Thursday, 4 August 2016

MCP501 Proposal Year 1 - Final Proposal

MFA: Year One Proposal - Module 501
Submission Date Full Name
01 – Title of project: tbd Camp Moschendorf (investigation of identity)

Ira Hoffecker-Sattler

02 – Name of student and any collaborators and their roles
student Ira Hoffecker
collaboration/interview with Dr. Peter Gary, Holocaust survivor,and collaboration with composer and musician Concetta Abbatte for one of the recordings for the sound piece

03 – Advisors :  Andrew Cook for studio and Caroline Koebel for the research 

03.A - Please check off all areas that relate to your work:
If other or additionally was selected please elaborate here:

Memory, Forgetting, Trauma and the Archive Other or additionally:
Identity of a certain place over the course of time

04 – Description of proposed project or body of work – practical element
The project is an installation consisting of several elements:

Painting: I am planning to create a body of paintings. I want to push myself further and bring myself more into the work and go away from 'only' creating maps. As discussed with Andrew I plan to create 4 to 6 big paintings over the next 12 months. 

Soundpiece: details in the first year proposal blog, sound piece consisting of 5 loops juxtaposing current right wing extremist voices to voices of : a ) holocaust survivor Dr. Peter Gary, my own voice reading paul Celan, voices from the Wannsee Conference and the voice of Hitler and his 'Prophezeiung' speech
I will be closely looking at the work of the following artists:-Sound artists: Georg Klein, Timo Kahlen, Susan Hiller, Janet Cardiff, Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon. Nick Couldry’s book: ‘Why Voice Matters’

-Text/sound installation: Jenny Holzer

05 – Description of project report or thesis – written element

First I thought I would compare sound artists or installation artists but I have come to the conclusion to compare contemporary artists who investigate German identity. I have not decided who exactly these will be, but I will be researching the following artists (and certainly research more) : -Christian Boltanski, Annette Lemieux, Shiman Attie, Gunter Demnig, Karl Biedermann, Susan Hiller, William Kentridge, Georges Perec (species of spaces), Anton Kaes: Germany in Transit, Michael Verhoeven: ‘Das schreckliche Maedchen’,

      Italo Calvino ‘Invisible Cities’, Bachelard ‘Water and Dreams’, Doris Salcedo

06 – Anticipated results, e.g. documentation, performance, script, intervention, website, exhibition, book, journal

the result would be an installation piece containing several, different mediums (paintings/sound/written text scrolling down the wall) and a thesis.

07 – Initial bibliography for written element and artists I would like to research during the coming months:
-installation: Tatiana Trouve, Isa Getzken, Alecia KwadeAndro Wekna, Cornelia Parker
-using own body Carrie Mae Weems, Frieda Carlo and Kiefer etc
-Painters : Brooks Cashbough, Michael CorelloSebanstian Alsfeldt, Matthew Dibble, Anna Maria Kursawe, Joanne Greenbaum, Caroline von Heyl, Brian Rutenberg, Terry Winter, Albert OehlenEmily Kame Kngwarreye, Joyce Kozloff, Jon Cattapan, Brice Marden,
-Sound artists: Georg Klein, Timo Kahlen, Susan Hiller, Janet Cardiff, Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon. Nick Couldry’s book: ‘Why Voice Matters’
-Text/sound installation: Jenny Holzer
-Maps systems, cities : Manuel Lima, Jonathan Parson, Leyla Curtis
-Investigating identity in contemporary art:  Christian Boltanski, Annette Lemieux, Shiman Attie, Gunter Demnig, Karl Biedermann, Susan Hiller, William KentridgeMichael Verhoeven: ‘Das schreckliche Maedchen’, Doris Salcedo

initial Bibliography
- Dr. Norbert Kampe: The Wannsee Conference and the Genocide of the European Jews, House of the Wannsee Conference, Berlin, ISBN 978-3-9808517-8-7
- Huyssen, Andreas : Twilight Memories, Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia, Published in Great Britain by Routledge, 1995, ISBN HB 0415 909341 1,
Georges Perec 'Species of spaces and Other Pieces', Penguin Books Ltd. London, ISBN 978-0-141-44224-2
Anton KaesGermany in Transit: Nation and Migration, 1955-2005. Co-edited with Deniz Göktürk and David Gramling. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007
Review article by Tim Cole : Scales of Memory, Layers of Memory: Recent Works of Memories of the Second World War and Holocaust, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 129-138
journal : history, aesthetics and Contemporary Commemorative Pracitice in Berlin, John Czaplicka, New German Critique, No. 65, Cultural History/Cultural Studies (Spring - Summer, 1995), pp. 155-187
 Italo Calvino ‘Invisible Cities’, published in Italy in 1972 by Giulio Einaudi Editors
Susan Hiller : The Provisional Texture of Reality: JRP/Ringgier, Zurich & les Presses du reel, Dijon 
Bachelard ‘Water and Dreams’, 
- Peterson, Abby: Wounds That Never Heal: On Anselm Kiefer and the Moral Innocence of the West German Student Movements and the West German New Left, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Cultural Sociology, Academic Journal, September 2012, ISSN: 1749-9755
-Saltzman, Lisa: Anselm Kiefer and Art after Auschwitz; Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-521-630-33-9

8 research statement: how do artists (abc) investigate identity and juxtapose events from the past to today? 

9 in my work I am looking at the different historic layers of certain places like for example Berlin and am interested in the different identities one place can have over time. As a German I am interested in how society dealt and deals with coming to terms with the past, discussing collective memory, forgetting, suppressing, accepting the past as our heritage, remembering and working through this trauma etc. In my painting work I overlay different maps from the past and from today to talk about these layers. In further projects for my MFA now, like a sound piece, I would like to create an additional body of work, still painting simultaneously, that juxtaposes events from the past to current events. As mentioned in my blog 'First year proposal', I would like to focus in my work on one former camp (forced labour camp during Nazi times, then refugee camp, now fabrication hall), Camp Moschendorf in Bavaria, Germany, for my MFA piece. 

10a artists to compare: initially I thought I should be comparing sound artists or installation artists but have come to the conclusion that I want to compare three different artists who investigate identity: during the next months I will be further researching the work of : Christian Boltanski, Annette Lemieux, Shiman Attie, Gunter Demnig, Karl Biedermann, Susan Hiller, William KentridgeDoris Salcedo and others
and then decide in the fall who those three artists should be. 

10B. Provide one to three themes, questions, topics, issues, threads etc. to discuss, compare and contrast which are relevant to your work. IDENTITY, HISTORIC LAYERS, MEMORY

10c I will look at other artists that talk about historic identity. As mentioned in 10a I would like to decide first who I will eventually do my research on in order to pursue my theme of investigation of identity. I will ask how these artists talked about our recent history/trauma/collective memory in their work. Also I am interested in discussing artists' work, who juxtapose events from the past and compare them to today’s times and events, just as I want to do in my sound piece.

10d The sound project (which I have explained in more detail in my blog 'first year proposal) will support my creative work in that I will be using a different, actually an additional medium than painting and would like to create an installation that consists of different mediums. My research will consequently go into different directions, focussing though, on artists who discuss identity, working with any medium. So far in my work, I have only used painting and sculpture to investigate identity. In the past I have ‘just’ created one series of paintings after the other, never really considering its presentation. Now, I would like to prepare an installation that combines several mediums, talking about the same theme. Painting, sound, video, photography etc and think about how I would install the work in a big gallery space. 
10E. Are you excited to get started reading and writing about what you are researching?

Saturday, 30 July 2016

encounter with art piece

It was only when I saw this work by German painter Anselm Kiefer that I understood what a piece of art can do to the viewer.
The painting, which is in my memory about 3 by 5 meters big, evoked deep emotions and memories of my childhood growing up in Germany. The time of guilt and no words the time when a leaden blanket was put over our history.

In the painting, called ‘the World Ash’ we see a field. The painting is held in very dark tones mostly black using heavy material, I think tar, sand etc and there is straw and ash. The horizon line is on the very top, so the viewer looks at the field, and empty field full of ashes. The ashes of guilt, or me, talking of that time when everything was lost, everything that had constituted a value to German history. There is also a burned piece of wood that looks like a sword. It obviously represents the sword of Nathan from Germanic mythology. Not only had the Nazis destroyed almost the entire Jewry of Europe, not only had Europe been largely destroyed, also everything that had constituted German and Germanic history had been appropriated and abused by the Nazis. There was nothing left but the ashes of guilt. The painting evoked very deep emotions in me and had an incredible impact on me. It took be back to the time after the war when I grew up.

I spend a very long time with the piece, I understood that a 2 dimensional painting can do something, it can evoke feelings and emotions, at that moment I really really understood the impact of the Shoah. How can a thing do something? It is me the viewer who brought my memory and my knowledge to the work and something extraordinary happened. I am not religious but I think I understood the meaning of the word sublime, something of a higher order, something that cannot even be put in words something one has to feel.

why is my work important to me

Why is my work important to me?

At the beginning, when I started to create, my focus was on the material, initially lead, tar, wood, resin and then paint. Being able to be tactile and experiment with the medium, not worrying what the outcome would be, completely fulfilled me. My life before that was a bit like in Magelan’s sentence: “you have to leave your coast to find a new country”. I am the circus acrobat who has to let loose and be in that uncertainty, that moment of fall and not knowing how to continue, before you grab on to something new. Always leaving, always searching.

Being in the studio with my work grounded me and that made my work unexpectedly important to me. It was like arriving somewhere and not worrying about having to leave again. Being in the studio inhabiting and feeling the space, connecting to your paint and brushes and tools, but most importantly connecting to the work, understanding what is happening, enjoying the challenge and the struggle, has become that integral element.

My art helps me heal. Revolving about my thoughts just getting lost, going back and forth between thought and acting, doing, focussing only on the process for hours, on the paint, the color, the form, the concept, the composition, then stepping back, then going deeper in my thoughts. My work, and maybe because I was not looking for this, has somehow opened drawers from my childhood, that I had pushed myself to forget and suppress. It taught me to work through things. To not go away, to work for weeks and weeks on a painting until I think it is solved. My work now allows me to talk about themes that over the past couple of years have become important to me. I guess, those themes where always important, but only through working with art I was able to work through my memory and to find a way to express my feelings, to find a voice to say things without saying them.