Lotte Arndt / Goethe-Institut Fellowship 2016
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2016
Lotte Arndt, If we would inhabit a threshold
Goethe-Institut Fellowship 2016 at Villa Vassilieff
- Site view, Cinquantenaire Museum (Royal Museums of Art and History), Bruxelles, 2016. Credits : Lotte Arndt
The Goethe-Institut and Villa Vassilieff created together in 2016 a research residency program for German curators. Every year, a curator is invited to develop a research project at Villa Vassilieff, in partnership with a German institution and has the possibility to dialogue with several international institutions (museums, archives, schools, civilians). This grant is attributed in parallel to the Focus programs, organized each year by the Goethe-Institut in a German city or a Land.
For its first edition, the grant is attributed to Lotte Arndt, curator, theorist, writer and teacher from Köln, in conversation with Temporary Gallery (Köln, Germany).
IF WE WOULD INHABIT A THRESHOLD
To cross a threshold equates to mark a limit, a frontier. To find oneself on one side or another. Inside or outside. To be part of something or to be excluded from it. To find alternatives that contradict each other. The threshold stands there as a unique, localizable, concrete line, through which the passage occurs without brushing against it. But this limit also makes the crossing impossible, (thus becoming) a limit that prevents, draws back, dismisses, divides. Yet, if we inhabited a threshold, it would appear to be infinitely divisible. It would permanently slip, decomposed in saturated, plural, fragmented and mobile borders in perpetual transformation. It wouldn’t cease to multiply passing points already belated as they are drawn. It would never offer a constant and solid foundation, but a sometimes opaque, uncertain area ; and at other times scattered into thousands of splinters, shining, seductive, and dangerous.
This project offers to stand within this perpetual glide, by reuniting two spheres that seem afar at first, or even opposite: patrimonialized objects in ethnographic and natural history museums and the first-class necessity to settle — in a broad sense — as a non negotiable condition for social beings, or (in other words) to be at “home” in the society they evolve in.
With this two-day workshop the issues discussed within the frame of the residence will become concrete and will offer to occupy the threshold’s blurred area by revisiting two aspects intimately tied to the historical existence of Villa Vassilieff, in order to link it to possible contemporary impacts. The venue and the lives it hosted at the beginning of the century (the way it intertwined with the primitivist movement as well as the studio turned into a canteen) will be considered as starting points to weave the multiple narrative threads waiting for their invention, their interlacing and translation in the present.
LOTTE ARNDT BIOGRAPHY
Lotte Arndt teaches at the art school l’École d’art et design de Valence since 2014. In 2013, she finished her PhD dealing with Paris based cultural magazines referring to Africa (Paris, Berlin), and worked as researcher in residency at the art school l’École supérieure d’art de Clermont Métropole(2013-2014). She coordinated the artistic research project "Karawane" that accompanied the making of the Belgian pavilion of Vincent Meessen and Katerina Gregos at the Venice Biennale 2015. She is part of the artists and researcher group Ruser l’image; publishes regularly on topics regarding the postcolonial present and artistic strategies in pursuit of subverting Eurocentric institutions and narratives. Recent publications include Crawling Doubles. Colonial Collecting and Affect (with Mathieu K. Abonnenc and Catalina Lozano), Paris, B42, 2016 ; Hunting & Collecting. Sammy Baloji, (with Asger Taiaksev), Brussels, Paris, MuZEE and Imane Farès, 2016 and Les revues font la culture ! Négociations postcoloniales dans les périodiques parisiens relatifs à l’Afrique(2047-2012), WVT, 2016.