Digital Talk Series
Gruppe x Gropius Bau
Gruppe and the Gropius Bau present Full Disclosure, a digital talk series about art, culture and society. Join guests such as Edna Bonhomme, Cyril Duval and Sissel Tolaas; Ekaterina Degot and Henrike Naumann; Sophya Frohberg, MJ Harper, Lerato Dumse / Inkanysio Collective, Richard Kennedy and Jenna Sutela for conversations on the pandemic, the politics of the body and the lasting effects of the Cold War era.
Episode 1 – Normal World
With Cyril Duval, Sissel Tolaas and Edna Bonhomme
The first episode of Full Disclosure, Normal World, tackles the questions of how catastrophes of the 21st century, such as climate change or the pandemic, could change our perception of the anthropocene. Why do people want to “go back to normal”? What does “normal” mean in times of social, ecological and economic challenges? Has there ever been such a thing as “normality”, and would we ever want to go back to this state? In this episode, Cyril Duval and Sissel Tolaas discuss the pandemic’s influence on the position of humankind in this world. Edna Bonhomme talks about historical changes caused by past pandemics and epidemics and the relation between decolonisation and pandemics.
Sissel Tolass is an artist and scientist and runs the Smell Research Lab in Berlin, which is a project that explores and archives smells and odours. Cyril Duval aka. Item Idem is a concept artist, designer and filmmaker living in Taipei, Taiwan. In his video works BREAKING, broke, broken (2020) and NUII (2017), Duval interrogates how the pandemic and climate change are portrayed in the media. Edna Bonhomme is a historian of science. As a cultural critic she interrogates racial inequalities in medicine and science. The episode is accompanied by the artist and musician Adam Sinclair.
Concept & Creative Direction Gruppe Host Nele Ruckelshausen Director & Editor Moritz Freudenberg Creative Director Fritz Schiffers Creative Consultant Tim Heyduck Graphic Design & Animation Barbara Acevedo Strange Motion Design Filip Setmanuk Intro Score & Sound Design Ludwig Plath Guests Sissel Tolaas, Cyril Duval, Edna Bonhomme, Alex Iezzi
Episode 2 – Cooler than Cold
With Ekaterina Degot and Henrike Naumann
In the 20th century, the US and the former Soviet Union were engaged in an unparalleled power struggle: the Cold War. The Gropius Bau exhibition The Cool and the Cold brought together paintings produced in the US and the Soviet Union during that time, displaying them side by side. But how did the cultural conflict play out in Germany – a country divided? And what happened to art from East Germany? In the second episode of Full Disclosure, called Cooler than Cold, the art historian Ekaterina Degot and the artist Henrike Naumann talk about the legacy of art from the GDR. The episode was shot before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
Ekaterina Degot was born in Moscow and studied art history in Moscow and St. Petersburg. She worked as the Senior Curator at Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. From 2014 to 2017, Degot was the Director of the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne. She is the Director and Chief Curator of steirischer herbst, an interdisciplinary festival for contemporary art in Graz, Austria.
Henrike Naumann was born in Zwickau, GDR and lives and works in Berlin. She reflects socio-political phenomena on the level of interior design and domestic space and explores antagonistic political beliefs through the ambivalent aesthetics of personal taste.
Concept & Creative Direction Gruppe Host Nele Ruckelshausen Director & Editor Moritz Freudenberg Creative Director Fritz Schiffers Creative Consultant Tim Heyduck Graphic Design & Animation Barbara Acevedo Strange CGI Malte Zander Intro Score & Sound Design Ludwig Plath Guests Henrike Naumann, Ekaterina Degot, Adam Sinclaire
Episode 3 – Age of Agency
With Richard Kennedy, Sophya Kallista Frohberg, Lerato Dumse, Jenna Sutela and Michael John Harper
In the third episode called Age of Agency, outreach coordinator Sophya Kallista Frohberg, dancer Michael John Harper, artists Richard Kennedy and Jenna Sutela as well as Lerato Dumse from the Inkanyiso collective share their thoughts on the body, art and soul. The pandemic has spelled out what marginalised groups have felt for a long time: our bodies are political. How are we connected to our bodies and to each other? And how much of a say do we have in our physical existence? Zanele Muholi’s solo exhibition at the Gropius Bau, which brought together powerful photographs of the life of LGBTQIA+ communities across South Africa and beyond, served as a starting point for the conversation.
Richard Kennedy is an artist living and working in Berlin. Their sculptures, performances, paintings, installations and video works examine queer African American experiences. Often it is difficult to differentiate between the performers and the audience. In their work gender, class and race are fluid and diverse concepts.
Sophya Kallista Frohberg was a curator at the Gropius Bau and worked at the educational department. In addition, she was part of the curatorial research collective Curating Through Conflict with Care at the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK). In her research, Sophya Kallista Frohberg focuses on Black queer contemporary art from an intersectional perspective.
Lerato Dumse is a member of the Inkanyiso collective. Inkanyiso’s mission is to respond to the lack of visual histories and skills training produced by and for Africa’s LGBTQIA+ communities, especially artists. The collective examines what it means to be simultaneously invisible in history books and hyper-visible in the mainstream media.
Jenna Sutela is a Finnish artist based in Berlin. Her work explores biological and computational systems including the human microbiome and artificial neuro-networks. Jenna Sutela's work often manifests as sculpture, video or sound.
Michael John Harper works within the fields of dance, choreography and opera. In 2010, MJ Harper joined the Alvin Ailey II Junior Dance Company in New York. The artist’s work approach is interdisciplinary, often using the term “Tanz Theatre for the algorithmice age”.
Konzept & kreative Leitung Gruppe Host Nele Ruckelshausen Regisseur & Editor Moritz Freudenberg Creative Director Fritz Schiffers Creative Consultant Tim Heyduck Grafikdesign & Animation Barbara Acevedo Strange CGI Malte Zander Intro Score & Sounddesign Ludwig Plath Beitragende Richard Kennedy, Sophya Kallista Frohberg, Lerato Dumse, Jenna Sutela, Michael John Harper, Adam Sinclaire
Gruppe is a Berlin-based project platform and creative collective that has been working with young artists, designers and performers to produce media, exhibitions and events. The Gruppe print magazine showcases the various creative projects conceived through its network. The project was founded in November 2017 and is run by Nele Ruckelshausen, Fritz Schiffers, Julian-Jakob Kneer and Tim Heyduck. For the Full Disclosure talk series, Gruppe worked with director and editor Moritz Freudenberg. gruppemagazine.com