Christoph Tannert was born in 1955 in Leipzig and has lived in Berlin since 1976, where he is the director and project coordinator of Künstlerhaus Bethanien. The main focus of his work is on exhibition organization and art criticism within the field of contemporary art. Tannert studied archaeology and art history at the Humboldt University in Berlin, graduating in 1981. Until 1990, he worked as an art critic, journalist and exhibition organizer in Berlin and Eastern Europe. He was also involved in publishing artists’ books and releasing cassette tapes and LPs through the private publishing house URSUS PRESS. This was followed in 1990 by a period of art gallery work, during which time he co-founded Galerie Vier in Berlin. In 1991, Tannert was appointed to the post of project coordinator at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, becoming its director in 2000. Since then he has also been co- editor of BE magazine, published by Künstlerhaus Bethanien. Christoph Tannert has published widely on subjects related to contemporary art; recent projects have included co-editing (with Ute Tischler) the publication Men in Black: Handbook on Curatorial Practice, 2004 (German/English); editing New German Painting in 2006 (German/English) and co-curating and co-editing (with Eugen Blume) Voices of Dissent. Art in the GDR 1976 to 1989, 2016 (German/English), as well as numerous essay contributions to art magazines and monographic catalogues. For many years Tannert was a member of the editorial board of the magazine EUROPEAN PHOTOGRAPHY; since 2006 he served as a reviewer for FotoFest Houston/TX. In 2005, Tannert was awarded the Golden Cross of Merit of the Republic of Poland for his services to German-Polish relations.
This essay is adapted from a lecture on the strategies of dissidence in East German art by curator Christoph Tannert, who met with members of the C-MAP Central and Eastern European group on June 3, 2016 during a research trip to Berlin.