Pia Stengl


Newly settled to Cologne, I am searching for the position I want to take in and towards this world. Captivated by the question of how people make sense of this world, I am interested in both scientific and artistic research. They are both powerful approaches to our world. In my curatorial practice, I would like to get them to interact, support and question each other.


The meanings of curatorial practice are endless. Curatorial practice can mean to create, to enable, to transmit and a lot more. For me, the defining element of curating is its power to create a connection. Curatorial practice connects people, places and perspectives. It connects in the process of thinking up a concept, when finding the artists, in putting it from mind into space, while organizing the exhibition and through being experienced by visitors. Those connections are creative. They set something in motion, may it be an emotion, an idea, a new acquaintance or a new insight. This fascinates me. This is what I think is crucial to life.

As a consequence, the accessibility of an exhibition is essential to me. Art is there for everybody. It gets to us through our being in the world. It speaks to all our senses and emotions. Art is able to handle issues that words and logic struggle to put together. In a world that privileges reason, numbers and functions as modes of inquiry, this is crucially valuable. As Thomas Hirschhorn puts it, ‘art is a tool to learn about the world, a tool to engage with reality, and a tool to experience the time I live in’. I am interested in speaking to all our epistemic tools apart from our ratio, through creating atmospheres, feelings, something intangible and fluid.

My background in social and cultural anthropology anchored a strong sense of a multi-perspectival and multi-layered world in me. My interest in heterodox economics, however, urges me to act in society and point out to the hard facts of our socio-economic existence. At the centre of my curatorial practice sits a sense of everlasting insecurity, movement and curiosity – while reacting to the reality around us. Currently, I am captivated by agential realism (reading Karen Barad, Meeting the universe halfway), new economic thinking (being part of Economists 4 future)  and – as always – love (listening to Etel Adnan).


2019 – 2020 | M.Sc. Philosophy, Politics and Economics in Groningen, Netherlands

2014 – 2018 | B.A. Cultural and Social Anthropology in Vienna, Austria


1993 | born in Regensburg, Germany




Cyrus Karibu: Slay Queen (2018).
Photo: SMAC Gallery.

Online | 27 January to 28 February 2021 | Free Access


Exhibition | Artists | Program
Presenting artists an curators working with e-waste as artistic material.

An TASAWAR Project.