Wednesday | 20 March 2024

Exhibition and symposion at the GAK and on the MS Dauerwelle

nearly all types of honey crystallize, April 3–21 & Documenting in Artistic Research, April 5–6
© Anhelina Burmaka

Artists from the binational artistic doctoral programme at the University of the Arts (HfK) Bremen present their artistic research projects in the exhibition “nearly all types of honey crystallize” at the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst from April 3rd-21st. The exhibition grew from reflections and critical inquiries on issues of documentation and documents in an artistic context. These issues will be discussed in further detail during a symposion named “Documenting in Artistic Research” with contributions from different experts on the vessel MS Dauerwelle, that serves the HfK as a floating platform for events and exhibitions.

Documentation brings ‘things’ onto the stage and makes others disappear,” explains Prof. Dr. Andrea Sick, Professor of Media Theory and head of the Binational Artistic PhD programme at the HfK Bremen: “In the process of documenting, image elements, texts and audio recordings are arranged in order to determine and control the impacts of what is being documented.” Sick curated the exhibition in cooperation with the GAK. 

The context of the exhibition serves to show, repeat and perform how different acts of authentication and witnessing, registering and recording take shape in the context of a respective artistic research practice. This foregrounds the question of which practices, procedures, and apparatuses can turn something into a document.

“Today, documenting has become a natural and almost inflationary practice. Everything is being documented without selection or evaluation, often automatically using technical devices such as sensors and smartphones. For example, these take on the work of documenting in self-tracking. In the different perspectives of the exhibition and the associated symposion, scores, feedback loops, maps and software are just as much a part of the documentary articulations – these are being referred to as the crystallization process in our context –, as are video and sound recordings, material remnants, zines and drawings,” according to Sick.

The exhibition is set to open on April 2nd, 7 p.m. at the GAK.

It will present works by Victor Artiga Rodriguez, Harm Coordes, Elburuz Fidan, Irena Kukrić, Icaro López De Mesa Moyano, Joosten Mueller, Henrik Nieratschker, Dawoon Park, Christine Rafflenbeul, Christian Rosales Fonseca and Luiz Zanotello.

The symposion “Documenting in Artistic Research” with contributions by German and international experts is scheduled for April 5-6 on the vessel MS Dauerwelle that serves the HfK as a floating platform for events and exhibits. The symposion will start on April 5th at 11.30 a.m. The complete programme is available here:

The Binational Artistic PhD programme and the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst are cooperating for the third time with this programme. In 2022, an evening of lectures and performances entitled “Halbe Halbe – Floating in, Swerving out, Doing Art and Theory” focussed on the interweaving of the arts and theory, issues PhD candidates content with time and again. In 2023, “Crystal Room” created a series of short-term residencies in the GAK project space. During this programme, the artists in the binational doctoral programme experimented with a specific aspect of their artistic research projects and presented ideas and phenomena for discussion in different formats. This is where the crystallization process commenced, that “nearly all types of honey crystallize” ties into now to “document” the positions developed in the previous year. 

The multi-part cooperation with the Binational Artistic PhD programme gives audiences an opportunity to glean insights into the artists' research over a longer duration. “The fact that phases of experimentation, performance, `crystallization´ and re-performance become public like on a rehearsal stage is a special feature,” says Annette Hans, artistic director of the GAK: “Participating in these processes of artistic production of work and knowledge is an invitation to engage in experimental practices, to discuss them and, under certain circumstances, also to get involved to activate them. Perceiving visitors in the context of documentation less as an audience than as witnesses is a change of perspective that can deepen the examination of contemporary issues through forms of artistic practice.” 

Opening: April 2nd, 2024

  • 7 p.m. speeches
  • 8 p.m. concert Christian Rosales Fonseca
  • DJ Set and honey bread 

The PhD candidates will lead tours through the exhibition on two dates. Non need for prior reservations.

  • April 18th, from 6 p.m.: German language tour with Harm Coordes and Icaro Lopez de Mesa Moyano.
  • April  21st, from 3 p.m.: English language tour with Victor Artiga Rodriguez and Dawoon Park

On April 14th, 3 p.m. an open workshop with Christine Rafflenbeul entitled “Documenting collective aesthetic thinking. Joint lace-making as code and composition” is set to begin. 

A small lace making station will present visitors an opportunity to try out lace making themselves. The participants make lace on punch cards, turn them through a hand organ and thereby hear the sound of the collectively made fabric. 

Participation is free of charge and possible without prior registration. You can join the event at any time. 

Since autumn 2020, the University of the Arts Bremen has been offering the opportunity to achieve a doctorate as part of an artistic-scientific PhD programme. The four-year binational doctoral programme is currently being run in cooperation with Leiden University (as well as the Royal Academy of Art The Hague) and the University of Groningen (together with the Minerva Art Academy Groningen) and the University of Gothenborg (together with HDK Valand – Academy of Art and Design ) aligned. 

By combining applied research, artistic practice, theoretical-scientific grounding and individual support, the Binational Artistic PhD programme at the HfK makes an important contribution to artistic-scientific and artistic-design research. The doctoral students qualify for a future career at precisely these innovative interfaces. The focus is on artistic and design practice, which forms the basis for the doctoral project, the resulting research activities and the production of knowledge. 

The English-language Artistic PhD programme enables PhD candidates to independently carry out artistic-scientific research projects, to critically reflect on methods and discursive or theoretical approaches, to establish their work in international contexts and to gain further qualifications – also through teaching experience. The programme is therefore explicitly aimed at students with an artistic or design master's degree or an artistic diploma. 

The wide range of projects located at the innovative interfaces between the arts, design and the sciences is already reflected in the research areas of the current PhD candidates. Further information on applications, events and offers is available here: 

Further information on the GAK: 

Further information on the MS Dauerwelle: