Humor, as a form of expression, a cultural product, a medium of contact and community builder, as the existential basis of all interhuman relations and as a defense mechanism of the psyche, is fundamental and universal, liberating and disarming, indefinite and cryptic, stimulating and beguiling, strange and difficult to analyze. As a subversive act of rebellion, humor turns the rigidity of our rational thinking on its head and takes aim at the weakness of the purportedly definitive in that it denies – whether with the strategic means of insinuation or exaggeration, absurdity or parody, confusion or irony – all fixed roles and attitudes, norms and obligations. The method of questioning in a humorous way the received principles of a given order, be they societal or aesthetic, in order to unsettle the viewer and his patterns of perception can be seen from the avant-garde to the postmodern. Under the theme “Does Humor Belong in Art?”, the International Studio Program seeks contemporary artists who avail themselves of humor and try, through an ironic infiltration, to challenge a given, individually or generally accepted logic. What role does humor play in current artistic practice? Does humor belong in art?
Humor had no place in the sacred arts. Classical art shunned laughter. In early Christendom and the Middle Ages it was frowned on, not permitted: Jesus Christ had, so it was said, never laughed on earth. Even though people have always laughed, the “sublime”, “true”, “serious”, “lofty”, “timeless” visual art often avoided the depiction or production of this reflex – despite the long tradition of the humorous from Rembrandt van Rijn, Francisco de Goya and Honoré Daumier to Marcel Duchamp and René Magritte to John Waters, Raymond Pettibon and Vik Muniz. A certain humorlessness was (and is) attributed to art; the artist doesn’t want to risk his greatness, uniqueness and significance through superficial flippancy, and even the art historian tends to avoid humor. Often humor finds its expression in art through the interaction of the visual and verbal or wordplay, the reflection of its own (societal) systems or shifts in context, the inversion of sense, logic and basic common sense or the collision of different value systems, everyday realities and beliefs. What one laughs about, also in art, always depends on the respective moral and aesthetic beliefs of the time. There’s not always only one punch line, and sometimes we don’t know whether it’s ok to laugh or not, whether an artwork can be full of humor and critical at the same time or whether the contemporary artist always takes himself seriously. We’re not sure whether there is really “no greater power than the power of laughter”1 (“Power is strong – laughter, stronger”2), whether thus in humor, when it’s in art as well, a societal or political explosiveness can be hidden. Or is it a savior, creator of possibilities, encourager, consolator – or is it just when despite everything you laugh anyway?3 Or is humor “simply a funny way of being serious” as the actor Peter Ustinov once said?
Humor is – in all of its facets – ambivalent. While one might smooth out an argument through conciliatory jokes, biting irony and bitter sarcasm are quickly the catalysts of one. As the “victorious assertion of the ego’s invulnerability”,4 humor is, when cleverly deployed, protection and weapon at the same time. It is an instrument that allows us to triumph over suffering, injustices and the fear of death, the final life preserver when doubt, skepticism and hopelessness threaten, and serves, according to Freud, to reduce stress along the way. Humor – often much too quickly dismissed as a release valve of the entertainment industry in the evening’s diversion – is in fact a necessary survival strategy. He who laughs last, laughs longest. Humor in this way is, however, not only an object of philosophical confrontation with the world, but it kept long ago the entry into other realms. In psychiatric therapy it offers the foundation of a casual, emotional-knot-and-inhibition-releasing tone of communication that may awaken the creative potential and encourage shifts of perspective. In general, the anthropological function of humor is obvious and ubiquitous: It is an indispensable basis for friendship and partnership; it attracts us – and is thus an important means of connection between ourselves and others.
Artists who would like to delve into the given theme may apply for our program.
ACC GALERIE WEIMAR – Burgplatz 1+2 – D-99423 WEIMAR
INFORMATION AND CONDITIONS FOR APPLICATION/PARTICIPATION:
ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE INTERNATIONAL STUDIO PROGRAM:
The “International Studio Program of the ACC Galerie and the City of Weimar” was founded in 1994. Annual themes of the program have been: “Allegories” (1995), “Fascis – Fascism and Fascination” (1996), “Kopf an Kopf – Head to Head – Tête à Tête” (1997), “Community – Society” (1998), “Close to the Skin” (1999), “Heart’s Blood – Hand-Written Script” (2000), “The Measure of Things” (2001), “über MENSCHEN – The Future of the Human” (2002), “Origin – No Man’s Land” (2003), “Irony is dead. Long live Irony!” (2004), “The Culture of Fear” (2005), “The Subversion of Standstill” (2006), “ON THE OUTSIDE” (2007), “On Indefiniteness” (2008), “Failed Art – The Art of Failure” (2009), “Beyond Desire” (2010), “On Dilettantism” (2011), “What Happened to God?” (2012), “With Criminal Energy” (2013), and “The Politics and Pleasures of Food” (2014). The 60 participants of the program have come from Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay and the United States. www.acc-weimar.de/atelier/kommentare.html
SUPPORT BY THE CITY OF WEIMAR:
The City of Weimar pursues the following aims in its role as an initiator and partner of the International Studio Program: To combine financial support for artists with the presentation of contemporary art in the urban realm, to serve as a forum for artists and as a catalyst for encounter between them and to gain international recognition for the resulting activities. By these means, international cultural exchange is to be promoted and prejudices eliminated. The support provided includes the provision of a combination artist’s studio/apartment in the Municipal Studio Building. Newly restored, the Atelierhaus is one of the oldest buildings of its kind in Germany. It contains 11 studios rented to different artists for limited timeperiods. The International Studio Program is supported by the Ministry for Education, Science and Culture of the Free State of Thuringia.
STUDIO: Located on the ground floor of the historical Städtisches Atelierhaus (municipal studio building), the studio is about a ten minute walk from the ACC Galerie Weimar in the town center. In addition to the visiting international artist, the well-lit studio building accommodates ten other Weimar artists. In its cellar, the Städtisches Atelierhaus has a small printmaking workshop for etching, lino, and woodprinting, for which it provides basic tools. However, the studio (30 square meters/323 square feet) does not offer any other special equipment, such as photography, video, digital, etc. Images at www.acc-weimar.de/atelier/atelierhaus.html
ROOM AND BOARD: Rent-free, furnished apartment on the ground floor of the Städtisches Atelierhaus (30 square meters/323 square feet) with telephone/answering machine and DSL internet. Meals are available at ACC Café-Restaurant at a 30% discount.
PARTICIPATION: Artists who would like to produce works of art in accordance with the outlined theme can apply. The jury will select three artists, each of whom will spend four months living and working in Weimar. Students’ applications cannot be accepted.
EXHIBITION: A selection of works produced during the residency period may be presented in a group exhibition in the year 2016. The ACC Galerie Weimar makes the final decision about the participation of the artists in the exhibition. A possible concept for the exhibition will be developed together with the artists. Where appropriate, works of art will be displayed in public spaces in Weimar to be agreed upon with the artists. It is intended that the artists are present during the preparation and for the opening of the exhibition.
WORK PERIODS: February 1 – May 31, 2015; June 1 – September 30, 2015; October 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016.
STIPEND: The selected artists will receive a monthly stipend of 1000€. In order to receive the stipend the artists must live in Weimar during the work period. The artists are also expected to hold a lecture/talk at the ACC Galerie Weimar at the end of his/her stay in Weimar. In addition we offer free entry to public municipal institutions, such as the City History Museum, and to the museums of the Weimar Classic Foundation, such as the Weimar Art Collection, the Goethe National Museum, the Bauhaus Museum, the New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Duchess Anna Amalia Library. Participants are responsible for their own telephone bills and have to arrange for their own medical insurance. (One suggestion is to arrange insurance through www.mawista.com) ACC GALERIE WEIMAR – Burgplatz 1+2 – D-99423 WEIMAR
LANGUAGES: English and German are the official languages of the International Studio Program. Participants should have a solid grasp of either English or German. The language of the jury meeting is English.
TRAVEL COSTS: The participants must cover their own travel costs, although the program attempts to find additional funding in cooperation with the artists.
We strongly recommend use of the online application, found at: http://iapaccweimar.submittable.com/submit
However, you can also apply via post. Email and fax applications are not accepted.
For a completed application by post, please include:
1) The completed application form.
2) A written description of the work planned in relationship to the theme of the International Studio Program. One A4 or US Letter page, maximum 3500 characters, including spaces.
3) A maximum of 10 examples or 10 minutes of recent work. Please send only the following formats of work:
Prints or photos no larger than A4. Please mark the top of the image.
Digital images saved as JPG, no larger than 1200 pixels on the longest side.
Video files as MPEG4 or audio files as MP3. Do not send files in DVD format!
Name the files with the last and first name of the artist and number corresponding to the description list, e.g. lastname-firstname-01, lastname-firstname-02, etc.
If you send a combination of still images and time based work, 1 minute of audio/video = 1 still image, e.g. an artist could send 3 JPGs and a 7 minute video, or a 9 minute audio work and 1 photo.
Send image, video or audio files on a CD or DVD.
4) A list identifying the work samples including title, size, technique, materials and date. One A4 or US Letter page, maximum 3500 characters, including spaces.
5) A CV/résumé with a short description of education, exhibitions, projects, etc. A maximum of two A4 or US Letter pages, maximum 6500 characters, including spaces.
Please include printed versions of all texts. Do not staple, paperclip or otherwise attached papers to each other. Do not include additional catalogs, press-clippings or other materials. Incomplete or incorrectly formatted applications will not be reviewed by the jury.
Pack carefully. For customs purposes please indicate clearly on the parcel/letter that it is “non-commercial”!
Application materials cannot be returned. Please do not send original or unique works of art.
ACC Galerie Weimar is not liable for any damages or loss of material. Applications sent by fax or e-mail are not accepted. Applications received after the submission deadline (Monday, September 15, 2014) will not be reviewed. Please send your application early enough to account for possible delays in customs. Application materials of the chosen fellows, by way of documentation, will remain the property of the ACC Galerie.
JURY: The jury will meet in mid-October 2014. The decision of the jury is final and explanations for its selection will not be given.
NOTIFICATION: We cannot acknowledge the receipt of applications by post. Applicants will be informed of the jury’s decision by email after the jury meeting.
The city of Weimar has seen both the very best and the very worst of German history. On the one hand, Weimar has been home to renaissance art (Cranach), German classical literature and music (Goethe, Schiller, Bach, Liszt), Art Nouveau and Modernism (Henry van de Velde), the Weimar Bauhaus (Gropius, Kandinsky, Klee, Feininger, Moholy-Nagy, etc.) and other important intellectual figures including Herder and Nietzsche. On the other hand, Weimar was also a favored retreat of Hitler, and the former concentration camp of Buchenwald located nearby reminds residents and visitors alike of the darker side of human nature. Although Weimar lives largely in the shadow of this weighty past, the city is now looking towards the future. In 1999 Weimar became the European Capital of Culture. ACC GALERIE WEIMAR – Burgplatz 1+2 – D-99423 WEIMAR
ABOUT ACC GALERIE WEIMAR:
The non-profit organization ACC (Autonomous Cultural Center) originated in 1987, before the fall of the Berlin wall, when students occupied a derelict Renaissance building in the center of the town where Goethe (inevitably) had had his first residence in Weimar (1776/77). Shortly before the re-unification, ACC protagonists were able to secure the house with the aid of private sponsors. The institution now consists of a gallery and a café and offers a cultural program that includes theater, literature and lecture series. Between spring 1989 and 2011 the ACC organized and curated more than 200 exhibitions (roughly five per year) of international contemporary art, through which the gallery has become a center for international cooperation and exchange. Simultaneously, the ACC focuses on the achievement of local artists and inaugurated an international artist-in-residence program. The current space is comprised of two connected buildings with 300 square meters of space consisting of 15 rooms in four former apartments. Examples of the exhibition program that ACC has pursued over the years include: 1991: “Photographs at the Bauhaus”; 1992: “Paul Klee – The Weimar Years 1921-25″; 1993: “Stars from Gugging” (Outsider Art from Austria); 1994: Cindy Sherman; 1995: William Wegman; 1996: Pierre et Gilles; 1997: “Suite Barcelona” with Akane, Cruspinera, Xavier Déu, Manolo Gómez, Toni Moranta and others, “SPLASH!” with Pierrick Sorin, Nedko Solakov and Gillian Wearing; 1998: “Broadview 5.1″ with Nobuo Kubota, Yvonne Singer, W. Mark Sutherland and others, “mächtig gewaltig” with Joël Bartoloméo, Cheryl Donegan, Johan Grimonprez and Tony Oursler, “The Voices from Tokyo” (curator: Hitomi Hasegawa) with Makoto Aida, Oscar Satio Oiwa, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Hiroyuki Matsukage, Matsumishi Tosa and Parco Kinoshita; 1999: “Europe In The Box” (co-curators: Christine Brühl and Henrik Schrat) with Alexandros Psychoulis, Boris Achour, Rui Calçada Bastos, Frans Jacobi and others, “An Italian Travel. Weimar – Rome – Naples” (curator: Patrizia Bisci) with Raimund Kummer, Nicola de Maria, Eliseo Mattiacci, Mimmo Paladino, Eva-Maria Schön and Janaina Tschäpe, “the stockholm connection” (curator: attitudes and Gregor Podnar) with Mauricio Dias and Walter Riedweg, Christoph Draeger, Koka Ramishvili, Elisabeth Saveri, Bojan Gorenec, Goran Petercol and others; 2000: “Landscape” (curator: Ann Gallagher) with Mat Collishaw, Paul Noble, Tacita Dean, Rachel Whiteread, Ross Sinclair, Wolfgang Tillmans and others, “Our Chinese Friends” with Yang Shaobin, Chang Xugong, Ai Weiwei, Chen Shaoxiong, Xu Tan, Qiu Shihua and others; 2001: “Orientale 1″ (curator: Peter Herbstreuth) with Ayşe Erkmen, Enrique Fontanilles, Candida Höfer, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Young Hay and others; 2002: “re-orientation: Art about Central Asia” with AES, Abilsaid Anarbekovich Atabekov, Sergey Maslov, Yerbossyn Meldibekov, Julia Sorokina and others; 2003: “über MENSCHEN – The Future of the Human” with Bjørn Melhus, Anne-Britt Rage, Måns Wrange, Sarah Lewtas, Giovanni Manfredini and others, “Get Rid of Yourself” with eteam, 16Beaver Group, Michael Rakowitz, Matthew Buckingham, Temporary Services, Bernadette Corporation and others; 2004: “Even the Moon is Not Autonomous – Activism and Cooperative Structures in Japanese Contemporary Art” with Arts Initiative Tokyo (AIT), ARTiT, Hiroshi Fuji, Noboru Tsubaki, Kenji Yanobe and others, “Lacrimacorpus/The Weimar File” with Janaina Tschäpe and Vik Muniz; 2005: “polymorph pervers” with Franz von Bayros, Will Cotton, Salvador Dalí, Valie Export/Peter Weibel, Sylvie Fleury, Paul McCarthy and others, “The Social Collector” with The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge and others; 2006: “Art does not deliver us from anything at all” with Javier Abreu, Narda Alvarado, Lourival Cuquinha, Máximo Corvalán, Juan Manuel Echavarría, Proyecto Venus, Javier Téllez and others, “The Culture of Fear” with Critical Art Ensemble, Luc Delahaye, Trevor Paglen, Efrat Shvily, The Yes Men, Wang Jianwei and others; 2007: “ON THE OUTSIDE” with Christoph Büchel, The Da Zha Lan Project, Peter Fend, Neriman Polat, Oliver Ressler, Kristin Lucas and others, “Le Souvenir – Kult. Kitsch. Kunst.” with Ivan Moudov, Jochem Hendricks, Raffi Kaiser, Constantin Boym, Nina Katchadourian, Ik-Joong Kang and others; 2008: “On Indefiniteness” with Benjamin Bergmann, John Cage/David Tudor, Marja Kanervo, Julien Maire, Luisa Mota and others, “UNSTERN. SINISTRE. DISASTRO. Visions of Contemporary Artists” with Roddy Bell, Patricia Bueno, Tom Fecht, Peter Hutton, Jonas Mekas, Tracey Moffatt, Adrian Paci and others; 2009: “TERRA NULLIUS – Contemporary Art from Australia” with Vernon Ah Kee, Richard Bell, Destiny Deacon, George Gittoes, Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro, Gordon Hookey, Mike Parr and others, “Failed Art – The Art of Failure” with Daniel Buren, Dani Karavan, Mischa Kuball, Peter Land, Gregor Schneider, Roman Signer and others, “THE IDEAL EXHIBITION” with Guy Ben-Ner, Rodney Graham, Michelangelo Pistoletto and others; 2010: “Pause the Pulse: Portrait of Accra” with Kofi Agorsor, Akirash, Kwadwo Ani, Kofi Dawson, Akwele Suma Glory, Tei Mensah Huagie, Jennifer Opare-Ankrah, Larry Otoo and others, “An das Gerät!” with Mark Bain, Kim Jones, Paul Etienne Lincoln, Maywa Denki, Claude Shannon, Stelarc, Morten Viskum, Jim Whiting, Krzysztof Wodiczko and others; 2011: “Changes” with Nina Berman, Harun Farocki, Shahab Fotouhi, Thomas Hoepker, Robert Longo, Helmut Smits, Wolfgang Staehle and others, “What Happened to God?” with Peter Beste, Marc Bijl, Christian Jankowski, Helmut & Johanna Kandl, Cristina Lucas, Rory Macbeth, Dan Perjovschi, Per Teljer and others; 2012: “On Dilettantism” with Bernard Akoi-Jackson, Mark Dion, Karl Hans Janke, Laure Prouvost, Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas and others, “With Criminal Energy – Art and Crime in the 21st Century” with Adolfo Kaminsky, Ulla Karttunen, Oleg Kulik, Teresa Margolles, Dorota Alicja Nieznalska, Anna Odell, Christian Gottlieb Priber and others; 2013: “When Violence becomes Decadent”, with Sarnath Banerjee, Binu Bhaskar, Rajib Chowdhury, Natasha De Betak, Samit Das, Probir Gupta, Rajkamal Kahlon, Jitish Kallat, Leena Kejriwal, Simit Raveshia and others, “To Have and Have Not”, with James Cauty, Fabio Cifariello Ciardi, Ingo Günther, Pablo Helguera, Han Hoogerbrugge, Sven’t Jolle, Nevan Lahart, Lisa Strömbeck and others; 2014: “The Politics and Pleasures of Food”, with Mary Ellen Carroll, Rafram Chaddad, Arti Grabowski, Jani Leinonen, Tom Marioni, Rémy Markowitsch, Lucy+Jorge Orta, Cooking Sections, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Zeger Reyers and others.ACC GALERIE WEIMAR – Burgplatz 1+2 – D-99423 WEIMAR
(Applications must be in Weimar on that day!)
PLEASE SEND TO:
ACC GALERIE WEIMAR, International Studio Program