This drawing by Hans Ulrich Obrist, which functions as a map for the exhibition L’Europe des artistes (2013-2014), is a burrow with multiple entry-points, but also a record, an object, and a historical painting. Obrist is known for drawing obsessively in order to help him remember and expand the conversation at hand. However, unlike the infamous doodles of Ronald Reagan, Obrist’s drawings are more than mere memory aids or seating charts. Wildly energetic, his drawing is a conceptual portrait of L’Europe des artistes that presents a unique state of contemporary European geographies.
His Dieter Roth-like mentality superimposes archaeological layers of globalization, regional microcosmic identities, and compounds them upon expanding and contracting artistic strata. His black marker and orange highlighter proliferate a rhizome of the “glocal” European climate. Obrist's circulation of states through doodles engenders a line of flight into an assemblage of names, ideas, dates, quotes, and loose bits of information. His visual system navigates between the abstract and concrete, calling upon the limitless movement of Constant Nieuwenhuys’s New Babylon. The resulting work thus acts as more than a historical map, but a line of flight for curatorial practice.