Ossman’s Moving Matters Traveling Workshop Continues

MMTW continues with an exhibition, workshop, and performances in Berlin in June

“Cappucino,” a two-dimensional collage composed of scholar project proposals, painted and wired with coffee. The materials are paper, coffee, ink and acrylic paint. Susan Ossman

Anthropology professor Susan Ossman’s Moving Matters Traveling Workshop (MMTW) continues with an exhibition, workshop, and performances in Berlin in June. At the same time, a monthlong art exhibition by Ossman and collaborator Claire Lambe, a New York-based artist, opens at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin.

Ossman, who has been on sabbatical this year, continues her work with Moving Matters Traveling Workshop, a four-year-old series of art exhibitions, performances, and public interventions in which artists who are themselves serial migrants explore migration and mobility.

Artists participating in the Berlin exhibition, which runs June 1 through July 2, will work in and around the Chapel of Reconciliation, where the Church of Reconciliation once stood at the site of the Berlin Wall. The Berlin workshop will be held June 26-30, with performances June 30 and July 1.

“Walls symbolize division, but they also can provide refuge,” Ossman said. “This is likewise epitomized by Berlin. The city has offered walls to thousands of people fleeing wars in the Middle East. Hence, walls may also offer protection, privacy and a sense of home, and not only signal borders or divisions.”

Each MMTW workshop is held in a new site, focuses on a specific topic, and includes a new mix of participants. At least four artists involved in the MMTW’s previous work are included in each new program to insure artistic and social continuity. Previous locations include California, France, the Netherlands, and Romania. In addition to Berlin, upcoming projects include Barcelona this year and Melbourne and Trieste in 2018.

“Wissen/Schaffen,” an exhibition by Ossman and Lambe, runs June 8 through July 8 at Wissenschaftskolleg (Wiko) and presents works they created during their residence at the institute. It focuses on the life of the Kolleg to examine the relationship of Wissen (knowledge) to Schaffen (creation, shaping). They reflect on the material and social conditions of knowledge and its social and material underpinnings.

Ossman takes the detritus of scholarship as the medium for installations shaped from discarded hypotheses, unproven theorems, publications, and the corpus of texts read at the institute over a 12-month cycle. She highlights the role of librarians and cooks, and the sustenance of coffee, tea, and wine in knowledge production at the Institute and follows the interplay of Wiko’s 10-month cycle with the natural cycle of the seasons.

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