Above: Henriette Huldisch. Photo by Liz Linder.
Walker Art Center hasn't had a chief curator for years, but come January that will change. The Walker announced Monday it hired Henriette Huldisch for the dual role of chief curator and director of curatorial affairs.
A native of Hamburg, Germany, Hudisch is currently curator and director of exhibitions at MIT’s LIST Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Mass.
In her dual role, she will lead the Walker's visual arts, performing arts and moving image departments, along with education and public programs.
Huldisch has nearly two decades of curatorial experience, most notably as co-curator of the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Besides serving as an assistant curator for New York's Whitney Museum for seven years, she worked at interdisciplinary art spaces Cornerhouse in the U.K. and Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.
With two masters degrees – one in American studies from Berlin’s Humboldt University, and another in film studies from NYU – she brings a cross-disciplinary perspective to her work.
“Over the years I have been thinking about the overlaps between the cinematic avant-garde, and film and video, the moving image as it is produced in the visual arts – how they live together and how they don’t, and how they can be presented successfully,” said Huldisch. “It is something that informs my curatorial thinking.”
Huldisch is the first major hire since the Walker's new executive director, Mary Ceruti, started work in January. Essentially, Huldisch will be her right-hand woman.
“She is passionate about the collection and the legacies and the role the Walker can play both within the art community and the local community,” Ceruti said when reached by phone. “She understands what it means to follow artists and to work with living artists, rather than trying to categorize artists and pigeonhole them in specific disciplines.”
The Walker hasn't formally had a chief curator since 2015, when the position was reconfigured as "artistic director" by then-director Olga Viso and Fionn Meade, who had replaced Darsie Alexander in the role. Meade resigned in January 2017, just months before Viso's own departure.
Hudisch will be moving to the Twin Cities with her husband and son, who is 12. Huldisch had visited Minneapolis before to see shows at the Walker, but considers herself a newcomer to the cities.
“I haven’t been [to Minneapolis] in the winter but I think it has a very nice and livable feeling,” she said. “A little bit like maybe the Pacific Northwest meets the Midwest or something like that.”