The residency ANABASIS inspired by Paul Celan, one of the most important German-speaking poets of the twentieth century, will feature German and Ukrainian artists working with new media. The artists are invited to deal with questions of identity and posthumanism in a funded workshop and project phase. The resulting works will be presented in November 2021.
Paul Celan, whose centenary was celebrated in 2020, is a crucial figure to scrutinize those tragedies, cracks and traumas that are imprinted on the collective body of humanity in the twentieth century. His multi-layered oeuvre is particularly suitable for investigating the question of the centrifugal forces to which the individual's identity construction is exposed, when self-attribution and the attribution by others prove to be both a blessing and a curse – forces that mutually stipulate and exclude each other in a productively restless and motivically irredeemable process.
Based on the poetics of selected poems of Celan, the dilemma of the circular structure of identity will be connected to theoretical impulses of the present, especially those, which see the actual strength in the refusal to rearrange the material, which follow the utopia of a "matter" that is taking on the role of the fluid, the role of the speaking as the radically undisposable.
One of the main ambitions of the project is to launch and to question such models of posthumanist imagination. Core and concept for this delivers Celan's poem "Anabasis'', which represents for the philosopher Alain Badiou a certain technique of being at home in uncharted territories, in the constitutively strange of the material of a landscape, in the self-disciplined restlessness. And further, how much confrontation can Donna Haraway's concept of the "compost-ability" of man ("We are humus not Homo") withstand, if it is actually connected to a commemorative culture that is strongly influenced by issues of identity, or if held over the actual grave edges of the destruction of the 20th century. Likewise, the utopian dispositions of these hybrid, unstable object worlds should be illuminated and are to be made fruitful for art (Dark Ecology, Speculative Realism).
10 artists were selected for the project in equal proportions from Germany and Ukraine (the place of work and residence, not the nationality was of relevance). The artists will receive a total grant of 800 EUR or an equivalent in UAH for the project phase including the production costs of their contributions. During the two-week residency phase in the second half of July, the artists are invited to participate in internal online events with selected guests. The artistic contributions will be published digitally and exclusively on the project site anabasis.space.
Here you can find short essays from the curators of the residence: Oleksandr Sushynskii and Sebastian Unger:
Francesca Ferrando teaches Philosophy at NYU-Liberal Studies, New York University. A leading voice in the field of Posthuman Studies and founder of the Global Posthuman Network, she has been the recipient of numerous honors and recognitions, including the Sainati prize with the Acknowledgement of the President of Italy. She has published extensively on these topics; her latest book is Philosophical Posthumanism (Bloomsbury 2019). In the history of TED talks, she was the first speaker to give a talk on the topic of the posthuman. US magazine “Origins” named her among the 100 people making change in the world.
José F.A. Oliver is one of the most “important poets of his generation in Germany” (El Mercurio, Santiago de Chile), and one of the most significant inter-cultural writers of German language today. He writes predominantly in German but is also influenced by Spanish poets such as Federico Garcia Lorca. To date, he has published more than 20 volumes of poetry and essays and has received numerous awards. In 1997 he was awarded the Adelbert-von-Chamisso-Preis, the most prestigious award for an inter-cultural author in Germany. José F.A. Oliver was also a guest professor and writer-in-residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. (2002), and at the University of Warwick, UK (2007). In 2021 he was awarded the prestigious Heinrich-Böll-Preis.
Prof. Dr. Petro Rychlo teaches at the Department for Foreign Language Literature at Chernivtsi University (Ukraine) and works as a literary translator (he translated into Ukrainian the complete 10-volume edition of Paul Celan's poems, 2013—2020). His research focuses on German-language literature of the 20th century, German – Ukrainian literary relations, and the German-Jewish poetry of Bukovina.
Selected publications: Europa erlesen. Czernowitz, ed. by Petro Rychlo. Klagenfurt 2004; Szibbolet. Poszukivania tożsamości żydowskiej w niemieckojęzycznej poezji Bukowiny [Schibboleth. A Jewish identity search in the German-language poetry of Bukovina]. Kraków 2013; Mit den Augen von Zeitgenossen. Erinnerungen an Paul Celan. Selected, edited, and commented by Petro Rychlo. Berlin 2020; Paul Celan. Referenziji. Naukovi studiji, statti, eseji. [Paul Celan. References. Scientific studies, articles, essays]. Kyiv 2020; Poetyka dialohu. Tvorčistj Paula Celana jak intertekst [Poetic of dialogue. Paul Celan's Poetry as Intertext]. Kyiv 2021.
Paul Sars, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of the German Language and Culture and Netherlands-Germany-Studies at Radboud University (the Netherlands).
Parallel to his research on identity construction in the poetry of Paul Celan he has been involved in several projects related to inter-and pluricultural learning and is principal investigator of the binational European Interreg-Project “Nachbarsprache/buurcultuur”. He is the initiator of the Dutch Paul Celan Website as well the national Celan-School-Project (www.Celan.nl), and guest curator of “A grave in the clouds, an exhibition about Paul Celan’s poem Todesfuge”.
His main publications to Celan: Ich bin es noch immer. Zur Konsistenz in der Lyrik Paul Celans. Diss. 3 Teile. Nijmegen 1993; Du musst versuchen, auch den Schweigenden zu hören. Briefe und Gedichte von Paul Celan an Diet Kloos-Barendregt. Frankfurt am Main 2002; Keinerlei ‚Silberstreifen am Horizont‘. Briefwechsel des Dichters Paul Celan mit dem Komponisten Jaap Geraedts. Wien, Zürich, Berlin 2013.
Prof. Rochelle Tobias, Ph.D., is Director of the German Subdivision at Johns Hopkins University and the Max Kade Center for Modern German Thought. She works on the intersection of modern German literature and philosophy with additional expertise in German-Jewish culture. Her book The Discourse of Nature in the Poetry of Paul Celan (2006) traces the presence of three scientific discourses in Celan’s poetry: geology, astrology, and anatomy. More recently she has published the book Pseudo-Memoirs: Life and Its Imitation in Modern Fiction (2021) and the edited volumes Hölderlin’s Philosophy of Nature (2019) and Phenomenology to the Letter: Husserl and Literature (2021).
ANABASIS — is an online residency, which will be held on ZOOM.
Two weeks residency — 19 July - 01 August 2021.
Until 31 October 2021 all artists will have time to finish and submit their works for release on the anabasis.space platform.
ANABASIS is organized by NGO "Ukrainian-German Cultural Society of Chernivtsi" at the Centre Gedankendach in partnership with the Institute for German Culture and History of Southeastern Europe at LMU Munich (IKGS) and supported by the European Union under the House of Europe programme.