Episode 83 / CHRISTINA VÉGH | Director, Kunsthalle Bielefeld | Translating between cultures
This Episode was recorded on 30 October, 2023 and published on 7 December 2023. 45 min, language english

My guest is Christina Végh, who since 2020 is the first woman director of Kunsthalle Bielefeld and before that was the first woman director of Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover. Earlier on she headed the Bonner Kunstverein and worked as a curator at Kunsthalle Basel. Having been brought up in Switzerland in a cultured family, with relatives in Austria, Hungary, the former Czech Republic and the US, Christina learned early how to brigde differences and translate between languages, cultures and styles of communication. She tried herself in quite some fields, including goldsmithing, but in each of them ended up being fascinated by the historical aspects. Questioning how what happened before affects us know and shapes what is to come. She realized exhibitions with artists like Monica Bonvicini, Monika Baer, John Baldessari, Rita McBride, Haegue Yang, Charline von Heyl, Annette Kelm, James Richards, Franz Erhard Walther, Christopher Williams and Nicole Eisenman, to name but a few. She also was responsible for extensive group exhibitions, like „Where art can happen, the early years of Cal Arts“, co-curated by Philipp Kaiser – who was also a guest on this podcast – and „Made in Germany Drei“. Christina is also active on numerous committees and juries. In our conversation she talks about the different needs of a Museum vs. a Kunstverein and how art and exhibitions are related to specific places. One of her core interests, besides art and art history, was always architecture, which is the reason she felt drawn to the post at Kunsthalle Bielefeld, an architectural landmark by Philip Johnson. She reflects in depth on how she and her team will take on the task of renovating and extending the Museum in a meaningful and functional way. She speaks about the programming during the time the museum is under construction, in which there will be more projects in the city space, „meeting the city on new terms“ and including new types of audiences. She reflects on the deep need of humans to be connected with art and culture, especially in times of hardship. Christina Végh is mother of two children and lives with her family in Bielefeld, Germany.