Solving the Scenario: Asad Raza, Art Producer

Eric J. Henderson in the Huffington Post:

2012-01-29-asad2smallOne way in which Hans Ulrich Obrist describes the art producer is: the person who “solves the scenario” surrounding a given work. But there are no regular media such as rolling credits or names in a program that would start us on a trail to finding out what that means. In fact, the job of art producer defies perfect definition when it is done well.

This is a motivating thing to unravel, since we don't often consider the inner workings of art, preferring to think of it as genius falling from the clouds. But there is a world behind each piece, and I would like to consider one part of it in order to expand our view of what makes art.

Among other things, Asad is an art producer. I met him while working as a participant in Tino Sehgal's exhibition, “This Progress,” at the Guggenheim Museum. He interviewed me for the job in a meticulous process that screened hundreds of people over, I guess, hundreds of cups of coffee. Then I watched closely as he trolled the exhibition for three months, consulting with Sehgal on everything from traffic flow to the conversations between the participants and the public. After it was over, I discovered that the intensely organized operation was the result of over a year of planning, and I even caught a glimpse of a monstrous Excel spreadsheet used to manage things all the way down to visitor flow.

More here.