Symposium: R. B. Kitaj – Artist from a Fragmented World

R. B. Kitaj, The Killer-Critic assassinated by his Widower, Even, 1997. Photo c. R. B. Kitaj estate and Thomas Widerberg.

Thursday 25th and Friday 26th October 2012, Jewish Museum Berlin

This two-day symposium is being held alongside the special exhibition R.B. Kitaj (1932-2007): Obsessions at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. The exhibition is accompanied by a major catalogue on the artist with multiple illustrations. The Jewish Museum has also been running a useful blog where you can find out more about the project and read essays by those involved. From the 1960s, R.B. Kitaj attracted the attention and appreciation of the London and the international art scene with his figurative style. The first part of this symposium, entitled “R.B. Kitaj and the Heroes of the Modernism”, will explore Kitaj’s innovative artistic contribution as a draftsman, painter, and interpreter of his art; the second part, entitled “Diasporic Art – At Eye Level with Freud and Kafka”, considers identity in the modern age, which became a major theme of Kitaj’s life and work. In his analysis of his own “Jewishness,” he derived the idea and concept of a “Jewish” art from the experience of Diasporic existence. Some of the talks will be held in English, others in German, and for the most part they will be translated simultaneously. The symposium has emerged from a collabroation between the Berlin Academy of the Arts and the Humboldt University of Berlin. Symposium attendance is free of charge. The organisers do however require advance registration, for which they ask you to use their online registration form (in German).

The full programme is as follows:

Thursday 25 October 2012

3 pm: Words of Welcome

→Cilly Kugelmann, Jewish Museum Berlin

→Robert Kudielka, Academy of the Arts, Berlin

3 – 5.45 pm: The Artist

→”Going to Bed with History” – Some observations on R.B. Kitaj’s painting from his early London years

→R.B. Kitaj’s Studio as a “Museum of Obsessions” – A search for identity with heightened senses in the fields of art history, psychoanalysis and Messianism

→Michael S. Cullen: Questions of a Reading Painter

→Moderator: Michael Diers

6.15 – 7 pm: Guided Tour/Film about R.B. Kitaj

→Tour led by the curator Eckhart Gillen through the exhibition “R. B. Kitaj (1932 – 2007) Obsessions”

or:

→”Kitaj…In the Picture,” Documentary by Jake Auerbach, UK 1994, original English version, 40 min.), →more

7.30 pm: Lecture

→David N. Myers: Kitaj – Commentary on an Eccentric Jewish Life

Friday 26 October 2012

10 am – midday: The Tate War

→Antony Lerman: British Society and the Tate War

→Anne Vira Figenschou: Dialogue of Revenge. The Sandra-Series

→Moderator: Cilly Kugelmann

1 – 1.45 pm: Guided Tour/Film about R.B. Kitaj

→Tour led by the curator Eckhart Gillen through the exhibition “R. B. Kitaj (1932 – 2007) Obsessions”

or:

→”Kitaj…In the Picture,” Documentary by Jake Auerbach, UK 1994, original English version, 40 min.), →more

2 – 4 pm: Diaspora

→Isolde Charim: Diasporic Society

→Yael Bartana: And Europe will be stunned?

→Moderator: Inka Bertz

The symposium is sponsored by Dr. Friedrich Christian Flick.

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