16th International Studio Program of the ACC Galerie Weimar and the City of Weimar

Beyond Desire



International Studio Program

16th International Studio Program 2010 'Beyond Desire'

Contact:
studioprogram@acc-weimar.de

International jury of art specialists chooses the new Artists-in-Residence for the International Studio Program of the ACC Galerie Weimar and the City of Weimar

In 2010 Weimar will again host three artists invited through the International Studio Program of the ACC Galerie Weimar and the City of Weimar. Now entering its 16th year, the International Studio Program is the only program of its kind in Thuringia.

The jury of art specialists met on December 10 and 11 in the ACC Galerie and out of 315 applications from 58 countries chose artists Leila Tschopp (Argentina), Kathrin Schlegel (The Netherlands/Germany), and Christoph Ziegler (Germany). The jury consisted of Katerina Gregos, Greek curator, art educator and art critic living in Brussels, Belgium; David Galloway, American independent curator, art critic and art publisher living in Wuppertal, Germany and Forcalquier, France; Johan Holten from Denmark, head of the Kunstverein Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; and Henrik Schrat, German visual artist living in Berlin, Germany.

Each guest artist will live for four months in the Städtisches Atelierhaus and grapple with the new program theme "Beyond Desire." Leila Tschopp, born 1978, lives in Buenos Aires and will continue to work with installations and murals, using the relationship between the theater of the Bauhaus and the Argentinean avant-garde of the 1930s and 1940s as new inspiration. Kathrin Schlegel, born in 1977, lives in Amsterdam and will investigate the contradictory ideas around the theme "Beyond Desire" through a site-specific installation. Christoph Ziegler, born in 1973, lives in Hamburg and will build a kiosk that will serve as a tangible interface between utopia and "real space."

Next year's program focuses on desire - a joyful but also a portentous feeling. Through the ages, people have longed for not only the ideal partner or perfect community but also for better worlds and more just societies. But what lies hidden behind that "sickness of painful yearning" (Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm) that often seems preferable to its fulfillment? What lies beyond this desire? A lush and fertile hinterland or a graveyard for our unfulfilled longings? What does that unreachable place look like, that "eternal home" (Joseph von Eichendorff), to which humans as travelers are by infinite desire propelled through the world? Is it worth it at all to embark on a trip to these far-off lands to which no compass in the world can steer us? Or is it the striving for the unreachable that gives life its purpose, develops creative power, fosters resistance? This is what the program participants will study and try to fathom during their stay.


If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and divide up the work, but rather teach them to long for the infinity of the sea. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

What is longed for is always elsewhere. The desire for fulfilment, overcoming, perfection, light, paradise or the miraculous is a joyful but also a fatalistic feeling, its poetry "hovering between memory and premonition" (August Wilhelm Schlegel). Through the ages, people have longed for not only the ideal partner or perfect community but also for better worlds and more just societies. But what lies hidden behind that "sickness of painful yearning" (Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm) that often seems preferable to its fulfilment? What is hidden behind that exquisite, heartfelt, almost entirely woebegone, if not completely hopeless longing for a person or a thing?

In the political upheavals in East Germany, which mark their 20th anniversary in 2009, lay the desire of many of its protagonists - at first for an undefined and later for a very limited time - for a new political form of social community. This desire, however, was quickly overtaken by reality, as the actual process of unification of the two German states took place in an exceedingly rapid way. The longing for a political transformation was, for the most part, overshadowed by the desire for consumption and buying power; the desire altered, becoming a wish for the finite, "empty desire to eliminate the time between desire for something and the acquisition of it" (Immanuel Kant). An infinite desire, however, one that knows no bounds, that is unlimited, aims for something unreachable, nearly indeterminate.

If we become conscious that our often boundless desirings can never totally be fulfilled, but rather always encounter limits, that there is something like a "final station of desire": What then lies beyond this desire? A lush and fertile hinterland or a graveyard for our unfulfilled longings? What does that unreachable place look like, that "eternal home" (Joseph von Eichendorff), to which humans as travellers are by infinite desire propelled through the world? Is it worth it at all to embark on a trip to these far-off lands to which no compass in the world can steer us? Or is it the striving for the unreachable that gives life its purpose, develops creative power, fosters resistance? Thomas Hobbes asserted that desire is the fundamental impulse for all human action. As the main content of life, longing is often underestimated as the driving force of every further development - for example those desires for organized resistance.

One person who attempted to put his longing into practice, even though he knew of its futility, is the little-known lawyer Christian Gottlieb Priber (1697-1748). As an ethnologist, early representative of the Enlightenment and social utopian, he devised a plan for an ideal community in the eighteenth century. It is the only example we know of a secular utopia next to the multiplicity of religious communes during this time, though he called his republic (perhaps as a polemical thrust against the pious) the "Kingdom of Paradise." Because of his ideas and yearnings, Priber received much scrutiny and in the 1730s he left his family and home in a small German town and fled via London to America. It was here, adopted by the people of the Cherokee, that Priber found acceptance for his ideas and like-minded people who wanted to live by them. After a few years, he was imprisoned by the British colonialists, who brought his paradise to an end. He died in custody; the manuscript of his longed for republic - "Kingdom Paradise" - has been lost ever since.

Visual artists who want to discover, investigate and fathom what lies beyond desire, who feel an inner stirring upon reading this text and who feel inspired, rather than limited by this proposition, are encouraged to apply for our program.

DEADLINE: ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2009! (applications must be in Weimar on that day!)

download application form and short information

Contact:
studioprogram@acc-weimar.de