Assaf Gruber: Images of Research / Researching with Images – Current Reflections on Artistic Research

In the past two decades, art production has come to be more and more based on facts and evidence. Just as in reality, we have witnessed more and more artworks engaging with found footage, technology and legal material as part of a forensic methodology of creation. In this artistic climate, what does artistic research mean? How can practitioners engage with subjective writing based on artistic research? How do we pave an artistic statement, a point of view based on fabrication after the age of self, when the blur between fiction and documentary has become a default definition for creation? Given these conditions, what does artistic collaboration mean today? 

In this presentation, Assaf Gruber will attempt to shed light on these questions. Building on a long period of research conducted inside the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD) – which has resulted in two films (Transient Witness, Rude Witness), a collaborative colloquium at the HKW  (Stolen Gems Found Identities) and exhibitions in numerous contexts (The World is Round and People Meet in the Corners, Krieg Hassel) – Gruber will initiate a dialogue towards a workshop with the class of Expanded Cinema and their own research at the SKD. The Lecture and workshop are part of the lecture series „Arbeit & Beruf“ initiated by the Support Büro HGB. 

Screening Kino Aurora: Transient Witness, 47 min, 25.10.2022 19:00 Room 2.41

Workshop 10.11.2022 10:00-14:00 Room 2.15

Assaf Gruber (b. Jerusalem, 1980) is a sculptor and filmmaker living and working in Berlin. The dynamic relationship between individuals and institutions is at the center of his practice, which aims to explore both how the political orientation of legacy establishments impact the lives of individuals and how these organizations choose to represent and communicate facts and their attendant artifacts. The absurd biographies of the protagonists in his projects simultaneously reveal and obscure the reasons and motives that lead people to obey or rebel against their inner world or the society in which they live. His photography, sculpture, and installations place the materiality of objects in relation to narrative dimensions, which in turn create fictional spaces where movement and non-movement function as a medium.

Gruber’s solo exhibitions include the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2018), Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (2018), and the Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź (2015). His films have been featured in festivals including FID Marseille (2022), the Berlinale Film Festival (2016), and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (2016). He studied at Cooper Union in New York and is a graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and of the Higher Institute of Fine Arts (HISK) in Ghent. Gruber is currently one of the fellows of the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme 2022/23 (gkfd).

Transient Witness, 2021 © Assaf Gruber