Julia Gelshorn: Living Networks. Rhizomatic Narration in the work of Renée Green and Tacita Dean

Do it yourself. Deskilling and Reskilling in the Digital Techno Age.
Ringvorlesung Institut für Kunstkritik

Julia Gelshorn: Living Networks. Rhizomatic Narration in the work of Renée Green and Tacita Dean
Dienstag, 13. Dezember 2016, 19 Uhr, Aula

How do artists confront the acceleration, immaterialization and constant connectedness of our global network society? How do new technologies affect models of subjectivity and of artistic skills?
The paper, that Julia Gelshorn will present, discusses two case studies related to the artists Renée Green and Tacita Dean who make use of digression, deceleration, location, and materialization in order to create the experience of space and duration. What is the relation between stories and history, what role does the location play in contrast to the idea of global flow? In the work of Green and Dean, the biographic narration of networked selves becomes an exemplary microcosm as part of a large continuum of contingencies and analogies. The network as the paradigm of our contemporary world is thereby aesthetically and ideologically revaluated and filled with “life”.

Julia Gelshorn (1974, Aachen) studied art history, theater, film and media, as well as Italian language and literature in Cologne and in Bern. In 2003 she recieved her PHD with a dissertation on "Appropiating Art History. Strategies of Repetition in the work of Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke". After teaching and research stints at universities in Zurich, Paris, Karlsruhe, Vienna and Hamburg, she has since 2013 been professor of art history at the University of Fribourg (CH).

Der Vortrag findet in englischer Sprache statt.


Winter semester 2016/2017:
Julia Gelshorn (13. Dezember)
Rachel Haidu (14. Dezember)
Amalia Ulman (17. Januar)
John Roberts (18. Januar)

Summer semester 2016:
Lucy McKenzie (12. April)
Benjamin Buchloh (22. Juni)
Beatrice von Bismarck (23. Juni)
Julia Gelshorn (12. Juli)

This lecture-series (conceptualized by Isabelle Graw) revolves around the question of artistic skills in a digital world. What do they actually consist of? While it always mattered how an artist performs herself since the Modern Age, it seems that the „Auftritt des Künstlers“ (Beatrice von Bismarck), namely, her public staging of herself, has become increasingly important in a Media Society. Has the modeling of her „personality“ turned into a skill that is required from her? Or should one rather argue that artistic practices still represent other competences, attitudes and ways of life that question the ideal of an entrepreneurial self? What have traditional skills been replaced by?

It seems that the deskilling of the arts that is usually associated with the „Duchamp-effect“ and post war practices allowed for a reskilling that is currently quite popular in the artworld. Is it a historical necessity that deskilling entails reskilling? Historically speaking, „deskilling“ was a male privilege in the 1950´s and 1960´s. Many male artists opted for anti-subjective aleatory procedures that rejected skills, whereas women artists practiced another form of deskilling in the 1970´s by reintroducing formerly devaluated, „female skills“ into their work. Could one argue, at least in retrospect, that it is precisely these lower or soft skills associated with the sphere of reproduction that are have risen to the status of a valuable resource in our New Economy?