Panel discussion

• Thu 26 04 2018 •
Artists as Historians



Venue: Academyspace, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne
In English
Free admission

In contemporary art, the remains and residue of the past are rearranged, enabling a new understanding of our own history: artists turn into historians, resisting the disappearance of objects or even entire cultures in their creative work. With a feeling of increasing urgency, artists turn to these remnants of days gone by: photographs, audio and film recordings evoke forgotten places, lost things, or seemingly irrelevant documents that connect to a present seen in a whole new light – a new light that also shines on this historical material.

The works of the different artists in the exhibition are discrete, yet they communicate with one another. They reference historiography as an open-ended, incomplete narrative that can never come to a conclusion, likewise pointing to a polymorphic future that is shaped by innumerable forces.

But what facilitates such a detailed, multifaceted, perhaps completely new interpretation of “things?” Is it the special tactile approach of artists, or is it a subversive agenda that works against the “order of knowledge,” as asserted by institutions of national, colonial or hegemonic alignments?

Such questions are up for discussion by the three artists of the exhibition Global Positioning System Not Working, who present themselves and their work to the Cologne public. The evening is moderated by Madhusree Dutta.

MADHUSREE DUTTA (* 1959 in Jamshedpur, India) is a filmmaker, curator, and author. Her films have been shown internationally at film festivals and art events; retrospectives of her work have also been shown internationally as well as in Germany. In the years 2008 to 2012 she realized her extensive curatorial work Project Cinema City, on which numerous fine artists, photographers, architects, filmmakers, and historians collaborated. From this project, an anthology emerged under the same title, which was recognized in 2014 as the year’s Best Printed Book by Publishing Next Industry Awards. Since March 2018, Madhusree Dutta has been the Artistic Director of the Academy of the Arts of the World / Cologne.

AHMAD GHOSSEIN (* 1981 in Beirut) is an artist and filmmaker. In his works based on documentary materials he combines video art, installation, and photography. His work has been shown in numerous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Oslo Kunstforening, and the Nam June Paik Art Center in South Korea, as well as in major film festivals like the Berlinale and the Cannes and Dubai film festivals.

RAJKAMAL KAHLON (* 1974 in Auburn, USA) questions the boundaries between painting, photography, and sculpture in her interdisciplinary practice. Her works have been shown in many prominent museums as well as at art biennials in North America, Europe, the Mideast, and Asia. She is currently showing a solo exhibition at the Weltmuseum, Vienna. She lives and works in Berlin.