18/10/2013 29' 50''

‘When we talk about culture, we're not talking about goods but about values’, says Chris Dercon (Lier, Belgium, 1958). And cultural values have a direct effect on our bodies and our minds, he continues. They are essentially a form of emancipation; a form of biopolitics.

In his role as director of the Tate Modern in London – where he landed in April 2011 as Vicent Todolí’s successor – Dercon is at the helm of a project that focuses on redefining the essence of the contemporary art museum as a gathering place and a space for conversation, an agora for sharing and producing knowledge.

Dercon studied art history, theatre and film theory in Amsterdam and Leiden. He has worked as a documentary maker, independent curator and cultural producer. Before joining the Tate, he was co-founding director of Witte de With in Rotterdam (1990–95), and director of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in the same city (1996–2003), and of Haus der Kunst in Munich (2003–11). He is also an advisor to the Generali Foundation of Vienna and MACBA.

SON[I]A talks to Chris Dercon about the redefinition of museums in times of crisis, about the role of art in contemporary society, and about new forms of collecting, exhibiting and engaging with the market.

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SON[I]AChris DerconTate Modern