How to Show? Lab for Research and Art #01

How to Show? Lab for Research and Art #01

Artists: Ulrike Ettinger, Fred Meier-Menzel, Andrea Theis

In collaboration with Europäische Gesellschaft für Forschung und Kunst EGFK

Exhibition opening:Thursday, February 20, 19.00
Exhibition duration:February 20 - 23, 2014
Opening hours:Fr. - So.: 16.00 – 20.00
The artists are present during the opening hours
Finissage: Sunday, February 23, 18.00


Friday, February 21, 18.00
and Sunday, February 23, 17.00:
Fred Meier-Menzel: Reading and presentation of a chapbook

Saturday, February 22, 18.00:
Dr. Amalia Barboza, Universität des Saarlandes:
Potential of artistic research,
talk and discussion with the artists
More Information about the event

Gitte Bohr – Club für Kunst und politisches Denken presents, in collaboration with EGFK, a cooperation between three artists, who are studying for PhDs at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and at the University of Ulster in Belfast. This exhibition project brings together three artistic positions, which show correspondences at different levels, and which all venture into the context of artistic-scientific research. The topics with which Ulrike Ettinger, Fred Meier-Menzel und Andrea Theis work meet and interlace at various points, a commonality is their shared interest in anthropological questions or methods.

Andrea Theis

Installation shots. Andrea Theis.
Left: Sichten, Argumentieren, Transformieren, 2014. Photo: Ulrike Ettinger
Right: Reviewing Image Disturbance, 2011, Seven Color-laser photographies. Photo: Andrea Theis

The artistic-scientific approach of Andrea Theis is based in autoethnographic practice, which breaks away from traditional Ethnography in that its focus of investigations is on subjective experiences and it critically questions claims of objectivity. That a knowledge gain nevertheless is possible has already been shown by notable anthropologists. Theis explores this possibility in the context of social art and thus asks about the usability of experiences stemming from participatory or interventionistic artistic practices, also for qualitative social research. Her artistic work supplies for this purpose a sophisticated research method in complex experimental set-ups. She is realising her doctoral thesis at the University of Ulster in Belfast.

Ulrike Ettinger

Installation shots. Ulrike Ettinger.
Left: Bekleidungsartefakte (Zeichnung und Siebdruck auf Leinen, ab 2013)
Right: Projektion left: "Kleine Etymologie der rumänischen Tracht (Formagiu 1974, 2014-02 #01)", right: Video projektion on clothing. Photos: Andrea Theis

Traditional vestimentary practices and artifacts, more precisely: their reinterpretation as consumer products and its delegation to an obedient form of folklore, are the objects of investigation in the research of Ulrike Ettinger, which she is realising at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Under Ceausescu, folk art was appropriated by national-political agendas at both the economic and the ideological levels. Ideologically, folk art became central in the new rituals of the Ceausescu-regime (mass rallies, festivals). Thereby the goal was nothing less than basing the real socialist state aesthetics upon the narrative of a folkloristic identity. The accentuation of national identity with the aid of folk art was amongst others also a strategy signalling a distanciation from the political line of the CPSU. Against this background and with folkloric attire as example, Ulrike Ettinger, who hails from Romania, focuses on the imagination as a social practice, which is constitutive for the creation of collective identities.

Fred Meier-Menzel

Installation shots. Fred Meier-Menzel.
Left: "Mixed Messages", tent reading from PhD-chapbook 1/4 by Fred Meier-Menzel, 2014
Right: "Covered Up", tent reading from PhD-chapbook 1/4 by Fred Meier-Menzel, 2014. Photos: Andrea Theis

After the latest changes in Egypt, Fred Meier-Menzel interrogates heteronomous representations and the possibilities for autonomous presentations of women, through examples from art, fashion design, politics and society. She is realising her practice-based artistic research at the Bauhaus University. The project arose from Meier-Menzel's work as Professor of Drawing in Egypt, where she amongst others gave courses in figurative drawing. The difficulty to teach anatomy for artists or nude drawing in the face of the ban on nudity, was crucial for her decision to engage with the problems of representation in relation to the (public) image of women. it is sometimes hard to allocate the attribute identity to representations of human beings in what is, from a eurocentric point of view, an unusual relationship between the covered and uncovered body. ID-Photos of women in Wahhabi garb or election posters with the image of a veiled female candidate, but also fashion design, challenge our tradition of images, as well as modern image techniques. Thus a paradox arises between control and concealment. On the other hand, in the era of social networks and their image regime, there are infinite possibilities for autonomous self-representation, which woman activists take advantage of.


Saturday, February 22, 18.00:
Dr. Amalia Barboza, Universität des Saarlandes:
Potential of artistic research,
talk and discussion with the artists

Wherein lies the potential of artistic research? And wherein lies the difference between artistic and scientific research? These are some of the questions that have of late been circulating in the art academies, since artists have been given the possibility to do a PhD about their method of artistic work and research. That art together with science is part of the production of knowledge, is no longer a point of discussion. The question that now arises is, how much knowledge gain is attributed to artistic research? And can science profit from artistic research? These are some of the questions, which Amalia Barboza will address in a short talk. Afterwards she will engage in a dialogue with the artists in the exhibition How to Show? Lab for Research and Art #01 about the potentials and dangers of „artistic research“.

Amalia Barboza studied sociology and fine arts in Spain (Madrid) and Germany (Konstanz and Dresden). In 2002, she received her PhD in sociology at the Technische Universität Dresden with a dissertation on the sociology of knowledge of Karl Mannheim and the analysis of art- and thought styles (Barboza, Kunst und Wissen, UVK Verlag, Konstanz 2005). Since 2012 Junior Professor for “Theories and methods in the cultural sciences” at Saarland University. One of her main research topics is the analysis of artistic methods in comparison with qualitative scientific methods in the cultural and social sciences.