The MPIWG invites artists to work on their projects within the scholarly context of the Institute and brings them into contact with researchers. Artists are personally invited by directors and research group directors.
Raviv Ganchrow was Artist-in-Residence in the Research Group "Epistemes of Modern Acoustics" in 2016. Raviv completed his architectural studies at the Cooper Union, New York in 2000, and received a second degree from the Institute of Sonology at The Royal Conservatory, The Hague in 2004. His project "Padded Sounds: The Latent Aurality of Anechoic Chambers" focused on the latent aurality of anechoic chambers.
Ana María Gómez López was Artist-in-Residence in Department II in 2016. Her research at the MPIWG focused on visual representations of taphonomy—the study of natural forces that affect a biological organism after death. Her exhibition "The Passage of Nature" incorporates photographs and printed matter created by paleontologists, biologists, and geologists, mainly from Germany and the former Soviet Union, who formalized taphonomy as an area of study during the first half of the twentieth century.
Montserrat de Pablo, Interior MPIWG I, 2014. Direct Positive Photography, 49 x 49 cm. © Montserrat de Pablo.
Our 2015–2016 exhibition, “On the Camera Obscura: The Obsession with Capturing Images,” was based on Montserrat de Pablo’s research on the camera obscura, carried out at the MPIWG during her time as a Department I Artist-in-Residence and Visiting Research Scholar in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Montserrat de Pablo’s doctoral thesis, “The History of the Camera Obscura as a Prehistory of Photography” (2014), surveyed the camera obscura’s evolution in the Western world. She has created a timeline to provide a global overview, and as her work is also based on the selection and compilation of documentary sources, she has also produced a database with illustrations related to the camera obscura.
To explore the possibilities of the camera obscura and understand its uses, she worked with the historical camera held at the MPIWG.
The idea of Montserrat de Pablo’s exhibition is to show the whole process of this work. The documentary section consists of the timeline, expanded in space as a visual cartography through a selection of the illustrations related to the camera obscura. It shows the interrelationships between key milestones and brief data summarizing her story. In connection with this part of the work, the library is displaying a selection of rare MPIWG books relating to the camera obscura. Second, Montserrat de Pablo presents photographs and drawings made with the MPIWG camera obscura, interior and exterior views, a set of variations on a theme, and photographic portraits of the MPIWG staff as a “group portrait.”
A related exhibit, “Montserrat de Pablo. Cámara Oscura: Work in Progress,” was shown at the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Cuenca (January 2015) and Ciudad Real (May 2015), Spain. The MPIWG exhibition was shown at the Spanish Embassy in Berlin in fall 2016.
Christa Donner, from Chicago, was a Department II Artist-in-Residence in 2015. In her project "The ReDistribution of Curiosity" she created a collection of small drawings inspired by conversations with scholars in residence. The drawings were reorganized according to her own systems of categorization, with the aim of reintroducing a sense of wonder and curiosity into the notion of the contemporary archive.
Zoë Svendsen was an Artist-in-Residence in Department III in 2014. She pursues practice-led research as a Lecturer in Drama and Performance in the English Faculty at the University of Cambridge. Her practice-as-research projects focus on questions of dramaturgy and attention, with particular focus on the idea of "rehearsal" as a conceptual mode of imaginative engagement on the part of audiences when experiencing performance. Her project, "World Factory," in collaboration with artist Simon Daw and others, explores consumer capitalism as seen through the lens of the history and politics of the global textile industry, particularly in relation to China.
Berlin-based artist Katrin von Lehmann was a guest at the Max Planck Research Group "Twentieth-century Histories of Knowledge About Human Variation." During her stay, she worked on the exhibition project "Looking at Diversity," which reflected on the process of making diversity visible in science, which took place at the MPIWG in the summer of 2013. It also culminated in a Virtual Exhibition “Looking at Diversity.”