making worlds - reformpause

Kunstraum der Universität Lüneburg

18 until 20 May 2006

Marion von Osten
in collaboration with students and the Kunstraum of the University of Lüneburg
May 18, 2006 - Opening

May 19 - 20, 2006 - Making Worlds Open workshop of the project group <reformpause>, the Kunstraum of the University of Lueneburg and members of the Institute of Cultural Theory with guests: Madeleine Bernstorff, Julia Franz, MeineAkademie Berlin, Preclab Forschungsgruppe Hamburg, Katja Reichard und Axel John Wieder.

The project <reformpause> in the frame of <Making worlds> refers to the local Kunstraum of the University of Lueneburg which is located on the campus. Its program implies inviting artists to develop a project together with students. <reformpause> follows issues raised by previous exhibitions, publications and debates on campus architecture and educational topics (cf. (vgl. Christian Philipp Mueller; Roger Buergel / Ruth Noack, Thomas Locher / Peter Zimmermann) of the Kunstraum of the University of Lueneburg.

Against the background of the current university reform and the populist debate on the so-called state of emergency in education, the artist Marion von Osten along with lecturers and students of art and visual studies of the University of Lueneburg have conducted research on the history of educational reforms from the 1960s until today, as well as on the tradition of critique of university knowledge spaces and analysed them with regard to their possible adaptation in present debates. With the analysis of the papers of the Bologna Conference  and the European reform process associated with it, as well as the theses of <The New Spirit of Capitalism> by Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello, a multi-stage seminar began in the  winter semester of 2005/2006. It aimed at examining whether the reform models of the 1960s and 70s could serve as a model (in particular, according to the inspirational Cité and the projects-oriented Cité in the sense of Boltanski / Chiapello) to legitimate the current restructuring of educational institutions. Further the question was raised, whether the changes are primarily based on economical considerations related to principles of the market and of efficiency (according to the industrial and market Cités) resulting in a re-disciplining of students and lecturers and a further bureaucratisation of structures? Also the hypothesis was pursued, that interprets the recent changes as a partial return to the hierarchical university of the 1960ies, heavily dominated by professors and grounded in a neo-conservative world-view.

A new work was developed for the exhibition in the Kunstraum, which examines the debates and strategies of a comprehensive mobilisation toward a society of knowledge as early as the 1960s and 70s. Hence, the event and the exhibition in May also refer to historical and current struggles for an alternative production of knowledge, because the question accompanying the ongoing reform process and the standardisation of studies is: Which practices of Òother spaces of knowledgeÓ are productive today for new subjectivities, alliances and coalitions, and how, from this point of view, could an adequate contemporary critique of educational concepts and reforms be established? During the workshops on May 19 - 20, the invited guests report from their fields of research and action. A subsequent publication of the contributions is planned.

Due to the topicality of the debate, <reformpause> will intervene in the campus during the course of the exhibition with a poster and wall newspaper action and a film programme. The wall newspaper, which takes up the format of the <plakat> newspaper of the student movement in the 1970s, has a newspaper layout on the reverse side and a screen print poster on the front. In the Lueneburg <plakat> edition, students present their research work and texts focusing on the following topics: equal opportunity / state of emergency in education, human capital / the subject of the educational reform, new requirement profiles / the imperative of mobility, student protests 1968 ff / The European dimension: the Bologna process and its instrumental political use. The newspaper of the project discusses how and with which vocabulary universities are to be reformed at present and on which historical traditions this argumentation is based.

At various public places (lecture halls, Kunstraum, seminar rooms) a <pausenkino> will be programmed between courses in which the discussion on and the critique of educational institutions and concepts is brought back to the campus by means of historical and present-day films and video works. The film selection is compiled by Marion von Osten in collaboration with Madeleine Bernstorff. Films in the <pausenkino> by: Claudia Alemann, Lindsay Anderson, Danielle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, MeineAkademie, Daniel Schmid, Gus van Sant, Cecilia Wendt und Frederick Wiseman.

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