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Behind the Scene (WS 23/24 – SS 24)

Collaboration with Prof. Janina Audick's Stage Design Class


For the upcoming academic year, Prof. Monica Bonvicini and Prof. Janina Audick have set up a collaboration to work on the intersection between sculpture, installation art and stage design. This synergy offers a playground for experimentation, enabling students to challenge conventions from an interdisciplinary approach where the aesthetics, narrative, and spatial dynamics intertwine. By dismantling the boundaries between static and fluid, performer and observer, discourse and environment, students will be invited to create immersive experiences that transcend traditional categorizations.


The program of activities will include visits to theater venues in Berlin where students can experience first-hand the process of composing sets for theatrical performances. These will be in dialogue with visits to art exhibitions that directly address the viewer’s physical presence in the space. Special talks with curators working on large-scale installations projects, as well as theater directors and sociologists will offer the students new perspectives on the topics addressed during the course. In addition, discussion groups, workshops and joint classes at the Sculpture and Stage Design Ateliers will complement the program, giving the students a theoretical and practical framework to develop their projects.


On Monday, 6.11.2023, the two classes came together for the first time in the Bonvicini Class studios, where they introduced their practices to each other and watched a film selected by the students of the Stage Design Class. The new architectural element of Room 95a, the "bridge," was transformed into a cinematic situation to screen "Synechdoche, New York," an American postmodern psychological drama written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, that tells the story of an ailing theater director working on an increasingly elaborate stage production whose extreme commitment to realism begins to blur the lines between fiction and reality. The film offered a great space for further encounters and exchanges.


Janina Audick studied design and art at the Kunsthochschule Kassel and stage and costume design in Berlin and Hamburg. Since 1998 she has designed costumes and sets at various opera houses, theaters and films for the likes of Christoph Schlingensief, René Pollesch, Herbert Fritsch ,Karin Henkel and Emily Atef. This cooperations resulted in discourse spaces which still exist today. Audick stands for the innovative Stage and Costume Design referring to contemporary phenomena. Based in Berlin, Audick has developed the exterior and interior design of the Hebbel am Ufer (HAU) Theater in Berlin and the Junges Schauspielhaus in Düsseldorf. She is also Head of the Stage Design course at the UdK Berlin since the winter semester 2019.


Monica Bonvicini emerged as a visual artist and started exhibiting internationally in the mid-1990s. Her multifaceted practice investigates the relationship between architecture, power structures, gender roles, control mechanisms and space. Her research is translated into works that question the meaning of making art, the ambiguity of language, and the limits and possibilities connected to the ideal of freedom. Dry-humored, direct, and imbued with historical, political and social references, Bonvicini’s art never refrains from establishing a critical connection with the sites where it is exhibited, its materials, and the roles of spectator and creator. Since her first solo exhibition at the California Institute of the Arts in 1991, her approach has formally evolved over the years without betraying its analytical force and inclination to challenge the viewer’s perspective while taking heby sideswipes at patriarchal, socio-cultural conventions.






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