MUSCLES – Collections and Contention


“MUSCLES – Collections and Contention” looks at the condition that besets colonial archives today, as well as works found in different art historical holdings that generate controversy and fuel opinions, claims, and counterclaims. What can be done to defuse the contention surrounding historical collections, and what channels of remediation are proposed by artists, historians, and cultural activists?
 The Debating Chamber begins with three 7-minute visual and verbal Provocations followed by a response or Sabotage of these propositions, and a public debate.

Yann LeGall is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Art History at the Technical Unversity, Berlin and part of the DFG-AHRC project “The Restitution of Knowledge.” He investigates plunder and events of colonial spoliation during so-called “punitive expeditions” in German colonial contexts in Africa, aiming to foster and support restitution and repatriation claims. He is a member of the organisation “Berlin Postkolonial” and the initiative “Postcolonial Potsdam,” for which he leads critical tours on colonial traces in Sanssouci Park in Berlin.

Luke Willis Thompson is an artist and philosopher of Fijian origin who lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. He studied at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 2006–10 and at the Städelschule, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt am Main between 2013–2015. Luke Willis Thompson was the recipient of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018, and The Walters Prize in 2014. He was a nominee for the Turner Prize in 2018.

Jeanne-Ange Wagne is an art historian, art mediator, and creative based in Berlin. She engages in artistic research on (German) remembrance culture, colonial history and colonial provenance.
 As a freelance art mediator, she regularly offers critical formats for the public programs of cultural and art institutions most recently for “Dekoloniale,” KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 12th Berlin Biennale, as well as Akademie der Künste, Berlin. She works for the German branch of the transnational research project “The Restitution of Knowledge,” at the department of Art History at the Technical University, Berlin where, in 2022-2023 she co-curated and coordinated the event series “KuK-Tuesdays: Dislocation.”

Clémentine Deliss is a curator, publisher, and cultural researcher based in Berlin. She initiated the MM-U in 2015 and has directed different stations of the curatorial platform in Kyiv, Karlsruhe, Ljubljana and more recently at KW, where she has been Associate Curator since 2020. She is the curator of the exhibition SKIN IN THE GAME with artists Ruth Buchanan, Otobong Nkanga, Collier Schorr, Rosemarie Trockel, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, and Andrea Zittel currently on show at KW until January 7, 2024.

Edi D. Winarni is an artist and designer. He studied Communication Design and Exhibition Design at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf, and graduated in Fine Art at the Städelschule, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt am Main. Under his middle name Danartono, his artistic practice focuses on creating counter narratives of established natural and cultural histories. This includes collaborative and academic projects, such as the collective “Archive for the Eleventh Hour” as well as ongoing research on Balinese chanting performance “kecak.” Edi is a member of the Faculty of MM-U 2023.