26 November 2019
HGB Gallery
Showing implies that something is put on display. Its visibility, however, is based on different forms of visualities, of ephemeral constellations, and subjacent archives that follow different narratives and regulations. How can the act of showing be shown itself?
Space and Graphic Design
Joram De Cocker, Eva Dumoulin, Alexander Meyer, Lu Qijing
michael riedel

Lectured Lecture

Forms of
“The need for commentary on art has been Riedel’s source of almost inexhaustible quantities of textual material since the mid-1990s, from which his imagery has systematically developed. From the paper bag with his name, which when put on makes him disappear as an artist behind the self-description, to numerous sound recordings that record his artistic life and make them readable in the form of equally extensive transcriptions, right down to the abundance of ready-made descriptive material that is generated by the increasing social message requirement on the World Wide Web, it is always the self-description of the art system, which Riedel takes up artistically and repeatedly communicates as ongoing work. The question, is this still art or merely the description of art that does not exist, remains open. The fact is that, in the last twenty years, the Riedel autonomist has impressively realized the artistic concept of self-perpetuating production mechanisms.”
Michael Riedel is a Professor for Painting and Graphic Design at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig since 2017. His recent solo shows include zɛlpstbəˈʃʁaɪ̯bʊŋ, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, (2019), Grafik als Ereignis, Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt M., (2018), CV [Curriculum Vitae], Kunsthalle Zürich, (2017), Dual Air [Dürer], Palais de Tokyo, Paris, (2013–2015), Kunste zur Text, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt M., (2012). His work is represented in public collections such as Centre Pompidou, (Paris), Städelmuseum, (Frankfurt M.), The Museum of Modern Art, (New York), Haus Konstruktiv, (Zürich), and Stedelijk Museum, (Amsterdam), among others.
maureen mooren


Exhibition Design
How does exhibition design work as a practice of knowledge? What roles does it imply? How does a model relate to the actual exhibition space? In her lecture, Maureen Mooren talks about her role as a graphic designer for exhibitions and as an Art Director for Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. Taking the exhibition making of Het Nieuwe Instituut as a starting point, she discusses the role of a spatial designer, the role of a graphic designer and the role of a curator.
Maureen Mooren studied graphic design at the Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam. Her work focuses on dealing with questions of representation. She independently develops corporate designs, books and print material, especially for cultural institutions such as the Holland Festival, Marres Center for Contemporary Culture Maastricht and the initiative If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution. She also designs artist's books, most recently for Manon de Boer, Joachim Koester and Keren Cytter. In 2011, she was one of the exhibiting artists of “Opera Aperta / Loose Work” in the Dutch Pavilion at the 54th Biennale di Venezia. Mooren has been responsible for the visual identity of the Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam since October 2013. From 2011 to 2014, Mooren taught at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts Arnhem on the Faculty of Graphic Design. In addition, she taught from 2011 to 2014 at the Werkplaats Arnhem in Typography. Since 2014, she is Professor of System Design at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig. Maureen Mooren lives and works in Leipzig and Amsterdam.
KDK curatorial research
thomas weski


The Invisible Part of the Iceberg
When an exhibition opens, it is not just a process of research, selection and contextualization that lies behind it, but also a multitude of things that are not shown. That does not, however, make them less important, rather it provides the necessary foundation for everything that is shown. Thomas Weski calls this foundation “the tip of the iceberg” and discusses with Julia Kurz and Agnieszka Roguski, using the example of two exhibitions curated by him, how a body of work is made visible through various forms of attribution and authorship, presentation in space and the transfer of materiality.
Thomas Weski, born in Hannover in 1953, was Curator of Photography and Media at Sprengel Museum Hannover, and Chief Curator at Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and Haus der Kunst, Munich. He was Professor of Cultures of the Curatorial from 2009 until 2015 at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig. Since then, he is Curator of the Foundation for Photography and Media Art with the Michael Schmidt Archive, Berlin. Weski has curated numerous exhibitions on photography in his various positions. Currently, he is curating a retrospective of Michael Schmidt's work for the Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, opening May 2020, which will travel to Jeu de Paume, Paris; Reina Sofia, Madrid; and Albertina, Vienna.
Day 1 – show witness curatorial meaning production summit show group disappear artist guest speaker introduce welcome copy machine inside outside art-school art advertisment wallpaper picture random professor foundation museum documenta illusion typography money print automatic appear endless judgement critical wall floor ceiling painting comment publication book catalogue edition layout design content lecture practice authorship conversations empty reference referential system visible superfluous media format body of work transition translation transformation process nothingness art depiction description flow group pause communication aspects metaphor political agenda poster art fair biennal archiving fashion shop roles art director curator designer spatial design identify discourse decision process limits power task duty lines of conflict responsibility domination respect dialogue position at the table grid archive inspiration idea starting point narrative escape public space making images iceberg visibility collaboration filter installation artwork photograph inventory drawers studio visuelles Haltbarkeitsdatum {visual date of expiry} cohesion exhibition architecture space sequence material research analogue digital loss of information vitrine dead (material) walk reading viewing showing places react center core vertical display image order rules library ethical questions facsimile preservation view on opening develop work for professional topic promoted source material introduce role models epoch commission presentation published elements installation density sides the in-between arranging references series dummy art history about excerpt work in progress artist-book cover invitation body of work contact-sheet contact personal discussion model chronological assistance the artist conservatory struggle sparring-partner friends access opportunity point of view negotiation arguments metaphor compromise colleagues hierarchy lecture the public understanding fear perfection balance information combination practices of viewing/reading visual interest vertical horizontal display frame condensed backstage representation politics showroom touch structure organizing scholars dissertations overview thematic inventory paradise opposition asking boundaries decisions figure it out implementing separate to frame make visible choose size point questions avoid prevent story-telling context freelance path established individual the real world parallel simplicity refined one-man-show time is running know workshop mekka pilgrimage criticize perspectives phenomena meeting remarks behaviour rough/direct speech recommendations learning the scene autonomy supporting escorting relevance importance speculation duty fight envy intensity passion escape focus touring interpretation fact self-understanding monopolize withdraw job situations access key persuasion enable peer-group to profit repetition challenge entertaining lasting relationships loosing interest help fruitful continuous regularly professional friendships comrades
Show and try again?Showing as non-action, as a state of being.

Treating show as a process that constantly evolves as on open space that welcomes new participants and ideas. Accepting the neutral space and not treating the activities and knowledge as goods.
 There is no “us” and there is no “them”, there is no “inside” and there is no “outside”.

We should talk more about art. Trusting the process of the show, thus trusting the pause, the gap, the anarchic dimension.

Considering to not show, not try or never again. Freeing the show, emancipating it from the structures. Thinking about what to offer to the show and what to offer to try. Questioning the show and questioning what do you want to show. Finding the right addressee for the question. Showing the try is already a show. Showing the things that are not supposed to be shown. Trying to show on behalf of others, the ones who don’t have the tools to assembly. Trying to avoid the clashes of the show.

Being careful not to be stuck in the loopholes of the show. Not bringing boredom to try again or to show.

Being careful not to cross the line between the show and the show off. Showing the assembly, not assembling the show.

Remembering and caring about the spectator who finally shapes the show. Walking with the spectator through the show. Imagining the show, as seen from non-show, assembly or try!
QUESTIONING THE AFTER-SHOW is the result of a field research - trying to capture the voices of the audience in the form of questions. It created an archive of collected questions, that have grown out of the participation in the 5 days of „Show and Try Again“. Following the approach of generating a living archive that stimulates new reflections and serves as a starting point for new discussions, this encyclopedia was translated into a game - that brings the manifold thoughts of visitors, participants, artists and initiators into motion and contact. This format uses the active, discursive qualities inherent in the nature of the questions and tries to catalogue some of the experiences of the various participants in the program. You are cordially invited to download the game and question the follow-up of the program-week in a playful way.


»How can the act of showing be shown itself?«
»How does exhibition design work as a practice of knowledge?«
»How does a model relate to the actual exhibition space?«
»As an artist how to get rid off responsibility in the context of showing?«
»Sehen Sie sich mehr als Dadaisten oder als Konzeptkünstler?«
»Würden Sie das Nichts erkennen, wenn ich Sie nicht darauf hinweise?«
»What is a work and what is not a work?«
»What does it do when there is always light on?«
»Welche Position nehme ich ein?«
»How does your position as an art director influences your position as a graphic designer?«
»What ist the relation between producing & showing?«
»What is the function of an archive when it is empty?«
»Where do you get your information from?«
»Can you be befriended with the artist as a curator?«
»Was für eine hierarchische Beziehung besteht zwischen KuratorIn und KünstlerIn?«
»Wie kritisch darf & muss ich in meiner Rolle als Kuratorin zur Arbeit & Person der KünstlerInnen stehen, mit denen ich arbeite?«
»Warum diese Beiträge bei »Show and Try Again«?«
»Welche räumlichen Bedingungen führen zu Passivität?«
»Welche Bedingungen verhindern sie - im Kontext von Veranstaltungen wie »Show and Try Again«?«
«Why is the idea of order so important for an artist and how does it affect your work as a curator?«
»What happens if, in places where the information is supposed to be given, it is not accessible to the visitors?«
»Imagine a library where you are not allowed to touch the books, how do you behave in such a setting?«
»Which day would you have chosen to work with it curatorially or artistically?«
»Does exhibiting the work of a photographer, which is specifically very photographic, makes the photographer an object of photography?«
»Are libraries places of public knowledge? In which way - if at all - can libraries be understood as democratic?«
»Inwiefern fördert der Einsatz von Technik - im Kontext einer öffentlichen Präsentation - eine Routine der Performance?«
»What is a healthy number of exhibitions per year for a curator?«
The missing link
Ethical dimensions of translating

Translation as a curatorial practice helps to make things visible, it helps to understand, and it helps to include audiences that would otherwise be mere onlookers. It also helps to clarify what has been aware of, what has been acknowledged, thought through, and nevertheless abandoned. It enables the curator/the curating artist to add a letter to his/her sent-off that opens up at least one of the many possible perspectives of contextualizing a curatorial project � and in its reflective character is able to give justice to those that are directly or indirectly affected by the curatorial work . It is thus an inherent aspect of a curatorial approach that takes the ethical dimension seriously and as such a useful if not necessary tool to reflect on / the process of / showing.
So what happens if the curatorial fails to translate / the process of / showing? Translation being understood as both translating from one language to the other as well as translating expertise and knowledge, words, phrases and expressions for those that are not part of the inaugurated circle (yet).
Once it forgets, or even worse, refuses to translate, the curatorial and thereby the art and culture it is showing either redevelops into or continues to be an exclusive space. It thus cements the hegemonic and dominant structures it itself � as a critical practice � heavily questions. In the very moment of omitting translation, the curatorial perpetuates them.
But translation as a curatorial practice does not only mean to translate the sent-off as it is seen from a curatorial perspective, it also implies translating it in as many different perspectives that can be possibly thought of � in order to detect ethical pitfalls and to develop a position on it. Here, translating would enable the curatorial to become aware of its own privileges, its subjective perspectives, and enable it to deal with them in a politically conscious way.
Translation offers the potential for a curatorial practice to become accessible for and respectful to different audiences, thus making the meaning produced relevant in many more ways while at the same time escaping the danger of self-referentiality and self-centrism. But is there an ethical duty to translate? Out of respect for different audiences and the awareness of their diverse perspectives, there is. With regard to artistic freedom and freedom of expression, there isn't. It is this dilemma between curatorial freedom and social and political responsibility which the curatorial needs to address every time anew, taking a conscious ethical decision every single time.
How did you feel in the space?
Such long sessions not only attack the mind, but also the body. So I think that these active breaks are important where one moves.
I always like sitting on the floor with lots of cushions and stuff.
You almost had the feeling as a participant that you should be as little noticeable or disturbing as possible.
Do you think that there is a connection between your own physical position and the reflection you might have?
Nowadays the white cube plays the same role as the white book page for modern literature or the white canvas for modern painting. The empty white cube of space is the zero point of exhibition practice - and therefore the constant possibility of a new beginning.

Memory Shots

27 November, 2019 7.31am
A dark sonorous and friendly voice. A person too tall for the table he sits at. Contact sheets of streets in Düsseldorf in black and white, projected onto the wall behind him, slightly moved to his left side. Photographs of Berlin, black and white as well. Düsseldorf as Düsseldorf looks like, still looks like, even if it is 1976 over there. Berlin as Berlin doesn’t look like anymore. A photo caption: “Ausländische Mitbürger am Landwehrkanal.” (Foreign citizens at Landwehrkanal. Although ‘ausländisch’ has a different taste than ‘foreign’, more bureaucratic.)
Until when did one write it like that.
Privileged situation(s).
Longstanding relationships.
“Comrades in a socialist sense”, Thomas Weski says. Männerfreundschaften. (There is no equal word for this in English. Friendships between men. Male bonding. Never women.)
On the one side the space: the stage (without looking like a stage at first sight, no elevation, no borders) with table, chair, microphone, laptop, a glass of water. On the other side rows of chairs, theatre style, pressed to the wall. Grey on grey. In the space in between, on the floor: a plate, grey as well, on top of it opened books, surrounded by a yellow borderline.
A blurred S in a Dutch accent makes two English words sound identical. Projects become products.
The plate is a trench, without any overlaps, without displacement, no tectonics.
A young-sounding voice that parries critical inquiries in a friendly but somewhat slightly attacked manner.
A lecture that is said to have been given just as often.
Material generates itself only from material.
No light from the outside.
When will the paper just be empty, finally.
What would happen if I just left or turned my back on the show over there?
You show me pictures, I show you _____ what?
“A circle does not only define what’s inside but also what’s outside.”
Whoever dares to enter the space will be absorbed.
A chair on the doorstep is the most comfortable place to watch.
The distant and faint hum of some electrical device. There is a world outside. And there is coffee (waiting for me).
Die Grenze verläuft nicht zwischen oben und unten, sondern zwischen dir und mir (The border does not run between above and below, but between you and me) was once written on a firewall of a house where there used to be a wall. The Wall. At some point it was painted over and then there was a Nike advertisement.
You’re standing over there, I sit over here, and if we’re lucky a spark will leap the gap and I will continue to think your thoughts.
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.

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.

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