"It’s a family affair"

Karin Michalski
“It’s a family affair”

Online block seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Saturday/Sunday, each 10-17 h, at 8./9.5.2021 and 22./23.5.2021

The Corona Times not only have an effect on bodies in the form of a health crisis but also on social relations. The politics of various governments are renewing the everlasting idea of a nuclear family and a family home - where family housing is not only demarcating private from public spaces but also framing the norms of bodies, gender and sexualities, thereby serving as a tool of restriction and social control. Being reminded of the politics of the US-American government during the AIDS-crisis in the 1980ies/90ies where conservative family values were becoming a “revitalizing force” we will take the Cinema of Transgression and the reflections of the theorist Sara Ahmed as a starting point for envisioning a “snap”:

“Lauren Berlant introduces the idea of ‘cruel optimism’ to explain how we can end up holding on to what diminishes us… a cluster of promises that can surround an object (an idea, a thing, a person, a relation); how we can stay attached to a life that is not working. … Cruel optimism might be one way of explaining how we do not snap the bonds that are, at some level, compromising, maybe of our existence; maybe of our capacity to realize an idea of an existence.” 

A number of artists of different genres and research methods (film and video, sculpture, performance) contributed their critical and often sarcastic views on the dysfunctional family system. In the seminar, we will take the texts of Sara Ahmed and Lauren Berlant as a basis for our close readings of the art works by David Wojnarowicz, Marianna Simnett, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Gillian Wearing, Henrik Oleson, Guy Ben-Ner, Tracey Emin, Tracey Moffatt (…). Writing exercises and project presentations will expand on the idea of an artistic “snap”.

Englischkenntnisse sind notwendig für Textlektüre und das Verständnis der künstlerischen Arbeiten.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credits: Regular, active participation and an Input on an artistic work and/or cultural studies text.

Karin Michalski arbeitet als Künstlerin, Film- und Videokunstkuratorin und Dozentin in Berlin. Sie studierte Filmregie und -produktion an der Deutschen Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb) sowie Publizistik, Politik- und Erziehungswissenschaft an den Universitäten in Mainz und Berlin. Sie war mit ihren Film- und Videoarbeiten an zahlreichen Festivals und Ausstellungen beteiligt u.a. mit The Alphabet of Feeling Bad (2014 & 2012) und working on it (2008). 2016 gab sie die Künstler-Edition An Unhappy Archive heraus (in Kollaboration mit Sabian Baumann, CH) sowie 2015 das kollaborative Buch I is for Impasse - Affektive Queerverbindungen in Theorie_Aktivismus_Kunst bei bbooks, Berlin und 2011 das Fanzine FEELING BAD – queer pleasures, art & politics. Sie arbeitet als Dozentin an verschiedenen Film- und Kunsthochschulen und Universitäten. 2015 bis 2018 war sie Vertretungsprofessorin für Kunst und Medien an der Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln (KHM). Weitere Informationen unter www.karinmichalski.de.