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Love and Ethnology | Haus der Kulturen der Welt | 18.10.2019-06.01.2020

Editors’ Choice

On 17 October 2019, the exhibition “Love and Ethnology – the Colonial Dialectic of Sensitivity (after Hubert Fichte)” will open at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW). The exhibition marks the end of the publication and exhibition project Hubert Fichte: Love and Ethnology, which has been running since 2017 in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut and local curators*in Lisbon, Salvador da Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, Dakar and New York. Based on a critical reception of Hubert Fichte’s writings, the project, supported by the S. Fischer Foundation and S. Fischer Verlag, initiates a multi-layered debate on colonial modernity, ethnography, poetry and sexuality. The HKW exhibition is curated by the artistic directors of the multi-year project Diedrich Diederichsen and Anselm Franke.

Image above: New York, USA, 1980 © bpk/S. Fischer Stiftung/Leonore Mau

The exhibition Love and Ethnology – The Colonial Dialectic of Sensitivity (after Hubert Fichte) examines the historical context of Fichte’s poetic and ethnographic travel literature from the 1970s and 1980s and relates his work to the global fault lines of the present, but also to the history of individual places, to queer discourses and postcolonial thinking. How Fichte’s radically self-reflexive method and his use of intimacy and sexuality can be connectable and inspiring today is one of the central questions.

Geographically, Fichte, together with the photographer and his partner Leonore Mau, developed his research along what Paul Gilroy later christened the “Black Atlantic”. The exhibition pursues Fichte’s utopia of a radical sensitivity of encounter, without ignoring the colonial dialectic of power asymmetries that presuppose it: The passivity of passion can best be afforded by the travelling white European. The empire Utopia is based on the image of the colonized South. The exhibition brings together selected elements and results from the previous stations, supplemented by further works, new commissioned works and extensive archive material.

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Mural painting at Lower Eastside, Harlem, New York, USA, 1973 © bpk/S. Fischer Stiftung/Leonore Mau

Exhibition with the artists: Nadja Abt, Kader Attia, Gilles Aubry, Alvin Baltrop, Gabriel Barbi, Letícia Barreto, Coletivo Bonobando, Michael Buthe, Nathalie David, Claudia del Fierro, Virginia de Medeiros, Mestre Didi, Avril Forest, Alair Gomes, Renée Green, Philipp Gufler, Ayrson Heráclito, Isaac Julien, Euridice Zaituna Kala, Kippenberger und Akim S. aus 44, Friedl Kubelka, Pedro Lemebel, Cristóbal Lehyt, Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Leonore Mau, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Michaela Melián, Mario Navarro, Richard Oelze, Pan African Space Station, Lil Picard, André Pierre, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Daniel Richter, Thierno Seydou Sall, Pap Samb (Papisto Boy), Pierre Verger, James Van Der Zee.

Bernd Scherer, Intendant HKW, Johannes Ebert, Secretary General of the Goethe-Institut, Antje Contius, Managing Director of the S. Fischer Foundation, and the curators Anselm Franke and Diedrich Diederichsen will speak at the opening from 6 p.m. onwards. The opening will be accompanied by live performances by Coletivo Bonobando, Ayrson Heráclito and Cristóbal Lehyt.

Bernd Scherer, Director Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Antje Contius, Managing Director S. Fischer Stiftung, Berlin
Julian Fuchs, Regional Programme Director Goethe-Institut, São Paulo
Diedrich Diederichsen, Curator Love and Ethnology
Anselm Franke, Curator Love and Ethnology
In the presence of the artists and curators.

The opening will be accompanied by a conference on Fri, 18 & Sat, 19 October. Hubert Fichte strived for a specific kind of openness in writing and life. Which bodies, institutions and narratives make this openness possible? International authors*, artists* and curators* discuss export and appropriation, trance and knowledge, ethnology and aesthetic colonialism – accompanied by Hubert Fichte and Leonore Maus photo films, including The Day of a Temporary Harbour Worker (1966) and Two Times 45 Pictures/Sentences on Agadir (1971). With Jan-Frederik Bandel, Renée Green, Ayrson Heráclito, Karin Krauthausen, Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Amilcar Packer and many more.Mit Jan-Frederik Bandel, Renée Green, Ayrson Heráclito, Karin Krauthausen, Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Amilcar Packer u. v. m.

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Hubert Fichte with Lil Picard, New York, 1979 © bpk/S. Fischer Stiftung/Leonore Mau

A publication will be published for the opening by Sternberg Press (de/en) with contributions by Rosa Eidelpes, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Dirck Linck, David Simo, Yesomi Umolu and many more.

Hubert Fichte: Liebe und Ethnologie will be accompanied by a web journal projectfichte.org

Liebe und Ethnologie – Die koloniale Dialektik der Empfindlichkeit (nach Hubert Fichte) Love and Ethnology – The colonial dialectic of sensitivity (after Hubert Fichte) takes place within the framework of Hubert Fichte: Love and Ethnology, a cooperation of the Goethe-Institut and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, supported by the S. Fischer Stiftung and the S. Fischer Stiftung. Fischer Verlag. Part of the HKW long-term project Kanon-Fragen, sponsored by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.
The Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the Federal Foreign Office.


Fri, 18.10.2019 to Mon, 06.01.2020

Opening with Performances: Thu, 17.10.2019, from 6 pm

Conference: Fri, 18.10. & Sat, 19.10.2019


John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin-Tiergarten

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