f/stop Symposium

On the Aftermath of Images. Plenum on political debate and visual participation practices

Paula Bulling, Christian Gesellmann, Ayşe Güleç, Falk Haberkorn, Anne König, Susanne Kriemann, Eva Pluhařová-Grigienė, Elske Rosenfeld, Josa Mania-Schlegel, Ana Teixeira Pinto, UBERMORGEN, Eyal Weizman, Jan Wenzel a.o.

23.6. and 24.6.2018, Spinnerei, Halle 14

 

Post-democratic crises require new spaces for political participation where opposing positions and movements can encounter one another. The plenum – or parliamentary full assembly – is currently losing its significance in the political realm. Agreements are increasingly being made behind closed doors and truth is being warped for the purposes of winning votes.

 

The symposium of the 8th Festival for Photography f/stop Leipzig has been organized in three plena and conceived as a space for public debate. It is closely connected to the questions posed in the festival exhibitions regarding the “broken bonds” of society and the role of photography in communication and mediation processes. Artists, activists, sociologists, journalists, representatives of grassroots organizations, etc. will come together on 23 and 24 June to debate with one another and with the audience. Focus will be placed on political image practices, from work with archives, to digital image creation and distribution, to artistic research with image documents as media of knowledge production, to photography as a collective memory element and corrective, to strategies of visual and discursive participation.

Sa, 23. 6. 2018

Strategies of photographic action after 1989

2:00 – 2:15 pm Greeting: Krisztina Hunya, Anne König, Jan Wenzel

2:15 – 4:15 pm Plenum in German with Falk Haberkorn, Eva Pluhařová-Grigienė (moderator), Elske Rosenfeld, Andreas Rost

 

The current societal and political tensions in Germany and other central and eastern European countries are prompting questions as to the role photography can play as a medium of public communication. Taking the thematic focus “exposing 1990” as a point of departure, the first plenum will examine photography as a socially effective practice since the fall of the Iron Curtain. The distinct approaches of Falk Haberkorn, Elske Rosenfeld, and Andreas Rost demonstrate different manners of publicly reflecting and retelling current events.

Artist talk: Susanne Kriemann / Jan Wenzel

4:45 – 5:45 pm, in German

 

How can seemingly invisible, long-term processes, geological changes, and the gradual transformation of a region be made visible? For several years the artist Susanne Kriemann has been researching, documenting, and surveying the properties of the former Wismuth AG company (from 1945 to 1990 the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium) in the German states of Saxony and Thuringia. In the course of her field research she has met with not only former miners but also geologists and biologists of the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, who are studying the potential of renaturalizing the area. The artist has been developing experimental recording strategies and heliogravure techniques with pigments from plants capable of storing environmental pollutants, and working on ways to render the radioactivity of objects, plants, and living beings visible.

Artist talk: Nicolas Giraud & Bertrand Stofleth / Krisztina Hunya & Sabine Weier

6:00 – 7:00 pm, in English

 

The talk focuses on the long-term photographic and research project “La Vallée” (2013 – 18) by Nicolas Giraud and Bertrand Stofleth. Documenting the decline of the oldest industrial region in France, the area between the cities of Lyon and Saint-Étienne, the project touches upon a variety of geographical, historical, and economic aspects. At f/stop festival, the artists present the photographs alongside a group of texts by authors from various disciplines. Each text produces a particular take on the territory and contemporary issues.

Su, 24. 6. 2018

Lecture: Eyal Weizman, Forensic Architecture

11:30 am – 12:30 pm, in English

 

Eyal Weizman is an architect and the director of the Center for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College of the University of London. He is co-founder of the independent research group Forensic Architecture, which is also based at Goldsmiths. In the main exhibition Forensic Architecture will present the work “77sqm_9:26min”, which was commissioned by the activist alliance Unraveling the NSU Complex, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), and documenta 14. The project examines the murder of Halit Yozgat in the city of Kassel in 2006 by the extreme right-wing NSU group and the false testimony given by Andreas Temme, who was present when the crime was committed.

Producing knowledge. On participation, empathy and ignorance

1:30 – 3:30 pm, Plenum in German with Mareike Bernien, Paula Bulling, Christian Gesellmann, Ayşe Güleç, Anne König (moderator), Josa Mania Schlegel

 

In German. For more than ten years the racial motives of the murders committed by the group “National Socialist Underground” (NSU) were concealed. The participants in the second plenum will present forms of knowledge production in the context of the failures of the authorities and discuss social cohesion. Ayşe Güleç and Mareike Bernien will offer a feministic and migrant-oriented perspective on the NSU murders. In their research and artistic work the two have been examining the complex contexts of normative knowledge production and representation and looking at strategies to render viewpoints that have been ignored more visible. This connects in turn to the new work by Paula Bulling and Anne König: three graphic short stories that focus on women directly or indirectly related to the NSU—an active supporter, a seemingly frail administrative clerk, and a relative of one of the murder victims. Christian Gesellmann and Josa Mania Schlegel survey the rise in right-wing political movements in western society from a journalistic perspective, paying special attention to the state of Saxony.

Artistic interventions in the realm of the digital

4:00 – 6:00 pm Plenum in English with Daphne Dragona, lizvlx/UBERMORGEN, Ana Teixeira Pinto (moderator), Zenker

 

The trenches of our “broken society” also run through the digital world, from where they have an impact on real political events. One example of this is the effect that meme campaigns in social networks have on elections. The waging of political debates and influencing of opinions are now increasingly taking place in digital spaces where troll troops foment hate, rage, and xenophobia. Digital artistic interventions in the realm of the digital will be discussed, with particular emphasis on photographic strategies and the associated political and social practices of the digital society. At this plenum UBERMORGEN will present its ongoing project “Binary Primitivism” and afterwards speak with Ana Teixeira Pinto and Daphne Dragona.

 

Binary Primitivism: We live in a time where humans have lost the ability to understand the world. Some say this is because we understand everything! To affirmatively counter this, the 21st century will have to be the age of Transhumanism, Accelerationism, Alternative Facts, Neoreactionary (NRx) Aesthetics, the Singularity and the Psychopathology of Psychopathy. We call it “Binary Primitivism”. Significant carrier networks are neoreactionary psychopaths (Alt-Right Nerds) acting from within their Silicon Valley habitat. To shape and interact with this ongoing process we create high-tech Heraldry and Hypno Porn, based on recycled photography, as aesthetic signifiers and detection-based blade servers (web-sites) to colonize the imaginary.

Biographies

Mareike Bernien works as artist and teacher between the media of performative film, sound and text. Using the methodology of media archaeology her works question ideological certainties of representation, their material and technological preconditions and historical continuities. Among her most recent films are: “Tiefenschärfe” (2017) together with Alex Gerbaulet, “Rainbow’s Gravity” (2014) together with Kerstin Schroedinger. She is a member of the initiative Unraveling the NSU Complex.

 

Paula Bulling, born 1986 in Berlin, is a comic artist and author. Her debut “Im Land der Frühaufsteher” was released in 2012 by avant-Verlag. She writes, draws, and translates comics and illustrates for the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, the Stuttgart Opera, and other publications and organizations. Her short stories have appeared in such journals as kuš! (Riga), Samandal (Beirut) and Strapazin (Zurich). “Lichtpause”, her latest work, was published by Rotopol press in Kassel. In collaboration with Anne König she created the image story “Wege einer Ware” for the publication “Lampedusa – Bildgeschichten am Rande Europas” (2017).

 

Daphne Dragona is a Berlin based theorist and curator. Since 2015 she has been part of the transmediale team. Articles of hers have been published in various books, journals, magazines, and exhibition catalogues. She has worked with different institutions for exhibitions, conferences, workshops and other events. Among her most recent projects are: “Tomorrows, Urban Fictions for Possible Futures” (Onassis Cultural Center, 2017), and “… An Archaeology of Silence in the Digital Age” (Aksioma, 2017). She holds a PhD from the Faculty of Communication & Media Studies of the University of Athens.

 

Christian Gesellmann, born 1984 in Zwickau. After intensive studies in Jena and Perugia completed a mediocre B.A. degree in political science, history and German studies. Trainee at the Freie Presse newspaper in Chemnitz, after which he worked for two and a half years as a managing editor in his nicely renovated native city. He then relocated to Bucharest and worked for the reporter collective Casa Jurnalistului. Now lives in Jena because he can’t be bothered with Berlin but finds Zwickau too depressing. Token East German reporter for Krautreporter, barkeeper at Strand 22, and every now and again low-cost scribbler for other elite German media outlets.

 

Nicolas Giraud, born in 1978, lives and works in Paris. His work takes various forms and deals with image construction and circulation. His artistic research is also conducted through parallel activities of critical writings and occasional curating. He teaches Image Theory at La Sorbonne, Paris 1, and is a professor at the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles. His work is represented by the Frank Dumont gallery in Los Angeles. It is present in various collections, including the FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and the FRAC Champagne-Ardennes.

 

Ayşe Güleç is educator/cultural labourer, researching activist/activist researcher at the interface between anti-racism, migration, art, and art education. From 2015 to 2017 she worked for documenta 14 as a community liaison for the artistic director. She is active in the initiative 6. April and the collective movement Unraveling the NSU Complex. From 1998 to 2016 she was active at the Kulturzentrum Schlachthof in Kassel, where she developed, directed, and implemented activities and educational offerings in the field of migration and worked on establishing and maintaining local, regional and European networks. For documenta 12 she created a committee for developing and establishing alliances with individuals, groups and institutions in Kassel and later served as the committee’s spokesperson. She was member of Maybe Education for documenta 13 and trained a group of art educators.

 

Falk Haberkorn, born 1974 in Berlin. Initially studied Russian and Bohemian language and culture at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. From 1995 to 2002 studied photography at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, after which began Meisterschüler studies with Timm Rautert. Since then freelance artist in Leipzig. Has received countless grants and awards. Also publishes artist’s books. Most recent publication: “After the Gold Rush. Journey to Eastern Germany, Fall 2004” (Spector Books, 2018). In his photographic works Haberkorn often demonstrates the relationship between photography and history, the condition of the medium between the past and a seemingly eternal present, between forensic tool and ambivalent depiction of reality.

 

Krisztina Hunya is a freelance curator and project manager. She is the curator of the Symposium of the 8th Festival for Photography f/stop Leipzig and the exhibition “Ilona Németh: Eastern Sugar” at Kunsthalle Bratislava (both 2018). Recent projects include the programming of the project space Zönotéka in Berlin (2014 – 2016), “Performing Relationships” KV – Verein für zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig (2017), as well as “ProjectZone” in the framework of OFF Biennale Budapest (2015). She has been Assistant Curator of “Riots: Slow Cancellation of the Future” at the ifa galleries in Berlin and Stuttgart (2018) and of the “Contour Biennale 8” (2017), curated by Natasha Ginwala, with whom she has been working on several projects since 2015. She is Project Manager of the Curators Workshop of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, a position she already held at the 9th edition.

 

Eva Pluhařová-Grigienė is an art and image historian. Until March 2018 she worked as a research assistant at the Chair of Art History of Eastern Europe of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She currently teaches in the Department of History of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. Her book „Die Migration der Bilder. Das Memelgebiet in fotografisch illustrierten Büchern (1889 – 1991)“ was published in 2017 by Böhlau Verlag. In it she examines how collective memory can be shaped by means of photographs and how ideologies and emotions—feelings of loss and longing for home—are communicated from one generation to the next by means of images. She is a member of the network Photographic Histories in Central and Eastern Europe.

 

Anne König lives as a publisher and author in Leipzig. Together with Markus Dreßen and Jan Wenzel she founded Spector Books in 2001. She has provided editorial guidance for many photobooks, including “Manitoba” by Tobias Zielony, “Irreguläre Tage” by Michael Schade and the diaries of Jonas Mekas. In 2016 she co-curated an exhibition on the architecture of preschools at the Kunsthaus Dresden and the 7th f/stop Festival for Photography Leipzig together with Jan Wenzel. Together with Armin Linke she was the artistic director of the Migrant Image Research Group. For the publication “Lampedusa – Bildgeschichten am Rande Europas (Lampedusa – Image Stories from the Edge of Europe)” she created together with Paula Bulling “Wege einer Ware (A Commodity on the Move)”, which was presented at the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie 2017 in Mannheim. Together with Jan Wenzel she is curating the 8th f/stop Festival for Photography Leipzig 2018.

 

Susanne Kriemann is an artist and professor at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. She studies photography as a form of social history and archival practice. She has developed an analogue “recording system” for ongoing processes caused by human beings. Photography is thus made to become a documentary seismograph and media archaeological tool capable of portraying socio-economic realities.

 

Elske Rosenfeld, born 1974 in Halle/S. (GDR), is an artist and author based in Berlin. Her works investigate the body and revolution, and the history of state socialism and its dissidences. They have been featured in international exhibitions, among others at Gorki Herbstsalon III (2017), mumok kino, Vienna (2016), steirischer herbst festival, Graz (2015), Devi Art Foundation, Delhi (2013) and Former West, Utrecht (2010). She is currently working on the history of the year 1990, among others for the F/Stop-Festival, Leipzig, and curating the project “Artistic Research at the Archive of the GDR opposition” together with Suza Husse/ District Berlin. She recently began blogging on www.dissidencies.net. In the framework of the exhibition “Unterbrechungen. Skripte, Proben, Gesten”, an f/stop Satellite at KV, she will show a new piece from the body of work “A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures”.

 

Born 1966 in Weimar, Andreas Rost is an internationally-reputed German photographer and curator. His work lies on the border between documentary and art photography. Biography: 1988 – 1993 studied photography at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts; Degree in photography under Evelyn Richter and Arno Fischer; 1991 Assistant to Thomas Höpker (Magnum); since 1994 freelance photographer and curator; since 2006 ifa-Representative for Photography / Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen; lives and works in Berlin.

 

Josa Mania Schlegel, born 1991, graduated from the Deutsche Journalistenschule and lives and works in Leipzig. He is the author of a daily email newsletter entitled “Abendpost Sachsen” published by the reader-funded online magazine Krautreporter. Together with Christian Gesellmann he is currently developing a column for the state of Saxony. Why? Because he believes that east German issues receive too little attention in the overall German context and wants to do something about it. Where and how can you meet Josa? Most likely by simply walking up and down the Kolonnadenstraße a few times. Or on Twitter: @JosaMania.

 

Bertrand Stofleth, born in 1978, lives and works in Lyon. His works explore modes of occupying territory, along with uses and representations of landscapes. The photographic observations he has carried out in the Monts d’Ardèche (2005 – 12, exhibited at the Rencontres d’Arles in 2012), Hérault Valley (2010 – 15) and also in the Verdon (2018) regional nature reserve, examine territorial transformations over time. Since 2011, he has been doing the same type of work in urban settings, as part of artistic residences in several cities. He is currently working on the project “Aeropolis” about the relationship between airports and their connections to the cities. His work is present in various collections, including the FNAC and the FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Furthermore, he is a photographer at the Lyon Opéra house since 2005, teaches in schools and academies documentary practice and photography with the large format camera.

 

Ana Teixeira Pinto is a writer and cultural theorist based in Berlin. She is currently a lecturer at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Her writings have appeared in publications and in journals such as e-flux, art-agenda, Mousse, frieze d/e, Domus, Inaethetics, Manifesta, and Texte zur Kunst. She is the editor of The Reluctant Narrator (2014), and has recently contributed to Alleys of Your Mind: Augmented Intelligence and Its Traumas (Matteo Pasquinelli (ed.), 2015).

 

UBERMORGEN.com, lizvlx (AT, 1973) and Hans Bernhard (CH/USA, 1971), are contemporary artists and net.art pioneers. They tenaciously convert code & language into concept & aesthetics. CNN described them as „maverick Austrian business people“ and the NYT called Google Will Eat Itself „simply brilliant“. They own 75+ Domains (Web-sites) and their main influences are Rammstein, Samantha Fox and XXXTentacion, Olanzapine, LSD, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Coconut Shrimps Deluxe and Viennese Actionism. http://ubermorgen.com

 

Sabine Weier is a critic, editor, and translator. She writes about contemporary art and conceptualizes projects with a focus on critical visual history and feminist art. From 2016 to 2018 she was an editor at Camera Austria International. Together with Krisztina Hunya she co-curates the Symposium of the 8th Festival for Photography f/stop Leipzig.

 

Eyal Weizman is an architect and the director of the Center for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College of the University of London. He is co-founder of the independent research group Forensic Architecture, which is also based at Goldsmiths. In the main exhibition Forensic Architecture will present the work “77sqm_9:26min”, which was commissioned by the activist alliance Unraveling the NSU Complex, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), and documenta 14. The project examines the murder of Halit Yozgat in the city of Kassel in 2006 by the extreme right-wing NSU group and the false testimony given by Andreas Temme, who was present when the crime was committed.

 

Jan Wenzel lives as a publisher, author, and artist in Leipzig. Together with Markus Dreßen and Anne König he founded Spector Books in 2001. As author and editor he has collaborated on countless book projects. Since 2013 he has regularly published his column “The Revolving Bookshelf” in the journal Camera Austria International, in which he explores the medium of the photobook. Originally begun in the 1990s, his works with photo booths have been shown in such museums as the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Museum Folkwang in Essen. Together with Anne König he is currently curating the f/stop Festival for Photography Leipzig 2018, which the two also curated in 2016.

 

Zenker (DDR/DE, 1988) lives and works in Leipzig and Cologne. His main interest evolves around psychological regulatory systems and around identity and control within logical game and advertisement environments. His most prominent Installation “Schaltkreis – Alle unter einem Ton” is an immersiveinteractive cybernetic organism. Zenker organizes game exhibitions and keta-pop partys in Leipzig and he is part of the “keine fische aber grethen” collective. He holds a diploma in visual communication from the University of Kassel, College of Art (Kunsthochschule Kassel) and regularly teaches workshops and holds lectures in Europe and Africa. Since 2015 Zenker assists the artist duo UBERMORGEN in their global ventures dealing with psychopathologies (no-limit.org, 2015) and the Alt Right (Binary Primitivism, 2016-). https://allzenks.wordpress.com/

Sa, 23. 6. 2018

14:00 –
16:15
f/stop Symposium: Strategies of photographic action after 1989. Plenum in German with Falk Haberkorn, Eva Pluhařová-Grigienė (moderator), Elske Rosenfeld, Andreas Rost    

The current societal and political tensions in Germany and other central and eastern European countries are prompting questions as to the role photography can play as a medium of public communication. Taking the thematic focus “exposing 1990” as a point of departure, the first plenum will examine photography as a socially effective practice since the fall of the Iron Curtain. The distinct approaches of Falk Haberkorn, Elske Rosenfeld, and Andreas Rost demonstrate different manners of publicly reflecting and retelling current events.

16:45 –
17:45
f/stop Symposium, Artist Talk in German with Susanne Kriemann and Jan Wenzel    

How can seemingly invisible, long-term processes, geological changes, and the gradual transformation of a region be made visible? For several years the artist Susanne Kriemann has been researching, documenting, and surveying the properties of the former Wismuth AG company (from 1945 to 1990 the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium) in the German states of Saxony and Thuringia. In the course of her field research she has met with not only former miners but also geologists and biologists of the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, who are studying the potential of renaturalizing the area. The artist has been developing experimental recording strategies and heliogravure techniques with pigments from plants capable of storing environmental pollutants, and working on ways to render the radioactivity of objects, plants, and living beings visible.

18:00 –
19:00
f/stop Symposium, Artist Talk in English with Nicolas Giraud & Bertrand Stofleth / Krisztina Hunya & Sabine Weier    

How can photography examine long-term societal developments that affect everyday life? For their long-term photographic project “La Vallée” (2013 – 2016), Nicolas Giraud and Bertrand Stofleth have documented the decline of the oldest industrial region in France—the area between the cities of Lyon and Saint-Étienne.

Su, 24. 6. 2018

11:30 –
12:30
f/stop Symposium, Lecture with Eyal Weizman in English Language    

Eyal Weizman is an architect and the director of the Center for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College of the University of London. He is co-founder of the independent research group Forensic Architecture, which is also based at Goldsmiths. In the main exhibition Forensic Architecture will present the work “77sqm_9:26min”, which was commissioned by the activist alliance Unraveling the NSU Complex, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), and documenta 14. The project examines the murder of Halit Yozgat in the city of Kassel in 2006 by the extreme right-wing NSU group and the false testimony given by Andreas Temme, who was present when the crime was committed.

13:30 –
15:30
f/stop Symposium: Producing knowledge. On participation, empathy and ignorance. Plenum in German with Mareike Bernien, Paula Bulling, Christian Gesellmann, Ayşe Güleç, Anne König (moderator), Josa Mania Schlegel    

In German. For more than ten years the racial motives of the murders committed by the group “National Socialist Underground” (NSU) were concealed. The participants in the second plenum will present forms of knowledge production in the context of the failures of the authorities and discuss social cohesion. Ayşe Güleç and Mareike Bernien will offer a feministic and migrant-oriented perspective on the NSU murders. In their research and artistic work the two have been examining the complex contexts of normative knowledge production and representation and looking at strategies to render viewpoints that have been ignored more visible. This connects in turn to the new work by Paula Bulling and Anne König: three graphic short stories that focus on women directly or indirectly related to the NSU—an active supporter, a seemingly frail administrative clerk, and a relative of one of the murder victims. Christian Gesellmann and Josa Mania Schlegel survey the rise in right-wing political movements in western society from a journalistic perspective, paying special attention to the state of Saxony.

16:00 –
18:00
f/stop Symposium: Artistic interventions in the realm of the digital, Plenum in German and English language with Daphne Dragona, lizvlx/UBERMORGEN.com, Ana Teixeira Pinto (moderator), Zenker    

The trenches of our “broken society” also run through the digital world, from where they have an impact on real political events. One example of this is the effect that meme campaigns in social networks have on elections. The waging of political debates and influencing of opinions are now increasingly taking place in digital spaces where troll troops foment hate, rage, and xenophobia. Digital artistic interventions in the realm of the digital will be discussed, with particular emphasis on photographic strategies and the associated political and social practices of the digital society. At this plenum UBERMORGEN.com will present its ongoing project “Binary Primitivism” and afterwards speak with Ana Teixeira Pinto and Daphne Dragona.

 

Binary Primitivism: We live in a time where humans have lost the ability to understand the world. Some say this is because we understand everything! To affirmatively counter this, the 21st century will have to be the age of Transhumanism, Accelerationism, Alternative Facts, Neoreactionary (NRx) Aesthetics, the Singularity and the Psychopathology of Psychopathy. We call it “Binary Primitivism”. Significant carrier networks are neoreactionary psychopaths (Alt-Right Nerds) acting from within their Silicon Valley habitat. To shape and interact with this ongoing process we create high-tech Heraldry and Hypno Porn, based on recycled photography, as aesthetic signifiers and detection-based blade servers (web-sites) to colonize the imaginary.