I Believe in Places
12 January 2012
For over four decades, Jeffrey Deitch has been a major player in the American art scene. The dealer, advisor, writer, and curator started his career in 1970s New York. While he was connected to taste-making collectors, writers, and gallery owners at the time, he was also in contact with many rising stars such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons. These days, he's become a household name. After successfully running the Deitch Projects galleries in New York for fourteen years, he became the first gallery owner and private art dealer to run a major American museum, in this case, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). “One of the most interesting things about art today is the changing status of the avant-garde," he says. "For me, the biggest achievement in art is not to just make a fresh, compelling image, a new sculptural form. It’s to expand the definition of what art can be and what an artist is.” Theaster Gates is one such artist. A trained urban planner and sculptor who works as artist and director of the Arts and Public Life Initiative at the University of Chicago, Theaster aims to push positive community change by transforming spaces, institutions, traditions, and perceptions by using performance, installation, and urban interventions. “I’m more and more invested in the idea of expressing the real thing versus a gestural attempt reflecting on the real thing,” he explains. When not strictly making art, he is committed to raising the city's expectation of where "placing-making" can happen by converting abandoned buildings into cultural spaces that allow new cultural moments to happen.
Editorial Lead: Kitty Bolhoefer / Filming & Photos: Fridolin Schöpper / Editing: Konterfei / Music: Bunnystripes