Abstracts (engl.)


Sabine Gebhardt Fink / Nora Landkammer / Anna Schürch

Read across and talk back

A dialogue on perfomance theory and gallery education

Based on Judith Butler’s definition of the performative act as an action that has to be constantly repeated and socially legitimized, the text discusses the relation between performance, pedagogy and agency as Garoian conceptualizes it in his Performative Pedagogy (1999). Thoughts on contemporary performance art practices are «read across» the perspectives of different fields of knowledge in a dialogue betwenn performace theory and gallery education. We focus on four themes: presence and embodiment, strategies of enabling action, collective practices of reception and constructions of place, starting from performative projects by artists Alexandra Bachzetsis, San Keller, William Hunt and Kateřina Šedá.


Andrea Hubin

Agency at the margins of power

Locating a gallery education that operates with concepts of performativity

Why is gallery education interested in performativity? Between fights for recognition, reflection on one’s own status and a multiplication of agents interested in this field theories of performativity seem to provide models for having a share in the formation of institutions and their rules from a critical perspective. Concepts of performativity underline the aspect of «reality production through speech». For largely speech-based gallery education, this offers an argument for leaving the role of reproduction, claiming a position as a producer of knowledge and structures. The text discusses the possibilities for agency at the margins of power (Judith Butler) which are defined by the fact that any agent (critical or not) already participates in the production of the existing order. Still, it is performative gallery education which started to explore the transformative potential of dislocation, appropriation and reenactment of these conditions for action.


Julia Draxler

How speechlessness can lead to action

The article asks the question, if not only «talking about art» but also «acting to art» is possible and usefull in art education. Artworks should not only be discussed in a rational way, but also felt and understood through the use of your own body and through your own actions. The author is focussing primarily on the method of Augusto Boal´s Theatre of the Oppressed. Power relations and situations of oppression that arise while watching art and more generally that can be found in the museum context are being discussed with the an emphasis on if and how those situations can be changed through «played» actions.


Bernadett Settele

Performing the educator

What if we think of mediation not as a tool for the frictionless transportation of information but as a vehicle of transformation? How can art educators obtain a certain (different) kind of faculty of speach and agency yet breaking up common role models? How can education and its subjects become capable of acting without them being subjectivated «that way» for economical causes? I will explore these questions regarding a project that took part shortly after the documenta 12 education experiment: 5th berlin biennial’s Secret Service. The Service aimed to create spaces for a self-contained, reflected, and critical engagement with the exhibition for educators and visitors alike; and in doing so, it raised the question of what the cost is to «function» as an educator on the subject level, regarding attributions of gender, class, race, and other denominations. My article will explore Secret Service’s mimicry to and reluctance towards the contemporary art world, taking into account subjectivating and institutionalising practices and what it takes to subvert them.


microsillons – Marianne Guarino-Huet / Olivier Desvoignes

Autonomy within the institution

Towards a critical art education

The performative production of the institution is at the center of the contribution by the artists/art educators collective microsillons. They discuss their relation to institutions – more specifically to the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève – in connection to Institutional Critique and to Andrea Fraser’s statement that «We are the institution».

Carmen Mörsch / Eva Sturm

Gallery education – performance – the differend

The paper is based on an introductory talk given at the conference Perfoming the Museum as a Public Sphere at Kunstmuseum Lentos, Linz, in April 2008. It parts from Charles Garoian’s thesis that all people involved in a museum (from the director to the visitor) produce and invent the museum though their – performative – speech and actions, and that these processes are embedded into power relations. Gallery education can play a key role in the performative production of the museum as well as in the reflection on the conditions of that production – it can realize the museum as a place of the «differend» in Lyotard’s sense. This means to encourage the «rhizovocality» of participants as a manifestation of difference instead of turning it into a dialectical movement or trying to make the voices unambiguous. Connecting the concepts of performativity and the «differend» implies that it is not only possible to analyze and critize the institutional setting but also to change it through our own actions.


Sandra Ortmann

Performative interventions

A performance script for the exhibitions Fomuška, by Micol Assaël, and Frühling, by Pawel Althamer and children living in Kassel, at Kunsthalle Fridericianum

Performtive interventions, as a format, are located at the intersection of gallery education – of talking about art – and performance – of staging and artistic expression. The ambition of the choreographed exhibition tour is to open new perspectives on contemporary art, its social conditions, its histories of production and its meanings. The performance script was produced with students at the School of Art and Design Kassel in a gallery education project in spring 2009. The performative activities were connected to a tour and presented to around 40 visitors during the Symposium KUNST [auf] FÜHREN (Performing/guiding art. Performativity as a mode and an art form in gallery education) on June 20, 2009.


Nora Landkammer

The visitors are missing. Which visitors?

A reflexion on the Symposium KUNST [auf] FÜHREN

The text parts from critique expressed by participants of the symposium KUNST[auf] FÜHREN in Kassel in June 2009: We had been talking about gallery education and had forgotten about the visitors, the public. Reflecting on the Symposium, the contribution focuses on the question, what had produced this absence and asks how «the visitor» can appear in educators‘ thinking about gallery education, in relation to the critique of paternalism in the discourse of inclusion and target groups, theories of performativity and the connection of theory and practice. After discussing the uncertainty in talking about «the visitor» the contribution argues for a reflexion on education between different positionalities and interests in projects that build long term collaborations with groups of participants, providing space for thinking about education itself within practice.