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Symposium: Untold (Hi)stories

Exhibition and symposium on decolonization of art and society

How can art overcome the colonialist logic that has shaped how Western societies are organized?

Psychoanalysis is teaching us that for a traumatized individual the act of sharing its experience through speaking is as vital as the need for light, water, bread, and silence. It is necessary for this individual to narrate, remember, understand and explain the world that has turned her/him into a victim. Therefore, narrating colonial (hi)stories, and not forgetting and repressing them, is perhaps the most efficient way to overcome colonial trauma. But how could one narrate a traumatic experience when the available vocabulary is the very same that has violated one once before?

The colonial-capitalist-patriarchal epistemological hegemony has silenced the narratives of the “subaltern peoples” and has made it impossible to establish a diverse political and cultural reality, both in the South and in the North of the globe. Art, as a form of language and knowledge, can give these forgotten and silenced narratives an expression, but also allows new ethics and a new way of understanding human relations to emerge. In this context, it is necessary to think about the role that art has been playing in the process of establishing Eurocentric epistemological dominance and creating thereby marginalized identities throughout history, as well as it is important to pay attention on the effort that contemporary artists have done and are doing to change this reality.

Untold (Hi)stories is a group exhibition and a symposium initiated by Filipe Lippe and curated together with M.Bassy that debates on the decolonization of epistemologies, historical narratives, art and society. It will look at how decolonial artistic practices have transgressed fixed disciplines in art, expanded established aesthetic notions and challenged dominant narratives while (re)writing personal and collective (hi)stories. The selected works of the exhibition, as well as the symposium, will problematize issues related to colonial memories, marginalization of identities, epistemic disobedience, territory, historical narration, migration and (de)coloniality. The exhibition will open on the 9th November at M.Bassy and will bring together works from six international artists such as Fernando Codeço, Sam Durant, Ana Hupe, Harald Kisiedu, Magda Korsinsky and Filipe Lippe. The exhibition is curated by Filipe Lippe & M.Bassy with support of the Augstein Stiftung and in cooperation with the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (HFBK).

Programme

14 November 2019 in the HFBK's auditorium

10 am
Panel 1: Colonial memories, narration and decolonization of thinking in curatorial practices

  • Cristiana Tejo (sociologist and independent curator)
  • Nomaduma Rosa Masilela (artist, curator and writer)

12:00 Lunch break

12:30 pm
Panel 2: Archives and decentralization

  • Monilola Ilupeju (artist and curator, Colonial Neighbours - SAVVY Contemporary)
  • Julia Naidin (curator and philosopher)

2 pm
Panel 3: Intersections and interdisciplinarity (music, art, cinema, poetry and activism)

  • Harald Kisiedu (Jazz musician and music historian)
  • Michaela Ott (Prof. at HFBK Hamburg)
  • Musa Okwonga (author, journalist and spoken word artist)

Symposium mediation:

  • Astrid Mania (Prof. at HFBK Hamburg)
  • Filipe Lippe (PhD candidate at HFBK Hamburg)

ASA Open Studio 2019, Karolinenstraße 2a, Haus 5; photo: Matthew Muir

Live und in Farbe: die ASA Open Studios im Juni 2021

Since 2010, the HFBK has organised the international exchange programme Art School Alliance. It enables HFBK students to spend a semester abroad at renowned partner universities and, vice versa, invites international art students to the HFBK. At the end of their stay in Hamburg, the students exhibit their work in the Open Studios in Karolinenstraße, which are now open again to the art-interested public.

Studiengruppe Prof. Dr. Anja Steidinger, Was animiert uns?, 2021, Mediathek der HFBK Hamburg, Filmstill

Unlearning: Wartenau Assemblies

The art education professors Nora Sternfeld and Anja Steidinger initiated the format "Wartenau Assemblies". It oscillates between art, education, research and activism. Complementing this open space for action, there is now a dedicated website that accompanies the discourses, conversations and events.

Ausstellungsansicht "Schule der Folgenlosigkeit. Übungen für ein anderes Leben" im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg; photo: Maximilian Schwarzmann

School of No Consequences

Everyone is talking about consequences: The consequences of climate change, the Corona pandemic or digitalization. Friedrich von Borries (professor of design theory), on the other hand, is dedicated to consequence-free design. In “School of No Consequences. Exercises for a New Life” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, he links collection objects with a "self-learning room" set up especially for the exhibition in such a way that a new perspective on "sustainability" emerges and supposedly universally valid ideas of a "proper life" are questioned.

Annual Exhibition 2021 at the HFBK

Annual exhibition a bit different: From February 12- 14, 2021 students at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, together with their professors, had developed a variety of presentations on different communication channels. The formats ranged from streamed live performances to video programs, radio broadcasts, a telephone hotline, online conferences, and a web store for editions. In addition, isolated interventions could be discovered in the outdoor space of the HFBK and in the city.

Public Information Day 2021

How do I become an art student? How does the application process work? Can I also study to become a teacher at the HFBK? These and other questions about studying art were answered by professors, students and staff at the HFBK during the Public Information Day on February 13, 2021. In addition, there will be an appointment specifically for English-speaking prospective students on February 23 at 2 pm.

Katja Pilipenko

Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

photo: Tim Albrecht

Art defies Corona: Graduate Show 2020

With a two-month delay, the Graduate Show took place this year on the 19 and 20 September. More than 140 students showed their artistic graduation projects, from painting to sound installation.

Exhibition Transparencies with works by Elena Crijnen, Annika Faescke, Svenja Frank, Francis Kussatz, Anne Meerpohl, Elisa Nessler, Julia Nordholz, Florentine Pahl, Cristina Rüesch, Janka Schubert, Wiebke Schwarzhans, Rosa Thiemer, Lea van Hall. Organized by Prof. Verena Issel and Fabian Hesse; photo: Screenshot

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

Alltagsrealität oder Klischee?; photo: Tim Albrecht

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

Ausstellung Social Design, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Teilansicht; photo: MKG Hamburg

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?