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1.2.2023, Wednesday 18:00 Uhr
1st day of the symposium: Controversy over documenta fifteen: Background, Interpretation, and Analysis

  • Venue:

  • Aula, HFBK Hamburg

In the summer of 2022, the global art exhibition documenta in Kassel ignited major controversies on several levels. With this symposium on documenta fifteen, the HFBK Hamburg aims to analyze the background and context, foster dialogue between different viewpoints, and enable a debate that explicitly addresses anti-Semitism in the field of art.

Which historical-political continuities can be discerned in the genesis of documenta? What was negotiated in the debate beyond artistic strategies and the curatorial concept? How can we argue with one another publicly in a narrow field of discourse? The symposium offers space for divergent positions and aims to open up perspectives for the present and future of exhibition making.

The symposium was conceived in consultation with Meron Mendel and Nora Sternfeld.

Wednesday, 1.2.2023

  • 6 p.m.
    Impulse, Katharina Fegebank ( Senator for Science, Research and Equality and 2nd Mayor of Hamburg)
    Introduction, Martin Köttering (president, HFBK Hamburg)
  • 6:30 p.m.
    Keynote Tolerance of ambiguity on trial. documenta fifteen and the Jewish question, Natan Sznaider (professor of Sociology, The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo)
  • 7:30 p.m.
    Panel Antisemitism in the art field. Historical-political perspectives on the documenta, Oliver Marchart (professor of political theory at the University of Vienna), Meron Mendel (director of the Bildungsstätte Anne Frank in Frankfurt am Main and professor of transnational social work at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences), Julia Voss (art historian, historian of science, art critic, and member of the executive committee of the German Historical Museum (DHM)), Moderation: Carsten Probst (art historian and cultural journalist, Berlin)

Following each panel, an audience discussion will be offered, in German and English (with simultaneous translation).

Public event, free admission, registration not required, press please contact Sabine Boshamer: presse@hfbk.hamburg.de

Invitation for download, qualified child care will be offered, for more information: baerbel.hartje@hfbk.hamburg.de

Recording will be published in the HFBK-Mediathek: https://mediathek.hfbk.net

Speaker

Martin Köttering

Prof. Martin Köttering has been president of the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg since 2002 and teaches as a professor of art education with a focus on theory and history. He studied cultural studies and aesthetic practice at the University of Hildesheim and fine arts in Bath, England. After completing his studies, he worked as an assistant to Jan Hoet at documenta 9. In 1995 he took over the management of the Städtische Galerie in Nordhorn and was the initiator, artistic director, and managing director of the open museum kunstwegen. He has realized numerous exhibitions, publications, and projects in public spaces with internationally renowned artists such as Mark Dion, Olafur Eliasson, Fischli/Weiss, Dan Graham, Katharina Grosse, Jenny Holzer, and Tobias Rehberger. He is a member of various committees, supervisory boards, and foundations, including the Hamburg Media School, the board of the Freunde der Kunsthalle Hamburg, the board of trustees of the Stiftung Hamburger Kunstsammlungen, and the board of trustees of the University of Hildesheim.

Oliver Marchart

Prof. Dr. Oliver Marchart, Mag. Dr. phil. (University of Vienna, philosophy), PhD (University of Essex, government), double habilitation in philosophy and sociology (University of Lucerne), and author of Das unmögliche Objekt: Eine postfundamentalistische Theorie der Gesellschaft, was a research assistant at the Institut für Medienwissenschaften at the University of Basel from 2001 to 2006 and an SNF professor at the department of sociology at the University of Lucerne from 2006 to 2012. From 2012 to 2016 he held a professorship in sociology at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Since March 2016 he has been professor of political theory at the University of Vienna. He has also completed various fellowships. His main research areas are political theory, social theory, democratic theory, political history of ideas, social movement research, and political discourse analysis. His most recent publications include Conflictual Aesthetics: Artistic Activism and the Public Sphere (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019), Post-foundational Theories of Democracy: Re-claiming Freedom, Equality, Solidarity (Edinburgh University Press, 2021), Hegemony Machines: documenta X to fifteen and the Politics of Biennalization (2022), and Der demokratische Horizont: Politik und Ethik radikaler Demokratie (Berlin: Suhrkamp, forthcoming).

Meron Mendel

Prof. Dr. Meron Mendel has been the director of the Bildungsstätte Anne Frank in Frankfurt am Main since 2010 and has been a professor of transnational social work at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences since 2021. He spent his youth at Kibbutz Mashabei Sadeh, participated in peace initiatives at an early age as part of the Freundeskreis von Givat Haviva, and after his military service he studied history and education (bachelor’s degree in 2000) and Jewish history (master’s degree in 2002) in Haifa and Munich. In 2010 he received his doctorate in education at the Goethe University in Frankfurt with a thesis entitled Lebenswelten jüdischer Jugendlicher in Deutschland. Mendel’s research interests include the present state of anti-Semitism and the future of the culture of remembrance, among other topics. In recent years he has written numerous specialist articles and published articles in German-language newspapers as well as books, most recently including Frenemies: Antisemitismus, Rassismus und ihre Kritikter*innen (2022) and Trigger Warnung: Identitätspolitik zwischen Abwehr, Abschottung und Allianzen (2019). In March 2023 his book Über Israel reden: Eine deutsche Debatte will be published.

Carsten Probst

Carsten Probst was born in Hamburg, lives in Berlin, and works as a writer and art critic. His work focuses on artistic pictorial practice, cultures of knowledge, and concepts of criticism in European and non-European modern eras up to the present. He is an art critic for various magazines and Deutschlandfunk with a focus on modern and contemporary art. In addition, he teaches scientific writing in the graduate program “Identität und Erbe” at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. His most recent publications include “Falsche Fährten: Die documenta fifteen und ihre Rezeption in den Medien” (December 2022, Texte zur Kunst), “Kunst und Heilung: Beuys und der Nationalsozialismus” (2021, in Beuys’ Nietzsche-Rezeption und sein Bildbegriff in der Auseinandersetzung mit der Shoah), “More deeply suggestive than others: Erinnerung und Gegenwart in der Malerei von Song Hyun-Sook” (2020), and “Mechanismen der Verdrängung: 30 Jahre Kulturtransfer von West nach Ost” (Deutschlandfunk, 2020). He is currently working on a collection of essays with the working title Posthumanistische Bildbegriffe. Probst was awarded the Anna Seghers Prize (2001) as well as various grants for writers and critics.

Natan Sznaider

Prof. Dr. Natan Sznaider is an Israeli sociologist and has been a professor at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo since 1994, with a chair position since 1996. In 1992 he received his doctorate from Columbia University in New York with a thesis entitled The Social History of Compassion. He has taught at Columbia University, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. In 2022 he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at LMU at the invitation of Michael Brenner. His research focuses on cultural sociology, political theory, globalization, cosmopolitanism, memory and the Shoah, as well as Hannah Arendt’s Jewish political theory. Together with Daniel Levy, he coined the terms “cosmopolitan memory” and “cosmopolitan remembrance”. With Alejandro Baer he examined an ethics of “never again” in the Spanish and Argentinian context. In his most recent book, Fluchtpunkte der Erinnerung: Über die Gegenwart von Holocaust und Kolonialismus, Sznaider embarks on a search for a political and sociological narrative of remembrance starting from the question of: Is it and will it be possible to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and colonialism without relativizing history?

Julia Voss

Prof. Dr. Julia Voss is an art historian, historian of science, art critic, and member of the executive committee of the German Historical Museum (DHM). Her doctoral thesis was entitled Darwins Bilder: Ansichten der Evolutionstheorie, 1837-1874 (S. Fischer Verlag, 2007), and it received the Sigmund Freud Prize for Scientific Prose from the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung in 2009. Since 2015 she has been an honorary professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sciences of Art at Leuphana University in Lüneburg. Until 2017 she headed the art section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and was also deputy head of the features section. In 2021 she was co-curator of the exhibition documenta: Politik und Kunst at the DHM. In 2020 her artist biography Die Menschheit in Erstaunen versetzen: Hilma af Klint (S. Fischer Verlag) was published, which was on the short list for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize, became a Der Spiegel bestseller, and has also been published in Swedish and English. Her most recent publication, along with Beate Söntgen, is the reader Why Art Criticism?, published by Hatje Cantz Verlag.

Symposium: Controversy over documenta fifteen

With this symposium on documenta fifteen on the 1st and 2nd of February, the HFBK Hamburg aims to analyze the background and context, foster dialogue between different viewpoints, and enable a debate that explicitly addresses anti-Semitism in the field of art. The symposium offers space for divergent positions and aims to open up perspectives for the present and future of exhibition making.

Examination of the submitted portfolios

Examination of the submitted portfolios

How to apply: study at HFBK Hamburg

From February 1 to March 6, 2023, 4 p.m., you can apply to study at HFBK Hamburg. Please find all important info here.

ASA Open Studios winter semester 2021/22; photo: Marie-Theres Böhmker

ASA Open Studios winter semester 2021/22; photo: Marie-Theres Böhmker

The best is saved until last

At the end of the year, once again there will be numerous exhibitions and events with an HFBK context. We have compiled some of them here. You will also find a short preview of two lectures of the professionalization program in January.

Non-Knowledge, Laughter and the Moving Image, Grafik: Leon Lothschütz

Non-Knowledge, Laughter and the Moving Image, Grafik: Leon Lothschütz

Festival and Symposium: Non-Knowledge, Laughter and the Moving Image

As the final part of the artistic research project, the festival and symposium invite you to screenings, performances, talks, and discussions that explore the potential of the moving images and the (human and non-human) body to overturn our habitual course and change the dominant order of things.

View of the packed auditorium at the start of the semester; photo: Lukas Engelhardt

View of the packed auditorium at the start of the semester; photo: Lukas Engelhardt

Wishing you a happy welcome

We are pleased to welcome many new faces to the HFBK Hamburg for the winter semester 2022/23. We have compiled some background information on our new professors and visiting professors here.

Solo exhibition by Konstantin Grcic

From September 29 to October 23, 2022, Konstantin Grcic (Professor of Industrial Design) will be showing a room-sized installation at ICAT - Institute for Contemporary Art & Transfer at the HFBK Hamburg consisting of objects designed by him and existing, newly assembled objects. At the same time, the space he designed for workshops, seminars and office workstations in the AtelierHaus will be put into operation.

Amna Elhassan, Tea Lady, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

Amna Elhassan, Tea Lady, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

Art and war

"Every artist is a human being". This statement by Martin Kippenberger, which is as true as it is existentialist (in an ironic rephrasing of the well-known Beuys quote), gets to the heart of the matter in many ways. On the one hand, it reminds us not to look away, to be (artistically) active and to raise our voices. At the same time, it is an exhortation to help those who are in need. And that is a lot of people at the moment, among them many artists. That is why it is important for art institutions to discuss not only art, but also politics.

Merlin Reichert, Die Alltäglichkeit des Untergangs, Installation in der Galerie der HFBK; photo: Tim Albrecht

Merlin Reichert, Die Alltäglichkeit des Untergangs, Installation in der Galerie der HFBK; photo: Tim Albrecht

Graduate Show 2022: We’ve Only Just Begun

From July 8 to 10, 2022, more than 160 Bachelor’s and Master’s graduates of the class of 2021/22 will present their final projects from all majors. Under the title Final Cut, all graduation films will be shown on a big screen in the auditorium of the HFBK Hamburg. At the same time, the exhibition of the Sudanese guest lecturer Amna Elhassan can be seen in the HFBK gallery in the Atelierhaus.

Grafik: Nele Willert, Dennise Salinas

Grafik: Nele Willert, Dennise Salinas

June is full of art and theory

It has been a long time since there has been so much on offer: a three-day congress on the visuality of the Internet brings together international web designers; the research collective freethought discusses the role of infrastructures; and the symposium marking the farewell of professor Michaela Ott takes up central questions of her research work.

Renée Green. ED/HF, 2017. Film still. Courtesy of the artist, Free Agent Media, Bortolami Gallery, New York, and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne/Munich.

Renée Green. ED/HF, 2017. Film still. Courtesy of the artist, Free Agent Media, Bortolami Gallery, New York, and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne/Munich.

Finkenwerder Art Prize 2022

The Finkenwerder Art Prize, initiated in 1999 by the Kulturkreis Finkenwerder e.V., has undergone a realignment: As a new partner, the HFBK Hamburg is expanding the prize to include the aspect of promoting young artists and, starting in 2022, will host the exhibition of the award winners in the HFBK Gallery. This year's Finkenwerder Art Prize will be awarded to the US artist Renée Green. HFBK graduate Frieda Toranzo Jaeger receives the Finkenwerder Art Prize for recent graduates.

Amanda F. Koch-Nielsen, Motherslugger; photo: Lukas Engelhardt

Amanda F. Koch-Nielsen, Motherslugger; photo: Lukas Engelhardt

Nachhaltigkeit im Kontext von Kunst und Kunsthochschule

Im Bewusstsein einer ausstehenden fundamentalen gesellschaftlichen Transformation und der nicht unwesentlichen Schrittmacherfunktion, die einem Ort der künstlerischen Forschung und Produktion hierbei womöglich zukommt, hat sich die HFBK Hamburg auf den Weg gemacht, das Thema strategisch wie konkret pragmatisch für die Hochschule zu entwickeln. Denn wer, wenn nicht die Künstler*innen sind in ihrer täglichen Arbeit damit befasst, das Gegebene zu hinterfragen, genau hinzuschauen, neue Möglichkeiten, wie die Welt sein könnte, zu erkennen und durchzuspielen, einem anderen Wissen Gestalt zu geben

New studio in the row of houses at Lerchenfeld

New studio in the row of houses at Lerchenfeld, in the background the building of Fritz Schumacher; photo: Tim Albrecht

Raum für die Kunst

After more than 40 years of intensive effort, a long-cherished dream is becoming reality for the HFBK Hamburg. With the newly opened studio building, the main areas of study Painting/Drawing, Sculpture and Time-Related Media will finally have the urgently needed studio space for Master's students. It simply needs space for their own ideas, for thinking, for art production, exhibitions and as a depot.

Martha Szymkowiak / Emilia Bongilaj, Installation “Mmh”; photo: Tim Albrecht

Martha Szymkowiak / Emilia Bongilaj, Installation “Mmh”; photo: Tim Albrecht

Annual Exhibition 2022 at the HFBK

After last year's digital edition, the 2022 annual exhibition at the HFBK Hamburg will once again take place with an audience. From 11-13 February, students from all departments will present their artistic work in the building at Lerchenfeld, Wartenau 15 and the newly opened Atelierhaus.

Annette Wehrmann, photography from the series Blumensprengungen, 1991-95; photo: Ort des Gegen e.V., VG-Bild Kunst Bonn

Annette Wehrmann, photography from the series Blumensprengungen, 1991-95; photo: Ort des Gegen e.V., VG-Bild Kunst Bonn

Conference: Counter-Monuments and Para-Monuments.

The international conference at HFBK Hamburg on December 2-4, 2021 – jointly conceived by Nora Sternfeld and Michaela Melián –, is dedicated to the history of artistic counter-monuments and forms of protest, discusses aesthetics of memory and historical manifestations in public space, and asks about para-monuments for the present.

23 Fragen des Institutional Questionaire, grafisch umgesetzt von Ran Altamirano auf den Türgläsern der HFBK Hamburg zur Jahresausstellung 2021; photo: Charlotte Spiegelfeld

23 Fragen des Institutional Questionaire, grafisch umgesetzt von Ran Altamirano auf den Türgläsern der HFBK Hamburg zur Jahresausstellung 2021; photo: Charlotte Spiegelfeld

Diversity

Who speaks? Who paints which motif? Who is shown, who is not? Questions of identity politics play an important role in art and thus also at the HFBK Hamburg. In the current issue, the university's own Lerchenfeld magazine highlights university structures as well as student initiatives that deal with diversity and identity.

photo: Klaus Frahm

photo: Klaus Frahm

Summer Break

The HFBK Hamburg is in the lecture-free period, many students and teachers are on summer vacation, art institutions have summer break. This is a good opportunity to read and see a variety of things:

ASA Open Studio 2019, Karolinenstraße 2a, Haus 5; photo: Matthew Muir

ASA Open Studio 2019, Karolinenstraße 2a, Haus 5; photo: Matthew Muir

Live und in Farbe: die ASA Open Studios im Juni 2021

Since 2010, the HFBK has organised the international exchange programme Art School Alliance. It enables HFBK students to spend a semester abroad at renowned partner universities and, vice versa, invites international art students to the HFBK. At the end of their stay in Hamburg, the students exhibit their work in the Open Studios in Karolinenstraße, which are now open again to the art-interested public.

Studiengruppe Prof. Dr. Anja Steidinger, Was animiert uns?, 2021, Mediathek der HFBK Hamburg, Filmstill

Studiengruppe Prof. Dr. Anja Steidinger, Was animiert uns?, 2021, Mediathek der HFBK Hamburg, Filmstill

Unlearning: Wartenau Assemblies

The art education professors Nora Sternfeld and Anja Steidinger initiated the format "Wartenau Assemblies". It oscillates between art, education, research and activism. Complementing this open space for action, there is now a dedicated website that accompanies the discourses, conversations and events.

Ausstellungsansicht "Schule der Folgenlosigkeit. Übungen für ein anderes Leben" im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg; photo: Maximilian Schwarzmann

Ausstellungsansicht "Schule der Folgenlosigkeit. Übungen für ein anderes Leben" im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg; photo: Maximilian Schwarzmann

School of No Consequences

Everyone is talking about consequences: The consequences of climate change, the Corona pandemic or digitalization. Friedrich von Borries (professor of design theory), on the other hand, is dedicated to consequence-free design. In “School of No Consequences. Exercises for a New Life” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, he links collection objects with a "self-learning room" set up especially for the exhibition in such a way that a new perspective on "sustainability" emerges and supposedly universally valid ideas of a "proper life" are questioned.

Annual Exhibition 2021 at the HFBK

Annual exhibition a bit different: From February 12- 14, 2021 students at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, together with their professors, had developed a variety of presentations on different communication channels. The formats ranged from streamed live performances to video programs, radio broadcasts, a telephone hotline, online conferences, and a web store for editions. In addition, isolated interventions could be discovered in the outdoor space of the HFBK and in the city.

Katja Pilipenko

Katja Pilipenko

Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

Exhibition Transparencies with works by Elena Crijnen, Annika Faescke, Svenja Frank, Francis Kussatz, Anne Meerpohl, Elisa Nessler, Julia Nordholz, Florentine Pahl, Cristina Rüesch, Janka Schubert, Wiebke Schwarzhans, Rosa Thiemer, Lea van Hall. Organized by Prof. Verena Issel and Fabian Hesse; photo: Screenshot

Exhibition Transparencies with works by Elena Crijnen, Annika Faescke, Svenja Frank, Francis Kussatz, Anne Meerpohl, Elisa Nessler, Julia Nordholz, Florentine Pahl, Cristina Rüesch, Janka Schubert, Wiebke Schwarzhans, Rosa Thiemer, Lea van Hall. Organized by Prof. Verena Issel and Fabian Hesse; photo: Screenshot

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

Alltagsrealität oder Klischee?; photo: Tim Albrecht

Alltagsrealität oder Klischee?; photo: Tim Albrecht

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

Ausstellung Social Design, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Teilansicht; photo: MKG Hamburg

Ausstellung Social Design, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Teilansicht; photo: MKG Hamburg

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?