with works by: Gerard Byrne, Andrea Fraser, Clegg & Guttmann, Bouchra Khalili, Joseph Kosuth, Louise Lawler, Thomas Locher, Dorit Margreiter, Angela Melitopoulos mit Maurizio Lazzarato, Henrik Olesen, Anna Oppermann, Marion von Osten, Stephen Prina, Josephine Pryde, Willem de Rooij, Katya Sander
Exhibition concept and realization: Ilse Lafer, Thomas Locher with the team of the HGB Gallery

Exhibiting art in a place where it is also taught creates a unique set of circumstances. The way in which knowledge is imparted here—through demonstrating and discussing artistic practices—is neither bound to the curriculum nor is it entirely removed from it, insofar as we consider the extent to which the contextual setting of “art education” and all representational systems associated with it extend their reach into the academy’s gallery. Situated both within the school and at the same time on the periphery of teaching, the exhibition space can be viewed as a “study room” that both deviates from the curriculum while also benefiting from its specific context.

flashback:forward is about this kind of “study room”—a place accessible to everyone and one that allows for an artistic, discursive frame of reference which is related to teaching and the academy's ways of operating and representing itself, without addressing these aspects explicitly. Within this “study room”, an imaginary “thinking collective” of artists begins to take shape, one which is connected to a (teaching) practice or practice theory relevant to art education. Meant here are artistic processes such as those that (self-critically) consider themselves in relation to institutional rules, hierarchical normative thinking, socio-cultural and socio-economic functioning modes or to essentialist concepts of art and artists. These quite heterogeneous practices also constitute a referential framework for the artistic and institutional work of Thomas Locher, Rector of the Leipzig Academy of Fine Arts, whose term of office will come to an end in the summer of 2022. In this way, flashback:forward also embodies a personal space of resonance that is particular to the HGB and (like flashbacks) retroactively reveals possible ties to the teaching within the art academy.

The gallery of the Academy of Fine Art sees itself as a membrane between the interior and exterior of the institution. The gallery's aim is to supplement and extend both the teaching contents and practices of the various departments as well as making a contribution to current inquiries in the arts, thereby establishing connections between internal and external discussions and - being situated in the centre of the academy - offering a social and discursive place for carrying out such debates. In the framework of the academy's specific capabilities, the gallery affords students, lecturers, invited artists, curators and theoreticians an experimental and reflective form of exhibition practice that can incorporate, beyond the presentations themselves, the active involvement with the exhibition and the reworking and reformulating discursive material.