14th International Studio Program of the ACC Galerie Weimar and the City of Weimar

On Indefiniteness

International Studio Program

14th International Studio Program 2008 'On Indefiniteness'


The application deadline was December 7, 2007

New Scholarship Recipients from Turkey, Pakistan, and Germany

Under the auspices of the 14th International Studio Program of the ACC Galerie and the City of Weimar, exploring the theme "On Indefiniteness," three artists have been invited to spend four months each this year (2008) in Weimar. 189 applications were considered by the jury, which during its December 11, 2007 sitting decided in favor of Asli Cavusoglu (Turkey), Muhammad Zeeshan (Pakistan), and Hagen Betzwieser (Germany). The jury consisted of Susana Sáez, freelance art historian (Berlin), Kai-Uwe Schierz, curator and director of the Kunsthalle Erfurt, Ursula Seeger, lecturer in the fine arts at the Weimar Cultural Bureau, Solmaz Shahbazi, artist (Berlin), and Fatos Üstek, freelance curator (London).

As the first scholarship recipient, Asli Cavusoglu from Istanbul will reside in Weimar beginning in February, 2008. Her work hovers on the border between fiction and reality, between nature and performance. For several years, the Turkish artist has been filing applications with various institutions, proposing the construction of often unrealizable monuments in specific locations with the goal of penetrating into, and calling into question, bureaucratic procedures.

In June, 2008 the ACC Galerie and the City of Weimar will be welcoming the second scholarship recipient, Muhammad Zeeshan from Lahore (Pakistan). The basis of his work consists of videos and images taken from the most diverse cultural landscapes and genres, which - after digitally or physically transforming them - he combines with each other in order to create "his" work. Zeeshan explores the essence of copy and original in connection with the commercial usability of art work when at the end of the artistic production nobody - not even the artist himself - possesses the original.

As the third scholarship recipient, Hagen Betzwieser from Stuttgart will live and work in Weimar for four months beginning in October, 2008. His "Institute for General Theory" (IAT) carries out experiments in the transitional space between science and art. The IAT sees itself as a laboratory for "omnidisciplinary thought experiments," dedicating its free field research to the most varied questions, such as "How does the universe smell?" or "How does a space canoe need to be equipped before leaving the earth?"

On Indefiniteness

Whether it's nature, the night sky, a book, or our interactions with one another: order and disorder, definiteness and indefiniteness seem to be inherent characteristics of our world. Definiteness reflects lawfulness and nature's desire for order, while non-ordered elements do not let themselves be described by laws, in this way conveying indefiniteness.

We encounter this indefiniteness as a shadow lurking behind every corner of the world. And even if for us human beings - driven as we are by our goal-oriented actions and plans -indefiniteness is a thorn in our side that we'd like to eliminate, it becomes increasingly important as more and more value is given to definiteness. The more elaborately we invest in protective mechanisms to repress this indefiniteness - for example in health or unemployment insurance - the clearer it becomes how difficult this is to achieve.

Nonetheless, dealing with indefiniteness intelligently is the basis for successfully confronting our present and future tasks. Indefiniteness can neither be eradicated from life nor eliminated from the universe. On the contrary, evaluating and describing it mathematically is currently the object of the most intensive research. With such concepts as fear and freedom, indefiniteness reveals itself in our everyday lives. Thanks to indefiniteness, today's defeat can become tomorrow's victory. In indefiniteness as in art, our freedom is demanded.

In technical systems with their precise calculations, a clear causality reigns and forms the basis for rules and order. In social configurations, however, individual members - that is, people - often give rise to non-causal events that shatter classical causal conceptions, or even to chance, the most well-known form of indefiniteness. A politician is hardly held responsible for a law he introduced that caused substantial harm. The public tends rather to measure his effectiveness according to how well he adheres to moral principles and ethical norms.

But for philosophers as well (as the Constructivists say, "The only reality is an invented reality") and for artists (from the Impressionists to John Cage's chance procedures), indefiniteness is a precondition and basis for their work. Indefiniteness belongs just as much to the process of creation as to the documentation of the real, the work "without rules", and the development of new rules.

The artists of the 14th International Studio Program of the ACC Galerie Weimar and City of Weimar could address the fact that the course of things will never be totally definite. They could investigate the effects of indefiniteness - this inherent, indestructible, and essential characteristic of the world - upon the individual and society. Or they could raise the question of where indefiniteness comes from, what it means for art and human life, how it can be portrayed, and how it can be made useful: in short, what it is. The experience with indefiniteness the artists draw upon can be just as free, open, and indefinite as the realm of possible interpretation in their artistic dialogue with it.