Art between two or three wars

Rabih Mroué
Art between two or three wars

Block seminar, English, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Monday to Friday, 19.-23.2.2024, 10-16 h each day, Hardenbergstr. 33, room 102/101

Registration on Moodle starts 16.10.2023 / Anmeldung auf Moodle beginnt am 16.10.2023:
Moodle Enrollment Key / Einschreibeschlüssel: wars

What is the function of art after a long and devastating conflict or war? When cities are destroyed and people are displaced, radical ruptures occur at the physical level but also at the level of people’s understanding of their own history and identity. Much like Adorno’s questioning of the possibility of poetry after Auschwitz, the workshop will put in question what art can represent after the catastrophic event.

During the workshop, the participants and Rabih Mroué will investigate through his art the work of memory and amnesia, the representation of the body, and the possibility of dialogue through image and performance. Working through the effects of violence and displacement, the workshop will take on concepts such as absence/presence, the In-Between, collective amnesia, fiction/truth and document/archive. We will discuss them in the context of specific art works, produced by different artists from around the world to illustrate the tenuous relation between history and fiction in war contexts.

Course Objectives:
-Students will gain insight into the role of art as cross-disciplinary practice that draws yet critiques historical research and aesthetic models.
-Students will be able to reflect on their history through the perspective of art practices and understand how different representations deal with politics, war, amnesia and memory.
-Students will learn multi-disciplinary approach to art and area studies.
-Students will gains skills for visual and critical analysis of multi-media works.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credit points: Continual participation as well as engagement in discussions and the investigation of ideas and concepts.

Rabih Mroué, born in Beirut and lives in Berlin, is a theatre director, actor, visual artist and playwright. Rooted in theatre, his work includes video and installation art. Working at the intersection of personal and political history, media criticism, and concepts of authorship, his oeuvre is an interrogation of the ways we see and speak. He is a co-founder and a board member of the Beirut Art Center (BAC), and a contributing editor for The Drama Review/TDR (New York). 2013-2014 he was a fellow at The International Research Center: Interweaving Performance Cultures at FU Berlin. 2015-2019 he has been working as theatre director at Münchner Kammerspiele. He has performed and exhibited internationally including dOCUMENTA (13)/Kassel, CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo/Madrid, The ICP Triennial and MoMa/New York, Centre Pompidou/Paris, SALT/Istanbul, among others. In 2020 he was the recipient of the Schering Stiftung Award for Artistic Research, which led to an exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin in 2022.