Extending and internalising participatory practices (PhD Thesis – working title)
Museum Europäischer Kulturen – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (SPK) & Universität Hamburg
Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network EU H2020 Action POEM
Ongoing (until October 2021)
This research project draws on the rapid increase of projects with and about forced migrants since the refugee protection crisis in 2015. It reflects on past and ongoing projects in museums that engage(d) recent forced migrants through participatory practices. Through collaborative rather than authoritative practices, museums aim to incorporate multiple cultural memories in the ethnographic representations that constitute the museum discourse. The research project maps participatory practices with forced migrants in cultural, historical and ethnographic museums and discusses the possibilities of increasing their long-term effective presence for (the) museum(s), participants and the public. It addresses the representation of memory within institutional frameworks and both the prospective and achieved goals of the different participants in these projects. Through measuring the projects’ impact on the museums and on the involved participants, the project sets out to define and possibly increase the sustainability of these museum projects.
What’s Missing? Collecting and Exhibiting Europe (conference)
Museum Europäischer Kulturen – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (SPK)
As part of the team at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (MEK), I helped organise the conference ‘What’s Missing? Collecting and exhibiting Europe’. For this conference, I edited and proofread abstracts and biographies and compiled the conference programme. As the main person of contact for the speakers, I communicated all necessary information and helped with travel arrangements. During the conference days, I set up the powerpoint presentations and provided technical support throughout the conference, as well as taking part in an intervention with fellow POEM researchers.
Photos from the conference © Museum Europäischer Kulturen – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/Christian Krug
Changemakers for Migration
Hello Europe, Ashoka
October 2019 – February 2020
Hello Europe, an Ashoka initiative that started in 2016 in response to the refugee protection crisis, works on accelerating new and existing projects that facilitate migration and integration. The project is expanding its scope by addressing two prominent problems within the field of migration: narrative and (European) policies. The first of these is what I worked on in the project ‘Changemakers for Migration’, which nominates migrant changemakers who have played a key role in the lives of many migrants and invites them to contribute their stories and add different perspectives to the current debates.
The stories of the changemakers and the further development of the network and its work to change the discourse can be found on the Hello Europe website.
Murcia: In Europe’s Garden
Museum Europäischer Kulturen, Berlin, DE
August 2021 – January 2022
The exhibition Murcia: In Europe’s Garden links Murcia’s past and present. Documentary photographs of European and non-European immigrants shed light on the subject of migration in Murcia. A joint project with local residents brought forth personal objects that provide insights into everyday life in the region. Students from the University of Murcia use short films to make the area not only visible but audible as well. Historical photographs from the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (MEK, Museum of European Cultures) collection and the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (IAI, Ibero-American Institute) augment the exhibition.
Murcia: In Europe’s Garden has been created in collaboration with Centre for European Studies (CEEUM) at the University of Murcia and the Sociedad Murciana de Antropología.
What’s wrong with this picture?
AVL Mundo, Rotterdam, NL
The group exhibition, ‘What’s wrong with this picture’, puts forward the assumptions and prejudice about those who are different from us, while pointing out the seemingly irreversible structures within our society. The artists in this exhibition, Mike Bouchet, Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, Riley Harmon and Atelier Van Lieshout, each highlight the gap between the dream and the reality of equality, each focusing on different examples of discrepancies between what is and what could be. The combination of these works, both exhibited in one space ánd presented on their own, creates a sense of an unreal reality that triggers action rather than words.
Back to the Future?!
AVL Mundo, Rotterdam, NL
The exhibition presents different visions for the future, through work by artists Carlijn Kingma, Kasey Short and Atelier Van Lieshout. The exhibition, which contains mostly new work, discusses the current issues regarding migration, religion, political conflict and cultural appropriation. Cultural constructs, such as time and religion, have become part of our past, but the question remains if and in what way they should be part of our collaborative future. Concepts that we consider to be true are questions by the three selected artists. Kasey Short, Carlijn Kingma and Atelier Van Lieshout each draw from their own perspective as they examine these themes and the role of mankind therein.
Sculpture Park Hill Launch
S1 Artspace, Sheffield, UK
On Saturday 30th September, S1 Artspace officially launched its second phase at Park Hill with the opening of Sculpture Park Hill. An exhibition was put up for a one-day event with works by Keith Wilson, archival images and video footage of Park Hill.
A diagram of forces
University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
September 2017 – March 2018
This exhibition celebrates the centenary of D’Arcy Thompson’s ‘On Growth and Form’ with works by artist Andy Lomas and research by computational physicist Rastko Sknepnek. Inspired by the shared view on “the perfection of mathematical beauty”, Lomas explores the natural processes of growth creating forms that reveal close relations to the research carried out at the School of Life Sciences. These “spheres of action” visualise growth, much like the active particles that can be seen in the renders by Sknepnek. In the project, Sknepnek was asked to comment on what the forms of Lomas’ works might convey. Thoughts from Sknepnek and D’Arcy Thompson are combined to show the interaction between forces in science as well in as art.
The exhibition was discussed during a Q&A with Rastko Sknepnek and Susanne Boersma, at the Dundee Science Festival on the 4th November 2017.
LifeSpace Science Art Research Gallery, Dundee, UK
September 2016 – November 2016
This exhibition is the result of a project in which artists working with animation were brought together with six biomedical scientists, initiated by Animate Projects. Six video animation artworks represent a more scientific perspective on topics such as immunology, diseases, genetics, cells and sleeplessness, aiming to generate new ways of thinking about the human body. The works by boredomresearch (AfterGlow), Genetic Moo (Battle of Blister), Eric Schockmel (Immunecraft), Samantha Moore (Loop), Charlie Tweed (The Signal and the Noise) and Ellie Land (Sleepless) were created especially for Silent Signal. Their works all take on a very different form of animation art to be sometimes explanatory, while at other times being rather playful or abstract.
“Our bodies perform a soundless internal dialogue between cells using the universal cypher of genetics. These signals are fundamental to how our bodies operate and how they adapt to fight disease.”
Silent Signal is devised and produced by Animate Projects with scientist Bentley Crudgington and is supported by a Wellcome Trust Large Arts Award and the Garfield Weston Foundation. The exhibition was reconfigured to present the new works next to objects from the museum collection of the University of Dundee.
Tower Foyer Gallery, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
September 2016 – October 2016
This exhibition presents work by a new Dundee-based print group, PrintRoomDundee, and is the first they have staged in their home city.
PrintRoomDundee brings together both well-established and emerging artists, many of whom are graduates from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. All of the group’s printmakers use the facilities of the DCA Print Studio, the successor to the original Dundee Printmakers Workshop founded in 1977.
The exhibition shows a wide variety of styles, themes and printmaking techniques, and includes work by Allan Beveridge, Lara Scouller, John Johnstone, Liz Myhill, Bill Taylor, Christine Goodman, Reinhard Behrens, Jean Duncan and many others. You can find out more about the members of PrintRoomDundee and see examples of their work at http://www.printroomdundee.scot
The Nature of Change
Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester, UK
March 2016 – May 2016
The exhibition brings together sculpture, drawing, sound, poetry and painting to explore change in relation to sustainability, human intervention and the natural life cycle. Works by three artists, Jonjo Elliot, Helen Jayne Gunn and Darren O’Brien, evoke the complex relationship between human experience and the natural world. Their works take us through water and across land, via trees and through mud, to consider the connection between our own immediate surroundings and global environmental concerns.
‘The Nature of Change’ is a collaboration between Fine Art at De Montfort University and the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester.
EDITING AND TRANSLATION
What’s Missing? Collecting and Exhibiting Europe (publication)
Museum Europäischer Kulturen – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (SPK)
Reimer Verlag, 2021
The book What’s Missing? Collecting and Exhibiting Europe takes a closer look into some of the lacunae in the work of museums of everyday culture: Which objects, narratives, methods and actors have been left out of museums’ perspectives on daily lives in European societies? Museum practitioners and researchers alike address currenttransformations in the collecting and exhibiting of everyday objects and vernacular art, while short object essays provide new perspectives on artefacts from the collection of the Museum Europäischer Kulturen. This publication invites readers to critically interrogate the question of what’s missing in museum practices of collecting and presenting contemporary lifeworlds in Europe.
As co-editor of this book, I was responsible for the communication with the authors, the copy-editor and translator and the publisher. This included arranging contracts for all contributors, obtaining the rights to use copyrighted images from third parties, intitial and final proofreading, and fine-tuning texts and layouts. To make the publication possible, I helped secure funding for the project.
I also wrote a chapter for the publication in collaboration with Anne Chahine, Franziska Mucha and Inge Zwart – my colleagues in the POEM project.
Sculpture Park Hill (publication)
S1 Artspace, Sheffield, UK
As part of the Sculpture Park Hill launch, we created a publication about the soon to be programmed sculpture park next to Sheffield city centre.The publication contains an introduction to S1’s plans for the site’s future, a text about the history of the site, a Q&A with Mark Wilsher and Keith Wilson (artist of the inaugural work ‘Park Hill Plinths’), an essay by researcher Tim Machin and an essay by Museu Calouste Gulbenkian’s director Penelope Curtis. The publication was designed, proof-read and edited by myself.
Cooper Gallery, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
With four words ‘So you see me’, Ulay, one of the most significant performance artists in recent art history, defines an urgent zone of radical acts and words.
Since the 1970s, Ulay has gained international recognition for his experimentation in photography and action works and his ground-breaking collaborative works with Marina Abramović. Situated at the intersection of photography, performance and critical interventions, Ulay’s unique artistic practice examines the physical, emotional and ethical limits of the individual and gendered self, whilst affirming ‘the social’ as the primary means of ascribing meaning to everyday life.
For this exhibition, I transcribed and translated archival videos about previous exhibitions by Ulay.