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Research Network for Transcultural Practices in the Arts and Humanities

WORKSHOP on the occasion of documenta 14

De-Essentializing Difference Acknowledging Transculturality

Art (History) Education and the Public Sphere in a Globalized World

Friday, 9 June 2017, 2:30-6:30 pm

Kindly hosted by Kunsthochschule Kassel (KHS) as a part of their KMMN program, an interdisciplinary platform offering 100 days of art school to coincide with documenta 14

Venue: KulturBahnhof Kassel

Room: “Interim”

Franz-Ulrich-Straße 16

34117 Kassel

Directions: http://mapkit.io/embed/r5sm4s 

Registration: The event is public and free of charge, but please register by emailing Irina Denkmann at transcultural@geschkult.fu-berlin.de 

Organized by RNTP members Amara Antilla, Nanne Buurman, Birgit Hopfener and Franziska Koch

In line with documenta 14’s attempt to re-think and transform public spheres in face of the current crisis of democracy, the workshop explores how art and art history education respond to this challenge from multiple cultural, historical, discursive and socio-political perspectives. It seeks to examine specific realms and practices of publicness with respect to the power structures of more or less entangled art worlds by addressing transcultural processes of subjectivation and community building. To counter essentialisms and politicize difference, we would like to critically discuss the potentials and pitfalls of both national/ist educational agendas as well as neoliberal dismantling of public institutions. The workshop focuses on art education, art history education and education through art (as practiced in academies, museums, exhibitions, schools, universities and other non-institutional initiatives) that take into account the inherent transculturality of the arts and humanities.

Collaborative and participatory approaches/projects that challenge the rigidity of public institutions are popular among artists and educators all around the world. While the ambivalences of the institutionalization of institutional critique and the risks of capitalist cooptation of emancipatory decenterings of power are well rehearsed, the most recent global developments with their accelerated and at times calculated attack on cultural, technological, economic and geo-political connectivity have yielded (new) conflicting processes, protagonists, and strategies that cut across national, institutional, cultural and social boundaries. On the one hand, critics often bemoan that phenomena such as biennalization, the expanding international art market, a jet-setting class of “global” artists and curators and a transnational circulation and reception of artistic production suggest a pluralist homogenization and a certain degree of exclusivity. On the other hand, the number of agents, institutions and locations that (continue to) feel alienated, excluded, or systematically discriminated against call into question the global fluidity of the art world and require a self-reflective review of the ways in which this mode of being has perhaps contributed to the creation of the antithesis. Hence, actors in the field increasingly articulate conflicting ideas of identity, community, and belonging on a more global scale and interconnected level. The continuously relevant critiques of (neo)colonial relations as well as the growing transnationalism of right-wing and (religious) fundamentalist movements, which all challenge the capitalist status-quo, albeit from very different angles, are but some examples for the pressing problems that artists, curators as well as art historians and educators/mediators face, when they engage with the following questions: 

Who speaks, presents and practices art for whom? What kind of messages are transmitted and in how far does mediation also entail translation? To what extend does cultural identity play a role and how can education in the field of art acknowledge transculturality as an inescapable condition of today’s world? How can we politicize difference in a de-naturalizing way that avoids both exoticizing and commoditizing otherness?



Welcoming Words 

Jacob Birken (Kunsthochschule Kassel)

Franziska Koch (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg)


Introductory Remarks 

Nanne Buurman (Freie Universität Berlin) Abstract/CV

2:50-3:50 – SESSION 1

Chair: Birgit Hopfener (Universität Duisburg-Essen) Abstract/CV

Learning From a City in Crisis? On the Transcultural Approach to Curating documenta 14

Barbara Lutz (Universität Hildesheim) Abstract/CV

Transcultural Arts Education – Curating Diversity at Transnational Arts Festivals 

Lisa Gaupp (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg) Abstract/CV

TRANScuratorial Academy

Beatrice von Bismarck (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig) Abstract/CV


      3:50-4:10 Break (20 min)

4:10-4:55 – SESSION 2

Chair: Amara Antilla (Guggenheim Museum, New York) Abstract/CV

From University to Shopping Mall, Socially Engaged Wandering

Yang Jing (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg) Abstract/CV

The Actuality of the Anti-fascist Brigades and the International Solidarity Movement of the 1970s: A Case in Kassel 1977

Paz Guevara (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin) Abstract/CV


      4:55-5:00 Break (5 min)

5:00-5:45– SESSION 3

Chair: Franziska Koch Abstract/CV

Art and its Discourse in Trans-Culturality from the Material Turn.
(Networks of Transculturality Outside the Occident) 

Sumesh Sharma (Clark House Initiative, Bombay) Abstract/CV

De-provincializing the Museum

Nora Sternfeld (Aalto University, Helsinki) Abstract/CV


      5:45-5:50 Break (5 min)


Chairs: Amara Antilla & Franziska Koch 


Chair: Birgit Hopfener 

For more information about the workshop and the Research Network for Transcultural Practices in the Arts and Humanities (RNTP) see http://www.network-transcultural.net/RNTP-Activities/index.html

For more information about Kunsthochschule Kassel’s KMMN see http://www.kmmn.space.