History of Architecture and Art, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
published: April 22, 2011, recorded: April 2011, views: 6586
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Philip Ursprung is a Swiss critic and curator who has been successfully commuting between the realms of art and architecture in the past 20 years. Trained as an art-historian in Geneva, Vienna and Berlin, he soon became one of the acknowledged experts on Fluxus, Minimal Art and Land Art thanks to his consistently provocative writing. Unwilling to bury himself in the archives of art history for good, he has been an attentive observer of contemporary art. Apart from engaging in art criticism for a number of cutting-edge art magazines, he has worked as a juror of competitions for artistic contributions to public buildings in Switzerland and was instrumental in updating the somewhat quaint concept of Kunst am Bau in the German-speaking world. As a consequence of this constant exposure to buildings, architecture became increasingly important as an area of study for him. When he worked as a visiting curator at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal he curated the exhibition Herzog & de Meuron: Archeology of the Mind and edited the corresponding catalogue Herzog & de Meuron: Natural History (2002), both projects were seminal in their achievement, as they redefined the respective genres of an architecture exhibition and a monographic catalogue. Having taught at the Institut für Geschichte and Theorie der Architektur of ETH Zurich, he was able to follow the pedagogical activities of architects teaching at the school such as Josep Luis Mateo, Adam Caruso or Andrea Deplazes whose work he has repeatedley commented upon. Thanks to his double infatuation with art and architecture, Philip Ursprung has been particularly receptive to practices of architects and artists that are not readily compatible with the institutional laws of their respective disciplines. Therefore we could not be happier to welcome him now to give the closing talk of this symposium.
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