From time to time I invite artworld personalities, i.e. artists, curators, collectors and critics for interviews on my blog. To start off, I have the pleasure to introduce Anna-Lena Werner who runs the online magazine, featuring interviews with artists and curators.

About Anna-Lena Werner:

Anna-Lena Werner, born 1985, is an art historian and curator. Having studied art history, theatre studies (Freie Universität Berlin) and art theory (Chelsea College of Art and Design, London), she is a PhD candidate at Freie Universität Berlin with a research focus on the subject of trauma in contemporary art. Engaging in digital research and curatorial practices, she runs the online magazine and was research associate for Black Mountain Research, a collaborative project between Freie Universität Berlin and Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin.

What advice would you give to someone deciding to become a professional artist / curator?

Stay curious! Art is a place in which critical thinking, experimentation and collaboration, trial and error, the expression of thought, poetry, feelings and observations are not only allowed but where they are most welcome. Despite its grotesque mechanisms, the art market shouldn’t scare young artists or curators from pursuing their original goals in their everyday practice. Its a challenge for all of us to combine these worlds, but it’s certainly possible to do so.

What does success mean to you?

I consider an exhibition successful when it stimulates a debate and when it brings exciting people together. Success, in terms of the profession itself, is to me when collaborators trust my decisions and when they want to work with me again.

What is your next goal/plan/project?

I am currently finishing my PhD project on the subject of trauma in contemporary art, with case studies of art works such as by Paul McCarthy, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller and Omer Fast. It has been a long and intensive research project, with many ups and downs – and enriching encounters with artists and other researchers. Publishing the thesis is certainly a goal for 2018. Another publication that I plan to do is the second printed edition of artfridge – an online magazine I founded in 2011, featuring interviews with artists and curators. Regarding exhibitions, I am working on a project set in a very rural part of Brandenburg together with another curator.

What is your funniest / most strange anecdote in the artworld?

The moment when I found an email by the actual Mary Boone in my inbox. She thought I was related to her ex-husband from the Werner gallery family. Number two on my list was the moment when I had to send the lovely gallery director Mine kaplangi from Bloc Art Space in Istanbul to buy maggots for an installation by the German artist Andreas Greiner. She couldn’t find any in Istanbul, and really hated us for giving her this task, so she tried to breed them in old cat food on her balcony.

What would you have done with your life if you weren’t an artist / curator?

I would have worked in film or theatre, I think.