“One of the most important features of contemporary art making is its being public [Öffentlichsein]” (Szeemann 1969, 709). So wrote the curator Harald Szeemann (1933–2005) in a short essay about an exhibition he organized in 1969 for the display windows of the department store Warenhaus Gebrüder Loeb AG in Bern, Switzerland. Beginning in the 1950s, Szeemann spent five decades developing large-scale, highly theatrical group exhibitions whose themes were often based on extensive research. With his legacy of “egomaniacal one-man productions” as a young theatre director in the 1950s, Szeemann brought to his work as a curator an understanding of the effective staging of cultural events, and it was his special quality as an exhibition maker to always find new contexts for where and how to make art public (Birnbaum 2005; Szeemann 2007a, 14). Today, alongside such figures as Lucy Lippard or Seth Siegelaub working in North America, he is considered a pioneer of the contemporary role of the independent curator – wherein the curator is an organizer of art events with authorial power regarding the production of meaning, rather than a conservator of culture in the service of history, the institution, and the artist. Szeemann accomplished this shift by revolutionising the concept of the exhibition itself, simultaneously casting himself as one of the exhibition’s “key protagonists” (Birnbaum 2005). In the heated debate about the relationship between the artist and the curator, his innovative decisions were capable of inspiring both intense protests and sincere appreciation among his audiences and the people he worked with (Bishop 2007; Bismarck 2011; Mackert 2005; O’Neill 2012).