The Sommerakademie Paul Klee 2023 will take place in Bern 12–19 August 2023!
We would like to invite you to our public closing event on Saturday, 19 August 2023 at 18:00 in the public park behind Kunsthalle Bern (Helvetiaplatz 1, 3005 Bern). Please join us to hear about our week, talk, eat, drink and dance with us!
Heightened economic, political and social tensions are felt across the globe, though in a different magnitude from one context to another. This recurring fragility and crisis make it more necessary than ever to form strong bonds with others, to situate oneself in and act from a sense of community. At the same time, the awareness for the complexities of care and for the highly sensitive methodologies required to create meaningful ways of being with others has grown significantly in recent years.
What ways of being with others, in work or otherwise, are practised in situations of crisis and conflict or come out of anti-racist, non-binary or queer feminist groups, historically and in the present? What questions and demands do they pose to the economic, aesthetic and institutional structures around us? How do we negotiate the need to decentre the individual and remain attentive to multi-layered positionalities and aware of forms of exclusion or discrimination? How can we be more careful with our resources and give more space to pleasure, experimentation and mutual support?
The 2023/24 cycle of the SPK wishes to bring together a group of residents who have experience in working with others in modes of crisis or struggle in cultural, activist or education contexts. To find our feet means to grow more confident in a new or shifting situation, to grow familiar with the ground we are standing on and from where we act. Finding our feet will dedicate time to detailed research of methodologies and economies of collective working practices, the reflection and awareness tools that grow out of groups whose practices imagine different forms of relating to each other, as well as artistic and experimental ways of making art together. Based on the awareness that such practices are always highly specific to their contexts, the programme hopes to build its field of resonance together with the residents and based on their questions. In light of this, the programme proposes a loose structure with room for decisions to be taken in the group and is able to accommodate shifts in its focus and direction.
Finding our feet is an educational format that tries to create a space for sharing and engagement with each other's practices through two gatherings taking place in the summer of 2023 and 2024, and sporadically online. The programme is a respite of sorts, a time to reflect and find inspiration and accomplices across time and space. Taking part in the programme requires the openness and the generosity to listen to and learn from each other and to build spaces for sharing within the group and at times beyond it. The 2023/24 cycle hopes to bring together a group of residents who see themselves being part of such a process and who can imagine that the exchange and the reflections could make a modest contribution to the resilience of the collective structures they are part of. A strong belief in the powerful transformative tool of education is the basis of the programme and from where it tries to imagine alternative artistic, social or political relations. Beyond sharing through words, the gatherings can include practices such as printmaking, movement/dance, listening, cooking etc.
The 2023/24 cycle hopes to connect to practices and reflections developed by the last edition of SPK dedicated to imagining a feminist institution and to how inclusive feminist perspectives shape different ways of relating to the world in economic, cultural, sociological and aesthetic terms. It also acknowledges and wishes to connect to local initiatives and communities in Bern who work on related questions and to students and people working at the academy.
Photo: Ahmed Hany, from the series I see you in my memory, 2020, showing overlayed images of printing sessions during Temporary Gathering and Cairo street scenes.
– The first meeting in Bern will take place from 12 – 19 August 2023.
– The second meeting in Bern is planned for mid-August 2024.
– Between summer 2023 and late 2024 the group will sporadically meet online.
– In spring or autumn 2024, for periods of up to five days, residents will have access to HKB infrastructure and technical support. During that time, they will also conduct workshops or studio visits with HKB students, remunerated at the standard local rates.
Andrea Thal is a cultural worker. Her engagement with social and political issues is frequently situated within a collaborative practice. From 2007 until 2014 she ran Les Complices, a self-organised space in Zurich. In 2011, she curated Chewing the Scenery, part of the Swiss participation in the 45th Venice Biennale. She has been an active member of Another Roadmap Africa Cluster (ARAC) since its foundation in 2015. Since 2014, Andrea Thal has been the artistic director of Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo, Egypt.