The upcoming winter semester 2022/23 at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen will be special: with the support of the government of North Rhine-Westphalia, a new professorial chair has been established there – named after Pina Bausch, the famous German dancer and choreographer. This idea is the result of a ten-year creative collaboration between the Dance Theater Wuppertal, the Pina Bausch Foundation and the Folkwang University of the Arts.
Teaching at the new department will be based on the traditions and philosophy of the Folkwang University of the Arts and personalities of Pina Bausch (Pina Bausch, 1940-2009), who was educated at the Folkwang Academy and worked at the intersection of genres, creating a new direction – dance theater. And after her death, she continues to influence contemporary dance and theatrical art.
As teachers for the new department in Essen, world-famous artists representing various disciplines will be attracted. During the year, they are given complete freedom in choosing topics and tasks, together with students they will be able to develop new methods and conduct research that goes beyond the usual framework.
The legend of performance will become a professor
From October this year, the first guest professor at the Pina Bausch Chair will be one of the most influential people in contemporary art, actionist legend, artist Marina Abramovich. It is not surprising that the curriculum starts with her participation: after all, the focus here is on interdisciplinarity, artistic courage and social activity. In 2022 and 2023, Abramovich will work with 25 students from musicians and actors to choreographers and designers. As a result of this work, a public performance is scheduled for the summer of 2023.
Marina Abramovic, whose career began in 1973, is today one of the key representatives of conceptualism. In her shocking performances, she addresses the relationship between the artist and the viewer, the limits of bodily experience, raises sensitive topics of politics, art and her biography. In 2008, Abramovich was awarded the Austrian Badge of Honor for her contribution to science and the arts. In 2011, the London Royal Academy of Arts awarded her the title of honorary academician, and in 2014, Time magazine included Abramovich in the list of 100 most influential people in the world. In 2018, the Bundeskunsthalle Museum in Bonn hosted the first wide-ranging retrospective of her work.
Marina Abramovic herself commented on her appointment as follows: “I will always regret that I never met Pina Bausch in person. She deeply understood the emotions caused by physical actions, so close to performance art. Feelings are real when actions are real. an honor to teach at the Folkwang University of the Arts, which honors the memory of Pina Bausch.”