Spotlight on Anselm Kiefer: Confronting Germany's Past with Dr. Alison Bracker
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A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.
For over 50 years, the German artist Anselm Kiefer has explored the themes of cultural history, collective memory, and the role of the post-war artist. His internationally-renowned work encompasses painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, watercolor, installations, woodcuts, and artist's books on both intimate and epic scales. Indeed, after moving to Barjac, France, in 1992, his studio and the surrounding landscape became a work of art in itself when he constructed towers, tunnels, installations, and buildings in an enormous hilltop complex. Current visitors to Venice's Doge's Palace can see his new site-specific installation of paintings until the end of October 2022.
Our Conversation explores Kiefer's oeuvre, which he describes as "a call to memory." Throughout his career, he has fought his country's attempts to silence collective memory as part of its post-war process of normalization. The artist provocatively spotlights Germany's fascist past by appropriating its imagery and symbols and using natural elements from his homeland–such as sand, ash, flowers, lead, and straw. We will learn how and why Kiefer uses these materials and German mythology, literature, theology, philosophy, and technology to analyze national memory and history.
Led by Dr. Alison Bracker, an expert on contemporary art history, this Conversation will highlight Anselm Kiefer's belief that art has the capacity and responsibility to pose fundamental questions about humanity, spirituality, death, and life. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how Kiefer uses art to ask himself and his audience two questions: What does a nation remember? How does it remember?
This seminar is a part of an ongoing Context series, spotlighting the lives and careers of world-famous artists around the globe. For more information, click here.
Dr. Alison Bracker is an independent art historian specializing in modern and contemporary art. She is an expert in the conservation of unusual materials in contemporary art and co-editor of Conservation: Principles, Dilemmas, and Uncomfortable Truths (Elsevier, 2009), praised as "one of the most significant books in the field of heritage conservation." Alison held a six-year post-Doctoral fellowship at the Royal College of Art and Victoria & Albert Museum before taking over the Royal Academy of Arts' Events and Lectures Program, which she ran for eight years. She continues to lecture and publish on modern and contemporary art and artists, including Hugo Wilson, Lenz Geerk, Ai Weiwei, Anselm Kiefer, Édouard Manet, and David Hockney. After a childhood in Los Angeles and 25 years in England, Alison moved to Nice, France, where she now lives and works.