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Academy. Teaching Art, Learning Art

01/22 - 04/03/2005
"Academy" is an international series of exhibitions and projects which will take place during the next two years. The series is initiated by Siemens Arts Program in cooperation with Kunstverein in Hamburg, Goldsmiths College in London, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst in Antwerp, and Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven.

The series begins with "Academy. Teaching Art, Learning Art" at Kunstverein in Hamburg. This event reflects on the situation of students and instructors at art academies and asks: Which role ascriptions occur on either side? Can art be taught and learned at all? Which values do progressive thought and tradition, provincialism and internationality have in the idea and essence of the academy? "Academy. Teaching Art, Learning Art" consists of an exhibition with (in part) process-oriented artistic works and a lecture series. In this sense, the project relates directly to the original meaning of the academy as a forum for sharing ideas and as a venue for free, informal gatherings. This approach is also reflected in an information area within the exhibition, where documentary material is available about various international academies and conservatories of art. Works by the invited artists focus on the theme of the institutionalization of art education and art communication.

In "Ghost Professor Jennifer" (2004), Uli Aigner (*1965 in Scheibbs/ Lower Austria, lives in Munich) established visiting hours in the city hall for students from Munich’s Academy of Visual Arts. Together with students and graduates from the Academy in Munich, she founded the "Ghost Academy" (2004/2005) with its twelve fictive teaching chairs. "Ghost Academy" will now be presented in Hamburg for the first time. Afterwards it will be documented on film and can be experienced in the form of didactic events.

For many years, Pawel Althamer (*1967 in Warsaw, lives in Warsaw) has organized a weekly workshop with mentally handicapped people, the so-called Nowolipie Group. For Kunstverein, he and the members of this group will create sculptural portraits of gallery owners and other art communicators. A video by his artist colleague Artur Zmijewski (*1966 in Warsaw, lives in Warsaw) documents the process through which Althamer conjoins the artistic context and everyday life.

In their group installation "Thirst for Knowledge" (2003), Mark Dion (*1961 in New Bedford/MA in 1961, lives in Beach Lake/PA) and Jackie McAllister (*1962 in Dundee, lives in New York) use articles of clothing and stacks of books to create typological portraits of art students and their intellectual interests.

Jeanne Faust (*1986 in Wiesbaden, lives in Hamburg) made a film in which a woman describes a picture, then repeats this description with uncertainty. Her interlocutor’s response is not shown, so the film’s spectators lack decisive information they need to understand the situation. The attempt to comprehend something through an extremely precise description can fail, but it can also reveal many possibilities.

Jef Geys (*1934 in Leopoldsburg, lives in Balen) presents a series of sketches entitled "ABC École de Paris" (1986) which formulates the academic vocabulary of an artist who can acquire motifs and skills through continual practice. In addition, Geys invited the artist Inge Godelaine to the Academy of fine Arts in Hamburg for two weeks (February 7-18, 2005), where she’ll teach "Sketching from Nude Models" to students and other interested individuals.

The series of sketches entitled "Akademie für Adler" ("Academy for Eagles") (1989) by Jörg Immendorff (*1945 in Bleckede, lives in Düsseldorf) reflects this painter’s ambivalent relationship to the art academy as an institution with its hierarchical, competitive and exclusive mechanisms. The point in time when these pictures were created plays a role, as does the personal involvement of the painter because of his role as an instructor at various academies.

To earn his diploma, Christian Jankowski (*1968 in Göttingen, lives in Berlin) developed a film installation called "Diplomarbeit" ("Diploma Work") (1992/1998), in which he documented the first and last days of his own artistic education. The theme considered in this self-referential artwork is further explored in "Teaching Commission" (2000), which consists of banners daubed with statements that natural scientists made about their own teaching commissions, and "Seminar – Selbstpositionierungen im Kunstfeld" ("Seminar – Self-positioning in the Art Field") (2002), in which students exchange their roles with dream partners from the art world.

In "Basisarbeit" ("Grassroots Work") (1998), Olaf Metzel (*1952 in Berlin, lives in Munich) focuses on the theme of his former double function as artist and rector at the Academy of fine Arts Munich. He describes this twofold role as a contextual and conceptual situation. His installation, which relates to the art academy as an institution, consists of a conference table, voting booths, a photo with the chain of office, a paperweight shaped like the Academy building, and a chaotic heap of files. An accompanying eponymous book contains a collection of articles about the situation in which these educational institutions find themselves.

Eran Schaerf (*1962 in Tel Aviv, lives in Berlin) and students from the Academy of fine Arts in Hamburg plan a project entitled "Modulator" which will represent and investigate the structures of a conservatory’s seminar as a transmitter-receiver model. They developed a "software" for this purpose so that they could change the traditional roles of this communicative model. This led to the creation of a kind of montage machine for which the artists produce contributions and allude to one another, either under their own names or under the name "Modulator."

Arturas Raila (*1962 in Vilnius, lives in Vilnius) has taught for more than a decade at the Conservatory of Art in Vilnius. This institution is also the showplace of his video: entitled "The Girl is Innocent" (1999), the video depicts a stroll through the graduating classes of the year 1998. The video’s theme is the discrepancy between post-communist experiences and the resultant modes of work of several students on the one hand, and the traditional notion of artistic genius which continues to provide an orientation for some of Raila’s professor colleagues on the other hand.

For the duration of the exhibition, Apolonija Šušteršic (*1965 in Ljubljana, lives in Am-sterdam and Ljubljana) will install a "Research Department. Meeting Room" which investigates the complementary interconnections between the Academy of fine Arts in Hamburg, Kunstverein in Hamburg, and the city of Hamburg. As a venue which is simultaneously analytical and physical, the "Research Department" also promotes encounter and communication in order to evaluate and constructively encourage networking between these three venues. (supported by: Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam / Generalkonsu-lat der Niederlande in Hamburg)

Press Conference
Friday, January 21, 2005, 11 a.m.

Friday, January 21, 2005, 7 p.m.

Cooperating Partners
Kunstverein in Hamburg and Siemens Arts Program

Uli Aigner, Pawel Althamer & ArturZmijewski & Nowolipie Group, Mark Dion & Jackie McAllister, Jeanne Faust, Jef Geys, Jörg Immendorff, Christian Jankowski, Olaf Metzel, Modulator (Mareike Bernein, Nadine Droste, Gunnar Fleischer, Axel Gaertner, Oliver Gemballa, Heiko Karn, Jeong Hyun Kim, Alexander Mayer, Katrin Mayer, Nicole Messenlehner, Karolin Meunier, Stefan Moos, Miriam Pietrusky, Christoph Rothmeier, Eran Schaerf, Eske Schlüters, Jochen Schmith, Robert Schnackenburg, Mirjam Thomann, Sabin Tünschel, Gunnar Voss, Karsten Wiesel, Benjamin Yavuzsoy, Joachim Zahn and Jenni Zimmer), Arturas Raila, and Apolonija Šušteršic

Yilmaz Dziewior (Kunstverein in Hamburg)
Angelika Nollert (Siemens Arts Program)

A catalogue will be published upon conclusion of the series. Its editors will be Bart De Baere, Yilmaz Dziewior, Charles Esche, Angelika Nollert, and Irit Rogoff.

Lecture Series

- January 27, 2005, 7 p.m: .Irit Rogoff: "Academy as Potentiality"

- February 3, 2005, 5 p.m.: Heiko Karn, Katrin Mayer, and Eran Schaerf discuss "Format Attempt – Publication as Seminar"

- February 17, 2005, 7 p.m.: Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni, Ali Subotnick: "4th Berlin Biennale 2006"

- February 24, 2005, 7 p.m.: Stephan Dillemuth: "The Academy and the Corporate Public"

- March 3, 2005, 7 p.m.: Abel Auer, André Butzer, Birgit Megerle, Roberto Ohrt: "Academy Isotrope, the Echo"

- March 10, 2005, 7 p.m.: Clementine Deliss: "Future Academy"

- March 17, 2005, 7 p.m.: Martin Köttering: "Ivory Towers / Light-houses: On the Social Position of Art Conservatories"

- March 31, 2005, 7 p.m.: Charles Esche: "The Protoacademy"
Press Release December 2004

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