A Room of One‘s Own - or a House for the Many? Queer Feminist Revisions of the Künstler:innenhaus

Lecture by Petra Lange-Berndt

Wednesday, 01.02., 6 pm

In an essay written around 1970, the French artist and theorist Daniel Buren explored the crisis of the artist’s studio and came to the conclusion that this particular place was so important for the understanding of art that it should be exhibited itself. He defined the studio as one of many “frames, niches and pedestals” that enclose a work of art, along with structural framings such as “power, art history, economy and market”. These sites of production point to the social contexts that lie beyond the creative process. With these in mind, this lecture aims to critique the artist’s house from a queer feminist perspective. The analysis focuses on historical and contemporary institutions and their self-portrayals, artists’ roles, artists’ myths and educational systems since the long 19th century. What historical concepts, what images of artists in their studios and living spaces have been recorded? What kind of social spaces are being created? What concepts would be relevant today, what alternatives are possible?

The hybrid event will take place in the gallery of Künstlerhaus Bremen and on zoom. You can access the online event here.
The lecture will be held in German.
Free admission

Petra Lange-Berndt is chair of Modern and Contemporary art in the art history department at the University of Hamburg; previously, she was lecturer / reader at the History of Art department, University College London, for eight years. She has written about animals and taxidermy (“Animal Art, Präparierte Tiere in der Kunst, 1850-2000”, Silke Schreiber, 2009), psychedelia and intermedia (Sigmar Polke: We Petty Bourgeois!: Comrades and Contemporaries, the 1970s, Walther König, 2009), questions of materiality (Documents of Contemporary Art: Materiality, Whitechapel Gallery / MIT Press, 2015) and Conceptual art (Hanne Darboven: Correspondence, 1967–1975, 10 volumes, Verlag Walther König, 2015). Her current research examines Monte Verità as central to the Lebensreform movement, as well as the concept of the commune in 1970s art.  

Petra Lange-Berndt has also curated a number of exhibitions: Sigmar Polke: Wir Kleinbürger! Zeitgenossen und Zeitgenossinnen. Die 1970er at the Hamburger Kunsthalle (2009–2010, with Dietmar Rübel and Dorothee Böhm), a show in three parts that was crowned Exhibition of the Year by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA); Mark Dion: Die Akademie der Dinge at the Akademie der Künste, the Albertinum and the Grünes Gewölbe, Dresden (2014–2015, with Dietmar Rübel, catalogue published by Walther König); Hanne Darboven: Korrespondenzen at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2017, with Gabriele Knapstein and Dietmar Rübel) as well as Singular / Plural: Kollaborationen in der Post-Pop-Polit-Arena at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2017, with Max Schulze, Dietmar Rübel).

She received the 2020 Hamburger Lehrpreis award for her exhibition „Werden, das ist die Losung!“ Szenen zum 150. Geburtstag von Ernst Barlach, curated together with students at Barlach Haus, Hamburg.


The lecture is part of the event series Ein Haus für Künstler*innen. The series ties in with the internal discussion of a suitable gender-appropriate name for the Künstlerhaus Bremen. Through lectures, discussions, workshops and artistic contributions, the series aims to give space to external perspectives on this topic and to include other institutions and artists' houses in the discussion.

In cooperation with the Mariann Steegmann Institut. Art & Gender at the University of Bremen and the seminar Artistic and Creative Production Spaces of the Future by Mona Schieren at the University of the Arts Bremen.

Afterwards a digital contribution will be published on publicsandpublishings.org.

This event is part of publics&publishings, a collaborative project between GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst e.V., Künstlerhaus Bremen and Kunsthalle Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven, which is being developed as part of "dive in. Program for Digital Interactions" of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) in the NEUSTART KULTUR program.

With the kind support of