• Course 2: Storytelling or: Box with the Sound of Its Own Making

Course leader: Felix Gmelin
Course assistant: Gustav Annerblom
3 - 9 July, 2016
Maximum number of participants: 10

The metaphor for this course is Robert Morris's Box with the Sound of Its Own Making (1961), which consists of an unadorned wooden cube, accompanied by a recording of the sounds produced during its construction. Lasting for three-and-a-half hours, the audio component of the piece denies the air of romantic mystery surrounding the creation of the art object, presenting it as a time-consuming endeavor. In so doing, the piece transfers the focus from the artwork to the process of its making.

This class is about storytelling – about how to articulate your dreams, memories, fairytales and subjective experiences. It aims to develop your stories and how you can articulate them, taking into consideration how they relate to the medium and language you choose. The instructors share their expertise in painting, video, script-writing and art history, and will discuss how form follows function with the participants.

Stories are powerful: they create nations, institutions, religions, dissidents, fear and rebellion, but also families. Media society makes information move fast, but only very few of us really develop stories of our own. We would like to help you to develop your stories, and discuss how one story always overlies another. We are curious to learn how you deal with your stories in today's historical predicament.

The class will begin by examining historical examples of storytelling. Subsequently, in a playful workshop consisting of quick tasks, we will develop individual projects with simple means. Our aim is to find ways to develop and articulate your own projects, in individual and group tutorials. A final group presentation will serve to evaluate your work, and encourage its future development.

Media: Painting, drawing, text, performance, rumors, photography, video, collage, ideas
Languages: German, English, Swedish
What to bring: Any materials and equipment necessary for individual projects

Requirements: Desire for dialogue and development. Students can bring equipment. Corse leaders would prefer to work with what students have. In this way they have the power over their means of production, to quote Marx.


Biography

Felix Gmelin, born in Heidelberg in the early 60s, shares his time in between Sarajevo, Oslo and Stockholm. He uses media including painting, performance and video as means of investigating political imagery and language, utopia and dogmatism, while comparing contemporary political activism with that of times past. His method of questioning the aestheticisation of politics through historical comparison discusses how radical gestures have now turned into fashion, and whether art can be useful to present-day society. His work is based on our shared memory, and uses autobiographical family stories and private documentary material to demonstrate how every story overlies another.

Solo exhibitions
2014 Kunst og Ukunst: Vidkun Quisling looking at Pussy Riot, Kunstnernas Hus / ONO Gallery. 2013 Nations are stranger than People, Charlama Depot, Center Skenderija, Sarajevo (BA). Utiphobia, Krognoshuset, Lund (SE). 2012 T is for Toe, Nordenhake, Stockholm. 2011 Manifesto, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam. Baby (revolution) comeback, Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, Kosova.

Group exhibitions
2015 Picasso in der Kunst der Gegenwart, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg. Tirana Open 1, Pallati i Kongreseve, Tirana, Albania. 2014 Progress and Hygiene, Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warszawa (PL). 2013 Version Control, Arnolfini, Bristol (GB). 2012 The evolution must be made little by little, part 1: difference and repetition, Galeria Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo (BR). 2007 History will repeat Itself – strategies of re-enactment in contemporary art, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund (DE). 52nd Venice Biennale. 2006 Of mice and men, 4th Berlin Biennial.

Publications
Picasso in Contemporary Art: Deichtorhallen, Hamburg by Dirk Luckow, Michael Fitzgerald, Uwe Fleckner and Hanne Loreck, March 2015

Nordic Contemporary: Art from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, edited by Hossein Amirsadeghi, TransGlobe Publishing and Thames & Hudson, May 2014

Progress and Hygiene, ed. Anda Rottenburg, Zacheta — Narodowa Galeria Sztuki, Nov.2014 ISBN 978-83-935999-2-9

Ausstellung "Punctum" in Salzburg, Koteletten gegen den Gesichtsverlust, Paul Katzenberger, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 13. August 2014 http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/ausstellung-punctum-in-salzburg-koteletten-gegen-den-gesichtsverlust-1.2077486

Dario Gamboni, “Titel”, in: Kerry Brougher and Russell Ferguson (eds.), Damage Control: Art and Destruction since 1950, exh. cat. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, Prestel, New York 2013.

Daniel Birnbaum, “We live in different times”, in: Strangers: Between Europe and Asia, VII Shiryaevo Biennale of Contemporary Art, exh. cat., Issuu.com 2012

www.nordenhake.com
www.vilmagold.com
www.annetgelink.com