The Weimar years are widely considered to have been marked by a flourish of media optimism, particularly with regard to photography. But to what extent was the era’s great creativity in these media a result of misgivings as well as enthusiasm? This Workshop aims to outline these countervailing tensions circling around photography. It will offer a series of substantive case studies in which photography, either as a practice or paradigm, failed to accommodate the multifaceted complexity of modernity and therefore required far more invention, including an appeal to the non-visual senses. Considering these turbid but productive pressures on photographic media, we will inquire into the repressed side of modern looking in Weimar culture.

When was vision obstructed, space made ethereal, and the eyes shut by media that were supposed to in fact enhance perception? How much did photography’s failure in these regards contribute to the near desperate efforts to reinvent the medium as a new and different form of vision? And how did this productive tension impact other media which had studiously attended to photography as their model? These are 
the questions our workshop will bring to the radically unsettled photographic image of Weimar.

Andres Mario Zervigon is Assistant Professor of Art History at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. He specializes in the history of photography and concentrates his scholarship on the interaction between photographs, film and traditional fine art images.

An Paenhuysen is an assistant curator at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin and a lecturer in the History Department of the Humboldt-Universität Berlin. Currently, she is working on a study of urban photobooks in Weimar Berlin.



Thursday, 27 January 2011, 8pm

Keynote Lecture: Susanne Foellmer, Valeska Gert. Bildlichkeit als kritische Praxis

Friday, 28 January 2011, 1pm – 5pm
The afternoon workshop features talks by period scholars in film, literature, and photography itself, as well as a contemporary artist concerned with photography’s productive insufficiency.

Andres Zervigon, Photos that Punch!

An Paenhuysen, Dynamics of the Metropolis

Juergen Staack, Beispiele aus den Arbeiten 2005 – 2010

Hanne Bergius, Die Fotografie im Spannungsfeld zwischen Montage und Metamechanik

Alena Williams, Intangible Work: The Unsettled Images of the AEG

Friday, January 28, 2011, 8pm

Zwischenakte. Three passage in Cinema, a film program curated by Alena Williams at Kino Arsenal, in the framework of the workshop

Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.
Potsdamer Str. 2
10785 Berlin
U + S-Bhf Potsdamer Platz

In English

Hanne Bergius
Susanne Foellmer
Jürgen Stark
Alena Williams

Organized by

An Paenhuysen and Andres Zervigon