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Issue 180

Questionnaire: Christian Jankowski

Q. What do you wish you knew? A. How to sing and play guitar better than Caetano Veloso.

BY ​Christian Jankowski in Interviews , Questionnaires | 10 JUN 16

Pierre Brice as Winnetou in Winnetou und das Halbblut Apanatschi (Winnetou and the Half-Blood Apanatschi), 1966, film still. Courtesy: Rialto Film and United Archives

What images keep you company in the space where you work?

Unfortunately, I’m surrounded by an ever-changing selection of images of my own work.

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?

A poster of French actor Pierre Brice as the fictional Apache chief Winnetou, wearing a light-brown leather suit on a horse under a brilliant blue sky in former Yugoslavia.

If you could live with only one piece of art, what would it be?

James Ensor’s Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889 (1888).

What is your favourite title of an artwork?

The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s ‘Amerika’ (1994) by Martin Kippenberger – or anything other than Untitled.

What should change?

The way to ask questions or, maybe, the way to give answers. My spontaneous first response to this question named the director of a German-run art institution in Italy. The editorial staff of frieze refused to publish it and asked me to think of another answer. I did, and came up with this one. I hope you like it.

What should stay the same?

The breakfast sandwiches at Bar Bianco in Berlin.

What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do?

Becoming an actor playing a Kommissar (police inspector) in my hometown of Göttingen, as part of the long-running German TV series Tatort (Crime Scene, 1970–ongoing).

What music are you listening to?

The Alan Parsons Project’s ‘I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You’ (1977).

What are you reading?

I like to escape into Geo Epoche magazine and I’m still trying to improve the catalogue for the forthcoming Manifesta 11, which I’m curating.

What do you like the look of?

Jorinde Voigt.

Christian Jankowski is an artist living in Berlin, Germany. He is Chief Curator of Manifesta 11, Zurich, Switzerland (11 June–18 September). In early 2016, he had a solo show, ‘Retrospektive’, at Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin, and his exhibition ‘The Legend of the Artist and other Construction Sites’ will open at Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin, later this year.