Kurt-Kurt Kunst-Gast-Arbeiter

Kurt-Kurt
Kurt-Kurt Kunst und Kontext im Stadtlabor Moabit
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Kunst-Gast-Arbeiter

Konzept
Das Gesamtprojekt Kunst-Gast-Arbeiter erkundet den Einfluss und die Wirkung, die Migration als persönliches aber auch kollektives und moabitspezifisches Phänomen auf die zeitgenössische Kunst hat oder haben kann.
Exakt 50 Jahre nachdem zwischen Deutschland und der Türkei ein „Gastarbeiterabkommen“ getroffen wurde, greifen wir dieses Thema aus künstlerischer Sicht auf und erweitern damit die Auseinandersetzung und Gesprächsgrundlagen, die 2010 bei dem sehr erfolgreichen Projekt „Journeys with no Return“ schon geschaffen wurden und zur Zeit aktueller denn je sind.
König Friedrich Wilhelm I hat auf der Insel Moabit französische Hugenotten, die wegen ihres Glaubens aus ihrem Land fliehen mussten, als Gastarbeiter angesiedelt und ihnen einen Handel angeboten: Land und Besitz gegen Urbarmachung Moabits und Kultivierung mit Maulbeerbäumen. Es stellt sich also nicht erst heute die Frage, wie man sich zwischen Turmstraße und Spree bzw. Westhafen niederlässt, sich einrichtet, sich ein Zuhause schafft und sich im besten Falle verwurzelt.

Der Künstler als Gastarbeiter ist ein bekanntes Phänomen. Seit Goethe sich sozusagen als erster künstlerischer Arbeitsmigrant auf seine Italienreise begeben hat und es heute Stipendien in Moskau, New York, Tokyo, Istanbul und weltweit die Artist-in-Residence Programme gibt, schlüpft der Künstler immer wieder in die Rolle des Gastarbeiters. In medienübergreifenden Konzepten und interdisziplinären Projekten erforschen Künstler als temporäre Gastarbeiter Schnittstellen zwischen künstlerischer, soziologischer und anthropologischer Arbeit und hinterfragen die Beziehungen zwischen Gast und Gastgeber, Künstler und Publikum, Suchendem und Gesuchtem.
Kurt-Kurt entleiht der deutschen Geschichte der letzten 50 Jahre den Begriff des Gastarbeiters und definiert ihn als positives Phänomen. Zunächst verstehen wir den bei uns arbeitenden Künstler tatsächlich als willkommenen Gast, der Neues und Ungewohntes mit sich bringt. Auch Harald Szeemanns Agentur für Geistige Gastarbeit, deren geistiger Raum beliebig expandieren konnte und die sich immer wieder neu verortete und in unterschiedlichste Lebens- und Denk-Bereiche vordrang, ist für uns ein wichtiger Bezug und Inspiration.
Der sichtbare Prozess und die Zusammenarbeit, der Austausch mit den ansässigen Menschen sind ein zentraler Aspekt der Projekte im Kurt-Kurt und werden von den Künstlern als arbeitende Gäste angeboten, genutzt und in künstlerische Statements transformiert. Die Künstler leben und arbeiten für eine Weile in den Kurt-Kurt Räumen und machen ihren Arbeitsprozess öffentlich. Hierbei geht es weniger um endgültige Ergebnisse und deren Präsentation als vielmehr um Arbeitsstrategien, um allmähliche Formfindungen und um tatsächliches und tatmächtiges Arbeiten.


Kunst-Gast-Arbeiter Programm
2011
1. Øyvind Renberg, N (Jan – March 2011):
Øyvind Renberg (b.1976 in Oslo) graduated from Goldsmiths College, London and now lives in Oslo. He uses travelling and collaboration as a basis for artworks with a wide visual and conceptual approach, producing photographs and collages as well as publications, music releases, and design related pieces. Since 2001 he has worked with the artist Miho Shimizu (Japan) under the group names Danger Museum and Peanut Circuit. www.dangermuseum.com / www.peanutcircuit.com
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2. Margareta Kern, CRO/GB (May – June 2011):
Margareta Kern (b 1974, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina) is a London based artist using photography, video and performance to tease out connecting threads between people’s personal spaces, narratives and socio-political forces. In Kurt-Kurt she researched about real female guestworkers in the Siemens factories in Moabit. www.margaretakern.comhttp://guestworkerberlin.blogspot.de/

MARGARETA KERN – EXHIBITION ‘GUESTS’
The exhibition by Margareta Kern is centred around her artist led research project Guests, which takes as its starting point a historical period from 1968 – 1973, when large number of labour migrants moved to West Germany as part of ‘Gastarbeiter Programme’. Kern started the project in 2009, during the artist-in-residence programe in Berlin, funded by the British Council. During the two months residency, the artist started a process of extensive research focusing on the migration from the socialist Yugoslavia (SFRY) to the Federal Republic of Germany. Kern learnt that in West Berlin’s large telecommunication companies, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the majority of workers were women, often doing meticulous work on the microscope or repetitive work on the assembly line. This led her to establish contact with those women, who arrived in the late 1960’s to West Berlin, from Yugoslavia, who worked for those factories, and still live in Berlin. So far she interviewed fifteen women about their experience, and memories of arrival, journeys from home to Berlin, medical examinations, lives in the worker dorm, their work in the factories, and finally their stay and life in Berlin. Alongside the interviews, Kern ‘collected’ photographs from their family albums, and was also given access to personal letters and immigration and work documents. The photographs show young women (most of them were 18 years old when they arrived in Berlin) in workers dorms during times of celebration, or of outing at Berlin lakes. These ‘kodak moment’ photographs capture rarely seen side of these women worker lives, and in combination with text from their interviews complicate the story of worker as a victim, or as a benefector of the economic boom. They point to the place which is between emancipation and exploitation.

The work is inspired by Kern’s grandparents who migrated to Germany in 1969, and worked there for 21 years. Personal family photographs, and stories will also form part of the work in the exhibition.

The archival installation ‘Guests’ that resulted from the process of research, presents transcripts of interviews as transparencies, which the gallery visitors are invited to place on Overhead Projectors and read. The photographs, are scanned and turned into diapositives, and the visitors are invited to place them into the small slide viewers in order to be able to see them. The whole installation resembles a working production room, inviting an engagement and labour akin to the traditional archive research. The interactive element is important, as it reflects the process of research itself, the gallery visitors become investigators who need to piece their own story from the fragments which are presented to them. In this way the installation and its interpretations are constantly changing, unsetteling the authorial, aesthetic and historical economy within the work. There is not one story, or a version of event, and likewise, no story is more important then the other.

Alongside of being interested in the specificity of this historical moment, Kern’s work in the exhibition will reflect on the wider questions of how history is narrated, the space of social and cultural memory in the dominant historical national discourses, its resistive and emancipatory potential, as well as aesthetic questions of the relationship of photographic image to text. Underlying all these issues is Kern’s ongoing fascination with the tension between the documentary and imaginary, and her interest in making this tension palpable in her work.

The exhibition itself will become a production space where the visitors are able to interact with the work, and also contribute their stories and images relating to the ‘Gastarbeiter’ time. *Inspired by (Hi)story Workshop – Geschichten Werkstatt not-profit places in Berlin.

As well as being invited to handle the materials on display, the gallery visitors will be provided with working overalls, which they will wear while ‘working’ in the installation. This costume element is both performative and transformative, as the gallery visitors become guests, and also ‘experts’ who work in the space (exploring the roles of artist as the producer and the audience as the receiver of knowledge).

This was particularly evident during the performative collective reading of the ‘archive’ during the exhibition ‘Exposures’ which took place in disused offices of a former telecommunication factory in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina. During the event, members of audience took turns in reading the interview transcipts, activating the archive, and giving different voices to the texts.

Images of the installation, performance and all the research are available on http://guestworkerberlin.blogspot.com/

The installation was exhibited in several venues since the residency took place: Slade School of Art Gallery, London, Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, Rudi Cajevac (ex-factory exhibition space) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest and Kurt-Kurt Gallery, Berlin. Margareta Kern spoke about the project at the Tate Britain (conference The Age of Anxiety, October 2009), and at the South Bank Centre, London (conference Text in Context, June 2010).

The exhibition will take a form of a larger archival installation and research space, with performances, talks and workshops accompanying it, scheduled to take place in Zagreb, Croatia in September 2011; Berlin, Germany in October 2011, and London, UK in 2011-12.

Events during the exhibition:
- 1 month, the artist is present and working in the space as ‘archivist’ and collector of stories and images.
- Collective reading of the ‘archive’ – a performative reading of the stories, where visitors together with the artist are reading transcripts of interviews.
- an event with the guest worker women I worked with
- Any other suggestions: e.g. discussion on the representation of migrants and immigration – Merkel’s comment on the ‘failure of multi-culturalism’ in Germany –or a dialogue between me and an academic on the topic of history-narrative-memory and photography

- SHORT HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL CONTEXT

In the late sixties the government of socialist Yugoslavia decided to shift its opposition to emigration and allow its unemployed workers to seek temporary work outside its borders. The majority of these labour migrants went to work in the Federal Republic of Germany/West Germany, as part of an organised mass labour migration, orchestrated by both, the receiving and sending country. Many of those workers thought they will be staying only for a short period of time, indeed their own label as ‘guest workers’ or ‘Gastarbeiter’ ‘Radnik na privremenom radu u inostranstvu/inozemstvu’ indicated that they were only there temporarily. However, large number of these workers never went back. A still predominant worker image, in both Germany and the Yugoslav successor countries, is that of a male migrant worker, however in 1973 women made up 31.9 percent of the entire guest worker population, the Yugoslav women were the largest group amongst the female guest workers. In Berlin’s large telecommunication companies, the majority of workers were women, often doing meticulous work on the microscope or repetitive work on the assembly line.
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3. Heejong Yoo, South-Korea (Dez – Jan 2011/12):
Heejong Yoo (b 1976 in Seoul, South Korea) is an artist/musician, producer, graphic & sound designer and lives in Segwipo, Jeju Island, South Korea.

Some of his various projects are:
DISCOGRAPHY
Electronic Pop Project 'Fortune Cookie' (www.myspace.com/fortunecookieshop)
- 2004 1st 'Beginning of Fortune'
- 2007 2nd 'Hills Like White Elephant'
- 2008 EP 'Art of Cheese (Only Vinyl)' collaborated work with Danger Museum

Alternative Pop Project '5days Market' (www.facebook.com/5daysmarket) coming soon

- 2011 EP 'Five Days Market'

SOUND DESIGN & PRODUCING
- 2003 Title Trailer Music work for Puchon International Fantastic Film Festiva
l - 2005 Title Trailer Music work for Green Film Festival in Seoul
- 2009 Couple of CF music Work include 'LG flatron TV international version'
- 2010 Sound Directing for 'Banpo Han-river Renaissance Project Media Gallery'

Heejong Yoo war von Dezember 2011 bis Januar 2012 als Kunst-Gast-Arbeiter zu Gast im Kurt-Kurt. Er arbeitete an verschiedenen Musikprojekten, u.a. auch mit Gastkünstlern im Künstlerhaus Bethanien.
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4. Miho Shimizu, Japan (Jan – Feb 2012):
Miho Shimizu (b 1976 in Tokio) received BA Fine Art from Goldsmiths College (London) in 2000, attended Piet Zwart Institute (Rotterdam) and completed her MA under Henrik Plenge Jakobsen at Oslo Art Academy in early 2011. In parallel to her solo practice, she is known for collaborative projects under the name Danger Museum.

A fascination with cultural icons and their representation in the public, is central to her practice. Her pieces explore the space between the public and private spheres, and try to articulate the psychological distance between audience and idol, public image and media constructions. She practices in a variety of media – from miniature dioramas and sculptures, to performative videos. Her approach includes mapping sites that are related to certain subjects, anecdotes and events, to further explore the aura of stardom. The research material creates a basis for individual pieces, and is often also displayed in larger in installations.
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5. Siri Austeen (N) und Søssa Jørgensen (N) (Aug - Sept 2012):
Siri Austeen (b. 1961 in Skien, N, www.austeen.no) and Søssa Jørgensen (b. 1968 in Oslo, N) are two norwegian artists based in Oslo that for a long time, in various ways, has had their focusses on sound as a media and art as a device to elaborate on communication in the public sphere. What is the role of public art?
In 2002 Buckle Bunnies strived to shed light on this issue which resulted in the song Mycelium Melody.
Liters of water has gone down the river until the autumn 2012, when they headed for Berlin and Kurt-Kurt project space and the kickoff for the animated video production based on the same song took place - only 10 year later. During their stay in Berlin they threw their ideas towards the wall of Kurt-Kurt and re-contextualized the material. How did they understand the topic across the time jump? The video will show. Presentation of the video and performance of Buckle Bunnies in summer 2013.
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