Marion von Osten

Young Bauhaus Research Colloquium




Marion von Osten

Architectural Historian, Curator, Berlin

Marion von Osten is an artist, researcher and exhibition maker living in Berlin. She is a founding member of the Center for Post-colonial Knowledge and Culture, Berlin; Labor k3000, Zurich; and kpD (kleines post-fordistisches Drama), Berlin. Curatorial and research projects include “Viet Nam Diskurs Stockholm” (Tensta Konsthal, Sweden), “Aesthetics of Decolonization” (Institute for Theory, ZHDK Zurich/ Center for Post-colonial Knowledge and Culture, Berlin, 2014–2016), “Model House—Mapping Transcultural Modernisms” (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, 2010–2013), “Action! painting/publishing” (Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris, 2011–2012), “In the Desert of Modernity—Colonial Planning and After” (Les Abattoirs de Casablanca, 2009 and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2008), “Projekt Migration” (Cologne, 2002–2006) and “TRANSIT MIGRATION” (Zürich, Frankfurt, and Kölnischer Kunstverein, 2003–2005), “Atelier Europa” (Kunstverein München, 2004) and “Be Creative! The Creative Imperative” (Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich, 2003). Publications include Transcultural Modernisms (with Research Group Model House, Sternberg Press, 2013), Das Erziehungsbild. Zur visuellen Kultur des Pädagogischen (with Tom Holert, Schleebrügge, 2010) The Colonial Modern. Aesthetics of the Past. Rebellions for the Future (with Tom Averemaete, Serhat Karakayli, Black Dog Publishing, 2010), Projekt Migration (with Kölnischer Kunstverein et al, Dumont Verlag, 2005) Norm der Abweichung (TG:4, Voldemeer/ Springer Verlag, 2003) and MoneyNations (with Peter Spillmann, Selene Verlag, 2003). Since 2012, she has been a visiting professor at HEAD Geneva and the Master for Arts in Public Spheres, HSLU Lucerne.

Displaying the Absent.

Readability and the optical model of visuality are classical tasks of curatorial work. But what if an exhibition tries to bring transculturality into the public realm through displaying an entangled modernity that includes practices that were creating pre- and post-colonial debates and conflicts? By trying to grasp transcultural and transnational relations and encounters of the colonial modern in the exhibition project “In the Desert of Modernity: Colonial Planning and After” (1918–2010), curating was on the one hand trapped in the colonial archive and its violent negations and on the other was facing the fact that encounters, conflicts and negotiations cannot easily be extracted from images or an object itself. Moreover, the epistemes that are at hand might be to limited to understanding the negotiations and unexpected outcomes that are not following the routes of governing powers. In my presentation, I will present the experimental setting, methodological mixture and artistic approaches that might reach out for other ways of doing historeography.