MusART — Artist-in-Residence Program // OPEN
initiated by Emmy Noether Junior Research Group, University Hamburg and hosted by ZK/U Berlin
// 3600 € grant + travel costs + material support
This is an Open Call that invites artists to produce an artistic research-based project, which questions moral and ethical codes of global societies, through a 2-month residency at ZK/U Berlin. Our contemporary morals have obscure and esoteric roots. In order to understand the values, judgements, and decisions we make today as individuals and as society, we must think critically about the origins of our beliefs and their modes of transmission. This residency invites artists and researchers to expand upon academic inquiry and break open today’s moral compass.
MusART residents will explore emotionally charged Jewish literature through artistic forms of representation. Researchers in the humanities will gain inspiration through insights from these
The Emmy Noether Junior Research Group “Jewish Moralistic Writings (Musar) of the Early Modern Period: 1600–1800” invites applications for up to five Artist-in-Residence fellowships for a
duration of two months. The program is prompted by research on Jewish esoteric early modern texts dealing with morality that were produced in the wake of the invention of print and, as book-objects, became new material media for disseminating ideas and lifestyles. The bookprinting invention marks a radical change of information distribution , comparable to the internet in the last 20 years. This collaborative experiment is looking for artists who are willing to participate in an interdisciplinary exchange, who are interested in learning about Musar book culture and who are open to incorporate this knowledge into their artistic project. During their residency, they will also participate in a symposium in Hamburg where they will have the opportunity to discuss their work with other artists and scholars in the humanities, while exploring early modern materials selected by the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group according to the artists’ interests, both in terms of content (textual samples) and medium (typographic objects and visual
The MusART artists-in-residence will develop an individual project that can address, but is not limited to, the following themes:
• Communication of systems of belief and value systems (e.g., fake news, cancel culture, social media)
• Environmental responsibility (e.g., climate change, animal rights, sustainable lifestyles)
• Cultural diversity (e.g., human rights, xenophobia, antisemitism)
• Faith in secular times (fundamentalism, secularism, new spiritualities)
• Mechanical reproduction of cultural objects (e.g. typographic and photographic printing, digital memes) as a source for replicating ideological or behavioral patterns
• Preserving “tradition” and the mutability of traditionalist agendas in contemporary narratives and politics.
• Contemporary self-optimization or self-improvement in relationship with moral instruction and spiritual development in belief systems
• Deconstructing or resolving ethical dichotomies (such as soul/body, good/evil, nature/culture, power/freedom etc.)
• Expressing moral typologies (such as paradigmatic figures such as “the saint” or “the martyr,” as well as general notions such as “humility,” “repentance,” “renewal,” “divine love” etc.)
• The power of words and their visual and performative rendition (either as deterring or emboldening traumatic experience)
• Reflection of esoteric lore (such as Kabbalah) in artistic production as universalizing cultural heritage or as an ethnographic phenomenon
• Consequentialist ethics in relations to conceptions of this world and ideas of the afterlife
• Moral edification as a counter strategy to the alleged master-narrative of a society (such as, in public discourse, or in the case of minoritized groups)
The project topic could be explored either from a personal and experiential perspective or in terms of collective engagement.
What We Offer Successful candidates will have the opportunity to work and live at the Center for Art and Urbanistics (ZK/U) in Berlin for the duration of two months, between October 2022 and March 2023, where they will also be able to present the process of their work.
The residency will include:
• a monthly stipend of 1.830 €
• a studio-apartment for living and working at ZK/U, Berlin
for the duration of the fellowship
• a one-time allowance for travel expenses (up to 1.200 €)
• a one-time allowance for working materials (up to 1.500 €)
• access to communal spaces at ZK/U (kitchen, terrace, library)
• a special residency program of weekly dinners and bimonthly open studio events (OPENHAUS)
• the possibility to take part or be part of ZK/U’s public events
• promotion of the fellows’ work online and interdisciplinary exchange with scholars from the fields of Jewish Studies, art history, and theory of art
What We Expect
• development of the proposed project at ZK/U Berlin and involvement in ZK/U’s communal activities
• participation to a symposium (autumn 2022, TBA) organized by the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group in Hamburg (in presence or online), during which the artists will present their projects and learn about challenging aspects of Musar and Jewish culture that are relevant for
• openness to initiate a spontaneous dialogue with other artists and the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group
How to Apply
Artists working professionally in creative fields (such as fine arts, contemporary music, time-based arts, etc.) are eligible to apply. While no formal or informal background in Jewish studies and / or prior knowledge of Jewish culture and literature is required, applicants should have a basic interest in approaching literary materials associated with early modern spiritual Jewish culture and engaging them in their artwork. Candidates are invited to apply regardless of their race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or
sexual orientation in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to ZK/U’s Policy of Respect and expect our fellowship holders to do likewise.
Applications should include:
• a cover letter
• a CV
• a portfolio
• a project sketch (of max 1.500 words), that offers a brief
overview of the conceptual background and material format of the proposed project; its relevance for and potential contribution to for the MusART initiative; the intended engagement with the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group; and the envisioned outcome and audience interaction.
Candidates should already indicate the desired period of their stay in their application.
The materials should be sent in one pdf-file to [email protected]. The deadline for submission is 31.03.2022. The fellowship committee will inform applications of their decisions by towards the spring of 2022. Shortlisted applicants may also be invited for an interview.
Further Information and Contact For further information on the Emmy Noether Junior Research
Group please consult the website or visit on Facebook. For individual inquiries, please contact
[email protected] (Ilaria Briata).
MusART is an artist-in-residence program developed by the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group “Jewish Moralistic Writings (Musar) of the Early Modern Period: 1600–1800” and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).