The Right To Have Rights - art in the context of current political discourse

Karin Michalski
"The Right to Have Rights"- art in the context of current political discourse

Blockseminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
2 weekends, 10-17 h: Saturday and Sunday 4.5./5.5.2024 / Saturday and Sunday 13.7./14.7.2024 (4.5. in Hardenbergstr. 33, room 158, the other dates Stoschek Foundation and KW/Kunstwerke)

14.7.2024, Fred Hansen, Curator

Today's understanding of human rights is increasingly restricted and politically contested. In order to have rights, a person must be more than just a person, namely a member of a political community, because only as such a member can a person enjoy enforceable rights to education, work, elections, health care and culture. The seminar will deal with video and performance art by (among others) Halil Altindere, Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Ayoung Kim and explore the question of how these works expand the reflection of current political discourses through the use of specific artistic strategies - placing an emphasis on feminist, queer and decolonial art and politics.

For further contextualization, we will visit 2 exhibitions:
"Arctic Hysteria" at KW Institute for Contemporary Art - a survey of works by the Greenlandic-Danish visual artist and thinker Pia Arke (1958-2007), who deals with the silence that surrounds Nordic colonialism. Guest speaker will be the Independent curator Fred Hansen who in 2010 (as one part of the collective Kuratorisk Aktion) curated the first retrospective presentation of Pia Arke’s work and research, TUPILAKOSAURUS: Pia Arke’s Issue with Art, Ethnicity and Colonialism.
And the group exhibition “Unbound: Performance As Rupture” (at the Julia Stoschek Foundation) with works by mandla rae (As British as Watermelon) and Salim Bayri (You can keep it eat it), which address the limited accessibility of colonial archives and the effects of coloniality on social relations in the present.

Arke, Pia (2011), Tupilakosaurus, An Incomplete(able) Survey of Pia Arke’s Artistic Work and Research; Sadr Haghighian, Natascha (2023), What I Do Not Recognize, Now at This Very Moment.

Voraussetzung für die Teilnahme: English language skills for reading texts and understanding artistic works (in the seminar, artistic works are analyzed and related to cultural studies texts). The seminar can be held in English and/or German.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credit points: Short input on a text or artistic work.

Karin Michalski works as artist, film- and video art curator and lecturer. In 2016 she edited the artist edition An Unhappy Archive, Edition Fink, Zurich and in 2015 the collaborative book I is for Impasse. Affektive Queerverbindungen in Theorie_Aktivismus_Kunst, bbooks, Berlin.
Contributions to other publications (selection): Wicked Little Town, Archive Books Berlin, 2021; Re/Imagining Depression: Creative Approaches to “Feeling Bad”, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2020; Public Spheres of Resonance: Constellations of Affect and Language, Routledge, 2019.
Curatorial projects include: Queer Cinema – „counter-narratives“ und filmische Experimente, Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, 2022/23; An Unhappy Archive Part II, Kunsthaus Aargau, 2021/22; STILL IN TOUCH - on queer friendships & poetic forms of resistance, District Berlin, 2021; "Writing with Flaming Fingers", Internationales Frauenfilmfestival Köln, 2018; House of Memories. Queer and Postcolonial Approaches to the Past, Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, symposium & exhibition, 2017. More information on