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jonas von lenthe
What is going on with these audiences?
Interviews with five guests regarding their questions and comments

Jonas von Lenthe
Show and Try Again
Curatorial Research
Does your art make a difference outside of the art?
If I feel that the question could be disqualified, I feel uncomfortable.
After Michael Riedel’s lecture you were the first from the audience to ask a question. What was your question?
My question was related to the fact that Michael Riedel said his art was also representative of something. The question had to do with that, but I wasn’t sure if I dared to ask it: What does your art change outside the art system? Because, he also said that art is there to change something and make a difference. I was interested in whether it still makes a difference outside this system, also in relation to what Beatrice said in the introduction about art in a socio-political context.
Did the idea of the question come up during his lecture or afterwards?
The idea came during his talk. His art is very self-referential and I was wondering why. I missed this contextualization in his lecture. He mentioned at the very end that it represents something. In his answers to the other questions it also became clear that his world somehow works like this: There is a system, you take something out of it and feed it back into the system. It became clearer to me then. This aspect was not so accessible for me at the beginning and I asked myself how I could access it. Is it just about him, or is it also about something else? How serious is this self-referentiality? Do you do it because you think you are so amazing, or is there something else behind it? I couldn’t quite grasp it.
Were you nervous?
Maybe a little bit because... you wanna know why?
Yes please!
The lecture was very art-oriented. I feel that I don’t know much about art; I am lacking an expertise in this field, I look at it from the outside. The answers to my questions might be obvious for some: He said things like “as art students you will know that” or “everybody in art school knows that”. I’m not necessarily familiar with these things. And sometimes Michael Riedel blocked the question and pointed it back to the audience, like for example Benjamin’s question, to which he first answered, “I didn’t understand your question”. His tone was a bit rude. If I have the feeling that the question could also be disqualified, then I quickly feel uncomfortable. I got upset about that and therefore I was a bit insecure.
But it quickly became clear that your question would not be disqualified, right?
That’s right. I had to ask one or two questions, but once I was talking, it was ok.
Do you think that your question led to an opening of the situation?
I think it opened up a bit later. There were two more questions, between which it took a little time for people to get in touch. After that, the mic was passed pretty fast. There was a moment when it was almost over, but Michael Riedel said he would like to take a few more questions. I found that very positive and encouraging.

Interview Partner: Nushin Atmaca
Interviewer: Jonas von Lenthe
Lecturer: Michael Riedel
Format: Lectured Lecture
I just wanted to help quickly
You made the first comment during the lecture by Maureen Mooren. What was it?
Maureen Mooren searched for a word, then I said the word.
What word was that?
What made you feel addressed and respond?
I first waited to see if someone else said something, because I wanted to help but I didn’t feel the need to be the one to say something. But I didn’t want to wait too long either, because I think that makes the situation awkward. So I just wanted to help quickly and so I said panorama.
Would you say that this led to a general opening of the situation? Did the audience feel more invited to participate after your comment?
I don’t know, that’s what I sometimes ask myself too. Well, it would be my hope that others would then feel more encouraged to say something, but I don’t know if that’s really the case.
Do you think your comment has changed in any way Maureen Mooren’s way of navigating through the lecture?
For a moment I wasn’t sure if the fact that she didn’t know the term herself made her feel insecure. But I had rather the feeling that it loosens up when you get feedback from the audiene and that my attention was also increased afterwards.

Interview partner: Victoria Welsch
Interviewer: Jonas von Lenthe
Lecturer: Maureen Mooren
Format: Lecture
It was definitely an opener, it allowed for other people to speak, or at least to feel more comfortable to speak.
You were the first one from the audience to say something. Can you describe the situation and tell us what you said?
Sure. The topic of the discussion was about Q and A and conference exchange. They [Rike Frank and Pip Day] asked if anybody wanted to react to what was presented. No one reacted and they said ‘Is it not interesting?’ so I just answered ‘Yes’ and then I was given the mic because I was the only one who said even one word. Then I talked about how it was actually hard to speak in this context. I talked about intervention in a Q and A and how many people can feel shy to raise a question.
Did you have the feeling that they would give you a better surrounding to ask a question compared to other lectures?
I think at the beginning it was pretty conventional, in the way that they explained something and people had to react, which made it actually kind of hard to speak in that context. But then I would say during the talk we started thinking about group interactions, it felt easier to interact after a while throughout the conference.
Would you say that your interaction changed the protocol of what came then?
It was definitely an opener, it allowed for other people to speak, or at least feel more comfortable to speak, so yes.

Interview Partner: Noé Leleu
Interviewer: Jonas von Lenthe
Lecturer: Rike Frank, Pip Day
Format: Workshop
This is the flag of the YPG, the Kurdish Women's Struggle Battalion.
I mean, men generally tend to center themselves and to take on the role of speaker more often.
How does it feel for you, to answer questions on behalf of the whole group?
I had the feeling that this space was not taken.
You asked the first question during ruangrupa’s hangout session. What was it?
My question was something like: How does it feel for you, as representatives of a multi-headed, polyphonic collective, to answer questions on behalf of the group and speak on behalf of the collective?
Was the situation open to questions? Was it welcome to ask questions?
That was a moment when ruangrupa took a short breather, which created a space for questions. I had the feeling that no one noticed this space and since I found it partly unpleasant, I asked my question.
That means that you primarily filled a gap that you perceived and did not just ask a question in order to obtain information?
Hmm... Well, the question may be rather banal, although I have a sincere interest in ruangrupa’s answer. But I could have given the question a pass or simply observed their behavior during the rest of the conversation and how they dealt with their role as representatives of the collective. Whether they flourish in it, or whether they tend to hold back. I might have been able to deduce this from silent observation.
Was your question answered?
Yes, I already had the feeling that this triggered another conversation, in the course of which it somehow came out how they felt about being here. They said something about trust and that anybody could do that and it’s about availability and stuff. So yes, it’s been answered.
Do you think that you changed the course of what followed? Did an opening or change in the structure has taken place through your initiative?
I wouldn’t necessarily say that. Of course, I would be happy if this is the case.

Interview partner: Phil Stahlhut
Interviewer: Jonas von Lenthe
Speakers: ruangrupa (farid rakun, Indra Ameng)
Format: Hangout Session

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