The Gropius Bau Journal is an online platform that aims to explore entangled futures and ways of thinking and living together through essays, interviews and artist texts.
Maaza Mengiste and Natasha Ginwala
Rewriting History as a Chorus
Memories can be passed through generations via song, recuperating histories edited out of history. Author Maaza Mengiste talks to Natasha Ginwala about introducing a chorus of different voices into accepted narratives and why the ability to speak out is one of the most rebellious acts we can make against injustice.
In thinking about care and care work, practices of mothering play a crucial role. In her essay, writer and scholar Sophie Lewis takes her ambivalent relationship to her own mother as well as impressions from two recent exhibitions at the Gropius Bau as an opportunity to critically examine the “solitary cell of bourgeois kinship”.
Based on a three-month archival residency at Bitterfeld’s Kreismuseum and in conversation with the former head of the city’s environmental agency, Dr. Fred Walkow, Lili Carr’s essay witnesses various hydrogeochemical goings-on within a landscape whose more-than-human activities, politics and histories have shaped and are being shaped by chemistry.
How can we find ways to rewrite capitalist narratives about recovery and survival? Taking their new installation The Clock is Always Wrong (2022) in the group exhibition YOYI! Care, Repair, Heal at the Gropius Bau as a starting point, Johanna Hedva talks about the importance of radically questioning western notions of time and healing.
Eeva-Kristiina Nylander, Marian Pastor Roces, Natasha Ginwala
Making Sites of Reciprocity and Rematriation
How can we create platforms of cross-cultural understanding while making sure that communities and their stakeholders are protected? In this conversation, Eeva-Kristiina Nylander, Marian Pastor Roces Natasha Ginwala examine the role of art institutions in developing diverse ecologies and community perspectives.
Repairing the Social Fabric: Amid the Burden of History
Aboriginal kinship systems can operate as forms of healing from the legacy of colonialism. Artist, curator and scholar Brook Andrew and anthropologist and geographer Marcia Langton explore how community-based projects in research and art build non-institutional sites of mourning, remembering, sharing and restituting cultural heritage.
In Igbo, the word Ámà denotes a site of knowledge and collectivity – a communal vibe. But bringing this archetype to Europe requires an awareness of clichéd visions of Africa, and an excavation of the sonic and haptic as vital challenges to Western modes of seeing the world. Writer and political economist Eric Otieno Sumba follows the wave.
Ways of Seeing: A New Museum Story for Planet Earth
In the second of her series of artist texts, Grace Ndiritu considers different modes of re-animating and engaging with the world of “dead matter” established by Western ways of seeing. In particular, she focuses on the role of museums as shared spaces to reflect on consciousness and the wellfare of all beings – audience, building, community, objects, patrons and staff – within it.
As In House: Artist in Residence at the Gropius Bau in 2021, the artist and dancer SERAFINE1369 will engage with questions of intimacy, technology, alienation and boundaries through a practice of performance, dance, writing and choreography. In the following conversation, SERAFINE1369 talks about their experiences of working with ephemeral material, explaining how the body’s porosity can open it up to the oracular, guiding and unfolding the relation we have to ourselves and to one another.
The Collective of Care: Responsibility, Pleasure, Cure – Part 2
If care is a collective responsibility, what does this mean for an art system built upon a Western paradigm of individualism, hierarchy and fragmentation? In the second part of iLiana Fokianaki’s essay, she considers ways to “speak nearby” – giving the floor to others as a way of sharing power more equally.
The Collective of Care: Responsibility, Pleasure, Cure – Part 1
The current crisis has placed global systems of care in the spotlight, but collective modes of caring – fundamental to Indigenous, feminist and civil rights movements – have been sidelined. In the first of a two-part series, theorist and curator iLiana Fokianaki traces both Western and non-Western modes of thinking and how they might apply to the politics of ethics of care today.
Whether in DNA interactions, bacterial biofilms or city architectures, weaving can be a model for different and relational “ecologies of life”. Ranging across artistic practices, cell biology, and human social forms, molecular biologist Regine Hengge and cultural historian Karin Krauthausen examine what we can learn from nature’s enmeshed processes.
To Care as We Would Like to: Socio-ecological Crisis and our Impasse of Care
Care activist and researcher Manuela Zechner examines Joan C. Tronto’s model of care as a means to find praxis-based ways out of today’s “care impasse”, pointing to popular movements that might serve as models for the future.
The relation between human and non-human is vital to earthly survival – but what would it mean to situate plants within our politics? Artist Zheng Bo and anthropologist Natasha Myers discuss decolonisation, the essential role of Indigenous knowledges, and how healing land is also about healing community.
Extemporary Rituals: Notes on the Dances of Marcelo Evelin and Tosh Basco
Connecting ancient rites to dissident futures, dance can disrupt the rigid orders of time, history and post-colonial “progress“. Noémie Solomon explores the work of Tosh Basco and Marcelo Evelin, who make “rituals for an entangled world“.
The Rise of an Indigenous Europe and the Genealogies of Indigeneities
An end to this world: Elizabeth A. Povinelli traces her own family’s migrations alongside the ancestral displacements that led to the formation of Karrabing, as a way of re-imagining Europe and its diaspora through the lens of decolonisation.