Otto Dix
Workshop in Seoul
Workshop in Seoul
Workshop in Seoul

Photos: Wiebke Trunk, 2010

Art students – how to talk about their own pictures and missing memories?

Résumé of the workshop on the Otto Dix exhibition by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V. in Seoul.

Painting and sculpture students from the art collect at Seoul National University took parting the Seoul workshop. The museum was showing works by Otto Dix; it is part of the university and like all the institutions is also on the spacious university campus.

The starting point for the action was – as in all workshops for this exhibition – comparing current pictures of violence and aggression with the Dix works exhibited, which date from the 1920s. We met in the exhibition gallery first, so that we could talk to each other about links, differences and similarities in these works, and finally also to allot individual works by Dix to the sheets from the print media, books and the internet. As it happened, a group of visitors also came up during this phase, and they were also able to look at the pictures that had been laid our in the context of the exhibited etchings. This process was very concentrated and silent. After this allocation had been made, the students developed works of their own in the nearby studios and fitted them into the exhibition in their turn. So the day concluded with an intensive discussion about how their own works should be fitted into the arrangement of topical images and Dix’s work.

Here the themes were above all sexual violence, missing memories of the Korean War (1950-53), which the young students (approx. 24 years) all knew about only from stories or from silence about it, and the South Korean naval vessel that sank in the Yellow Sea in April 2010, at the cost of almost 50 lives. The special feature of this workshop was the fact that these art students, who were mainly interested professionally in coming to terms with the artistic material individually, where confronted with verbalizing their work in the group. The conversations we held were therefore ultimately driven by the question of how artists talk about their own work, and how to argue for the inclusion – in this case of pictorial material that was as diverse as it was violent (circulating memories, personal experience, familiar images); in other words the questions of how and whether viewers are included in an artist’s work, or whether the picture itself is not sufficient as a statement. (Wiebke Trunk M.A.)

Workshop direction: Wiebke Trunk, art mediator, artist and lecturer at the Hochschule für Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart
Participants: art students from Seoul National University
Initiator: ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), Stuttgart
Organizers: Goethe-Institut Seoul and the Museum of Art at the Seoul National University