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Born in Stockholm in 1963, Daniel Birnbaum is the curator of institutions and exhibitions at an international level.
Since 2001, he has been Rector of the Staedelschule in Frankfurt-am-Main in Germany, an international academy bringing together traditional and contemporary art and the development of new processes and techniques. The institute aims to train its students not only on a theoretical level, but also on a practical one, involving the young and artists in a relationship geared to “making art”. Basing himself on this important experience, in 2007 Birnbaum published ‘Teaching Art: Staedelschule Frankfurt am Main’. He is also director of Portikus, an exhibition space that has been part of the Staedelschule since 1987.
Since 1998, he has been a contributing editor of Artforum in New York, with which he has been working regularly since 1995. Since the early 1990s he has also contributed regularly to other magazines such as Parkett and Frieze. He has written numerous publications and has produced essays for catalogues throughout the world. Among his most recent critical writings are some texts on Olafur Eliasson, Pierre Huyghe, Dominique Gonzales-Foerster, Wolfgang Tillmans, Certih Wyn Evans and Paul Chan. His latest book is ‘Under Pressure’ (Frankfurt 2008).
At the University of Stockholm, he studied Comparative Literature and the History of Art, and followed these with further studies into the History of Art and Philosophy at the Freie Universitaet of Berlin and Columbia University in New York. In 1998, he gained his PhD in philosophy from the University of Stockholm.
In 2008, he will be co-curator of the Triennial of Yokohama and curator of the 2nd Triennial of Turin. In the period between 2006 and 2007, he was co-curator of Airs de Paris at the Centre Pompidou, of Uncertain States of America (with Hans Ulrich Obrist) at Bard College in London’s Serpentine Gallery, and of the 2nd Biennial of Moscow.
In 2005, he was co-curator of the 1st Biennial of Moscow, and in 2003 he was co-curator of the international section of the 50th Venice Biennale's International Art Exhibition.
Since 2004, he has been associate curator of the Magasin 3 exhibition space in Stockholm.
Since 2001, he has been on the board of Manifesta in Amsterdam.
Künstlerischer Leiter der 53. Internationalen Kunstausstellung, Biennale Venedig 2009