Art in Networks: The GDR and its Global Relations is an interactive digital platform that makes visible the connections between artists, museums and other cultural actors in the GDR in their international networks. Individual case studies are used to examine how forms of private and institutional contact took shape, for example in the form of travel, study visits or exhibitions. Video interviews show a variety of subjective, also critical and contradictory perspectives on past experiences. In addition to these contributions, a timeline that structures the platform also lists events that selectively depict the international networking of the GDR in art and cultural diplomacy as well as exhibitions.
Art in Networks: The GDR and its Global Relations ist eine interaktive digitale Plattform, die Verbindungen von Künstlerinnen und Künstlern, Museen und anderen kulturellen Akteuren in der DDR in ihren internationalen Netzwerken sichtbar macht. Anhand einzelner Fallbeispiele wird untersucht, wie sich Formen des privaten und institutionellen Kontakts gestalteten, zum Beispiel in Form von Reisen, Studienaufenthalten oder Ausstellungen. In Videointerviews werden vielfältige subjektive, auch kritische und widersprüchliche Perspektiven auf die vergangenen Erfahrungen und Erlebnisse gezeigt. Eine die Plattform strukturierende Timeline verzeichnet neben diesen Beiträgen auch Ereignisse, welche die internationale Vernetzung der DDR in Kunst- und Kulturdiplomatie sowie Ausstellungswesen punktuell darstellen.
Unique collections tell unique stories. The Centre for Artists’ Publications at the Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst is a case in point. As an “archive of archives”, it keeps archives and estates alive and continuously up-to-date. It exhibits them, presents them and proposes them for discussion. Since February 2023, the extensive and unique European holdings of the Centre for Artists’ Publications have also been available digitally via an unusual, new means—the Artists’ Publications Lab.This interactive website provides insights into the universe of artists’ books, multiples and graphic works of various kinds as well as sound art and mail art. The fascinating, brash, diverse, funny, but also thought-provoking world of multiplied and published art of the last 80 years presents a different view, a different narrative of art history. Often subversive and committed to democratic principles, artists’ publications are created with the intention of reaching as many people as possible. Multiplied artworks are not exclusive but on the contrary characterised by affordability and wide distribution. They are approachable and unconventional, made for browsing and studying, offering an intimate art experience.
The Artists’ Publications Lab invites the reader on an international journey into the world of multiplied art by playfully introducing key examples from the Centre for Artists’ Publications’ holdings and placing them in their historical context: poker cards by David Shrigley are represented as well as a bag by the Guerrilla Girls—which can rapidly be converted into a gorilla mask typical of those worn by the New York group during their actions. Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt’s fascinating typewritings or artist’s newspapers by Dan Perjovschi float across the screen. Miti Ruangkritya’s Thai Politics magazines make an appearance, as do record covers by Tödliche Doris or Rúna Thorkelsdóttir’s water poem “Vatnaljod.” And so on and so on, further and further into the possibilities and facets offered by multiplied art projects.
The mediation portal of the Artists’ Publications Lab also offers creative propositions, digital games, suggestions for school lessons and activities for all interested parties, free from the constraints of time and place. From April the digital platform is also available directly on site, at six multifunctional tables in the Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst.
The Centre for Artists’ Publications at the Weserburg Museum für Moderne Kunst functions simultaneously as an archive, research institute and exhibition space, thus approaching the universe of artists’ publications in a variety of ways. The Artists’ Publications Lab is a useful and easily accessible extension. It is available to all those who would like to immerse themselves in a fascinating and alternative art history full of possible discoveries, either from the comfort of their sofa or directly on site at the Weserburg.
“Artists’ Publications Lab – Bildung und Vermittlung digital” is being developed within the framework of ”dive in. Programme for Digital Interactions” of the Federal Cultural Foundation, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) in the NEUSTART KULTUR programme.