Thinking Europe


ISBN 978-3-86859-188-0

4 Thinking Europe – The Scenario-Book

5 Thinking Europe – The Scenario-Book

A scenario

is a hypothetical construction

of possible futures based on

current and past knowledge that

implicitly points towards the

possibility of further alternative

futures. It is this aspect – the

imagination of alternatives

beyond the status quo – that is

especially interesting for many

artists and curators.

In contrast with many debates concerning the concrete

implementation and accomplishment of joint European

agendas in the fields of politics and economics, utterances

from the field of art can stimulate alternative perspectives

on perception, thoughts and actions. In this respect, art can

begin a productive discussion about potential common

values, about what Europe could be. In other words, the

strength of art is to challenge our perception, thinking and

acting without giving us specific directions. This should

not be seen as a weakness, but more as an incitement and

an invitation to take part in the search for a possible course

of action.

12 The Scenario-Book

13 The Scenario-Book

14 The Scenario-Book Contents

15 The Scenario-Book Contents


5 Insert Barbara Steiner

7 Stefan Fischer: Visual Essay

17 Barbara Steiner: Being-In-Common

32 Klaus-Dieter Lehmann: Europe is a Cultural Project

34 Sabine Hentzsch / Heiko Sievers: United in Diversity?

38 Michael M. Thoss: Diversity as a Common Value


41 Scenario 1

42 Politics of Mediation – Part One

48 Hu Fang / Cheng Meiya / Jun Yang

50 Goldin+Senneby

52 Christina Herrstrøm / Marcel Łoziński / Carin Mannheimer /

Margreth Olin / Peter Schildt / Arvid Skauge / Nils Utsi / Frederic Wiseman

54 Marina Naprushkina

56 Nils Norman

58 Esra Sarigedik Öktem / Joanna Rajkowska

60 Xabier Salaberria

62 Janek Simon / Daniel Rumiancew

64 Nataša Teofilović / Zoran Todorović / Polona Tratnik

66 Koen Vanmechelen

68 Oliver Klimpel / Aurelia Markwalder

73 Scenario 2

74 Politics of Mediation – Part Two

80 Olaf Breuning / Hannes Schmid

82 Annika Eriksson

84 Melanie Gilligan

86 Group ABS / Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša / Rosa Loy / Dragomir Ugren

88 Ane Hjort Guttu

90 Asako Iwama

92 Agnieszka Kalinowska

94 Aleksander Komarov

96 Kit Hammonds / Lincoln Tobier

98 Shen Qilan / Jun Yang

100 Oliver Klimpel / Aurelia Markwalder

105 Scenario 3

106 Politics of Mediation – Part Three

112 Michaël Aerts

114 Angus Cameron / Ralph and Stefan Heidenreich / Joseph Vogl

116 CANAN / Köken Ergun

118 Jovan Čekić / Zorica Čolić / Dejan Grba / Živko Grozdanić / IRWIN /

Tadej Pogaćar / Nika Radić / Provisional SALTA Ensemble

122 Oliver Klimpel / Barbara Steiner / Koki Tanaka / Christian Teckert / Jun Yang

124 Line Bøhmer Løkken

126 Asier Mendizabal

128 Jura Shust

130 Slavs and Tatars

132 Kit Hammonds / Hannes Zebedin

134 Oliver Klimpel / Aurelia Markwalder

137 Essays

138 Peio Aguirre: Towards a “Mirror-Europe

144 Kit Hammonds: Experimental Fictions: Predictions and Proofs

149 Tone Hansen: Learning for Life: A long-term project on life in schools

155 Oliver Klimpel: With Ever Changing Contours:

Graphic Scenarios and Design for a Project on Europe

162 Jarosław Lubiak / Joanna Sokołowska: Modes of Reversal

168 Filip Luyckx: The Critical Fundamentals of Europe

173 Markus Miessen / Felix Vogel: A Future after the Future

178 Lena Prents: Representation and Context

183 Esra Sarigedik Öktem: The Task of the Translator

188 Miško Šuvaković: Asymmetries: Concepts, Metaphors and

Ideological DifférAnces

198 Christian Teckert: Architecture Scenario

203 Jun Yang: Opportunity knocks for EU and China

210 Stefan Fischer: Visual Essay

216 Insert Ilina Koralova

Die DEUTSCHE Übersetzung

221 Barbara Steiner: Mit-Sein

228 Klaus-Dieter Lehmann: Europa ist ein kulturelles Projekt

229 Sabine Hentzsch / Heiko Sievers: In Vielfalt geeint?

230 Michael M. Thoss: Diversität als gemeinsamer Wert

232 Politik der Vermittlung. Ein Gespräch über Europa.

238 Kurzbeschreibungen Essays

242 Partners and Supporters

244 Participants

249 Modes of Documentation

250 Stefan Fischer: Visual Essay

258 Picture Credits

260 Imprint

16 The Scenario-Book Barbara Steiner Being-In-Common

17 The Scenario-Book Barbara Steiner Being-In-Common

30 Szenarien, und damit 30 Möglichkeiten über

Europa nachzudenken, stehen im Mittelpunkt dieses

Buches. Zehn Kuratoren aus Brüssel, Istanbul,

London, Łódź, Minsk, Novi Sad, Høvikodden / Oslo,

San Sebastián und Taipeh wurden eingeladen,

jeweils drei Vorschläge zu entwickeln, wie man sich

aus der Perspektive der Kunst dem Thema Europa

annähern kann.

Being-In-Common 1

Barbara Steiner

Thirty scenarios representing thirty different ways of thinking about Europe,

are the central theme of this book. Ten curators from Brussels, Istanbul,

London, Łódź, Minsk, Novi Sad, Høvikodden / Oslo, San Sebastián and Taipei

were each invited to make three proposals on how to approach the

subject of Europe from the perspective of the arts. The development of three

consecutive scenarios allows various thoughts on Europe to be expanded

upon, corrected and reformulated in several stages. We may ask, why three

scenarios and not one, two or more? 1, 2, 3… clearly indicates a series, which

is respectively consecutive and open-ended. The reflections on Europe will be

continued, even after the three-part scenario series at the Museum of

Contemporary Art in Leipzig is over.

26 The Scenario-Book Barbara Steiner Being-In-Common

27 The Scenario-Book Barbara Steiner Being-In-Common

consumerism. The representational politics of Lukashenko, who is seen as the

“last European dictator”, is most clearly mirrored in the capital city of Minsk.

In Poland, the sceptical view of a European community, represented by the

European Union, is fired by the fear of the country losing the independence

for which it longed for so many years. In this respect, the penetration of capitalist

forces is seen as a particular threat. Łódź itself serves as an example

of the violent transformation from capitalism to communism and back again.

London, as one of the largest leading international financial centres, is a city

with great charisma and appeal. It embraces a wide spectrum of various ethnic

groups, cultures and religions: more than 300 different languages are spoken

within its boundaries. In spite of the many outside influences and relationships

with other parts of the world, it celebrates its “island existence” today

just as much as it ever did. Great Britain’s relationship with the EU and continental

Europe must be described as ambivalent at the very least. The foundations

of Istanbul lie in both the European and the Asian parts of Turkey.

However, Turkey’s entry into the EU remains a controversial issue, along with

the question of whether Turkish citizens are Europeans or not. Lively discussions

continue on whether they share the centuries-old tradition of European

civilisation, irrespective of the fact that Istanbul has continually fulfilled an important

bridging function between Europe and Asia, Orient and Occident.

Norway is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. It distances itself

from the EU in order to retain its autonomy, especially regarding some

parts of its economy. Nevertheless, Norwegians describe themselves as true

Europeans. Oslo is one of the fastest-growing capitals in Europe. A large proportion

of its growth and prosperity is owed to immigrants, particularly from

non-European countries. For a long time, Serbia was seen as an aggressor,

defending ethnic purity whatever the price, even though the Serbian city of

Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina, was situated at the centre of a region with

more than twenty-six ethnic groups. In 2009, Serbia applied for entry into the

EU. The requirement was that it carried on working with the UN war crimes

tribunal in The Hague, with no restrictions. Donostia / San Sebastián is the

capital city of the province of Gipuzkoa, one of the three provinces in the

Spanish part of the Basque Region (Euskadi). In 1979, the region was granted

a status of autonomy. A de facto part of Spain and the EU, it is one of the

most autonomous regions in the world. San Sebastián is one of the three

leading political and economic areas in the Basque Region.

Europe in the World

China’s participation in this project is to be understood in an exemplary way.

If a project about Europe had been carried out in the 1950s or 1960s, the emphasis

would have been placed on its relations with the United States in the

west, and with the Soviet Union in the east. Today, the relationship between

China and “Europe” can be described as more exposed in comparison to other

relationships between European and non-European countries. 20 This is reflected

not only by media coverage, but also by political, economic and cultural

undertakings. Taiwan was invited since this small state qualifies China’s selfprojection

as a great, homogenous and stable block – just as the places mentioned

above challenge the idea of a strong “core” Europe.

sense are drawn closer together. The Shiite funeral ritual in honour of Hussein

ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, may be centred in Mashhad

in Iran, but it also takes place in the month of Muharram, in many parts of the

world, including Europe. Auroville – intended to be a town without bounds to

state or government – was founded by Mirra Alfassa, who was born in France

in 1968. Fox News, a successful American television broadcaster known for its

biased, manipulative media coverage, has succeeded in building up its influence

on the European media landscape through the Murdoch News Corporation,

to which it belongs. The environmental pollution in Matamoros in Mexico

is caused by European and American firms seeking to avoid legal restrictions

in their own countries. And the fact that asymmetry produces winners and

losers, dependencies and inequalities, which cannot be seen in an isolated

sense in any part of the world, is also manifested by the situation of the Philippine

population in Tel Aviv. So we are not speaking of a self-referential Europe

here. This aspect was also expressed in the printed matter for Scenarios

about Europe 1, 2, 3 : the design of all three flyers by Aurelia Markwalder and

Oliver Klimpel itself refers to various cultural contexts. Scenario 1 was written

with an Arabic number, Scenario II with a Roman numeral and for Scenario 三

a Chinese character was used. In this project, Europe’s culture is clearly embedded

in other cultures and cannot be understood as a solitary entity.

Whichever Europe?

Answering clearly what Europe actually is, or could one day become, is impossible.

This is the reason Scenarios about Europe 1, 2, 3 instead marks

out an area indicating approaches towards a Europe that is pluralistic, heterogeneous,

frayed, and full of contradictions. 21 In contrast with many debates

concerning the concrete implementation and accomplishment of joint European

agendas in the fields of politics and economics – which are of course imperative

– utterances from the field of art art allow alternative perspectives on

(certainly also on political and economic) perception, thoughts and actions.

In this project, they put opinions and values we take for granted to the test,

criticise hierarchies and asymmetries, demand that responsibility be taken and

voice doubts concerning the “naturally” given order of things. In this respect,

art can begin a productive discussion about potential common values, about

what Europe could be – both in the present and in the future – but it cannot

close it down. 22 In other words, the strength of art is to challenge perception,

thinking and acting without giving us specific directions. This should not be

seen as a weakness, although it is quite often viewed as such, but more as an

incitement and an invitation to take part in the search for a possible course of

action. I think, and hope, that we have clearly seen why works of art can them -

selves be understood in the sense of scenarios. They have the inherent potential

to allow thoughts to circulate, avoiding one-dimensionality. Evidently,

Scenarios about Europe 1, 2, 3 is not about providing a programme of images

or cultural arguments for a future European unity or identity, however diverse

the intended model may be. 23 Perhaps the idea of working towards this kind of

However, the relationship between “Europe” and China / Taiwan is not the

only point of interest: both in Scenarios about Europe 1, 2, 3 and in Europe (to

the power of) n, the works of art set Europe in relation to others. If we take a

closer look, places that seem far removed from one another in a geographical

32 The Scenario-Book Klaus-Dieter Lehmann Europe is a Cultural Project

33 The Scenario-Book Klaus-Dieter Lehmann Europe is a Cultural Project

Seit der Gründung des Goethe-Instituts 1951 hat sich das Verhältnis

der europäischen Staaten zueinander gravierend verändert: Frieden und

Verständigung sind in weiten Teilen Normalität geworden, und auch die

traditionelle Aufgabe der Kulturinstitute in Europa scheint erfüllt.

Grenzen sind gefallen oder zumindest durchlässiger geworden. Vor allem

die jüngere Generation bewegt sich nahezu selbstverständlich zwischen

den Ländern und Regionen. Doch der Status quo genügt nicht. Galt für

viele bislang, dass der europäische Prozess zu den mittlerweile

unverlierbaren Errungenschaften der Nachkriegszeit gehört, müssen

nach den jüngsten Erschütterungen durch die Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise

manche Positionen revidiert werden. Die Sorge um das Scheitern

des Euros ist nur äußerer Ausdruck einer fundamentalen Krise Europas,

die eine Rückbesinnung auf den Ausgangspunkt verlangt. Europa ist

nämlich vorrangig ein kulturelles Projekt.

Europe is a Cultural Project

Klaus-Dieter Lehmann

Since the foundation of the Goethe-Institut in 1951, the relationship of the European

states to one another has changed fundamentally: peace and understanding

have largely become the norm, and the European cultural institutes

appear to have achieved their long-standing goals. Borders have come down,

or at least become more permeable. Movement between countries and regions

has become a matter of course, especially for the younger generation.

We should not, however, settle for the status quo. The creation of Europe is an

ongoing process. While the European process has long been considered one

of the irreversible achievements of the post-war period, the recent shock

waves triggered by the financial and economic crises have necessitated a reappraisal

of some beliefs. Fears regarding the potential failure of the Euro are

only external expressions of a fundamental European crisis, and require that

we reflect once more on the origins of the European project.

wrote that “Plurality which is not reduced to unity is confusion; unity which

does not depend on plurality is tyranny”. Despite the advancing political and

economic integration of the EU, the work of the Goethe-Institut – a national

cultural institute that equally considers itself a European institute – is far from

complete. The commitment to cultural dialogue between European and non-

European neighbours, the promotion of the concept of multilingualism and,

through this, of individual languages, and the discussion and continuous critical

examination of one’s own attitudes and values remain central tasks for

both the Goethe-Institut and Europe. Located in the centre of Europe, Germany

has a special role to play. The success of the Goethe-Institut impacts

positively on the relations between Germany and its neighbours, and a responsi

bility for the development of a collective cultural space in Europe can be

derived from this state of affairs. This is no mere naive enthusiasm for neighbourliness,

but a means of strengthening the opportunities for mutual enrichment

through cultural differences. How can we preserve and promote cultural

diversity in Europe? How should we address important questions pertaining

to our future? And how should we treat our memories of the past? What

cultural self-image do we possess, and how should we treat the fundamental

democratic value of social inclusion? What are the prospects for a European

canon of knowledge? How do we respond to the growth of Euroscepticism in

the light of the financial and currency crises? How will Europe respond to the

developments in the Middle East? What role can a (national) cultural institute

play in the Arab Spring? What role has it already played? Current global politics

underlines the fact that responsibility in and for Europe cannot end at Europe’s

borders. A successful European concept for the Goethe-Institut must

therefore place a strong emphasis on multilateral and interdisciplinary work in

Europe’s peripheral and neighbouring regions. Within this approach, borders

are not perceived as hurdles, instead they figure as points of transition.

Europe is and remains the Goethe-Institut’s primary task; Europe is our creative

basis. This is true both on the domestic scene and in the context of our

global activities. The Goethe-Institut’s commitment to Europe goes beyond the

EU and the European borders. The EU’s border regions are important hubs

of interaction and transition. Globalisation has not only led to an increase in

the flow of goods and capital; increasing mobility has also fundamentally altered

the congruity of socio-cultural identity, territory and citizenship. The focus

is shifting towards cooperation and dialogue, as well as forms of cultural

transfer – not simply from, but also to Europe – and the self-critical reflection

of historical European (cultural and educational) interventions. Thus, the credibility

and success of the Goethe-Institut is based on its specific approach,

which combines partnership with dialogue, and a public image that blends

self-confidence with a self-critical perspective. An understanding of how we

are perceived by others can only sharpen our self-perception. It is essential,

not least in the reflection upon Europe.

Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President Goethe-Institut.

Indeed, Europe is at heart a cultural project. While questions of economics,

politics and defence are now discussed in their European dimension, culture is

not addressed at this level. Yet it is precisely in the cultural sphere that the

productive state of tension underlying Europe is revealed. Blaise Pascal once

46 The Scenario-Book

47 The Scenario-Book Scenario 1

Cheng Meiya


Christina Herrstrøm / Peter Schildt

Hu Fang

Marcel Łoziński

Carin Mannheimer

Marina Naprushkina

Nils Norman

Margreth Olin

Nicolas Philibert

Joanna Rajkowska

Xabier Salaberria

Janek Simon feat. Daniel Rumiancew

Arvid Skauge / Nils Utsi

Nataša Teofilović

Zoran Todorović

Polona Tratnik

Lars von Trier

Koen Vanmechelen

Frederic Wiseman

The layout of the following pages reflects

the design of the exhibition texts.

70 The Scenario-Book Scenario 1

71 The Scenario-Book Scenario 1

78 The Scenario-Book

79 The Scenario-Book Scenario 2

Olaf Breuning

Annika Eriksson

Melanie Gilligan

Group ABS

Ane Hjort Guttu

Asako Iwama

Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša

Agnieszka Kalinowska

Aleksander Komarov

Rosa Loy

Hannes Schmid

Lincoln Tobier

Dragomir Ugren

The layout of the following pages reflects

the design of the exhibition texts.

108 The Scenario-Book Politics of Mediation Part Three

109 The Scenario-Book Politics of Mediation Part Three

Georg Blochmann: The major agreements

which constituted the

Europe of the 21st century are

abstract intellectual visions,

which, like constitutions, need

to be filled with civic life. Artistic

visions create worlds of senses

and spaces of experiences.

What they are able to achieve in

the European context, too, can

be read in Rainer Maria Rilke’s

sonnet Archaic Torso of Apollo:

“You have to change your life”.

Claudia Hahn-Raabe: Art can give

Europe a soul. If one only

considers economics, the

structure will fall apart at the

first sign of difficultly.

Sabine Hentzsch: For me, the

strength of art lies in reflecting

and making phenomena and

interrelations visible beyond

political interests – problematising

where necessary and encouraging

us to think. Art can

convey ideas and insights that

have slipped past our sight in

the hubbub of everyday events.

The relative autonomy of art

has allowed Europe to be examined

and accentuated historically

and culturally as a cultural

frame of reference.

Heiko Sievers,

Director of the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan

in New Delhi and Regional Director for South Asia

since 2011. Before he was Director of the Goethe-

Institut in Cairo, Egypt and Regional Director for North

Africa / Middle East and Director of the institutes in

Bangalore and Lisbon.

Margareta Hauschild,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in Madrid since 2009.

Before she was Director of the Goethe-Institut in

Brussels and Commissioner for the European Union.

Johannes Ebert,

General Secretary of the Goethe-Institut since 2012.

Before he was Head of the Goethe-Institut and the

region of Eastern Europe / Central Asia in Moscow

and Head of the Goethe-Institut and the region North

Africa / Middle East in Cairo.

Sabine Hentzsch,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in London and Regional

Director for Northwest Europe since 2009. Before

she was Director of the Goethe-Institutes in Bucharest,

Rotterdam and Accra (Ghana).

Peter Anders,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in Beijing. Before

he was Director of several institutes in Cameroon,

Salvador da Bahia, Sofia, and Head of the Programme

Sub-Saharan Africa.

Berthold Franke,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in Brussels, Regional

Director for Southwest Europe and Commissioner

for the European Union since 2009. Before he was

Regional Director for Southwest Europe in Paris and

Director of the institutes in Warzaw, Dakar, Munich

and Stockholm.

Katrin Ostwald-Richter,

Director Goethe-Institut in Zagreb since 2011. Before

she was the Director of the Goethe-Institut in Minsk.

Johanna M. Keller,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in Vilnius since 2010.

Before she worked at the Goethe-Institut in Damascus.

Matthias Müller-Wieferig,

Director of the Goethe-Institut Belgrade. Before he was

Director of the Goethe-Institutes in Copenhagen,

Mumbai, Budapest and Dublin.

Georg Blochmann,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in Warsaw. Before he

was Director of the Goethe-Institut in Tel Aviv and

Head of Programme Southeast Europe in Athens.

Heinrich Blömeke,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in Prague and Regional

Director for East Central Europe. Before he was Director

of the Goethe-Institutes in Ann Arbor (USA), Algiers,

Singapore and New Delhi.

Rüdiger Bolz,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in Moscow. Before he

was Director of the Goethe-Institutes in Athens,

Istanbul and Thessaloniki.

Frank Baumann,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in Minsk since 2011.

Before he worked at the Goethe-Institut in Moscow

and was head of library services and information for

Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Claudia Hahn-Raabe,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in Istanbul. Before she

worked in Brussels, New York, Boston and in the

Headquarter in Munich.

Kristiane Zappel,

Director of the Goethe-Institut in Oslo since 2010.

Before she was Director of the Goethe-Institut in

Bogotá, Colombia.


Peio Aguirre

Kit Hammonds

Tone Hansen

Oliver Klimpel

Jarosław Lubiak / Joanna Sokołowska

Filip Luyckx

Markus Miessen / Felix Vogel

Lena Prents

Esra Sarigedik

Miško Šuvaković

Christian Teckert

Jun Yang

172 The Scenario-Book Essays Filip Luyckx

173 The Scenario-Book Essays Markus Miessen / Felix Vogel

cosmic world-view, the inherited dogma, the acquired knowledge and the social

and political order, as well as the meaning of life itself. Even the critical legacy of

the past was examined in a critical light. This mental attitude was rooted in Greco-

Roman philosophy, but was at the same time based on the favourable social

circumstances in which such questioning was able to thrive. At certain times, this

smouldering fire was fostered by parts of society, while in other times and at other

places the fire faded or else those in power tried to extinguish it. But this pilot light

always continues to burn somewhere, and flares up again later with full force. This

yielded the freedom of the medieval cities and universities, the participation of the

various estates, the deviant culture of the court, the Renaissance and the Reformation,

the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, the parliamentary system, trade

unions, emancipation movements, scientific and artistic freedom and so on. Most

of these originated in Europe or developed more widely there. We should, however,

guard against portraying the old continent as a humane paradise of rational

behaviour. The critical undercurrent usually appeared unasked, and was marginalised

or even suppressed. Inequality, intolerance and ignorance were generally more

common than their opposites. No one can be proud of serfdom, crusades, the inquisition,

the slave trade, colonialism, endless dynastic and religious wars,

revolutions that result in new dictatorships, the Holocaust, world wars and the

destruction of the ecosystem. In this way, Europe was a danger to both itself and

other continents. The critical tradition first of all asks itself the critical questions

before applying them to others.

At the present time, every continent is faced with serious economic, social and

ecological problems. Europe’s critical heritage is not something one can only look

back at gloriously, with no present-day significance. On the contrary, listening to

critical voices can ward off even greater disasters. Intellectuals, scientists and

artists provide factual analysis and inspiration for possible solutions, but they do

not determine the actual agenda. It is in the involvement and cooperation between

the inhabitants of Europe’s countries that the vision of a better future appears. This

is the greatest monument they can present to Europe.

194 The Scenario-Book Essays Miško Šuvaković

195 The Scenario-Book Essays Miško Šuvaković

and différAnces. Scenarios about Europe were presented as a proposition of unexpected

and complicit re-combinations of multiple potentialities and therefore

also coincidences.

The concepts that I produced for the three exhibitions in Scenarios about Europe

(September 2011, November 2011, and January 2012) are based on a simple formula:

the ideology as the image of individual reality in which the invited curator

and artists operate is cognitively mapped and presented as an installation in the

space of the gallery, whereby its relationship with the other exhibitions that are

happening at the same time is taken into account. In other words, I derived each

of the exhibitions according to the following diagram:


Cognitive mapping

C o g n i t i v e m a p p i n g n e e d s m o r e t h a n m e r e

development – it is fundamentally a metap

h o r w h i c h n e e d s t o b e u n p a c k e d i n t o a

series of concepts which would link the

psychical and the social.


Presenting forms of life itself – the title of the exhibition:

Forms-OF-Life 8

–– Identifying the role of painting in European contempo raneity –

the title of the exhibition: PAINTING IS [THE] EUROPEAN

BUISNESS [sic!], ISN’T IT? 9

–– Reading media traces of the everyday – the title of the exhibition:

Everyday life in Europe is a hegemonic fabric of heterogeneous

and hybrid events and occurrences, at once transparent and

opaque 10

Europe’s Asymmetric labels the relationship between different and flexible cultural

identities within an open and indeterminate contemporaneity, in the midst of

a crisis. Europe endures, with all of its incommensurable differences and différAnces:

transitions and transfers, suppressions, and exhibitionistic self-presentations.

A society ready to endure asymmetries is capable of surviving amidst the

antagonisms and conflicts of contemporaneity.

That which determines contemporary art as it is presented in all three projects

of Europe’s Asymmetric is not the aesthetic or poetic, that is, the culture of a style,

but literally the phenomenological and functional proximity of modalities spawned

by the art and mode of organising and reorganising human life in contemporary

biopolitical technologies. In all three exhibitions, there is a cognitive map of “potential

forms of life”. For that reason, the initial schema of “cognitive mapping” is

presented in the following diagram:


This diagram indicates that the world image of artists coming from Serbia, Vojvodina,

Croatia, Slovenia and Germany is posited as a model, which gives rise to the

singular situation of the installation, i.e. the presentation of artistic productions,

which verifies my (the curator’s) and our (the curators – the artists – the institutions – the

public) potential relationship with the borderlines of different definitions of Europe

here and now. Cognitive mapping is a way to make those differences visible, to

present and suggest them in the complexity of their asymmetric relations.

Cognitive mapping

Forms of Life

S t e p T h r e e : P r o b l e m s a n d A n t a g o n i s m s – F a n t a s i e s

and Obsessions

The three exhibitions that I set up under the joint title of Europe’s Asymmetric

were conceived around three “sensuous regimes”:

Using the concepts of “life” and “forms of life” stems from analysis and debates

about the differences and contradictions between: the unpresentable silent presence

in nature; the unpresentable silence of life; and that which is presentable and expressible

– though opaque – in the life of society, i.e. in culture and art.

The intention was to show that something like a referent, rupture, something

that falls out or emerges as a becoming, that is, something like that which is an

object, situation or event of being does exist. There is something that is simultaneously

wild, powerful and immanent, and yet fragile, vulnerable and severely

198 The Scenario-Book Essays Christian Teckert

199 The Scenario-Book Essays Christian Teckert

Das Architektur-Szenario für

das Europa-Projekt handelt von

drei Grundbedingungen

gegenwärtiger Räumlichkeit,

welche der heutigen

Vorstellung von Territorium

inhärent sind.

Die Frage, ob mit Europa ein

Konzept gemeint ist, das sich

durch ein spezifisches

Territorium definiert, oder ob es

dabei primär um kulturelle

Verbindungen geht, wird

gegenwärtig intensiv verhandelt

und soll hier auch bewusst

offen gelassen werden.

Architecture Scenario

Christian Teckert

200 The Scenario-Book Essays Christian Teckert

201 The Scenario-Book Essays Christian Teckert

The Architecture Scenario for Scenarios about Europe deals with three conditions

of contemporary spatiality, which coexist in a way that could be described as

integral to today’s idea of territory. The question of whether Europe is a concept

based on a specific territory, or is instead based more on certain cultural bonds, is

still being negotiated and has been left open up until now. But it is exactly this

process of ongoing negotiation about how to define Europe’s identity that could be

a crucial point of departure in a discussion on the spatial dimension within the

context of this project. In such a debate there are three conceptions of space that

figure prominently.

First of all, there is the space of “flows” – as Manuel Castells called it – a deterritorialised

network of infrastructures, transport routes, material and immaterial

goods. It represents the non-space – a more or less globalised type of space. Nevertheless,

it can be observed that within this seemingly transgressive spatiality, new

forms of boundaries, thresholds, and borderlines are emerging. The notion of the

nation state may have lost its importance in some respects by becoming porous as

a result of technology, as well as through the migration and mobility of individuals,

but for a majority of people, borders have multiplied due to new systems of surveillance,

and intensified controls that – sometimes brutally – separate those who have

access to certain zones from those who do not.

Secondly, there is the space of “heterotopias” – as Michel Foucault called it –

an archipelago of islands representing localised identities, regional qualities, or

specific communities, which construct their identities by holding claim to a regional

bond of a certain territory as the basis of these identities. This is the

re-territorialising dynamic at play in movements as diverse as ecological food

production, community-based activities, the creation of regional trademarks, as

well as in separatist and nationalist movements that mostly try to reinstall territorial

boundaries in the name of ethnic monocultures.

Thirdly and maybe most significantly, there is the emergence of “third spaces”

– as Homi Bhabha or Edward Soja have called them – hybrid realms of articulations,

which do not belong to any one specific space, culture, or identity. It is

about the emergence of hybrid identities, which are located in in-between spaces

or established by transcultural practices. These “improper” spaces are usually

overlooked by the hegemonic discourses on the question of Europe’s form, identity,

or culture.

These three conditions might not necessarily be specific to Europe, but they

could allow for a framework of developing tools in the form of scenarios that try

to utilise the logic of these three spatial characteristics, in order to be able to negotiate

and address some basic conditions of Europe’s spatiality and to ask the

question of what role the institutions of artistic production, display, and discourse

play in this heterogeneous and contradictory spatiality of “Europe”.

The following three scenarios each address, respectively, one spatial concept

after the other, backed by the idea that none of them are able to represent the “true”,

“best”, or “original” model for this project to be determined. Rather, they form three

constitutively co-existent modes of spatiality. It is only altogether that they form a

toolbox for the spatial dispositif of this project and its “exhibition architecture.”

Scenario 1:

The first Architectural Scenario deals with the space of flows and takes the EURO

pallet system as its point of departure. The standardised size of the EURO pallet,

invented in the 1950s, represents a tool that not only makes transport more efficient,

but also delineates a certain territory, as the EURO pallet is incompatible with the

global ISO container sizes and can therefore only operate effectively within European


On the basis of this system, a spatial element was defined which consists of

five boxes measuring 24 × 80 × 220 cm: the maximum volume that can be put on

a EURO pallet. The individual boxes consist of shelves of differing heights, according

to the European DIN paper formats. However, aside from holding books,

these boxes can be used as display walls, tables, platforms, space dividers, etc. By

travelling from one exhibition venue to the other, they would be able to collect

materials related to the specific projects, acting as a tool for capturing and collecting

narratives of these specific projects and exhibitions. This would result in a kind

of travelling and accumulative archive. They would also be able to generate types

of encounters that would differ from venue to venue.

Scenario 2:

The second Architectural Scenario deals with the heterotopic dimension of the

individual places, concepts and institutions related to the project. Here, traces

would be left by and accumulated through each project work by means of appropriating

specific spatial elements of the locations in which the individual exhibitions

are held. This Scenario operates within the idea of generating an imaginary “institution”

that is the sum of all the incommensurable fragments and particles.

Corners of exhibition rooms and display elements, as well as elements such

as doors, windows, infrastructural elements, or furniture, would be traced, copied,

or sampled in order to be then pasted together for the plan of the space of an institution,

therefore representing the very heterogeneous and sometimes contradictory

nature of Europe. This collage of sampled fragments would ultimately form

a model for this institution, or it might also materialise in the form of exhibition


202 The Scenario-Book Essays Christian Teckert

203 The Scenario-Book Essays Jun Yang

Scenario 3:

The third Architectural Scenario is conceived as an exemplary “third space” and

has been materialised as the architectural contribution of Jun Yang’s Scenario 3.

Here, two specific places, that is, two institutions for contemporary art, have been

brought into a spatial and conceptual overlap in order to create an in-between space.

A wall drawing was attached to a wall adjacent to the glassed-in cinema space in

the gallery in Leipzig, which duplicates a corner of the Vitamin Creative Space in

Beijing. In this wall drawing, there is a picture in a frame on a wall, which consists

of a text that is mirrored. The scenery drawn on the existing wall can also be viewed

in the mirroring surface of the glass wall. It is only there that the text in the picture

can be deciphered – a framed text by Japanese artist Koki Tanaka who was invited

to take part in this exhibition which takes place in this imaginary space of the

mirror. Acting as a thirding, a form of subjectivisation, which questions its own

concept of identity by being able to exoticise its own position, the goal here is to

view it from a perspective that puts the viewer into question.

218 The Scenario-Book View From Within Ilina Koralova

219 The Scenario-Book View From Within Ilina Koralova

1 . W h a t c a n b e i n t e r e s t i n g i n d o i n g

a project about Europe?

(What is the specific potential of art?)

The most interesting aspect of doing a project on Europe is actually – on first

glance – its impossibility. What is Europe? Can a single project embrace the whole

range of issues related to such theme? The more one thinks about it, the more

complicated (and complex) the task seems to be. In the process of the conceptual

development, more and more questions were raised to which there is not one and

definite answer. So to merely define the conceptual and methodological framework

of the project was already an enormous challenge.

The fact that the project deals with Europe from the perspective of contemporary

art doesn’t make it easier – art confronts society with even more questions

rather than offering solutions and yet that is where the potential of art is. Art can

point out problems and set social and cultural processes in motion; art can encourage

people, being it individuals or groups to critically rethink their standpoints and

initiate dialogue. In my opinion, the most interesting aspect of doing a project on

Europe is exactly the discussions such an initiative brings with it. Here, I do not

only mean the debates among the participants but also the reaction of the broader

public, the mass media and last but not least that of the potential supporters who

usually play an important role in making a project of this scale possible. People

have very different opinions and definitions about Europe but it is not to be taken

for granted that they always express them openly. Maybe art and an art-project

about Europe could be the “agent-provocateur” for many to start a conversation?

3 . H o w i s i t t o w o r k p r a c t i c a l l y o n s u c h a p r o j e c t ,

with so many participants?

I will repeat myself saying that the project is actually a miniature model of Europe

and a practical exercise of taking into consideration the individual characteristics

and interests of all European and Non-European partners involved. At the same

time, the project is not about consensus but about provoking a productive exchange

of critical viewpoints and quite often controversial opinions.

Working on a collaborative project requires mutual trust, sense of responsibility

and a great deal of tolerance. It is also about giving up a bit of your own

egocentrism and professional working methods as an individual curator or an artist

for the sake of creating a temporary community, in which conflicts (should)

bring the participants further. That’s why the choice of partners in organising such

project is crucial for its functioning, as well as finding (or agreeing on) a common

language. I mean something very concrete and practical here: words and notions

under which all participants understand one and the same thing in order for misunderstandings

to be reduced to minimum. This is one, often amusing, part of big

international projects, which requires some nerves from the side of the coordinators

responsible for the practical organisation. That language – a lingua franca, which

may not be grammatically correct or rich, develops over the time and is also related

to confidence. After the project is over and the members of the

project-community go their own way, some of the interesting linguistic “inventions”

will get lost as well. To be reinvented and renegotiated again under new

circumstances and within new constellations of people is something, which in my

opinion, is very “European”.

2 . H o w d o y o u s e e E u r o p e ?

(Also in relation to the rest of the world)

My experience so far tells me that any attempt to define or explain Europe is

likely to get at one point politically incorrect. In the process of developing the

Scenarios, I realised that despite the various cultural backgrounds, different ages

and political conditions the participants have grown up and lived in, there are many

things they / we share. To start with the simple fact that working in the field of art,

at one stage of our professional life, we have dealt with similar topics or worked

with the same artists; which could already be seen as a metaphor of Europe – a

relatively small area (in comparison to other continents), where it doesn’t take very

long to find likeminded fellows. At the same time, because of its density of nations,

ethnical groups and states, of visible and invisible borders, of different mindsets,

in Europe one easily gets involved in conflicts, willingly or not, with people they’ve

shared a pleasant meal with only an hour ago.

How do I see Europe? That complicated conglomerate of countless historical,

cultural and political entanglements makes finding a definition – which takes into

consideration all existing concepts and theories – an occupation for a lifetime. I see

Europe as a lifetime occupation – if we want to keep (preserve and foster) the

fragile co-existence between that many particularities and sensitivities – as a place

of permanent negotiations with the others and constant reconsideration of its own


221 The Scenario-Book Die Deutsche Übersetzung

17 Barbara Steiner Being-In-Common



Mit-Sein 1

Barbara Steiner

Dreißig Szenarien, und damit dreißig Möglichkeiten über Europa

nachzudenken, stehen im Mittelpunkt dieses Buches. Zehn

Kuratoren aus Brüssel, Istanbul, London, Łódź, Minsk, Novi

Sad, Høvikodden / Oslo, San Sebastián und Taipeh wurden

eingeladen, jeweils drei Vorschläge zu entwickeln, wie man

sich aus der Perspektive der Kunst dem Thema Europa nähern

kann. Die Entwicklung von drei Szenarien nacheinander erlaubte

es den Kuratoren, bestimmte Überlegungen zu Europa in

mehreren Schritten auszuweiten, zu korrigieren oder neu zu

formulieren. Man mag sich fragen, warum ausgerechnet drei

Szenarien? 1, 2, 3… verweist am deutlichsten auf eine Serie,

auf eine fortlaufende und auch offene Nummerierung. Die

Überlegungen zu Europa gehen weiter, auch wenn die dreiteilige

Szenarienfolge in der Leipziger Galerie für Zeitgenössische

Kunst abgeschlossen sein wird.

1, 2, 3…

Die Szenarien in Leipzig sind als praktische Studie zu verstehen,

als Prolog zu einem größeren Projekt, das zwischen

Juli 2012 und April 2013 entstehen soll. Die Komplexität dieses

Projekts legte vorbereitende Überlegungen nahe, denn es sind

Institutionen verschiedener Größe und unterschiedlichen Typs –

von kuratorischen Abteilungen und Kunstorten, die an Universitäten

angebunden sind, über Museen, zeitgenössische Kunstzentren

bis hin zu Zeitschriften – in neun unterschiedlichen

Ländern sowie eine Vielzahl von Kuratoren, Künstlern und Gestaltern

involviert. 2 Gleichzeitig war die dreiteilige Szenarienfolge

von Anfang an als eigenständiges Ausstellungsprojekt angelegt,

als ein multiperspektivisches, durchaus auch spekulatives

Nachdenken über Europa aus künstlerischer und kuratorischer

Sicht an einem gemeinsamen Ort. Die Szenarien über Europa

1, 2, 3 sind also im Sinne einer Doppelfunk tion zu verstehen:

Sie bildeten die Grundlage, Tests zu der Frage durchzuführen,

wie man sich einem so komplexen Thema wie Europa über die

Kunst nähern und ein entsprechendes Kooperationsprojekt umsetzen

könnte. Gleichzeitig handelte es sich um drei Ausstellungen

mit unterschiedlichen künstlerischen Positionen und inhaltlichen

Verknüpfungen sowie Raum­ und Displaylösungen.

Wer sind die Handelnden?

Die eingeladenen Kuratoren interessieren sich für neue Modelle

der Zusammenarbeit und für interdisziplinäre Arbeitsansätze

bzw. haben selbst verschiedene disziplinäre Hintergründe. Sieben

der Kuratoren (Peio Aguirre, Kit Hammonds, Tone Hansen,

Esra Sarigedik Öktem, Miško Šuvaković, Jun Yang und Ane

Hjort Guttu) haben eine künstlerische Ausbildung oder waren

bzw. sind künstlerisch tätig. Heute ist Aguirre freiberuflicher

Kurator, Autor und Herausgeber in San Sebastián. Darüber hinaus

unterrichtet er an der Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux.

Hammonds arbeitet als Tutor am Curating Contemporary Art

Department des Royal College of Art in London. Hansen ist

Direk torin des Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Høvikodden / Oslo.

Sarigedik Öktem leitet das Büro des British Arts Council in der

Türkei. Šuvaković ist Professor für Ästhetik und Kunsttheorie

an der Fakultät für Musik der Universität in Belgrad und Professor

für Kunst- und Kulturtheorie für das Interdisciplinary

Postgraduate Studies Programme am gleichen Ort. Yang und

Hjort Guttu arbeiten als Künstler bzw. Künstlerin. Yang unterrichtet

darüber hinaus am Arts and Design Department der Yuan

Ze University in Taoyuan, Taiwan. Markus Miessen stu dier te

Architektur an der Glasgow School of Art und der Architectural

Association School of Architecture London sowie Cultural

Studies am London Consortium. Gegenwärtig ist er Professor

für Critical Spatial Practise an der Städelschule inFrankfurt

und Gastprofessor am HEAD Geneva und am USC Los Angeles.

Filip Luyckx studierte Geschichte der Neuzeit an der Universität

in Leuven. Heute arbeitet er als Kurator, Kunstkritiker

und Programmleiter der Sint-Lukasgalerie in Brüssel, einem

Ausstellungsraum an der Hogeschool Sint-Lukas in Brüssel.

Lena Prents, ausgebildete Kunsthistorikerin und nun als freiberufliche

Kuratorin tätig, leitet das Contemporary Art Study

Center an der Fakultät für Theorie und Praxis in der zeitgenössischen

Kunst an der European Humanities University in Vilnius,

einer exilierten belarussischen Universität. Jarosław Lubiak

und Joanna Sokołowska sind ebenfalls Kunsthistoriker und arbeiten

als Kuratoren am Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. Felix Vogel

studierte Kunstgeschichte, Medientheorie, Philosophie und Ästhetik

und ist heute freiberuflicher Kurator.

Die Kuratoren haben also nicht nur verschiedene Ausbildungen

und Tätigkeiten durchlaufen, sie gehören auch unterschiedlichen

Generationen und kulturellen Kontexten an. Darüber

hinaus ist den Projektbeteiligten neben Kunst und Ästhetik

ein Interesse an anderen gesellschaftlichen Bereichen, etwa an

Politik, Wirtschaft, Genetik oder Bildung / Ausbildung gemeinsam.

An dieser Stelle gilt es auch anzumerken, dass das Projektteam

nicht nur aus den hier genannten Kuratoren besteht, sondern

dass dem Projekt neben mir (künstlerische Leitung) auch

Ilina Koralova (Projektorganisation), Christopher Köhler (Projektassistenz),

Oliver Klimpel und Aurelia Markwalder (Visual

Identity), Christian Teckert (Architektur) sowie Konrad Abicht,

254 The Scenario-Book

255 The Scenario-Book

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