ESR 6 Blog November 2021: Bilge Hasdemir

Sensing Potential Worlds is a practical course, Rahel Spöhrer, curator of Visual Art and coordinator of the artsprogram at the Zeppelin University, and I have been co-teaching while I am in Friedrichshafen for my first secondment. The course is designed in connection with the artsprogram´s current exhibition Apocalypse and World Salvation which has been running during the time period 26.11.2020-31.12.2021 at the exhibition and project space White Box located at the ZF campus of the University.  The focus of the Apocalypse and World Salvation is ́current end-time scenarios and narratives, possible future horizons and the aesthetics of related political movements´. [1]

The focus of the course Sensing the Potential Worlds is more in the direction of saving the world, thinking through how to become actively involved in our own salvation, the salvation of the world that we live in and the possible ones. Thus, it is less about the arrival of apocalypse or end-time scenarios, and more about bringing a hope and dreaming up possible futures – together. It holds the world-building desire, communicated in various ways in a choir of critical and vigorous voices.

The course engages with different positions enabling and diversifying different ways of combining senses with/in curatorial practice. The aim of the course is to enable the participants to locate their own curatorial interests by implementing a curatorial project with the concept co-developed by them. The class has chosen to curate collectively while individual curating was also an option, and, as being a curatorial team of 11 members, they perform all steps of the curatorial work together from conception to implementation, including, but not limited to, the tasks of coordination, public relations, communication, lobbying, budgeting and fundraising. The team decided to organise a one-night exhibition to be run from 9:30pm till the sunrise on December 3rd-4th at the Lake Campus of the University in the Am Seemooser Horn building which was planned to be transformed into a kind of unprecedented pop-up exhibition space by hosting a great variety of works including a sleep-over performance during the night. Although the space with a body made up of glass paneling is seemingly challenging to work with from a curatorial perspective, the nature surrounding the building and the experience the view offers from different angles in the different times of the day is just spectacular.

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However, unfortunately, it has been decided the sleepover performance is to be cancelled today, a week before the event, considering the most recent health and safety measures put in place in Germany to stop, or at least take some control over, the spread of the Covid-19 virus and its current variants.  And it is still uncertain how the ever-shifting Corona situation will impact the rest of the exhibition planned to be open on December 3rd.

Thus, in an attempt to make the tremendous endeavor of the curators of the BETWEEN – Sensing Potential Worlds available to a larger public, I want to share the project with you in their own words.[2] But before doing so , I first want to thank all the participants in the ‘Curatorial Practice: Sensing the Potential Worlds’ course for the shared effort  they put into the project, and last but not least, thank you Rahel for this co-teaching experience.

BETWEEN – Sensing Potential Worlds is an exhibition that invites its viewers to be immersed in different worlds and future scenarios during one night. The exhibition does not aim to make an already-made utopia or even dystopia visible – rather, it creates an in-between space, an in-between world, where experiencing the sensual stimuli of potential worlds is made possible.    

The senses with which we perceive the world in a unique way have taken on a new meaning during the global pandemic: Some longed-for touch, while in the meantime touch became a threat, others suffered from not being able to smell and taste because of the virus and the society became tired of not being able to look into each other’s eyes, but only through a camera.

The loss of multiple sensory impressions, or the threat of sensory touch, has brought the senses into a new focus. The exhibition therefore reconnects with the different senses and asks: How to live without touch? How to understand the world when the senses are curtailed? How to imagine possibilities when the world is lost in all its sensory diversity? Is it possible to sense the not-yet, linger in the in-between, transition from this world into other space-times? 

The exhibition BETWEEN – Sensing Potential Worlds displays a selection of sculptures, videos, food art, light and QR code installations. The different choices of artistic media invite the visitors to enter the in-between, to get in touch with potential worlds. The artworks by Nestor del Barrio, Juan Bermudez, Dawid Liftinger and Camilo Sandoval are dedicated to a technologically advanced future. In the form of an overnight stay, the collective Hackstage will invite visitors to experience the sphere between reality and dream. The artist Grace Gloria Denis will create an installation in which taste serves as a prominent modality for learning about the environment. Sebastian Hesse invites visitors to rethink their sense of sight, by approaching the same object through an altered form of representation. Last but not least, Yve Oh questions the individual identity and the view of nature in a post-digital society. Within one night, invited artists will allow viewers to have a multisensory experience, while enjoying the social interaction between known and unknown worlds.

Curated by Lynn Holdenried | Nikolaj Gerlach | Christopher Kügelgen | Helene Fischer | Niklas Ehret | Julius Thinnes | Jakob Gerstberger | Louis Steinbronn | Emma Arjanaute | Hanna Böndel


[1] For further information:

[2] The text is subject to change due to possible Covid-19 related adjustments, as and when appropriate.

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