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Learning Scenarios for Social and Cultural Change

«Bildung» through Academic Teaching


Edited By Lara Rodríguez Sieweke

The anthology departs from the fundamental idea that the university is deeply connected to the ideal of «Bildung» and to democratic values. If the university should serve as an open space to develop democracy and to meet today’s social, cultural and ecological challenges, then one has to take into account the different disciplines’ approaches to education. Thus, the featured proposals on school and university education come from diverse research fields such as general education, media education, art and aesthetic education, philosophy, ethnology, sociology, performance art and gender.

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Mensch im Museum: Description and Deliberation in Four Performances (Ellen Kobe)


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Ellen Kobe

Mensch im Museum: Description and Deliberation in Four Performances1

Abstract: The four performances described in my text belong to my MENSCH IM MUSEUM (PEOPLE IN MUSEUMS) series and reflect, among other things, how my role as an artist inspires my role as an art curator and vice versa. I show how playing the part of a curator in a performative space may aid in reflecting on the automatized processes of museums and on the capacity of language to communicate art, even when the exhibition walls are bare. I convey how it moreover brings together the established and planned space with the space that welcomes improvisation and surprise. In relation to this, I describe how, through performance, I am able to move my compendium of histories, places and images into any location of my choosing.

As an artist who has worked also in art mediation, the museum with all its rituals and rules interests me as an operating system. I intervene in its existing structures and set spaces, draw on materials and artefacts, and suggest shifts in meaning, however slight, in order to trigger shifts in perspective. The strategy of decontextualisation – the contextual shift – likewise enables me to productively harness the typical body language, posturing and jargon of museum practices as well as the operational procedures of the institution itself.

When I enter a performative space, I negotiate at another level of self: I am no longer...

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