© GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Tom Dachs

Fermenting: Perspectives on »East«

Building on their intervention "Erfrischungsraum 2" at OSTEN Festival in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, the participants of the master's programme Cultures of the Curatorial at Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts are invited to perform in the Rapid Response area of the GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde Leipzig.

  • Opening Hours daily 10—18, Monday closed
  • Admission Fees admission free

Ein mit Beton

The term »East« as a self-perception and attribution to others that was used during the OSTEN Festival in Bitterfeld-Wolfen prompts the group to reflect on what »East« can mean today. The group chooses the term fermentation as a metaphor to approach practices of dealing with history. Fermentation is one of the oldest methods of working with microorganisms to make matter more durable, digestible and otherwise usable. The collected matter enters into a fermenting process by combining it with a ferment. This opens up a thinking about »East« as a relational term, as well as the question: how can attributions and concepts of "East" be transformed?

© GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Tom Dachs
Ausstellungsansicht "Fermentieren: Perspektiven auf 'Osten'"

In drei Kapiteln

In three chapters (TRANSFORMING, SPECULATING, FERMENTING), the contributions tell of developments in an understanding of »East«, while focusing on the processes of preserving, transforming and speculating, that are inherent to the cultural practice of fermenting. Artistic positions, some of which were represented at the intervention in Bitterfeld-Wolfen and deal with potentials of transformation, will show their work at the Rapid Response area. Thoughts on fermenting and perspectives on »East« are gathered in an archive that is accessible in the museum space. Thoughts and stories about individual objects in the collection are integrated into fermentation processes in the same way as a disused exhibition space in the museum, soil, fruit, plants or memorabilia. 

Mit Beiträgen

With artistic contributions by Eric Meier, Trakal, Paula Erstmann, Anna Torkareva, Sean Roy Parker, Slavs and Tatars, Soy Division, Guy Eytan, Chinook Ulrich Schneider, Diego Bianchi, Delcy Morelos und Stefan Vogel and many more.

Curated by Sandy Becker, Julianne Csapo, Tuan Do Duc, Lisa Dreykluft, Anna Karpenko, Robert Köpke, Insa Langhorst, Elli Leeb, Dereck Marouço, Martin Naundorf, Makoto Okajima, Iana Pitenko, Sophia Charlotte Reiser, Luise Richter, Leo Scheidt, Elisa Maria Schmitt, Laura Stieg, Martha Schwindling and Viviane Tabach under the direction of Beatrice von Bismarck, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer and Julia Kurz.


Under #RapidResponse, the museum is reacting to current events and participating in ongoing debates. Be it directly, within comprehensive negotiation processes, online, as well as on-site in the exhibition spaces, Rapid Responses enables the museum to contribute and respond more concretely through different formats and tempos and thus become more of a space for discourse and discussion.

Inspiration came, among other things, from the “collecting the present” approach taken by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London. A few years ago, the V&A started to specifically collect and exhibit contemporary objects closely related to current political, economic, and social issues, including, among other things, the pink “pussyhat”, which became a symbol of feminist protest in the US in 2017 in light of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Our Rapid Responses will focus less on collecting and more on opening up spaces of discourse and taking a more immediate stand. Past Rapid Responses have included interventions on the attack in Halle (October 2019), the Black Lives Matter protests (June 2020), and the drastic increase in domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic (December 2021). 

What is (currently) on your mind? We welcome any suggestions!


Further Exhibitions

Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

in Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

Buddha in einem Schrein

Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden

im Japanischen Palais

reich verzierte Holztür mit Fenster


in Residenzschloss

Münzen, Medaillen und Orden
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