ifa | How can trash be turned into pure gold? Why does design thrive on waste? And which role do upcycling and recycling play worldwide? These and other questions were discussed by curators, researches, designers and students in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg. The two day conference accompanied the ifa exhibition "Pure Gold – Upcycled! Upgraded!", which will travel around the world for ten years.
Call for Art Funding Programmes
ifa | Artists, actors and cultural practitioners are invited to apply for ifa's art funding programmes. The closing date for the application is 31 January 2018. With the "Exhibition Funding" programme ifa supports projects in foreign countries of contemporary German artists and artists with residence in Germany. The "Artists' Contact" programme supports intercultural exchange among German and international creative artists. Research trips, international events and Workshops are only some possible events to be supported.
Art as a way out of the crisis of representation?
ifa | Dealing with ethnological collections in science and society has become a controversial subject, as the history of ethnological museums is inseparably linked to Eurocentrism and colonialism. Dominant narratives have consistently been reproduced. How can museums encounter this past? Can the transformation of a colonial institution into a space for post-colonial discourse be successful? What are the challenges at the interface of ethnological museums and art?
Call for Applications
ifa | Young professionals and volunteers from Germany and abroad can now apply for the ifa CrossCulture Programme 2018. Politics, human rights and peace, sustainable development or media and culture – CrossCulture offers intercultural exchange and professional experience in different cultural contexts and work areas. Deadline for applications is 12 January 2018. Who can apply? What documents do I have to submit? For more information, please see the call for applications.
Pure Gold Picture Gallery
ifa | Waste, its disposal and recycling have been on the global agenda for a long time. The exhibition format Pure Gold – Upcycled! Upgraded! shows how to face the problem creatively. Regarding the aspect of sustainability, designers from all over the world present art made from waste. The touring exhibition officially started in Hamburg and will be continued for the next ten years at different venues. The picture gallery presents first results of the exhibition opening at the 'Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe MKG'.
Local Resources and Traditional Handicrafts
Contemporary Architecture from India
ifa | In order to "explore thoughts and ideas", Bijoy Jain founded the "Studio Mumbai" in 2005. Carpenters, roofers, bricklayers, plumbers and many other artisans work in the architectural office aside from architects. The co-creation enables creative processes and designs that combine tradition and modernity. In the exhibition "Between the Sun and the Moon" the ifa Gallery Stuttgart presents the working processes and sources of inspiration of the Indian architect and his team as well as various materials, tools and color samples. The exhibition is part of the "Architekturnovember", organised by the Association of German Architects Baden-Württemberg.
Interview by Constant Formé-Bècherat und Siri Gögelmann
Under the Mango Tree - Sites of Learning
ifa | What about the state of education in the arts? During the documenta 14 international educators, cultural producers, artists and scholars discussed this question. The experimental and artistic exchange took place as the documenta itself in Athens and in Kassel. Following the slogan of the event 'Under the Mango Tree – Sites of Learning' it was held outdoors, surrounded by trees.
By Aïcha Diallo
Exhibition: World premiere in Dresden
ifa | Franz Erhard Walther is considered a pioneer of participatory art. As professor at the Art Academy in Hamburg he has gained influence on a wide a range of important artists. At the 57 th art exibition "La Biennale di Venezia 2017", he had been awarded with the Golden Lion as best artist. From 1st september till 20th january, his works are displayed within the exhibition "The Event of a Thread" at the "Kunsthaus Dresden". In an interview Walther speaks about the beginnings of his work in the 1950s, drawing and his own definition of "sculpture".
Under the Mango Tree - Sites of Learning
ifa | The event Under the Mango Tree -Sites of Learning, as part of documenta 14, acted as an open forum for the study of the understanding of cultural education and educational initiatives from around the world. The artist Duane Linklater, who took part with the project Woodland School, has met with Aïcha Diallo for an interview. The Canadian artist discussed education, cultural expressions and the centrality of indigenity.
ifa | Recycling is an increasingly popular topic among the population. However, recycling is becoming more and more important not only in private households, but also in the art scene. Volker Albus is the curator of the exhibition "Pure Gold" that is dedicated to the topic of recycling and will open in Hamburg on September 15th. In his introductory text, Albus reports on his work with garbage, the variety of recycling, and the recycling-motivated design in recent years.
Biennial Conference: "Curating Under Pressure"
ifa | "What can art achieve in times of crisis?" – The question was central in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the cities had to deal with two serious earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Even though the local biennial was at stake, the organizers decided to continue. The idea of a biennial conference in Christchurch on the ethics of curating came up. Under the headline "Curating Under Pressure" organizers and directors, but also curators, artists, academics as well as representatives and activists from the local art scene participated. Susanne Boecker and Paul Wood summarize the results of the conference.
Contemporary Art from Germany in Mexico
"Imaginar para Imaginar" – A Workshop with Lilian Scholtes
ifa | Four days of pure creativity: With different materials and colours young people from Mexico created their personal artworks during Lilian Scholte's Workshop "Imaginar para Imaginar" in Guadalajara. The exhibition "Future Perfect" served as the source of inspiration. The exhibition includes films, photographs, sculptures, objects, painting, and collages by sixteen artists who look at visions of the future and speculations on the course of history. The next workshop with the art mediator Scholtes takes place from 28 to 31 August in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. For further information see the "Future Perfect Blog".
ifa | Philip Jailos from Malawi had a very positive experience at the Ethnolgisches Museum in Berlin during his internship: "Everyone was so kind and very supportive. The African collection Department was great: it was a department of joyful and lively young people. I was involved with everything within and outside working hours. I got easily absorbed into the system because of how everyone welcomed me at the museum. I really felt at home." A report about his work and impressions.
C&/ifa | The first issue of Contemporary And (C&) was published 2014 during the Dakar Biennale. The issue offers online, as well as offline, different narratives of contemporary African art. C& is a dynamic place where topics and information of contemporary art practice and African perspectives are reflected and connected.
ifa | Zoological and botanic gardens are not only places where people spend their leisure time. They are also focal points for education and research. This exhibition in 2017 marks ifa’s one-hundredth anniversary and refers to the legendary exhibition of 1987, Exotic Worlds – European Fantasies, initiated by ifa to explore specific aspects of many institutions in Stuttgart, including Moorish architecture and the theme of “exotic animals in European art” in an exhibition of reproductions in the Wilhelma itself. For us, this anniversary is an opportunity to recall this pioneering earlier exhibition and to take up the theme again by looking from today’s perspective at the transfer, the keeping of, and research into and the presentation of culture and nature from other regions of the world.
Exhibition till 2nd july in Stuttgart.
Untie to Tie
ifa | The exhibition and the public programme in the second chapter show positions dedicated to resisting the colonial legacies in urban cultures, highlighting their potential of opposing hegemonic structures and politics. How are social hierarchies created and represented geographically in contemporary colonial relationships by stereotypical imaginaries? Urban cultures, such as music, fashion and tourism, are used as political or cultural instruments of empowerment and agency. In educating and uplifting stigmatized and discriminated communities, they point towards relations of subordination and domination that were established and are maintained by colonial structures and neocolonial relations: ideologically, psychologically, culturally, and politically. The plurality of positions and narrative voices in chapter 2 widen Eurocentric narratives and show strong counter-positions.
C& / ifa | On the occasion of documenta 14: Curriculum of connections, the latest print issue is focused on education. We are glad to feature in this issue leading players involved in the upcoming conference “Under the Mango tree − Ulterior Sites of Learning” taking place on 18–19 July 2017 in Kassel, hosted by the ifa and in cooperation with documenta 14
ifa | On this year's documenta 14 from 08.04. till 16.07.2017 eleven artist supported by the ifa will present their works. These include Arin Rungjang (Thailand), Samnang Khavy (Kambodscha), Ibrahim Mahama (Ghana) and Lala Rukh (Pakistan). Also Nikhil Chopra, Ganesh Haloi, Amar Kanwar and Nilima Shiekh from India will attend the exibition and from Guatemala Regina Galindo José, Joaqium Orellana Mejía and Vivian Suter.
ifa exhibitions in Mexico
From Oaxaca to Monterrey
ifa | During the Year of Germany in Mexico 2016-2017 the ifa presents alltogether seven exhibitions in different Mexican cities. Currently 'Sibylle Bergemann. Photographies' and 'Future Perfect' are to be seen in Oaxaca and in Guadalajara respectively. On 8 June the 'Otto Dix. Social Criticism' exhibition will open in Guadalajara. One week later 'Music from an Unknown Source' with 40 gouaches by Sigmar Polke will start in Oaxaca.
ifa | Elke aus dem Moore, Head of the Visual Arts Department at the ifa – Institute for International Cultural Relations, and Sepake Angiama, Head of Education at documenta 14, talk about shifting educational approaches in art, new curricula, and the conference Under the Mango Tree – Ulterior Sites of Learning on this subject
A World in the City
ifa | We are all familiar with something we call Natural History, but what would be the history of Natural History? Where I specifically would see Natural History as forms of relationships that human beings and human civilisations share with nature and Nature. This relationship is akin to a world view that people and civilisations develop and live with.
By Kaiwan Mehta
Venice Biennale 2017
ifa | A room, a house, a pavilion, an institution, a state. Glass walls and glass ceilings, fluid and crystalline, permeate the room as if it were one of the centers of financial power. At the invitation of Susanne Pfeffer, Anne Imhof has conceived the work 'Faust' for the German Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. 'Faust' is both a five-hour production and a seven-month-long scenario comprised of performative dynamics, sculptural installations, painterly touches, and rigorously choreographed visual axes and movements.
ifa | As a result of an international research and exhibition project the publication 'Politics of Sharing – On Collective Wisdom' presents perspectives that aim to activate our collective knowledge, our experience and our practices of sharing in the context of contemporary art and visual culture.
ifa | Johannes Haile captured in pictures what the people in front of his camera felt: deep trust and empathy. His photographs take us on a journey to almost forgotten landscapes of memory: In the 1960s, the Ethiopian photographer visited the Federal Republic and caught on camera the everyday life of the industrial boom. In her exhibition 'With different Eyes' the anthropologist and writer Meskerem Assegued presents some of these photographs for the first time in Germany. In this interview, she talks about her curatorial decisions and Haile's life with and for photography.
By Juliane Pfordte
ifa | ''I believe in the potential of art in processes of social transformation and I am sure that institutions can show the way," says Elke aus dem Moore, Head of the ifa Fine Arts Department. In an interview she talks about global trends in the field of art, the role of cultural institutions and her personal interest in encounters, with and by means of art. By Yeast, Art of Sharing
ifa | At the end of school holidays, Taysir Batniji as a young boy sharpened pencils for hours. Today, a field of pencil shavings is part of one of his most famous performances. The Palestinian artist was born 1966 in Gaza. With his installation 'Hannoun', Batniji is confronting two central dimensions of his life: the conflictive situation in Gaza, and living in exile. The installation is featured in the exhibition 'In the Carpet ǀ Über den Teppich'. Another work shown in the exhibition is from Amina Agueznay. The Casablanca-born artist loves collaborating with Moroccan weavers and artisans from the countryside. With her textiles installations she deals with traditional motifs and craft techniques. In the interview they talk about the mutual influences between arts, crafts and culture.
Interview by Mustafa Yapakci and Siri Gögelmann
contemporaryand.de | Obama's fine selection of works from Glenn Ligon to Alma Thomas is going to leave the White House. But what's coming instead?
By Sean O'Toole
Politics of Sharing | Interview
ifa | How can we preserve good living conditions on our planet? From which concepts of community and sharing can we learn today? Focusing on collective knowledge, other ideas of community and our relation to nature, the exhibition 'Politics of Sharing – Collective Wisdom' eopens our view to other worlds of thought. In the interview, Gabriel Rossell-Santillán, Natalie Robertson and Daniel Maier-Reimer talk about impulses in their artistic pursuit and provide an insight into the situation of the indigenous communities in Mexico and New Zealand.
Interview by Siri Gögelmann
ifa | 'He was a great deal of fun', says Meskerem Assegued about Johannes Haile. The Ethiopian photographer was not only her mentor but also a friend. Assegued describes Haile as someone who never liked fake smiles and who enjoyed capturing serene expressions. Meskerem Assegued is founding director of the Zoma Contemporary Art Center (ZCAC) in Addis Ababa and curator of the 'With Different Eyes. Germany in the Sixties – Photographs by Johannes Haile' exhibition.
Article by Meskerem Assegued
Contemporary &: 'I grew up with Johannes Haile and his photographs'. Interview with Meskerem Assegued
Interview / Podcast
The Bridge of Nature
Tehran – a metropolis with about twelve million inhabitants, countless roads and noisy streets. Right in the middle: the Tabiat Bridge (Persian "Nature" ), a pedestrian oasis hovering above a highway. The award-winning bridge – shortlisted for Aga Khan Award 2016 – was designed by Leila Araghian. During a visit at ifa Gallery Stuttgart she talks about her inspiration, why people are fascinated by the bridge and the obstacles she faced with her project.
Interview by Juliane Pfordte, podcast by Siri Gögelmann
ifa | Belarus – terra incognita? Even more than 20 years after its independence from the Soviet Union and despite its geographical proximity to the European Union, in the "West" its image is still diffuse and clichéd. But how do the Belarusians depict their country, known as "Europe's last dictatorship"? How does the younger generation comment on the state of their country and how has its art scene developed over the past years? The ifa in conversation with photographers Andrei Liankevich and Aleksander Veledzimovich.
Interview by Juliane Pfordte