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nanne buurman and students

Performance with
Nanne Buurman, Johanna Brummack, Thea Drechsler, Anna Fischer de Saa, Mirjam Habtemichael, Luna Hirt, Pia Jansen, Alina Pia Preuß, Friederike Suhr, and others

in freiheit dressiert / being natural is simply a pose

In 1919, the same year that the Bauhaus was founded, a group of women started the Loheland school for Physical Education, Agriculture and Craft to provide other women with a holistic education as gymnastics teachers. Dubbed at the time as the “Amazons’ State in the Rhön”, their program to liberate the body from civilizational corsets by recovering its “natural range of motion” later tempted Ernst Bloch to describe these life reform settlers as a “purification movement” whose unrestricted but nevertheless artful demeanor appeared like being “dressed in freedom.” Now, one hundred years later, participants of Nanne Buurman’s curatorial research seminar at Kunsthochschule Kassel spent the summer of 2019 engaging with the parallels between historical life reform practices and today’s slow-and-conscious living trends, such as yoga, detox and decluttering. From November 18th through the 22nd, they set up the exhibition “in freiheit dressiert // being natural is simply a pose” in Kassel as a laboratory to jointly investigate the political ambivalences of back-to-nature movements then an now. Notions of immediacy, transparency and purity were critically examined by curatorial means in order to better understand the deployment of ‘nature’ and ‘naturalness’ in the context of neoliberal greenwashing and the (new) right. For Show and Try Again, the group (Buurman together with Johanna Brummack, Thea Drechsler, Anna Fischer de Saa, Mirjam Habtemichael, Luna Hirt, Pia Jansen, Alina Pia Preuß, Friederike Suhr and others) will experiment with a repertoire of Lohelandian body practices through the lens of voguing to reflect on the biopolitical implications of historical modes of subjectivation and their contemporary reenactments.
As an associate researcher and lecturer for documenta and Exhibition Studies at Kunsthochschule Kassel, Nanne Buurman is currently part of the team responsible for building the documenta Institute. After graduating from Leipzig University, she was a member of the International Research Training Group InterArt at the Freie Universität Berlin and Visiting Scholar at Goldsmiths College in London. Her research and publications focus on exhibition studies, the politics, economies and epistemologies of curating, the past and present of documenta, the shifting roles of race, class and gender in artistic and curatorial practice as well as the transcultural conditions of cultural production in a global context. She co-edited documenta: Curating the History of the Present (2017), Situating Global Art: Temporalities – Topologies – Trajectories (2018) and is Founding Editor of the research platform documenta studies/documenta studien (launched in October 2018).

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