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).
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.
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 is 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.
Rochelle Tobias 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).
Oleksandr Sushynskii is known as a curator and lecturer, who organized contemporary experimental music festivals, initiated a series of art projects and festivals in Donetsk and Lviv. In 2015 he founded the Laboratory of Aesthetic Research, based on which he launched a series of lectures on the History of Contemporary Art. XX — early XXI century in Lviv, Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Odesa, Khmelnytsky, Kyiv, and Chernivtsi.
In the period 2015–2018, he was working as a curator at the Steinberg Gallery in Chernivtsi. Since 2018, he has worked on some projects in cooperation with the Center for Contemporary Art Bunker (Chernivtsi). At the time being, he is a postgraduate student at the Kyiv Modern Art Research Institute and working on his Ph.D. thesis: Post-truth and hybrid fake structures as an artistic strategy in art of the second half of the XXth – beginning of the XXIth century. He holds a scholarship from the Gaude Polonia Programme.
Sebastian was born in Berlin in 1978 and studied at the German Literature Institute Leipzig and Cultural Studies in Frankfurt/Oder. In 2011, he received the poetry prize of the 19th Open Mike (Competition for Young Literature, Haus für Poesie Berlin). His first poetry collection Die Tiere wissen noch nicht Bescheid (Berlin, 2018) was awarded with the Frankfurt Poetry Prize as well as the Düsseldorf PoesieDebütPreis in 2019.
Sebastian taught as a lecturer in German Studies in different Asian countries, most recently as DAAD-lecturer in India and China. He lives in Berlin.
Oleh Barasii studied History and Theory of Foreign Literature at the Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi University. He worked as a research assistant at the department Theory and History of Foreign Literature. From 2015 to 2016 Oleh worked as a high school teacher and was an active member of the Roșa Collective cultural initiative. From October 2016 to April 2017 he completed an internship as an assistant director at Theater Lübeck.
Currently, Oleh is working as a project manager at the Centre Gedankendach, where he has been actively participating in various projects since 2014 and is responsible for cultural and artistic projects.
Enikő Dácz received her first degree in German and English Language and Literature at the Babeș-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca/Romania), a second MA in Central European Studies at the Andrássy Gyula German Speaking University Budapest (AUB) and her Ph.D. in German Literature at the University of Szeged.
She was a research fellow, then a research associate at AUB and has been since 2014 a research associate at the Institute for German Culture and History of Southeastern Europe at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. She is deputy of the director and responsible for literary projects and the literary section of the journal Spiegelungen.
Zemla is an experimental design studio combining art, science, and technology to help people and brands tell their stories. We do experimental and interdisciplinary design, artistic projects and marketing consulting for creative industries.
Zemla Studio is Anna Styopina and Dr. Mirek Trofymuk. Anna was working more then ten years in branding and marketing for business and during this time she made more then 300 cover designs for Ukrainian books. Mirek is classical philologist, who has been working in graphic design and photography since 2009, also as Mirek aka. AЙKTRONER is making electronic music, ambient and techno since 2004. Togeher with Anna they are performing as MIA.
He is a programer and electronic musician who has been combining code and art since early 2010s. He works as a freelance web developer and regularly performs livecoded experimental music at festivals.
ANABASIS is organised 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.