Master-Symposium: When History Is Yet The Present 

Nummer und TypMFA-MFA-Sy03.22H.001 / Moduldurchführung
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungYvonne Wilhelm, Judith Welter, Francesca Brusa
ECTS3 Credits
VoraussetzungenCourse language: English
LehrformWorkshop, group and individual tutorials
ZielgruppenMA Fine Arts students
Open for exchange students
Open for students from other departments

Interested students of other study programmes can register from 01 to 18 September 2022 by email to: You will be informed until the end of calendar week 39 about a possible participation.
Applications before 01 September 2022 will not be accepted.
InhalteIn this year's Mastersymposium, we take the exhibition “Inevitable Distances” by the African-American artist Renée Green at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst as a starting point to reflect on the Western system of documentary historiography. This still relies on the idea of an archivable, media-based contemporary witness and establishes causal and rational connections. This approach has long since been subjected to criticism. The past, interpreted as closed, is only past because there is a present. This present, in turn, is proliferating, volatile, unpredictable, and currently marked by violent global crises. The many things that are present are (still) disordered and undocumented. Knowing how constitutive in our cultures the availability of events for the future is: Wouldn't we have to think about what of the present events will be history tomorrow? Who, when and how decides what will be inscribed as history in our collective consciousness? How can the stories of non-human actors who are able to articulate themselves in our terms become communicable to us?

Renée Green's artistic works negotiate, among other things, the crisis period of colonialism and slavery, which is almost exclusively mediated through Western historiography. With her aesthetic strategies, Green sensitizes other possible materializations of history and points out the neglect of conceptions of history that, for example, pursue other concepts of space and time.

The two-day symposium focuses on the role art might play in allowing our notion of history to slip away. We share moments when history/s materialize, are experienced, felt, and perceived in other ways. We discuss how aesthetic strategies of fiction and fabulation can lead to an unformatted writing of history. The challenge is to show that "History are Ourstories. Now!"

About the lecturers:

Judith Welter (*1980) is a curator. She studied art history, Spanish literature and Religious Studies at the University of Bern. In 2014, she completed her PhD on the role of rumors and anecdotes in contemporary. From 2015 to 2021 she has been director of the Kunsthaus Glarus. From 2004 to 2015 she worked for the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich where from 2012 on she was the Collection Curator. Since 2015 she is co-editor of the online magazine for art criticism Brand-New-Life. Recent curated solo exhibitions include Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) (2021), Caroline Bachmann, Jan Vorisek (2020) Marta Riniker-Radich (2018), Birgit Megerle (2017).

Yvonne Wilhelm is an artist (part of the artist duo knowbotiq) and professor, teaching at the ZHdK MFA, who has been experimenting with forms and medialities of social imaginaries, visual regimes, and epistemic disobedience, with a certain focus on queer-feminist and post-/decolonial aspects. Her practical focus is on post-digital time-based formats, installative-performative settings, and research-led art.

Francesca Brusa is a researcher and curator inquiring emancipatory practices in the arts with respect to labour and the social field. Her work focuses on practices that offer critical, antagonist perspectives; she sees artworks as instances that contribute to theoretical discourses like sensuous political propositions. From 2018 to 2021 she was appointed research fellow at the Faculty of Design and Art at the Free University of Bolzano. She is completing a PhD in Art Theory and Curating between Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Bibliographie / LiteraturWill be handed out during the course.
Leistungsnachweis / TestatanforderungMandatory attendance (100%); active participation, Symposium report
Note that there will not be another Master Symposium in the Spring Semester!
TermineTime: 09:00 - 20:00 o'clock

CW 43: 27 / 28 October
Bewertungsformbestanden / nicht bestanden