Mediation / Communication / Cooperation as Curatorial / Artistic Practice

Free School for Art Theory and Practice with Julia Schäfer and Antje Schiffers

Time: November 7-8, 2014
Venue: Auróra, 1084 Budapest, Auróra utca 11.

To participate in the seminar, please send a motivation letter in English until October 31, 2014 at


November 7, 2014, 6 pm to 8 pm

Lecture of Julia Schäfer and Antje Schiffers

1) Julia Schäfer. “Mediation as curatorial practice“ (3 examples)
2) Antje Schiffers. "The International Village Show and Co“
3) Julia Shäfer/Antje Schiffers. "Working.Together“

November 8, 2014, 10 am to 5 pm

Working.Together – workshop

The workshop Working.Together first introduces various methods showing how work can influence social processes in connection with art. By means of a fictional project we try to check which ingredients and which direction are suitable/imaginable/possible for getting an audience that at first glance does not have a lot to do with art to take part in the process. We want to find out which possibilities there are to start processes by working together; where potentials lie to communicate these and how one's awareness can be risen for this subject. We question the boundaries of art and the potential of the borderland; how can places of art function in such a participatory process? Can they temporarily be rededicated? Or permanently be integrated in the social sphere of activity in different ways?

In connection with these strategies of curatorial mediating and artistic mediation work we will also talk about and examine possible difficulties.

We will research, discuss, draw, and eat together and in the meantime relax through artistic works.

Necessary preparation for participating in the workshop:
- Please think about a subject that could be dealt with during the course of the workshop. Especially difficult subjects are asked for! (as a subject anything comes into question: social and political hot spots; personal situations, etc.)
- Please bring something for the picnic on Saturday. If possible, something that entails some kind of narration. Who brings what and why? Where does it come from and what connection do we have with it?

Mediation as curatorial practice

Mediation as curatorial practice is a concept based on the triangle: curating – mediation – designing. Trained as a mediator of art with a professional insight into fine art practice, I worked in several contexts of curating and mediation. Within the field of curating, I am strongly interested in communication between the exhibition and the audience. After years of organizing workshops and guided tours, I focused on the possibilities of mediation by design, architecture, sound, and strategies of involving the public into certain projects. The exhibition stays a platform and stage, which ideally changes while its on air. How can we use an exhibition? What tools does the subject of the exhibition need? What do I, or the mediation team, think the audience might need to get another access to the exhibition other than the artistic works themselves? Is there a gap between mediation projects and artistic works using strategies of mediation?(Julia Schäfer)

My interest is to a large degree identical with that of an ethnographer. I share with him/her not just the curiosity for the "other" or "alien," but also for methodological and epistemological questions: Can I experience something that is alien for me? What methods can I employ to approach other realities? What role do I assume when I try to depict and represent what I experienced? How far is it possible to translate realities, images, and ideas from one culture into another, or from one social group into another? (Antje Schiffers)

Julia Schäfer since 2003 is curator and art-educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig. 2000 Assistant at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 1999-2001 free lance at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2001-2003 assistant curator Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig. Julia Schäfer studied fine arts, art education and German literature at the University of Osnabrück and Academy for Fine Art Dresden. Schäfer focuses on the possibilities of art mediation in curatorial strategies. Julia Schäfer teaches at Burg Giebichenstein, Halle/Saale, Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She published several books ( Exhibitions (selection): Cosy Home 2003; The Second Gaze 2004; Our Woman in Minsk (Antje Schiffers) 2004; What if ...? 2005; Rooms, Conversations (Dora García) 2007; PUZZLE Sammlungsausstellung 2010, Von Links nach Schräg (Katerina Seda); Projects (selection): Deutschland sucht, Kölnischer Kunstverein 2004 (co-curated); A Way, P 74, Ljubljana 2007. Mediation-Projects (selection): Services 2001, Sitting-Corner 2003, Kiosk 2004, Mediation-Card 2004, Zwischenraum 2007.

Antje Schiffers was a flower illustrator in Mexico, a traveling painter in Italy, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirgistan and Uzbekistan, company artist in the tire industry and ambassador and correspondent for the Gallery for Contemporary Art in Leipzig. She participated in barter trades with farmers and with corporate consultants. In 2003 she co-founded the international artist initiative Myvillages that focuses on rural space—as a place for cultural production. Myvillages runs ongoing projects like bibliobox, a traveling archive, or the International Village Shop, in the framework of which they currently bring together 10 villages from around Europe, Ghana, China and the US. The International Village Show will also be realized between 2014 and 2016 as two-year-program in the Gallery for Contemporary Art (GfZK) in Leipzig.

Image: Zastavka, BaTeJu MiKiLu & Katerina Seda, 2014