Does Humor Belong in Art?

Arts Management

21st Studioprogram of ACC Galerie and the City of Weimar

Selected artists: Elizabeth Wurst, Sarah Jones, Camilo Osorio Suarez

Jury: Tea Mäkipää (artist), Dr. Christian Schoen (curator & art historian), Sara Zanin (gallery owner)

Humor, as a form of expression, a cultural product, a medium of contact and community builder, as the existential basis of all interhuman relations and as a defense mechanism of the psyche, is fundamental and universal, liberating and disarming, indefinite and cryptic, stimulating and beguiling, strange and difficult to analyze. As a subversive act of rebellion, humor turns the rigidity of our rational thinking on its head and takes aim at the weakness of the purportedly definitive in that it denies – whether with the strategic means of insinuation or exaggeration, absurdity or parody, confusion or irony – all fixed roles and attitudes, norms and obligations. The method of questioning in a humorous way the received principles of a given order, be they societal or aesthetic, in order to unsettle the viewer and his patterns of perception can be seen from the avant-garde to the postmodern. Under the theme “Does Humor Belong in Art?”, the International Studio Program seeks contemporary artists who avail themselves of humor and try, through an ironic infiltration, to challenge a given, individually or generally accepted logic. What role does humor play in current artistic practice? Does humor belong in art?

The International Studio Program of the ACC Galerie and the City of Weimar was founded in 1994 and is open to artist worldwide and without age restriction. The City of Weimar pursues the following aims in its role as an initiator and partner of the International Studio Program: To combine financial support for artists with the presentation of contemporary art in the urban realm, to serve as a forum for artists and as a catalyst for encounter between them and to gain international recognition for the resulting activities. By these means, international cultural exchange is to be promoted and prejudices eliminated. The support provided includes the provision of a combination artist’s studio/apartment in the Municipal Studio Building – one of the oldest buildings of its kind in Germany – and by financing the monthly stipend of 1000€.