Exploring a Void

Emeka Okereke
Exploring a Void

Seminar, English, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Wednesday and Saturday sessions, 10 dates:
Wednesday, 18.10., 14-17 h in Einsteinufer 43, room 203
Saturday, 28.10., 11-14h (museum visit)
Wednesday, 8.11., 14-16.15 h in Einsteinufer 43, room 203
Wednesday, 29.11., 14-16.15 h in Einsteinufer 43, room 203 & hybrid
Wednesday, 13.12., 14-16.15 h in Einsteinufer 43, room 203
Wednesday, 10.1., 14-16.15 h in Einsteinufer 43, room 203
[NEW] Wednesday, 17.1., 14-16.15 h in Einsteinufer, room 203
Wednesday, 24.1., 14-16.15 h in Einsteinufer 43, room 203
[NEW] Wednesday, 14.2., 14-16.15 h in Einsteinufer, room 203
Saturday, 17.2., 14-17 h in Hardenbergstr. 33, room 102

Registration on Moodle starts 16.10.2023 / Anmeldung auf Moodle beginnt am 16.10.2023: https://moodle.udk-berlin.de/moodle/course/view.php?id=2036
Moodle Enrollment Key / Einschreibeschlüssel: void

GUEST: 29.11.2023 and 14.2.2024: Dr. Mathangi Krishnamurthy

We live in a time of volatile negotiations between the past and the present. This course proposes a re-reading and re-historicizing of our time, drawing from thoughts, ideas and premonitions expounded in postcolonial discourse, the field of cultural studies, and intersectional theories.
For this course, I adopt as a premise the title of one of my projects, Exploring a Void. To a large extent, the project, rooted in the postcolonial concept of hybridity, looks at how we might reconsider relationships in a world encumbered with rapidly growing sentiments toward nationalism and the reinforcement of borders. However, simultaneously, it continuously pushes back against the indispensability of a world in Relation.
Through collaborative activities, readings, conversations, guest-artist interventions, site-specific learning and works created, we shall investigate, beyond its transitory notion, the habitable quality of what Homi Bhabha refers to as “the in-between space” and tease out positions, tensions and new sensibilities inherent in its effervescent nature.

I will open the horizon beyond the esoteric enclosure of European and Western thinking and draw attention to some postcolonial perspectives heralded by thinkers and artists whose disposition embodies the poetics and critique of Relation. Students will be encouraged to use artistic mediums conversant to them as a tool of inquiry in exploring selfhood at the cross-point between the subjective and the collective. The program is expected to initiate a frame that allows for the intersection of different cultural realities where all the stable identities constructed around opposing binaries will be agitated in favor of a more precarious, emancipatory notion of Self.

Prerequisites for Participation: Students are expected to be engaged and open to critical thinking/reflection. In addition, they are encouraged to employ mediums relevant to their respective disciplines to create works that will be the subject of discussion during a wrapping-up portfolio review session. Attendance and involvement throughout the duration of the course is an important prerequisite.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credit points: Substantial participation/engagement in collaborative activities. Participation in wrapping-up portfolio review sessions (each student will present and discuss their thought-processes and works).

Emeka Okereke is a Nigerian visual artist, writer, filmmaker and DJ who lives and works between Lagos and Berlin, moving from one to the other on a frequent basis. A past member of the renowned Nigerian photography collective Depth of Field (DOF), he holds a bachelor’s/master’s degree from the Ecole Nationale supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris and has exhibited in biennales and art festivals in cities across the world, notably Lagos, Bamako, Cape Town, London, Berlin, Bayreuth, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Brussels, Johannesburg, New York, Washington, Barcelona, Seville, Madrid and Paris. In 2015, his work was exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale, in the context of an installation titled A Trans-African Worldspace. Okereke is the founder and artistic director of Invisible Borders Trans-African Project. He is also the founder and host of the Nkata Podcast Station. Okereke has served as guest/visiting lecturer in several art platforms and learning institutions – notably Hartford University’s MFA program in photography and Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Salzburg Austria and Sandberg Institut Amsterdam. In 2018, Emeka Okereke was conferred France’s prestigious insignia of Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters) by the Ministry of Culture of France as recognition of his contribution to the discourse on art in Africa, France, and the world at large.