GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig
The projects are supported by tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon State Parliament and by funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.
Curated by Sandy Becker, Julianne Csapo, Tuan Do Duc, Lisa Dreykluft, Anna Karpenko, Robert Köpke, Insa Langhorst, Elli Leeb, Dereck Marouço Sant'Anna da Silva, Martin Naundorf, Makoto Okajima, Iana Pitenko, Sophia Charlotte Reiser, Luise Richter, Elisa Maria Schmitt, Laura Stieg, Martha Schwindling and Viviane Tabach under the direction of Beatrice von Bismarck, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer and Julia Kurz.
With contributions by Eric Meier, Trakal, Paula Erstmann, Anna Torkareva, Sean Roy Parker, Slavs and Tatars, Soy Division, Guy Eytan, Chinook Ulrich Schneider, Diego Bianchi and Stefan Vogel, among many others.
Exhibition tour with the curators of the course "Cultures of the Curatorial: 11.12. 03:00–04:00pm
Building on their intervention "Erfrischungsraum 2" at OSTEN Festival in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, the participants of the master's programme Cultures of the Curatorial at Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts are invited to perform in the Rapid Response area, as part of RE:OPENING NO.3, of the GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde.
The term "East" as a self-perception and attribution to others that was used during the OSTEN Festival in Bitterfeld-Wolfen prompts the group to reflect on what "East" can mean today. The group chooses the term fermentation as a metaphor to approach practices of dealing with history. Fermentation is one of the oldest methods of working with microorganisms to make matter more durable, digestible and otherwise usable. The collected matter enters into a fermenting process by combining it with a ferment. This opens up a thinking about "East" as a relational term, as well as the question: how can attributions and concepts of "East" be transformed? The fragile equilibrium of the microbial processes of the exhibited glasses also makes it clear that, in contrast to the method of conservation, this is a living process that allows us to imagine possible futures. In the space of the GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde, fermentation refers to the dynamic network of relationships between human and non-human participants.
In three chapters (TRANSFORMING, SPECULATING, FERMENTING), the contributions tell of developments in an understanding of "East", while focusing on the processes of preserving, transforming and speculating, that are inherent to the cultural practice of fermenting. Artistic positions, some of which were represented at the intervention in Bitterfeld-Wolfen and deal with potentials of transformation, will show their work at the Rapid Response area. Thoughts on fermenting and perspectives on "East" are gathered in an archive that is accessible in the museum space. Thoughts and stories about individual objects in the collection are integrated into fermentation processes in the same way as a disused exhibition space in the museum, soil, fruit, plants or memorabilia.
The process of fermentation starts not only reactions, but also a space of SPECULATING with an open result. Based on a project in which residents in Bitterfeld were interviewed about the place and the Kulturpalast Bitterfeld-Wolfen, SPECULATING is capturing voices about the GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde. What are the subjective and historical meanings of museum objects and how do they appear? To what extent are they interwoven with attributions of "East"? Based on interviews, different perceptions and imaginations of "East" are gathered, which are accessible via audio stations in the Rapid Response area.
In collaboration with the artist Eric Meier, the group TRANSFORMING explores the potentials of upheaval and transformation. Here, too, fermentation is understood as a speculative method in which the outcome is not always fully predictable. With the lost bar in the cellar of Kulturpalast Bitterfeld-Wolfen as well as with an abandoned wing in GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde, TRANSFORMING focuses on questions about the desires and possibilities of transformation: what does emerge when places transform in line with fermentation processes?
As part of OSTEN Festival and invited by the group FERMENTING, the artist Trakal organized a writing circle over a period of weeks, which was based on the circle practice of writing workers during GDR times. Between 1959 and 1989, hundreds of circles formed in the GDR, turning into a mass movement of workers' literature. The publication on display at the GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde contains historical texts and texts about labor experiences written in Trakal's circles.
As fermentation serves as the group's medium, food poet and social activist Paula Erstmann is invited to celebrate eating together or tasting as a collective action that emerges from working with microorganisms. As part of an event, she will taste preserves made from local recipes together with visitors in the museum.