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Behind the Scene: Talk with Ian Kiaer and Sarah Jones (The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University)



During the Winter Semester of 2023-24 and the Summer Semester of 2024, Professors Monica Bonvicini (Sculpture) and Janina Audick (Stage Design) have forged a dynamic collaboration titled Behind the Scene and aimed at exploring the intersection of sculpture, installation art, and stage design within the academic environment of UdK Berlin. This innovative partnership serves as a fertile ground for creative experimentation, encouraging students to challenge conventional boundaries

through an interdisciplinary lens where aesthetics, narrative, and spatial dynamics intertwine. By transcending the rigid distinctions between static and fluid, performer and observer, discourse and environment, this collaborative initiative invites students to delve into the realm of immersive experiences that defy traditional categorizations.

Within this framework, Dr. Ian Kiaer (The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, Contemporary Art) and Sarah Jones (Senior Tutor at the Ruskin School of Art) have been invited to contribute to this creative collaboration by hosting a conversation open to all UdK students. The workshop will explore the concepts of models and props in the context of installation and performance art. The discussion, led by Kiaer and Jones, will use the materiality of the script as a starting point, followed by reflections on what constitutes a model and a prop in contemporary art. The session will conclude with a Q&A segment, allowing students to engage directly with the speakers. This workshop not only provides theoretical insights but also serves as a catalyst for practical application, enriching students' understanding of material and spatial dynamics in contemporary art.


The talk and Q&A will be held in English. No registration required.

Date and Location: Friday, June 21 st 2024 at 2 PM

Hardenbergstr. 33, room 110


Ian Kiaer makes fragile installations involving groupings of architectural models, untouched or slightly modified found objects, and two-dimensional work to create fragmented narratives. These works are prompted by the ideas of utopian thinkers, architects, and artists from various periods of history whose common concern has been their resistance and critique of dominant ideologies –while providing possible alternatives for thought. Kiaer’s installations often operate as projects or proposals and continue to employ the fragment as a means of questioning notions of totality and

permanence. Ian’s doctoral thesis was entitled Endless House: Models of Thought for Dwelling. He researched the question of the house as model of thought, looking in particular at Curzio Malaparte’s Casa Malaparte, Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Kundmangasse, Konstantin Melnikov’s Cylindrical House Studio, and Frederick Kiesler’s unbuilt notion of the ‘Endless House’. Since then, he has become interested in thinking about how the model can inform an understanding of painting as a ‘minor form’, where notions such as tone and timbre operate on the fringes of a potentially redundant practice. Ian has exhibited internationally since 2000, with solo exhibitions at institutions including Tate

Britain, London; Heidelberger Kunstverein; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin; Kunstverein München, Munich; and Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice. He has also exhibited at the Venice Biennale (50th), Istanbul Biennale (10th), Berlin Biennale (4th), Lyon Bienniale (10th) and Manifesta 3. Ian is professor at the Ruskin School of Art, having previously taught at the Royal College of Art.


Dr Sarah Jones is an artist and teacher with an interest in what constitutes an artist and how she is constructed. Her exhibitions and performances include A Long Brief Studio Book (2024), Birds and Power, City of London Guided Walks (2018-22); So He Pulled the Right Levers and You Did the Asking, Artlink, Hull (2017); and Grammar, In Case There's a Reason: The Theatre of Mistakes, Raven Row, London (2017). She contributed "A Play as the Essay as Form" chapter and "What is IT" documents of

a workshop to Post Performance Future Method/E, edited by Marie de Brugerolle, T&P Publishing (2023) (2nd edition 2024), and the essay "There’s a Part of This Getting Used to Surroundings" for Anne Tallentire Monograph, published by John Hansard Gallery (2023). She has a reciprocal artist assistance role with Sid/Daisy Smith, and since 2018 has been a part of Studio? with Judith Dean, Ana Genoves, Lucy Gunning, and Kerry Stewart

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