Core Group

Under the guidance of Maja Hoffmann, the artistic and architectural programme for Luma in Arles has been developed by a ‘Core Group’ of international advisers comprised of curators, museum directors and artists: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Beatrix Ruf, Liam Gillick, Tom Eccles and Philippe Parreno.


Founder and President of the Luma Foundation, and Founder of Luma Arles

By leading the development of Luma Arles, Maja Hoffmann has helped advance the Foundation’s mission by addressing urgent issues around culture, nature, scientific experimentation and ecology, while promoting new structures for innovation and positive change.

While helping Luma gain extensive recognition through its diverse projects and artistic programmes, which also include initiatives like the steering and  production of the arts biennial Elevation 1049 in Gstaad or the programming of Luma Westbau in Zurich, Maja is also actively involved with a number of institutions internationally.

She is currently the President of the Swiss Institute, New York (USA) and the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles (France), the Vice-President of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, Basel (Switzerland), and serves on the boards of Serpentine Galleries, London (UK), Kunsthalle Zürich (Switzerland), the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, both in New York (USA). 

She is committed to the preservation of the environment and its natural resources through her work with MAVA Foundation, Tour du Valat Foundation, and to protecting individual rights through Human Rights Watch.


Co-Artistic Director, Luma Arles

Hans Ulrich Obrist joined the LUMA Arles Core Group of international advisors in 2007, and was appointed Co-Artistic Director in 2019. Hans Ulrich Obrist is also the Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, London (UK), Senior Program Advisor at The Shed, New York (USA), and co-founder of 89plus.

Prior to this, he was the Curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (France). Since his first show World Soup (The Kitchen Show) in 1991, he has curated more than 300 exhibitions.

Obrist has lectured internationally at academic and art institutions, and is a contributing editor to the magazines ArtforumAnOther Magazine032C, a regular contributor to Mousse, Kaleidoscope, Kinfolk, Numero and Hero, he also writes columns for Das Magazin and Weltkunst.

In 2011 he received the CCS Bard Award for Curatorial Excellence, in 2015 he was awarded the International Folkwang Prize for his commitment to the arts. In 2018, The Appraisers Association of America presented Obrist with an award for Excellence in the Arts.


Beatrix Ruf served as the Director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam from November 2014 to January 2018. 

From September 2001 to October 2014 Ruf was Director and Chief Curator of Kunsthalle Zürich, overseeing a substantial expansion project launched in 2003 and concluded in 2012. 

Former occupations include: Curator at Kunstmuseum Thurgau, Warth from 1994-1998, and Director of the Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus from 1998-2001.

In 2006 Beatrix Ruf curated the third edition of the Tate Triennial in London, she was Co-Curator of the Yokohama Triennial in 2008. From 1995 to 2014 she has been the curator of the Ringier Collection. In 2013 she co-founded POOL, a postgraduate curatorial program in Zürich. 

Ruf is a member of several Advisory and Programme Committees amongst others: 

  • Between Bridges Foundation, Berlin, 
  • the Istanbul Modern, 
  • Garage Moskow, 
  • MAXXI, Rome, 
  • the Samdani Foundation, Bangladesh, 
  • the Board of the Estate Mark Morrisroe,
  • the Acquisition and Programming Committee of La Caixa, Barcelona.


Liam Gillick deploys multiple forms to expose the new ideological control systems that emerged at the beginning of the 1990s. Examining the aesthetics of the constructed world, Gillick’s work exposes the dysfunctional aspects of a modernist legacy in terms of abstraction and architecture when framed within a globalized, neo-liberal consensus. 

Gillick’s work ranges from small books to large-scale architectural collaborations. His practice exists in a constant tension between his formally minimalistic works that reflect upon the language of renovated space and his critical approach through writing and the use of text. This approach is brought together in a continual testing of the conventions of the exhibition as form. In addition, he has produced a number of short films since the late 2000s, which address the construction of the creative persona in the light of the enduring mutability of the contemporary artist as a cultural figure. 

Throughout this time Gillick has extended his practice into experimental venues and collaborative projects with artists including Philippe Parreno, Lawrence Weiner and Louise Lawler.


Co-Artistic Director, Luma Arles

Tom Eccles joined the Luma Arles Core Group of international advisors in 2007, and was appointed Co-Artistic Director in 2019.

Tom Eccles is also Executive Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in the United States, where he also oversees the exhibitions and programs of the Hessel Museum of Art (since 2005).

He was previously the Director of the Public Art Fund in New York City (1995-2005). Eccles has been a curator for the Park Avenue Armory since 2007 and has organized numerous public projects, exhibitions and talks programs within the United States and internationally.


Philippe Parreno is a French artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Paris.

Parreno radically redefined the exhibition experience by taking it as a medium, placing its construction at the heart of his process. Exploring the possibilities of the exhibition as a coherent "object" rather than as a collection of individual works, it becomes a veritable open space, a format that differs on each occasion, and a frame for things to appear and disappear. To this end, he conceives his shows as a scripted space where a series of events unfolds. The visitor is guided through the galleries by the orchestration of sound and image, which heightens their sensory experience. This is a question of creating, in a given volume, as much space and time as possible by folding and unfolding the space onto itself.

In 2016 Parreno presented the Hyundai Commission in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London. He was the first artist to take over the entire gallery space at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris with his exhibition Anywhere, Anywhere Out of the World (2013) which opened in October 2013. 


In 2020, the Core Group takes a new dimension to become the Artistic College, welcoming 3 new members: Ian Cheng, Sophia Al Maria and Paul B. Preciado.


Ian Cheng was born in Los Angeles (USA) in 1984, and lives and works in New York. Hiswork explores the nature of mutation and the capacity of humans to relate to change. Drawing on principles of video game design, improvisation, and cognitive science, Cheng has produced a series of simulations exploring an agent’s capacity to deal with an ever-evolving environment. These works culminated in the Emissaries trilogy, which introduced a narrative agent whose motivation to enact a story was set into conflict with the open-ended chaos of the simulation. Most recently, he has developed BOB (Bag of Beliefs), an AI creature whose personality, body, and life story evolve across exhibitions, what Cheng calls “art with a nervous system.”

Recent solo exhibitions include "BOB," Gladstone Gallery, New York, USA (2019); “Emissary Forks at Perfection,” Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, Venice, Italy (2018); “Ian Cheng: Emissaries,” Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin, Germany (2018); “Ian Cheng,” Serpentine Galleries, London, UK (2018).

Sophia Al-Maria’s work as a writer, filmmaker, and artist is oriented around the tense relationship between makers and society, with particular attention to the socioeconomic systems that dictate those conditions. Much of her art stems from personal experiences; she uses issues of gender and place as platforms for explorations of the climate of independent filmmaking, the relationship between public space and hegemonic systems such as advertising, and the various historical forces that have shaped locales such as Cairo and Dubai. The London-based artist, who was also a delegate of the artist collective GCC (a reference to the Gulf Cooperation Council), has also received attention for her work on “Gulf Futurism,” a concept describing what Al-Maria sees as the dystopian social and aesthetic tendencies that characterise the rapidly developing Persian Gulf region.The Qatari-American artist was born in 1983, and lives and works in London, UK. 

Recent solo exhibitions include “Beast Type Song”, Tate Britain, London, UK (2019); “Project Room #10, Sophia Al-Maria, Mirror Cookie”, Fondazione Pomodoro, Milan, Italy (2019); “Sophia Al-Maria: BCE”, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2019).


Writer and curator, Paul B. Preciado (born in Burgos, Spain in 1970) lives and works between Paris and Barcelona. Preciado is an internationally recognized figure in the field of the philosophy of the body and the study of gender and sexual politics. His first book Counter-sexual Manifesto, became a key reference for queer and transfeminist European activism. He is the author of Testo Junkie. Sex, Drugs and Biopolitics and Pornotopia. He recently published An Apartment in Uranus, a collection of his articles for the French daily newspaper Libération since 2013.