2 March–31 December 2018
Friday, 2 March 2018, 19h (DE)
nGbK event space, 1st floor
Welche Welt? Welche Kunst? Und welche Ausstellungen? [Which world? Which art? And which exhibitions?] – Large-scale exhibitions between dissident claim, artistic freedom, political access and economic exploitation
Words of welcome: Ingo Arend, nGbK Board
To whom does the documenta belong? This has become an increasingly contested question in the past years. On the one hand, the documenta has been reclaimed by a global art field with its stakes, discourses and markets; on the other, it has been promoted and defended in the media and in politics as a German brand (perhaps like VW, Nivea or the German national football team). The art it featured this past summer was much discussed, described in the arts pages of German newspapers as unaesthetic and by right-wing politicians as “distorted”. Every large-scale art show prompts the encounter of structurally differing, conflicting goals: economic interests, location issues, local patriotism, resentments, attempts at seeking the upper hand in cultural-theoretical discourses, but also artistic-curatorial rigorousness and intellectual-political ambitions to shift what can be expressed, presented and viewed. Against this background, what is the freedom that needs to be defended? And what can be expected from large-scale exhibitions in a neoliberal world that is becoming fascist in many places?
Nora Sternfeld is Professor for Curating and Mediating Art at the Aalto University in Helsinki and designated documenta Professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. She is a member of the Vienna-based office trafo. K that works on research and mediation projects at the intersections of education, art and critical knowledge production (with Ines Garnitschnig, Renate Höllwart und Elke Smodics).
She is furthermore a member of the directing team of /ecm – educating, curating, managing – master’s study course for exhibition theory and practice at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and belongs to the core team of the Viennese network Schnittpunkt. Ausstellungstheorie & Praxis. She also belongs to Freethought, Platform for Research, Education and Production (with Irit Rogoff, Stefano Harney, Adrian Heathfield, Mao Mollona, and Louis Moreno). In this context, she was one of the artistic directors of the Bergen Assembly 2016.
She has published on contemporary art, mediation, exhibition theory, policies of history, and antiracism. Nora Sternfeld is the author of “Das Pädagogische Unverhältnis. Lehren und Lernen bei Rancière, Gramsci und Foucault” (Vienna, 2009), and “Kontaktzonen der Geschichtsvermittlung. Transnationales Lernen über den Holocaust in der postnazistischen Migrationsgesellschaft”, (Vienna, 2013), as well as co-editor of numerous readers.