Performances and talks

• 22​ 10​ 2017 •
Mad Tea Party: Gonzo Curating and Beyond – Roaming Assembly #16



Venue: Christuskirche, Dorothee-Sölle-Platz 1, 50672 Cologne
Free admission
In English

If you wish to join in our communal dinner at 18:30 you must make a reservation by 19 October 2017. Please contact Peter Sattler at Costs for food & wine: 10€

In cooperation with the Academy of the Arts of the World and Christuskirche

The Dutch Art Institute’s Roaming Assembly is a recurring public symposium. It takes place once a month during a traveling seven-day-long program for students, tutors, and invited guests. The current edition of the Roaming Assembly has been organized in close collaboration with the Academy of the Arts of the World. “Mad Tea Party: Gonzo Curating and Beyond” is an afternoon of lectures, discussions, and performances inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. What happens when you – like Alice – were not invited to the table but still relentlessly want to participate in the conversation? Curators Aneta Rostkowska and Jakub Woynarowski set up a sequence of unpredictable cultural exchanges following the method of gonzo curating, a site-specific practice of constructing semi-fictional narratives inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s digressive journalism. This time, gonzo curating will unfold at Cologne’s Christuskirche. Departing from the similarity between the purified and minimalist interior of the Protestant church and the white cube of contemporary art, the event will result in imaginary takeovers and reimaginings of the location ranging from an unusual guided tour, prepared in collaboration with the students of the Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem, to an exhibition created solely in the minds of the audience. The event belongs to the autumn program Stealing from the West at the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne related to the issue of cultural appropriation in a postcolonial perspective (


Part 1
- Introduction by Aneta Rostkowska and Jakub Woynarowski
- Gonzo performance by DAI students, Aneta Rostkowska and Jakub Woynarowski
- Ramon Haze’s Cabinet, presented by its deputies H. Feldmann and A. Grahl
- presentation of the work of Yuri Albert Εἰκόνες, Imagines
- Aneta Rostkowska and Jakub Woynarowski, “Brief Introduction to Gonzo Curating”, talk
- Ghalya Saadawi, “Borrowing Enjoyment”, talk
- discussion

Communal dinner

Part 2
Isabella Fürnkas, Dislocated Headquarters, performance
Alexander Nagel and Amelia Saul, Fugitive Mirror, video
Beth Collar, This Is How I've Lived (but, the Mongol Hordes) Mark III: Redux, performance
“We Aimed to Be Amateurs” – book launch and film screening by Jan G. Lee* (Mirage), presented by Sebastian Cichocki and Łukasz Jastrubczak


Ramon Haze’s Cabinet

The cabinet is the art collection of Ramon Haze and it has been investigated since October 1996.
Ramon Haze is a figure living and working as an art detective in the future cultural epoch that replaces the one we live in. As concerned with the preceding epoch (that is our own) he collects objects whose function he can no longer recognize and therefore classifies them as art. In addition to the well-known early works by Jeff Koons, Marcel Duchamp, Ilya Kabakov and Charlotte von Schmerder-Kutzschmann, the cabinet includes also works by Ruth Tauer, Peter and Marlis Steinholz as well as a whole body of work by Edward Baranov-Knepp. Through the activity of Haze, an art critic who is outside of our art discourse, the objects found in his immediate vicinity are freed from their established meanings. As a consequence the viewer confronts a reality different from the one she knows and the criteria of art criticism and historiography are questioned. The cabinet deals with art-internal, art-historical and also art-market-related questions as well as our attitudes towards past and future and the activity of collecting. A non-conclusive work drafts a new thought model of art system, different from the one we are experiencing now. Since the 1990s the cabinet has been shown as a total installation in three exhibitions; in addition, some individual objects have been presented in a couple of group shows. The first scientific publication of the most important works in the collection was published in the form of a book in 1999.

Ramon Haze’s Cabinet will be presented by its deputies H. Feldmann and A. Grahl. Holmer Feldmann was born in 1967 in Neumünster, Schleswig-Holstein, he studied photography and visual arts in Leipzig, in 2003 he created an arts association in Buscha, Thuringia, he lives in Berlin and Buscha. Andreas Grahl was born in 1964 in Berlin. He studied photography in Leipzig where he currently resides.   Yuri Albert, Εἰκόνες, Imagines

Εἰκόνες, Imagines by Yuri Albert (2008, LED display, about 5 hours) is an artwork that appropriates the text of Philostratus the Elder, Imagines, which is a description of 64 pictures in a Neapolitan gallery. Goethe, Welcker, Brunn, E. Bertrand and Helbig, among others, have held that the descriptions are of actually existing works of art, while Heyne and Friederichs deny this.

Yuri Albert (*1959 in Moscow, Russia) is one of the most known representatives of the Moscow conceptualist circle. In his extremely diverse artistic practice, he examines the relation of contemporary art to art history and the role of the artist, authorship, and spectatorship. Albert lives and works in Moscow and Cologne.

Ghalya Saadawi, “Borrowing Enjoyment”, talk

There are assumed political implications to appropriation and fiction as kin tactics of retaliation in contemporary art. The former is seen to neutralize the original, to undermine the art institution/canon, or to use history as a repository of material, etc. This talk attempts to unpack the terms and limits of these codes that underpin much contemporary art. It discusses the temporality of certain appropriation strategies (for example, that much appropriation is by default past-facing, or that appropriation has been reappropriated, inside and outside art), and asks if appropriation is always tied to fiction, and what are the conditions of that fiction when the author is already dead. Appropriation and fiction via jostling for subject positions and “alternate” voices is no longer sufficient to construct activities, either towards the “restoration of truth”, or towards the building of new strategies for art that wants to have implications.

Ghalya Saadawi lives in Beirut. She lectures in modern and contemporary art theory, and art in Lebanon after 1990 at the American University of Beirut, The Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and the University of St. Joseph. She earned a PhD from Goldsmiths University of London in sociology titled Rethinking the Witness: Art after the Lebanese Wars (2015). Her dissertation underscores the tactics and considerations that inform a rethinking of witnessing, representation and ideology after the declared end of the civil wars. Against the classifying of all artistic practices under “postwar” and/or “contemporary art”, the thesis instead reads select practices through the historical and theoretical entanglements and discourses of the mid-20th century to the end of the Cold War, and through the lens of an extended political modernism. Some of her essays and reviews have appeared in a number of publications, anthologies, and artist’s monographs. Between 2015 and 2017, Saadawi was Resident Professor of Ashkal Alwan’s art study program, the Home Workspace Program. She is co-editor of Makhzin with founding editor and writer Mirene Arsanios and poet Iman Mersal, and is affiliated with BICAR.

Isabella Fürnkas, Dislocated Headquarters, performance

In the performance two people interact by means of their voices trying to establish a “conversation”. Using different techniques of singing/fighting and communicating through sound, they move through the space sometimes chasing each other. The unusual encounter produces sometimes harmonious, sometimes cacophonic results. Slowly undressing, the performers present layers of clothes revealing different aspects of culture and forms of disguises. Singers: Theresa Etzold, Eva-Maria Kösters

Isabella Fürnkäs (*1988 in Tokyo) is the recipient of the Förderpreis des Landes NRW for media art and of the Paris Cité Internationale des Arts grant. In 2017 she received a travel grant from the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen as well as a residency from the Goethe Institute. She is a Meisterschüler of Andreas Gursky, studied with Keren Cytter and Johannes Paul Raether at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and at the Universität der Künste Berlin as a guest student with Hito Steyerl. Previously, she studied art history and philosophy at the Universität zu Köln, the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, as well as fine arts at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien. She uses different media such as drawing and video in her work and combines them into installations with performances. Since 2015 she has also worked as part of a performance duo with Lukas von der Gracht. Her work has recently been exhibited at the Nam June Paik Art Center Seoul, the Museum Abteiberg (with Lukas von der Gracht), CSA Space Vancouver, and in the project space of the Julia Stoschek Collection in Düsseldorf.

Alexander Nagel and Amelia Saul, Fugitive Mirror, video

Focused on works by Robert Smithson, Giotto, and Mantegna, the video project “Fugitive Mirror”, a collaboration by Alexander Nagel and Amelia Saul, explores artworks as interruptions in the flow of animate and inanimate matter. Under the provisional conditions of the artistic intervention, death appears inside of life, and life inside of death.

Alexander Nagel is Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. His interest in the multiple temporalities of art led to the publication of Anachronic Renaissance (co-authored with Christopher Wood, 2010) and Medieval Modern: Art Out of Time (2012). His current work addresses questions of orientation and configurations of place in Renaissance art and culture. In 2016, he received an NEH Fellowship for a collaborative project (with Elizabeth Horodowich, NMSU) entitled Amerasia: A Renaissance Discovery.

Amelia Saul is an artist and filmmaker based in New York. Her work spans video, performance, and scriptwriting. She has exhibited and developed projects in New York at the Performing Garage, Momenta Art, BHQFU, and the Kitchen. Her last solo exhibition, Four Women, took place at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery in Seattle in 2016. She has also shown her work in Berlin, Dresden, Taipei, and Hiroshima. She is currently developing a suite of videos that cross the boundaries of video art, music video, and art film.

Beth Collar, This Is How I've Lived (but, the Mongol Hordes) Mark III: Redux, performance

Bringing together multiple voices and layering perspectives, from the overly personal to the cold analysis of the historian, the bombast of the cinema, or simply other people’s writing, the performance This Is How I've Lived (but, the Mongol Hordes) Mark III: Redux pivots around a period of time spent at an archeological dig. The work explores how media and fantasy interpenetrate and distort memory.

Beth Collar is an artist working predominantly in performance and sculpture or in the shared ground between them. She was born in Cambridge, England. Recent projects and performances have been at Cafe Oto, London, 2017; Kunstverein München, Munich 2017; Kunstraum, London, 2017; Standpoint, London, 2017; Glasgow Women’s Library, Glasgow, 2016; Hester, New York, 2016; KW, Berlin, 2016; Fig 2, ICA, London, 2015; Cubitt, London, and Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, 2015; Raven Row, London, 2015; the Serpentine Galleries, London, 2015; and Flat Time House, London, 2014. She was recipient of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2016/17.

“We Aimed to Be Amateurs” – Book Launch and Film Screening by Jan G. Lee* (Mirage)   The show features a dead person. The medium mumbles in a low, indistinct voice. She chews her fingernails and rumples her dirty apron. She pours hot wax into a dish of water. She spits at a mirror. She claps and strikes herself on the cheek with a deck of cards. The studio audience becomes bored and unable to summon up any enthusiasm for the old-fashioned performance. When the voice of the dead man is finally heard, it sounds weak and artificial. “Ask me about something,” it implores listlessly. The presence of the deceased electrifies the medium, who smiles and sits up. From a sheet of paper, she solemnly reads out in impeccable English questions that strike the audience as peculiar: “Why are you not a logical positivist?” “Does nature exist for you?” “What is your critical standard?” The dead man answers only the second question. His answer is in the negative.

*Jan G. Lee was born in Lafayette Hills, California, in 1938. An artist and author of literary texts, he is a forester by education. From 1968 to 1971 he conducted artistic actions (“visions”) at Mount Diablo State Park, using natural processes (objects subject to rotting, erosion, melting, crystallization, turning to powder, etc.) and including various species of animals and plants (such as Nesting—birds’ nests made of valuable ores, Poisoning—the production of vials of emerald-colored poison from the extract of Toxicodendron diversilobum, and Layering—drawings made by animals walking over cardboard set up near watering holes). In the mid-1980s, in a rented warehouse on the outskirts of town, he began making detailed models and mock-ups of his hometown of Lafayette Hills, along with dolls depicting its residents.      The book fragments and film screening are brought to you by Sebastian Cichocki and Łukasz Jastrubczak.

Sebastian Cichocki lives and works in Warsaw, where he is the chief curator at the Museum of Modern Art. Selected curated exhibitions include the Polish pavilions at the 52nd and 54th Venice Biennales, with Monika Sosnowska (1:1) and Yael Bartana (...and Europe Will Be Stunned) respectively, the latter project co-curated with Galit Eilat; Making Use. Life in Postartistic Times, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2016); Rainbow in the Dark: On the Joy and Torment of Faith, Konstmuseum Malmö (2015); SALT Galata, Istanbul (2014); Zofia Rydet, Record 1978–1990, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2015); Procedures for the Head, Kunsthalle Bratislava, Slovakia (2015); New National Art. National Realism in XXIst Century Poland, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2012); Early Years, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2010); Raqs Media Collective, The Capital of Accumulation, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2010); Oskar Hansen. Process and Art 1966–2005, Museum of Modern Art in Skopje, Macedonia. Cichocki is a curator of the Bródno Sculpture Park, a long-term public art program initiated in 2009 with the artist Paweł Althamer. He has curated exhibitions in the form of a novella, radio drama, opera libretto, garden, anti-production residency program, and performance lectures.

Łukasz Jastrubczak was born in 1984 in Zielona Góra. He works in various mediums: video, installation, sculpture, concert, journey, and ephemeral action. His solo exhibitions have been presented at Art in General in New York, Bunkier Sztuki in Kraków, CCA Kronika in Bytom and Sabot Gallery in Cluj-Napoca. In 2013 he received “Spojrzenia” (Views) – Deutsche Bank Foundation Award for the most interesting young polish artist in the past two years. He is a member, with Krzysztof Kaczmarek, of the artistic duo Krzysztofjastrubczakłukaszkaczmarek; and author, with Sebastian Cichocki, of the publication and events titled Mirage. He played on synthesizer in the bands Boring Drug and ŁST. He is affiliated with Dawid Radziszewski Gallery in Warsaw. He lives in Szczecin, Poland, where he works in the Painting and New Media Department of the Academy of Arts and where he co-directs with Zorka Wollny the Młode Wilki festival, dedicated to visual and sound art.

Aneta Rostkowska is a curator, writer and amateur botanist with a background in philosophy, economics and art history. As a curator she is pursuing experimental practices in between literature and visual arts that take the form of performative lectures and guided tours involving virtual institutions of art, fictional artists and non-existent exhibitions (gonzo curating). As a writer she creates unconventional texts in between fiction and art criticism inspired by the concept of anti-documentation. As a botanist, she is working on an artistic book about relations between humans and houseplants (with artist Magda Buczek). In 2015, together with Virginija Januškevičiūtė, she curated A Million Lines, an exhibition based on a short story of China Miéville, a part of the XII Baltic Triennale, accompanied by a Polish translation of Kristupas Sabolius’s book Proteus and the Radical Imaginary. She currently works at the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne, Germany.

Jakub Woynarowski is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, where he currently teaches at the Narrative Drawing Studio and conducts a seminar on visual culture. He combines the activities of an artist, designer and independent curator. As an author of graphic novels and art books, including Dead Season and Corpus Delicti, he investigates the feasibility of applying various forms of visual narration as instruments of theoretical reflection. Interested in the “archaeology of the avant-garde,” he points out similarities between ancient artworks and modern art. He takes up themes associated with post-secularism, post-humanism, institutional criticism and gonzo curating. In 2014 he collaborated with the Institute of Architecture as author of the artistic concept of the Polish Pavilion at the 14th Biennale of Architecture in Venice. He lives and works in Cracow, Poland.