Discussion

Claims and Gains: The Translocation of Objects

With Felicity Bodenstein, Theo Eshetu, Antje Majewski, Margareta von Oswald, George Shire

Part of the exhibition And Berlin Will Always Need You

  • In English

Since its inception in 1881, the Gropius Bau has hosted collections, artworks and artefacts that are today implicated in restitution debates. Several of the artistic practices in the exhibition And Berlin Will Always Need You address museum display, circulation of forms and artisanal labour as colonial legacies. The discussion Claims and Gains: The Translocation of Objects is moderated by art historian Felicity Bodenstein joined by two of the exhibiting artists, Theo Eshetu and Antje Majewski, the decolonial theorist George Shire and anthropologist Margareta von Oswald.

Felicity Bodenstein is an art historian and currently a post-doc fellow in the translocations research project at the Technical University, Berlin. Her work considers questions of representation in the display of contested, translocated objects.

Theo Eshetu is an artist whose practice explores how electronic media shape identity and perception. At the Gropius Bau he is showing The Phi Phenomenon, a 12-channel pulsing stream of images of cultic and religious artefacts from the holdings of the Musée d’ethnographie in Geneva.

Antje Majewski’s artistic practice includes figurative painting, video and collaborative projects. Part of her installation at the Gropius Bau is Le trône (The Throne), a film discussing a contested object from the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s collection: Sultan Ibrahim Njoya’s throne.

Margareta von Oswald is a doctoral fellow at CARMAH – Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage, Berlin. Her current research examines the transformation of museums with ethnographic collections, with emphasis on the Humboldt Forum.

George Shire is an independent cultural theorist and decolonial thinker, DJ, and jazz saxophonist. His research interests are concerned with questions of knowledge, power and difference from the Global South; with visual culture and decolonisation and with tracking the histories of art education in Southern Africa.