
According to Luis Terepins, the process of choosing a curator is a permanent concern for the institution. The nomination was defined in the second half of 2014, after a series of dialogues between the Bienal Foundation’s administration and directors of other institutions, intellectuals and personalities from the art world in Brazil and abroad. “His vast experience in biennial exhibitions and a wide variety of contemporary art platforms, combined with his commendable ethical and professional posture make Volz the perfect choice to meet the foundation’s current aspirations and the challenges involved in producing its biggest event.”
Image: Jochen Volz, Courtesy São Paulo Biennial