articleDictionary of War - Idea
linkDictionary of War project website
The event takes place in DORA 1, a former German submarine base and bunker built during World War 2. 17 guests are invited to create a concept that deals with the topic of war and present it in 30 minutes: Will Bradley (Curator based in Oslo), Robert Bramkamp (Filmmaker and professor at the Hamburg art academy), Svein Carstens (Historian based in Trondheim), Michael Duch (Composer from Trondheim), Charles Esche (Curator and director of the Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven), Simon Harvey (Professor at KIT), Maaretta Jaukkuri (Curator and professor at KIT), Vladan Jeremic and Rena Rädle (Artists), Susan Kelly (Artist and professor at Goldsmiths College), Annette Kraus (Artist from Utrecht), Marte Huke (Poet based in Trondheim), Chris Marker (Filmmaker, Paris) Regina Moeller (Artist and professor at KIT), John Palmesino (Architect and professor at the Architectural Association in London), Beathe C. Rønning (Artist and professor at KIT), Florian Schneider (Filmmaker and teacher in KIT), Superflex (Artist group from Denmark).
The opening of "Manufacturing today" will take place in a building or a rather complicated space that is over-charged with historical and political references.
DORA 1 is a former German submarine base and bunker built during World War 2 in Trondheim, Norway. In German, Trondheim was called Drontheim, and the name DORA is the letter "D" in the German phonetic alphabet.
With its three meter thick concrete walls, the building was too large to be blown by dynamite otherwise the rest of the city would be heavily damaged.
Until today the bunker, which was supposed to be the biggest German naval base in Northern Europe, appears as a metaphor for the ongoing difficulties to deal with the history of Hitler-fascism and collaboration, Nazi-occupation and resistance.
It poses the question what such an overdetermined architecture, its unignorable massivity and its overwhelming uselessness might be telling us today?
Rather than what one can tell _about_ it, the opening of "Manufacturing today" will try to figure out what can be created and learned _in it_ and _through it_.
Since it is supposed to act as an art venue, a monstrous building like DORA 1 needs to be addressed, performed and reconfigured in a rather substantial way.
There is an urgent need for a distinct and direct confrontation with the venue, its past and its significance today. The challenge is to develop an approach that holds a potential for both, the accuracy and precision necessary to cope with the historical facts and their implications on one hand, and on the other hand a certain level of experimentation and playfulness, that might eventually open up new ways of addressing certain issues that matter most today.
Instead of a conventional panel structure the symposium at the opening of "Manufacturing today" will take the form of a dictionary. That means that every guest and contributor is invited to create one concept that is then going to be presented at the opening weekend in a half hour time slot and in alphabetical order.
12 contributors are invited to present a concept that plays a crucial role in the contemporary discourse of war and urban spaces. Such a concept might be a term that needs to be newly created, it can be one that has been neglected so far, or one that needs to be re-invented.
If it is the case that there is increasingly less difference between war and non-war, that war is the constitutive form of a new order, that war is perpetual and everywhere, then it becomes essential to desert from a war of words which can no longer be challenged or even critisized. Instead, what seems urgently needed, is the manufacturing of new vocabularies, new terminologies that by abandoning old certainties are capable of grasping changing realities and addressing uncharted problems.
For the Trondheim edition of the DICTIONARY OF WAR concepts are supposed to deal with the a series of specific implications of the topic of "war" on various levels:
- the site-specific impact of the bunker DORA1 as a former military building which is to be used as an exhibition space
- certain aspects of the historical background and the specific role of Norway during the Second World War and the contemporary context of a "global war" that is shaping the conditions under which contemporary art practices take place today
- the very notion of "collaboration" as one of the guiding terms of an emergent political sensibility that is supposed to describe new modes of "working together" -- more or less ironically by re-using a word whose notion in most languages points to the fact of willingly assisting an enemy of one's country and especially an occupying force or a malevolent power.
More info at:http://dictionaryofwar.org/trondheim