17.-22. April 2023; Berlin/Leipzig: Seminar III

Public programs during the Berlin/Leipzig seminar
19 April

20 April
17h – OPEN END

21 April

followed by drinks reception
Iron Curtain, Glass Walls: Modernist Architecture and the Cold War

an exchange between Christiane Fülscher and Joshua Shannon

@ Humboldt Universität main building (Hauptgebäude, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin) lecture room (Hörsaal) 307


Inspired by BBC Radio 4’s programme “Only Artists”, this evening exchange brings two art professionals together to talk about their intellectual and creative work. The agenda is theirs, the conversation is free-flowing, and there is no moderator. Fülscher and Shannon will discuss modernist architecture in the climate of the Cold War, comparing forms and politics across the East-West divide. They consider the roles of race and gender, the relationships between architecture and art, and the buildings’ intended audiences.

Film screening & discussion 

Comrade Where Are You Today (dir. Kirsi Liimatainen, 2016, 1h 52m)


@GWZO (Specks Hof, staircase A, 4th floor; Reichsstr. 4-6, 04109 Leipzig

About the film: What did we believe in back then? Filmmaker Kirsi Liimatainen seeks answers to this question. She studied Marxism-Leninism at East Germany’s FDJ Youth College “Wilhelm Pieck” in 1988. More than twenty years later, Kirsi sets out to find her one-time comrades. She wants to know what is left of the great dream of revolution in a globalised world. This mission takes her to Bolivia, Chile, Lebanon and South Africa. 



Rewriting American Modernism: Hale Woodruff, Mildred Thompson, and the Black Atlantic, 1958-68

public talk by John J. Curley

@ERIAC: European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture Reinhardtstraße 41-43, 10117 Berlin


John J. Curley’s talk will address notions of the transatlantic in Black American art of the late 1950s and 1960s. First, Curley will explore Hale Woodruff’s Africa and the Bull (c. 1958) as an Abstract Expressionist painting that counters typical narratives of the centrality of European-American artistic exchange through introducing references to Africa, cultural theft, and the slave trade. Secondly, Mildred Thompson and the prints and sculptures she makes during her self-imposed exile in West Germany (1958-60 and 1964-74)will be considered as emblematic of a “counterfactual modernism”–a practice of forging alternative artistic genealogies that foreground mobility, diaspora and barbarity.

John J. Curley is Core Faculty of the Linking (Art) Worlds seminar series. In “reallife” he is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. He has published widely on postwar American and European art, and is currently at work on a new book project provisionally titled “Critical Distance: Black American Artists in Europe 1958-1968.”

Seminar guests in Berlin & Leipzig

Christiane Fülscher  Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Tímea Junghaus Executive Director of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture

Joshua Shannon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Maryland, USA

Melanie Roumiguière Head of Visual Arts Department of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program

Nóra Lukács Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Redi Koobak Chancellor’s Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Satch Hoyt Berlin based artist

Kathleen Reinhardt Director of the Georg Kolbe Museum in Berlin