Bettina Pelz is a curator and a writer, a researcher and an academic teacher.
Curatorial action is proactive. In research, production and discourse, a curator engenders a multitude of processes, all of which are characterized by an ongoing alteration of perspective. These processes are shaped by the continuous oscillation between regarding and evaluating: sounding out and locating, collecting and gathering, producing and controlling, publishing and taking responsibility, reviewing and reflecting, discussing and contextualizing, documenting and disseminating, generating and concentrating can be part of the curatorial act. The nucleus of a curatorial position is formed in the way of how these diverse stress fields are handled.
The dual nature of curatorial action also shapes the relationship of all contributors to the curatorial process. While preparing an exhibition the curatorial aim is to be supportive to each artwork and each artist in his/her way of thinking and working. At the same time, each work needs to be integrated in the overall exhibition settings. While producing, a taring act arises between the requirements of the work and those of the exhibition as well as between the needs of the artist and those of the curator. The same applies to all cooperating and contributing trades in production, documentation and discourse. Communication and understanding, negotiation and agreement, observation and assessment, form and attitude are part of the floating system which coordinates, and parameters often only appear over the course of the process. Depending on the curatorial interaction, different kinds of leeways emerge which will reflect into the qualities of an exhibition.
The design of this complex mixture is shaped by interests, expertise and motivations that are not always congruent, and competing practices often arise. In addition to the development and administration of resources, the technical and administrative processes, and the requirements of publication and mediation, the choreography of the associated relationships proves to be essential for the success of curatorial action.
In curatorial action with a focus on light in fine arts, light itself proves to be a good mentor: Light is an effective force that manifests itself in dialogue with the world as an influence without appearing itself in the visual sphere. It is the nature of light to behave like a particle and a wave depending of the environment. Light can be material and medium, sometimes even at the same time. There is a multitude of spectrums of light that produce very different qualities. The range of the spectrum directs the design and shapes the qualities of a manifestation. The continuous curatorial engagement with light not only deepens the knowledge of light, but also creates models and metaphors for curatorial action that draws thrust from cared-for dialogues and open negotiation.
Over the last twenty years, her curatorial work is dedicated to art-in-context projects. Her transdisciplinary projects are hosted at art institutions and in public space, in postindustrial ensembles and cultural heritage environments. She has been the founding curators of several sustainable art projects in Europe and Africa. Internationally she has been involved in projects in Belgium, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Mali, Mexico, The Netherlands, North-Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South-Africa, Switzerland and Tunisia.
In tandem with Aymen Gharbi, she directs INTERFERENCE Tunis.tn and SEE DJERBA Houmt Souk.tn since 2016.
Focus on her research is light in fine arts. From 2015 to 2017, she was a visiting professor at the University of Fine Arts Saarbrucken and founded the academic network “Light In Fine Arts (LIFA)” in tandem with Prof. Daniel Hausig. In 2015, she founded the transdisciplinary format LICHTCAMPUS at the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, in tandem with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Roland Greule. The following editions took place at the Unversity of Applied Science and Art in Hildesheim.de in 2017 and at the University of Applied Sciences Wismar.de in 2019.
Since 2004, she is an academic teacher on professionalizing of the arts at the University of the Arts Bremen.de. From 2005 to 2011, she was an academic teacher on “Professional Practice On Cultural Policies And Productions” at the University Oldenburg.de. From 2008 bis 2010, she led the study program “Contemporary Curatorial Practice” at the Center For Lifelong Learning at Stiftungs-Universität Hildesheim.de. Since 2014, she is teaching on artistic, curatorial and cultural practice in Tunisia.
In 2015, she led the study program “FLUX” at the Goethe Institut Tunis.tn. Since 2019, she directs the CANDELA MEDIA ART LAB based in Tunis.tn jointly with Aymen Gharbi.
Since 2016 | Tunis.tn and Wetter/Ruhr.de | Gharbi-Pelz-Studios
Since 1996 | Wetter/Ruhr.de | Studio Bettina Pelz
1993 – 1996 | Hagen.de | Sociocultural Center | Artistic Director
1989 – 1993 | Ahlen.de | Sociocultural Center | Artistic Director
1985 – 1988 | Muenster.de | Studies
Since 2016 | Bremen.de, Tunis.tn and Wetter/Ruhr.de | Home
1963 | Born in the “Münsterland”.de