Friday, 17 January 2014, 24:00 | midnight

#51: The Seminar ‘Militant Examination’

Tuesday is on Friday – Alice Creischer’s and Andreas Siekmann’s seminar Militant Investigation of the Masters course Space StrategiesBerlin Weißensee School of Art takes place within the frame of Videoart at Midnight.

Sonja Hornung, Selina Lampe, Yukiko Nagakura, Laura Engelhardt, Alex Head, Eva Pandulova, Jenny Marlene Vollmer, Erkin Go, Lerato Shadi, Eva Giannakopoulou, Alejandro Strus, Julia Masagão, Imma Harms, Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann.

The term Militant Investigation refers to a method of research that came into use in context of the wildcat strikes and the Autonomist Operaist movement of the 60s in Northern Italy. As part of the Autonomous Left movement, the term encompasses a vital departure from the dogmatism of the Communist Party.

From that point onwards, Militant Investigation has emerged again and again in countless political movements and discussions — as a mythos, as an epistemology, and as a collective form of knowledge. It stands for a theoretical engagement that rejects scientific objectivity and instead demands the involvement of the author in a collective political praxis. In this seminar we would like to use the concept Militant Investigation to critically reflect on the concept of ‘Artistic Research’. What does Militant Investigation have to do with artistic practice?

‘Militant Investigation is not a type of research in which you find truth. You find an amalgam of your own subjectivity, your own truths, which perhaps might intermingle with your experiences but which naturally never offer total access to the Other.’ – Detlev Hartmann, ExArgentina Catalogue, Cologne 2004

Alice Creischer (b. 1960 in Gerolstein, Germany) studied Philosophy, German literature and Visual Arts in Düsseldorf. As one of the key figures of German political art movements in the Nineties, Creischer contributed to a great amount of collective projects, publications, and exhibitions. Her artistic and theoretic agenda within institutional and economical critique has evolved over 20 years, more recently focusing on the early history of capitalism and globalization. As co-curator of such paradigmatic exhibitions like Messe 2ok (1995), ExArgentina (2004) and The Potosi Principle (2010), Creischer has developed a specific curatorial practice that correlates with her work as an artist and theorist, including her extensive practice in archive research. As author Creischer has contributed to many publications, magazines and fanzines.

In his long-termed drawing series, films and architectural models, Berlin-based artist Andreas Siekmann (b. 1961 in Hamm, Germany) addresses the privatization of public space and the restructuring of labor conditions under the conditions of globalization. Partially with reference to historical projects such as Gerd Arntz’s and Otto Neurath’s pictorial pedagogy of the 1930s or even Botticelli’s Dante illustrations, Siekmann – who will participate both in this year’s documenta 12 and Skulptur Projekte Münster – in his works confronts the question of how economic and political processes can be rendered visible and has thus become an astute commentator of the relationship between city sponsoring and public art projects.

Alice Creischer’s and Andreas Siekmann’s contact at Berlin Weißensee School of Art.