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New Curator at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst: Dr. Michael Birchall

Dr. Michael Birchall

The curator and art historian Dr. Michael Birchall is the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst’s new curator. He will join the museum’s team on October 1, 2020, replacing Dr. Raphael Gygax, who has been director of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the Zurich University of the Arts since the spring of 2019. Birchall will join director Heike Munder and collection curator Nadia Schneider Willen as a member of the museum’s curatorial team.

Since 2016, Michael Birchall has been curator of public practice at Tate Liverpool and a senior lecturer at the Liverpool School of Art and Design. At Tate Liverpool, he developed exhibitions and projects with a range of artists, including Christopher Kline’s O.K.—The Musical (2017), Sarah Browne’s Against Ordinary Language (2017), and Annika Eriksson’s Animal (2019), and co-curated Tate Liverpool’s collection rehang. Birchall has also led on public programs and research-based projects, including the Keith Haring Foundation residency with the artist Patrick Staff and the conference Keith Haring: Art and Activism in 1980s New York. Birchall studied art history, history, and curating, and obtained a PhD from the University of Wolverhampton. In 2019, he participated in Stonewall’s LGBT Leadership Program. He previously held curatorial appointments at The Western Front (Vancouver, Canada), The Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre (Canada), and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (Germany), where he co-curated the exhibition Stuttgart, How Are You Doing? (2011). From 2012 until 2015, he lectured at the Zurich University of the Arts. He has edited numerous catalogues and journals and contributed to a wide range of publications, including Institution as Praxis: New Curatorial Directions for Collaborative Research (Sternberg Press, 2020); Tate Papers; ARKEN Bulletin; and co-edited the journal On Curating’s issue After the Turn: Art Education Beyond the Museum (2014).

Heike Munder, the director of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, is delighted to welcome Michael Birchall to the team: “With his profound institutional and academic experiences and his interest in social and cultural discourses, Michael Birchall will contribute to our vision of a dynamic museum for contemporary art and bring fresh impulses to our efforts to engage our audiences.”