Archive of Experiences

MARKK, Hamburg, Germany
Deadline: 03 August 2021

Archive of Experiences

The Museum am Rothenbaum – Kulturen und Künste der Welt (MARKK) in Hamburg is awarding a residency to a promising artist who will stay in Hamburg for three months. Funded via MARKK in Motion within the framework of the Initiative for Ethnological Collections by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Cultural Foundation), the aim of the residency is the development of an artistic project engaging with the museum’s photographic collections that to a large extent relates to Hamburg’s world trade networks. The developed art project will be exhibited in the Archive of Experiences exhibition which is part of the 8th Triennial of Photography Hamburg 2022 (

Focus of the Exhibition
The exhibition will feature visually compelling images relating to port cities, which always acted as sites of circulation and trade. The central focus will be a photo album linked to a female member of a Hamburg trading family, depicting people and sites in Singapore before 1868. The exhibition addresses the multivalent memories and contested meanings of such an originally private assemblage of images now part of MARKK photographic collection.

If the museum is conceived as a place with a potential to open up new frames of references where photographs can interrupt dominant narratives, the exhibition seeks to reclaim the perceptions that have been formed through consumption of photographs, specifically in scenarios where photographs have been used as tools to register and fix identities and to accumulate knowledge and therefore power over others. As an attempt to challenge these patterns of value formation and inscription, the following questions become apparent: What kind of past is inscribed in photographs? What was the intention of making these records? Do photographs have their own agency? How did the archiving process inside the museum add as well as remove meaning and what does this actually mean for reengaging with these collections nowadays? The visual encounter with the subjects, the materiality and the means of distribution will altogether resonate with Currency as the overriding theme of the 8th Triennial of Photography Hamburg.

Focus of the Residency
The (photographic) collections of the MARKK were – particularly in the second half of the 19th century – connected to Hamburg trading families and their global activities. Within the enormous photo archive are several photo albums that were donated to the museum by the owners, employers, captains or heirs of trading companies. The resident artist will engage with an additional selection of albums to create a project, which should lead into an artwork to be displayed within the exhibition. Albeit a singular accurate interpretation, the mutability in the meanings within the photographs gives room for near infinite possibilities of new meanings to be absorbed. While we do not dictate a specific direction or artistic form for the artistic production, we encourage the possibility to introduce new agents or strategies to accelerate, facilitate and where possible attempt to make known the alternative grammars for engaging with anonymous presences and embedded stories in ethnographic and photographic archives.

Possible themes include, but are not limited to:
•Port Cities
•Portraits / Human body
•Networks of World Trade / Trade interactions
•Photo Albums as Archives of Experience

Outcomes of the residency
• The artistic project will be presented in the exhibition Archive of Experiences which will open as part of the 8th Triennale of Photography Hamburg in May 2022
•A Presentation of work in the form of an artist talk, conversation or performance at MARKK
•The residency will be documented on the MARKK’s website, the website of the Federal Cultural 
Foundation as well as featured on our social media platforms.

We offer
•Coverage of travel expenses, housing and living expenses (up to a maximum of € 9.000)
•Access to the museum’s holdings and archives
•A workplace within the museum
•Coverage of production costs in the context of the exhibition (up to a maximum of € 12.000)

Requirements for the application
•Concept and anticipated outcome in relation to thematic focus (max. 2 A4 pages)
•Cover letter, CV and portfolio with selected examples of previous practice
•Contact details
•Readiness to attend the full duration of residency in person
•All application material must be sent not later than August 3, 2021. Applications sent after this date will not be considered

•Artist from all over the world can apply
•Artists working in all art forms can apply
•Proficiency in working with ethnographic photo archives is an added advantage

Interested artists are invited to send their applications as one file of max. 5 MB to the following addresses:
Martha Kazungu (
Gabriel Schimmeroth (

Please address additional inquiries related to the application to Jamie Dau ( or call under +49 40 428 879-534


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