Anabasis residency

The ANABASIS residency inspired by Paul Celan, one of the most important German-speaking poets of the twentieth century, featured German and Ukrainian artists working with new media. The artists were invited to deal with questions of identity and posthumanism in a funded workshop and a project phase. The resulting works are 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 was 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 indisposable.

The project launched and questioned such models of posthumanist imagination. Core and concept for this delivered 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. It was further questioned, how much confrontation Donna Haraway's concept of the "compost-ability" of man ("We are humus not Homo") can withstand if it is actually connected to a commemorative culture which 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 were illuminated and made fruitful for art (Dark Ecology, Speculative Realism).

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