Theory and practice of art in space

focussing on installation - performance - exhibition

The Department Space encompasses courses and research in the fields of sculpture, installation, performance and exhibition practice.

The aesthetic and artistic way of dealing with three-dimensional space has changed because the scope of sculpture has widened extending from the idea of space being a reservoir for objects to a constantly changing interaction between time and space. Therefore, the concept of sculpture has to be connected to an extended relational idea of space.

In this department the students analyse in theory and in practice what it means to follow the space dimension in Fine Arts and the understanding of space as a resonance field of different movements and relations that are linked with each other in a network system. The emphasis of the students’ projects is put on the experimental examination of spatial and situational questions:

How do you organise space considering atmospheric aspects/factors?
What is the eye-management in an installation?
What does it mean for the exhibition design if space opens, closes and restructures itself in the process of movement? What part do the exhibits play in this process?
What forms does sculpture take if even concrete actions, immaterial techniques, reactions and changes of participants are part of it?
Where do performance and sculpture meet if the sculpture already includes aspects of the shifting process and of movement and interaction between time and space?
How can you describe „the layers“ of art in space?

First year courses focus on working with a given stimulus and training the students’ artistic perception. The students develop their own work as well as partly joint artistic works whilst participating in seminars, training lessons and projects. As a result there are objects, installations, photos, videos, animations, projects and actions in public space, performance events, concepts and a lot of mixed forms. Senior students can deepen personal preferences and interests in theoretical sessions or projects and finally in their theses. Those are always accompanied by text work, discussions and individual feedback.

The department provides the opportunity to experiment with various materials and interdisciplinary techniques in order to improve analytical skills and knowledge of diverse aesthetical approaches.
The skills may serve as useful tools: their inherent content has to be particularly reflected during the process of decision-taking.

The practice fields open the door to possibilities of complex and interdisciplinary approaches that can be experienced and discussed within the faculty in cooperation with other chairs coming from theatre, literature, film, photography and music.

Art-historical and aesthetic studies focussing on aesthetic modelling in contemporary arts accompany all the seminars and serve as tools of self-reflection, abilities of critical analysis as well as presentation and argumentative mediation of own ideas and products.

Organisational and communicative abilities such as writing requests, exposés, sponsoring and negotiations with cultural organisers and galleries complement the studies at the Department Space.

The scientific and artistic outcome gathered at the Department Space is presented in a work exhibition twice a year.

The impressive final presentation “enter” lasting several days offers the students the chance to demonstrate the artistic quality and variety of aesthetical practice of their work to their fellow students and to an interested public audience.

(Update: 27.01.09)