Artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries and instigator of global, networked art projects
There are not many people on this list (and not many people full stop) whose average day might include presenting lectures alongside astronaut Buzz Aldrin, novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, philosopher Bruno Latour and ecopsychologist Peter Webb. But then most don’t employ an assistant to work from midnight to 6am transcribing and editing interviews, hundreds of which Obrist conducts a year. To describe Obrist as a curator therefore – and he does curate, of course, aside from the day job at the Serpentine: shows this year included Maria Lassnig at the Municipal Gallery of Athens and a group show featuring the likes of Philippe Parreno, Etel Adnan and Adrián Villar Rojas at Villa Empain, Brussels – undersells him. Information ‘node’ might be a better description, moving incessantly from place to place (the interviews gathered from various trips to India were published this year). The Serpentine’s two spaces hosted, among others, exhibitions by Rose Wylie, Wade Guyton and, most notably, Arthur Jafa. Obrist is also part of the core advisory team of Luma Arles, due to open in early 2019.