Fellowship-Program for Art and Theory 2019-20

Dear Friends of Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen,

In 2019-20, the Fellowship Program for Art and Theory will focus on work projects addressing constructions of identity that are of constituent significance for our present. The foundations of these identity constructions are to be found in the humus of (Post)National Socialist and (Post)Communist historical events: The military construction of the “Other” in the course of the UN presence during the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s, activist biographies in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but also the National Socialist ideology and its subcutaneous persistence to the present day, as well as its counterpart in Yugoslavia – the partisan movement and its culture – are topics and the projects‘ onsets of the Fellows’ working proposals. After a two-stage application process in which over 170 artists and theoreticians took part, an expert jury, consisting of Christoph Hinterhuber (artist, member of the advisory board at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen), Andrei Siclodi (curator, director of Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen) and Veronica Valentini (freelance curator, Barcelona), invited artists Anna Dasović, Lena Ditte Nissen, the art collective KURS (Miloš Miletić and Mirjana Radovanović) and theorist Airi Triisberg to work on their respective projects at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen.

At the beginning of October, the Fellowship Program will start with its format of Start Up Lectures (the introductory presentations) on 11 October 2019, as well as a simultaneously opening exhibition, and invites to a meet and greet with Fellows and their respective projects. Here is a brief preview:

Anna DASOVIĆ will focus in her work project on different representations of the (ethnic) “Other” during the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s while Western politics produced an image of a “civilized” Europe. The core of the research consists of a collection of VHS tapes that Dasović discovered in 2014 in a publicly inaccessible archive of the Dutch Ministry of Defense. The tapes document military exercises of Dutch UN battalions prior to their deployment to the UN designated Safe Area Srebrenica in 1994/1995. Dasović‘s research-based project will develop into a series of (video) works, public encounters and a book in collaboration with other makers and thinkers over the course of the next year. KURS deals in the archival research Lessons in Defense with specific aspects of the development of culture and cultural policy inside the Peoples Liberation Movement (PLM) on the territory of Yugoslavia, during World War II. The research shows that the partisan movement was not just a form of combating fascism, but, by facilitating new relationships, also a specific way of societal emergence in the context of which a consequently determined cultural shift occurred. During the Fellowship at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen KURS wants to transform the existing archival research and the corresponding text into an artistic work. Lena Ditte NISSEN will engage with her family history and their involvement during Nazi-Germany by using her grandmother’s flight diary and memoirs as raw material. In doing so, Nissen asks questions about transgenerational trauma, the transfer of knowledge as well as political and individual positioning and for this reason, has chosen a specific form of collective analysis and accomplishment for the texts: the artist will use the method of the ‘Deutungswerkstatt‘, developed for behavioral scientists in the 1990s by Swiss cultural anthropologist and psychoanalyst Maya Nadig. In her research project Airi TRIISBERG aims to document, contextualize and analyze social movements in Eastern Europe. It includes interviews with a variety of political organizers who are active in movement politics and often also work at the intersection of knowledge production, art and culture. The research participants are active on the broad spectrum of social justice initiatives, including queer/feminist organizing, labor struggles, anti-racist politics and ecological movements, among others. The geographic scope of the research will focus particularly on the Baltic Sea region, but is not limited to that. The result of the research project will be a book with a collection of personal accounts about practices of political organizing. The interviews will offer insights into the recent history of social movement politics in Eastern Europe, also addressing the intersections between political activism, knowledge production and cultural work.

As every year, the artistic investigations as well as the development and production processes will be accompanied by a diverse program of public events suggested by the Fellows and realized in close cooperation with them. For example, in the context of the Innsbruck Premierentage, on Saturday, 9 November, at 17.30, a screening with a subsequent talk between Lena Ditte Nissen and Andrei Siclodi will take place. Further events with the fellows will be carried out during the “Büchsenhausen Focus Weeks 2020” in January (13 – 25 January 2020) and at the end of March (23 March – 3 April 2020).

Up-to-date details about content and dates can be found here on our website within the upcoming months.

We wish you an exciting and informative experience with this year’s Fellowship Program at the Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen!

Kind regards
Andrei Siclodi
Program Director