"Art and Cities. Artists
in Berlin and New York: On the Symbolic Capital of
On the backdrop of the urban changes in Berlin and New York I conduct an ethnographic research in the field of fine arts. My focus lies on the urban appropriation-praxes of artists. It will be asked how artists perceive the city and which dimensions of the city are deemed of importance concerning their work.
In my PhD research I am interested in the relation of Visual Art and Cities. I am asking about the role the urban context is playing in careers, artworks, and biographies of visual artists in an ever more globalized art world. Based on an ethnographic research I conducted interviews with artists living in Berlin or New York, some of them live in both cities. During my interviews I asked artists how they perceive and appropriate the city. This means I asked them about their space tactics (De Certeau), artistic practices in view to the production of city representations in their artworks and their strategies for institutional access. Another important aspect during my research was the question about their mobility and how their everyday life is structured between locality and globality. The aim of my research is to contribute to a better understanding of Visual Arts and how local/de-local it is.
Cities are the structural basis for the art field. Here, changes in society are made visible and discourses about social changes are put into practice. According to Pierre Bourdieu (1991), cities are fields for the negotiation of representation and rights to property and space. Today, globally linked cities are competing for the intellectual elites, creative milieus, and international artists (Sassen 1996; Hannerz 1996). Cities are trying to develop a creative image to attract artists. Correspondingly, artists are important producers of the symbolic urban site. In their artworks artists often produce new representations of cities and urban imaginations. These works often reflect the social and spatial changes in society. Contemporary art and photography are greatly influenced by changing urban contexts.
My research is based on theoretical as well as methodological triangulation, combining scientific approaches from Art History and Urban Anthropology. The concept of art worlds (Howard Becker 1982), for example, conceptualizes the production of art as interaction product of socio-economic networks. Pierre Bourdieu's idea of the cultural field has a focus on the actors and their resources in the cultural field while Hans Belting describes the changing logics in Art History. The art historian Gerardo Mosquera states that the old European hegemonies are still crucial for the structuration of the art field and who will have access to the art world. An important role for the access play cities, Mosquera points out. Finally, the British geographer While is states that „more needs to be known about the difference place makes in mediating the production, distribution and consumption of art. “
Lebenslauf / Curriculum Vitae
02 - 08/2006
Visiting Scholar, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, New York
PhD Art and Cities. Artists in Berlin and New York: On the Symbolic Capital of Cities
Dissertation Scholarship: Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst/German and Ministry of Science and Technology
Magister/M.A. in European Ethnology, Art and Cultural History/Aesthetics, Business Administration
Humboldt University Berlin and Freie University Berlin
1999 - 2004
Studies of European Ethnology, Art and Cultural History/Aesthetics at Humboldt University and Business Administration at Freie University Berlin
In Museums and Biennials Berlin and New York, Art Publishing House and other art related institutions
together with Bastian Lange “Hybrid Cultural Institutions: On Problems of Reflexive Curating” at the Department of European Ethnology, Humboldt University Berlin
German (native speaker), English (fluent), French (bilingual), Danish (good)
Publikationen, Vorträge etc. / Publications, Lectures etc.
Upcoming „Artists and the
(Place-)Making of Berlin“, in: Sarah Belden (ed.), Curators Without
Borders 2007, Berlin.
„City Representations in Net art“, in: Uli Bucher und Marcos Fincas (ed.), E-City, BWV - Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag.
„Doing research in-between. Lokal-globale Verwebungen in der Kunst: Ein Plädoyer für einen ethnologisch-kunstwissenschaftlichen Dialog“, in: Beate Binder und Dagmar Neuland-Kitzerow (Ed.), Kunst und Ethnographie, Berliner Blätter.
Christine Nippe (ed.), “Kunst der Verbindung – Transnationale Netzwerke, Kunst und Globalisierung”, Münster/Hamburg/Berlin/London, Lit Verlag, 2006.
“Auf dem Sprung. Transnationale Perspektiven Kunst- und Kulturschaffender auf Berlin“, in: Alexa Färber (ed.), Hotel Berlin – Formen urbaner Mobilität und Verortung, Berlin, Heft 37/2005 Berliner Blätter, 132-142.
“Leibhaftige Konstruktionen. Was heißt schon (im-)perfekt? Gedanken zu einer Ausstellung“, in: Stefan Beck & Michi Knecht (eds.), Körperpolitik Biopolitik, Heft 29/2003 Berliner Blätter, 115-119.
“Street dreams are made of this. Die Potsdamer Straße – Imaginationen eines Stadtraums“, in: Beate Binder (ed.), Nahwelten Tiergarten-Süd, Berlin, 28/2002 Sonderheft der Berliner Blätter, 186-200.
1999 - 2005
Several articles in art magazines