Panel Discussion: Togetherness
on cooperation in international art exchange with Susanne Gaensheimer, Marcel Odenbach, Francoise Vergès, and Carla Zaccagnini, chaired by Tobi Maier
The title of this panel discussion includes a reference to sociologist Richard Sennett’s book “Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation.” Sennett proposes that cooperation is a basic mode that enables collaborative interaction, joining “people who have separate or conflicting interests, who do not feel good about each other, who are unequal, or who simply do not understand one another. The challenge is to respond to others on their own terms.”
This discussion has addressed questions such as which conditions bring us together, and which cultures of togetherness can we establish? Which institutional structures are necessary, and how can we shape our encounters on a friendly basis? What are the forms and dynamics of intercultural collaboration? Where do we come up against limitations, and what can we learn from open cooperation? What is the role of biennials as venues for international exchange, and what are their various local effects? Do they reflect independent cycles of cooperation and legitimation? What can ifa do as a mediator between these contexts?
The panel members work internationally in art and culture, representing artistic, practical, and theoretical perspectives. Together they will explore the practices of cooperation.
Susanne Gaensheimer is a curator and art historian and lives in Frankfurt am Main. Since 2009 she is the director of the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. In 2013 she is the curator of the German Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale (for the second time after 2011).
Marcel Odenbach is an artist and lives in Cologne and Cape Coast, Ghana. Since 2011 he has been professor at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts. He also teaches as visiting professor at the National Film and Television Institute in Accra. ifa is presently preparing a new exhibition of his works, “Marcel Odenbach. Stille Bewegungen. Tranquil Motions”, which will begin its tour in 2014.
Francoise Vergès is a political scientist and lives in Paris. She is Consulting Professor at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College in London. Vergès was project adviser to the “Créolité and Creolization, platform for Documenta11 (2002). Between 2002 and 2010, she was the academic co-curator of the Museum of the Present project on the island of Réunion. Vergès has also directed the program “The Slave in Le Louvre” for the La Triennale 2012 in Paris.
Carla Zaccagnini is a visual artist and lives in São Paulo. She has taken part, among others, in 28a Bienal de São Paulo (2008), 2da Trienal Poligráfica de San Juan America Latina y El Caribe (San Juan, 2009), and “Modelos para Armar: Pensar Latinoamérica desde la colección MUSAC” (Leon, Spain, 2010). Zaccagnini works also as writer and curator. Currently she is a fellow of the KfW Stiftung at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin.
Tobi Maier is a curator and writer and lives in São Paulo. He has been curator at the Frankfurter Kunstverein, curatorial advisor to Manifesta 7 in Rovereto, and curator at Ludlow 38, the downtown satellite for contemporary art of the Goethe-Institut in New York. He was one of the associate curators for the 30th Bienal de São Paulo (2012).