Marion von Osten’s curatorial, artistic and theoretical approaches converged through the medium of exhibitions, installations, video and text productions. Her main research interests concerned cultural production in postcolonial societies, technologies of the self and the governance of mobility. She was a founding member of the Center for Postcolonial Knowledge and Culture (CPKC) and kleines postfordistisches Drama (kpD) collectives in Berlin as well as the design collective Labor k3000 in Zurich.
She curated and led numerous exhibition and research projects including bauhaus imaginista (2016–2020) with Grant Watson; Viet Nam Discourse, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart and Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2016–2018) with Peter Spillmann; Aesthetics of Decolonization, Center for Postcolonial Knowledge and Culture, Berlin (2014–2016); and Model House—Mapping Transcultural Modernisms, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, and the CPKC, Berlin (2010–2013).
Von Osten co-edited many publications including bauhaus imaginista, with Grant Watson (Thames & Hudson, 2019); Transcultural Modernism, with Model House Research Group (Sternberg Press Berlin, 2013); Das Erziehungsbild. Zur visuellen Kultur des Pädagogischen, with Tom Holert (Schleebrügge, Vienna, 2010) and The Colonial Modern. Aesthetics of the Past. Rebellions for the Future, with Tom Averemaete, Serhat Karakayli (Black Dog Publishing, London 2010).
In 2014, Von Osten assumed the position of curator and artistic director of bauhaus imaginista (2018–2019), and was joined by Grant Watson in 2016. She was Professor for Art and Communication at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna (2006–2012); Professor of Artistic Practice and researcher at the Institute for the Theory of Art and Design (ith ZHDK), Zürich (1999–2006); and curator at Shedhalle Zürich (1996–1999).
She received her PhD in Fine Arts from the Malmö Art Academy/Lund University, Sweden.
Von Osten was born in 1963 in Dortmund, Germany, and lived and worked in Berlin until her death in 2020.
School of Casablanca
KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Sharjah Art Foundation, in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Marokko, ThinkArt and Zamân Books & Curating have initiated the School of Casablanca, a collaborative project that takes as its starting point the legacy of the Casablanca Art School and its innovative pedagogical methods and exhibition strategies in 1960s Morocco.