ID | Cultural Memory in the Present


Duration of the exhibition: 14.12.2017 to 20.01.2018
Opening: Wed. 13 December 7pm
HGB Gallery


The Project ID | Cultural Memory in the Present brought together works by students of the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig, who dealt with the interlocking themes of migration, identity construction and alterity production from the perspective of cultural and media representation. Throughout the previous years, the HGB had positioned itself in the Saxonian cultural landscape – especially with regard to the topic of migration and the questions it raises – by means of several projects initiated by individual professors and students and especially through the founding of the ATA. The project Cultural Memory in the Present extended the radius of the debate to the topic of populism, which was then and still is a dominant theme in political debate today. A number of terms are discussed which refer to the understanding of what “the people” means: populism, democracy, culture, religion and, in connection with these concepts, identity.
The project was initiated by professors who had already dealt with the topic in previous years: Prof. Alba D’Urbano, (Cultural Clash Nomade, 2013), Prof. Clemens von Wedemeyer (Fremd, 2014/15) and Prof. Peggy Buth (Unsichere Geschichte 2016-2017).

The complete project consisted of various interlocking parts:
The workshop “Spatial Practices – Raum, Institution, Politiken des Ausstellens”, the exhibition of the same name “ID | Cultural Memory in the Present”, the film programme “Blicke – Regime” and the symposium “Populär Sein”.

With the support of the city of Leipzig.
The HGB Leipzig as well as the activities implemented within the framework of the university activities are co-financed by tax revenue in accordance with the budget determined by the state parliament of Saxony.


ID – Cultural Memory in the Present

Duration of the exhibition: 14.12.2017 to 20.01.2018
Opening: Wed. 13 December 7pm
HGB Gallery

Around 28 students from a wide range of disciplines and from different countries of origin, from Brazil and the USA to Russia, Ukraine, Korea and Armenia, took part in the exhibition. The participants chose different medias for their contributions. The exhibition was curated by: Professor Peggy Buth, Professor Alba D’Urbano, Anna Jehle, Professor Clemens von Wedemeyer, Angelika Waniek.

The exhibiting artists were:
Jan-Helge Aisenbrey, Alexander Bartsch, Rebekka Bauer, Boa Cha, Minhye Chu, FELL, Veronica Garcia, Michael Hahn, Sten Jackolis, Juliane Jaschnow, Stephanie Joyce, Fumi Kato, Helena Kühnemann, Julia Lübbecke, Tina Mamczur, Katharina Nesterowa, Jan-Luca Ott + Zorba, Melody Panosian, Lars Preisser, Benedict Reinhold, Andrėja Šaltytė, Clemens Schöll, Beatrice Peter Schütt, Marina Vinnik, Clara Wieck, Tina Dunkel + Katharina Wittmann, Anja Zhukova.

WORKSHOPS / Lectures

The preparatory workshops focused on the questions of the space, exhibition and representation of the topics dealt with in the project.

Susanne Lummerding
wer ist wir? – (workshop)
26.06.2017, 10am-6pm

Who/what defines community and what role do the processes of othering (der Ver-Anderung) play in the production of social identity constructions?
Access to power, resources and representation do not only determine global political and social developments, but also inform local and individual social and creative forms of practice and have an impact on, potentially unnoticed, areas of everyday communication and interaction.
By critically examining the production of difference and identity, mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, attribution and othering, a collective exchange of concepts, experiences, problems and possibilities of a collaborative and self-determined design of a common social space are explored.

Hans D. Christ
Spatial Practices – Raum, Institution, Politiken des Ausstellens (Workshop)
27.11. and 28.11.2017, 10am-6pm

Spatial Practices describe a moment in which the relations of self-representation and symbolic representation intersect. They identify options for action that dance between the power relations of the art market and the relationship between institution, curating, art, the public and mediation. In this context, politics are constellations of power relations that are in a permanent mode of “negotiating”.
Starting with the fundamental questions of space (thing, location, arrangement), the workshop dealt intensively with the practical implications of art, art institutions, curating, whereby the latter is understood as showing art in an institutional context. This relationship should also be understood as an action area of concrete political reference to current everyday politics.

Hans D. Christ
Was ist zu tun? (lecture)
11/28/2017, 7pm

A specter is haunting the art world and its academic institutions. We, whoever this propagated “we” may be, are alleged to have evaded responsibility. We are isolated from the rest of society and have not recognized the signs of the times – Brexit, Trump, Erdogan, Orban, Wilders and, in our own backyard, the AFD.
Segregation is not a social phenomenon that only spreads in the art world. There are many echo chambers, and the attempt to unify the narrative is met by a fragmentation of context, the extent of which reaches far beyond the Babylonian phantasm.
Is this image true? Has the establishment of a collaboration between diverse areas of society been successful since 1945? Should the map, the potentials of the institutional landscape and different artistic practices not be redrawn?


Blicke – Regime
24 Apr 2018 4pm – 9pm
Luru cinema in the Spinnerei
Concept & Moderation: Nicolas Rossi

The film programme featured various artistic approaches that addressed the current subject of refugees. What kind of ethical boundaries are there? What may the camera capture, and where is the author asked to develop other methods of documentation?
First was HABITAT by Emerson Culurgioni and Jonas Matauschek, a documentary film about the largest artificial lake in Germany, which represents the past of open-cast mining in the region.
This is where the bird, the European bee-eater, nests, whose migratory movement symbolizes that of refugees, who spend their time in a shelter near the lake until their request for asylum is processed.
The second was FUOCOAMMARE by Gianfranco Rosi, a documentary film about Lampedusa. In this Berlinale award-winning film, the director observes life on the “Island of Hope” for a year.
The final part of the trilogy was the experimental documentary LES SAUTEURS THOSE WHO JUMP by Abou Bakar Sidibé, Moritz Siebert and Estephan Wagner. For which, the filmmakers gave their camera to a Malian refugee on the border to Europe.


4pm HABITAT (2016) 1h 19 Min.
by Emerson Culurgioni and Jonas Matauschek

5:30pm SEEFEUER (2016) 1h 54 Min.
by Gianfranco Rosi

7:30pm LES SAUTEURS – THOSE WHO JUMP(2016) 1h 22 Min.
by Abou Bakar Sidibé, Moritz Siebert and Estephan Wagner

9pm End discussion with Jonas Matauschek, Emerson Culurgioni (director of Habitat), Prof. Clemens v. Wedemeyer, Prof. Alba D’Urbano, Prof. Peggy Buth


Populär Sein
Thursday, 29.11.2018, 11am- 7pm
HGB Leipzig, Gallery

What are the requirements of BEING POPULAR today and what is POPULAR? What forms of addressing an imagined large mass are found in politics and art that are oriented towards POPULARITY? Must POPULISM be understood as a “logic of political mobilization” (Marchart) or must it only be rejected in principle in cases where it acts “anti-pluralistically” (Müller) and pretends to be the spokesperson of the people (along with the exclusion of those who are different)? Or is there a POPULAR core not only in various art actions but also in a radical understanding of democracy? And how do the global-economic hegemonies and the local-traditionalist programmes that market and represent the POPULAR today relate to each other?

The symposium POPULÄR SEIN at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig dedicated itself through lectures and discussions to the observed interconnections of cultural, economic and social dimensions of current offers of identity and identity demands. Concepts of the people, the elite, class and culture, which have found their way into identity politics in different ways, can be identified against the background of contemporary populist currents. Artistic practices and political rhetoric define fields of discussion in which relations of representation that are symptomatic of current forms of becoming POPULAR can be discussed. Who speaks about whom and with whom?

The spatial display developed for the duration of the symposium in the gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig, where the lectures and discussions took place, and the atrium, which was used as an entrance and break room, addressed the theme of “BEING POPULAR” in a visual and performative way. The artistically constructed space referred to the concepts of mass, movement, the individual, and pop, and enabled an aesthetic experience of an ever-changing environment. Questions of belonging, participation, exclusion and self-empowerment were explored, sabotaged or sustained through the evolving performative settings.

Symposium Concept
Beatrice von Bismarck, Peggy Buth, Alba D‘Urbano, Anna Jehle, Angelika Waniek, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer, Marc Rölli
Symposium display and performative presentation
Katharina van den Brink, Margot Cichy, Tobias Fabek, Sabine Fischer, Anna Jehle, Tina Mamczur, Lydia Marx, Stefan Riebel, Angelika Waniek

Jürgen Link (born 1940, professor emeritus of literature)

Jürgen Link begins with the thesis that postmodernism and post-history are based on an elite axiom of the lack of antagonism in Western societies since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The flexible normalism and we-identity of a “normal mass” guarantees this axiom. Populisms emerge where antagonisms are articulated that are excluded from normal democratic, media-political discourse. It is at this point that popular core events can be identified, which have a cultural revolutionary event and artistic character. Jürgen Link argues that the articulation and negotiation of antagonisms should not be left to the new-right populists alone.

Christian Falsnaef (born 1980, performance artist)

The popular employs existing power structures while pretending not to. Rather than reinforcing hierarchies to gain popularity, art can take a different approach and reveal, make visible and openly discuss those structures.
On the basis of concrete examples from my practice, I will discuss how art can deal with power structures by providing a space for selfreflection.

Christina Werner (born 1976, visual artist)

In her most recent installations the artist Christina Werner deals with right-wing European networks and their pop-cultural media representation and presence. She is interested in the aesthetic means utilised by the populist event industry, how its protagonists present themselves and how emotional scenarios are created through staging and performance.

Katrin Gottschalk (born 1985, deputy chief editor of the Taz)

Right-wing populists present themselves as preservers of tradition and down-to-earthness and with success. Characteristic for the style is the forest green necktie decorated with dogs worn by the AfD-politician Alexander Gauland. In contrast, the artist Björk plays with concepts of gender in front of thousands of people wearing a shimmering vulva costume. At the moment, feminism is also more popular than ever. Since the election of Donald Trump and the subsequent Women’s Marches, the feminist movement has even been considered the counterweight to the right-wing populist movement. Can society develop progressively within these fronts? What strategies are possible?

Diedrich Diederichsen (born 1957, cultural scientist and curator)

The American high school, known to most people in the world only as the framework of certain genres from film, literature and television series, stands for a certain model of accumulation of social capital. Most recently summarized in “Stranger Things” and “Thirteen Reasons Why” and edited for new generations, this cosmos contains a number of constants, the most puzzling and important of which is popularity. This struggle for popularity, i.e. the use of a certain structural dimension of the logic of political representation to increase the intensity of identification, seems to be the only thing Diederichsen has in common with populism and the given title “being popular”.

Kerstin Stakemeier (born 1975, Professor of Art Theory and Mediation, Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg)

The question of transgression seems omnipresent in the present-day world, both politically and artistically. But who is the author of transgression and through what, and also through whom do the limits of this transgression run?