COUNTER – HISTORIES / COUNTER – STORIES à Kassel

exposition COUNTER-HISTORIES / COUNTER-STORIES

en collaboration avec la Klasse Film Jan Peters (ass. Volko Kamensky) de la Kunsthochschule Kassel et avec le DOKFEST Kassel, Festival pour l’art vidéo et le cinema documentaire.

Lieu: Interim, Kulturbahnhof, Kassel.

vernissage le 12. novembre à 21 heures

exposition du 13 – 16 novembre

 Counter-Histories / Counter-Stories

Participating artists:

Joey Arand, Marilou Bal, Léa Favre, Valentine Franc, Sevda Güler, Jan Heise, Holger Jenss, Silke Körber, Alba Lage, Samuel Lecoq, Manon Lecrinier, Emmanuel Loisseau, Lucie Friederike Müller, Irene Muñoz, Leonor Oberson, Juliette Russbach, Tobi Sauer, Sita Scherer, Chloé Simonin, Mounia Steimer, Maximilian Wagener, Aurélie Zoss

For at least forty years the term counter-history has haunted the phraseology of those who feel their conception of history underrepresented. The common, established view of history should be opposed to a version concealed or suppressed up to now. What is seen as history should be extended by an added perspective; maybe the dominance of the ruling discourse should even be broken and leave space for this new counter-history.

A certainly accurate claim against such a notional division into “history” on the one hand and “counter-histories” on the other hand is that history, at least where it is practised as a scientific discipline, is treated as a matter of principle as polyphonic and as never finished. The field of history contains endless perspectives and can be extended with more. The main aim of historians is not – as often wrongly supposed – to preserve the knowledge of ancient ways, but rather to multiply it by critically testing the historic tradition over and over again.

Has the term counter-histories finally become obsolete, because the plurality of perception of history and quality of its research is well supported by the scientific research of historians? For sure, a shift of perspectives from history as a scientific discipline in the direction of the media world helps. Since the exhibition takes place in Germany, we’re focusing on what can be understood here as the common contemporary concept of history. Without wishing to make Guido Knopp and the ZDF (second German television channel) even more important than they already are, a closer look at the success of the “Zeitgeschichte” (time history) editorial team shows the dominance of a certain idea of history and especially a methodical treatment of historical and contemporary sources. Even if this seems to run counter to the democratic mission of public-service broadcasting, the variety of views on history doesn’t seem always to be guaranteed.

What stands more to reason, than to raise attention with different methods, formats and questions and to broaden the common view of what is understood as history with an additional (even if just personal) one? The counter-stories developed could quickly rise or go down in this understanding of history. But they are needed at all times, especially in times when majorities feel so cosy in their consensus that they can barely imagine that the world could be understood and experienced in a completely different kind of way.

The extent to which artists and filmmakers can take part in a way of writing history and even broaden it with their (hi)stories, was the question of two groups of students of the HEAD (University of art and design) in Geneva and the Art University of Kassel. From the start of the winter semester 2013, they worked in the programme “Information/fiction” (Prof. Bruno Serralongue, Prof. Frank Westermeyer, Bénédi