The Art of Handwriting with @hansulrichobrist

Love Hans’ Instagram photos? Be sure to check out his @89plus project with fellow curator @simoncastets. The project aims to support emerging artists born in the year 1989 or after with sustained stipends, grants and residencies.

Hans Ulrich Obrist (@hansulrichobrist) of the Serpentine Gallery in London (@serpentineuk) is one of the art world’s leading curators and perhaps its most creative Instagrammer.

In the midst of his daily conversations with creatives—artists, architects, writers and poets like Marina Abramovic (@hudsonmai), Yoko Ono (@yokoonoofficial), Olafur Eliasson (@olafureliasson) and Kanye West—Hans will spontaneously ask them to handwrite a sentence which he then uploads to Instagram. The idea came to Hans a few weeks after starting his account. “I re-read an essay by Umberto Eco, who talks about the disappearance of handwriting, and actually a lot of people nowadays use handwriting less because of the internet. I was thinking it’s interesting because you can obviously lament the disappearance of handwriting, but much more interesting than that would actually be to make handwriting exciting again and celebrate handwriting within this media. So that started me on this project.”

For Hans, the series is an extension of the work he does in his gallery. “I see the handwriting project as an Instagram group exhibition which grows organically over time,” he says. “It’s fascinating to read the comments. At the beginning, I had mostly art world followers but in the last three weeks many people from other worlds started to follow me which is exciting. I always believed that curating is about building bridges.”