The exhibition If Mind Were All There Was at Kunstverein Göttingen presents the works and production processes of 11 international artists, artist collectives, writers, designers, and curators, who are all based in the Netherlands and have engaged in an intensive period of research in Germany through the AIR Berlin Alexanderplatz program:
ADA /Area for Debate and Art (NL, SRB, UK), Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan (NL), Maartje Fliervoet (NL), Florian Göttke (NL,D), Koehorst In’t Veld (NL), Wendelien van Oldenborgh (NL), Anna Okrasko (NL,PL), Steve Rushton (NL,UK), Martine van Kampen (NL), Stijn Verhoeff (NL), und Katarina Zdjelar (NL,SRB).
The exhibition presents a selection of works focusing on research as a constitutive element of artistic production. The practices of the artists are concern with issues ranging from the exploration of urban and public space, migration and urban experience, the social dimensions of language and communication, the archive as collective memory, and interdisciplinary processes. In the context of Göttingen, with its renown university, the project investigates an expanded notion of research processes as a reflection of how artists have been increasingly engaging with fields of knowledge that lie beyond what has been traditionally considered the artistic sphere—as a means of engaging with contemporary realities.
Doing fieldwork, delving into archives, drawing parallels, testing hypothesis, creating photographic documentation, and making new “findings” have all become integral parts of contemporary artistic practice—activities which are defined by what Mika Hanula describes as “methodological abundance” in contrast to traditional scientific methodology. However, before the backdrop of the work of theorists such as Paul Feyerabend (Against Method) or Bruno Latour (Laboratory Life: The Social Construction of Scientific Facts), theorists who have called static notions of scientific "method” or “fact” into question, the subjective, interdisciplinary, and experiential approach of artistic research becomes all the more relevant in an age of connected and collective processes of gathering and mediating knowledge. By presenting highly diverse research-based work and a series of discussions with Göttingen-based scientists and scholars, the exhibition explores ideas of creativity and methodology spanning the fields of art and academia.
AIR Berlin Alexanderplatz
AIR Berlin Alexanderplatz was founded in 2010 by artists Susanne Kriemann and Aleksander Kamorov. It is the only artist-run residency for research based practices in Germany and offers residencies for a period of 2 to 4 months. Situated on the 10th floor of a Soviet-era apartment building overlooking Alexanderplatz, AIR Berlin Alexanderplatz serves as a living space, production studio, and meeting point for artists, curators, designers, and theorists with a range of research interests. ABA also organizes readings, presentations, performances, and salons with residents are Berlin-based artists on the notion of art as research.
The exhibition is kindly supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The works in the exhibition have been made possible through the support of the Mondriaanfonds.