Two evening lectures

University of Hamburg / Warburg-Haus – 03 12 2019

organizers*: Dr. des. Ina Jessen and Prof. Dr. Uwe Fleckner

Speaker: Dr. Belinda Grace Gardner and Dr. Dirk Dobke

Supported by the Liebelt Foundation (Hamburg)


Dr. Belinda Grace Gardner, duration of the ephemeral. Teresa Margolles’ existential evidence

The fragility of human existence is a central theme of the ephemeral work of Teresa Margolles (*1963 in Culiacán, Sinaloa). The Mexican artist relocates Vanitas to the Hades of the forensic departments of Mexico City. Her ethereal, deeply political memento mori commemorate the nameless dead who die violently in large numbers in Mexico’s capital and other major cities in the country. In her installations and sculptures, Margolles symbolically uses the water used to wash the dead in the autopsy room. Mist and soap bubbles become immaterial media of “transubstantiation” by means of which the bodies of the deceased are carried into the world of the living. In her paintings beyond the pictures, Margolles transcends the border between life and death and secures the traces of the absent from complete disappearance.

Dr. Dirk Dobke, Dieter Roth’s “Schimmelmuseum” between installation and museum self-staging

In the 1960s Dieter Roth expanded his concept of art by using organic material to allow the factors of time and coincidence to participate in the creation of his works. From 1991-1994 he installed the so-called “Schimmelmuseum” in Hamburg Harvestehude, which existed until 2004. His motivation for this installation is not to stage the process-like, i.e. mould- and rot processes in his early works in a museum-like manner, but to actively demonstrate their processes of change. Room-high towers of sugar and chocolate figures are created, as well as rotting objects and spice boxes filled with fruit and vegetables. The viewer experienced the visible, continuous changes in the work in interaction with strong olfactory impressions and the insects living there. In this way Roth creates an installation between independent processual work and almost museum-like presentation.

Dieter Roth, Schimmelmuseum (1994-2004), Fotografie: Heini Schneebeli, 1999
© Dieter Roth Foundation Hamburg / Courtesy Hauser & Wirth