Henrike Naumann

Henrike Naumann. © Henrike-Naumann

Artist Henrike Naumann answers our questionnaire. On Commitment, Power Dressing, and ›Möbilisierung‹

What are you working on at the moment?
I am producing a new work for the Seoul Biennale in South Korea, ›Proto Nation‹.

Who or what has influenced you in your work?
Bert Neumann’s work for the Volksbühne in Berlin was important for my transition from theatre stage design to film scenography to fine art.

What artwork do you return to again and again?
The work ›In The Name of the Place‹ by GALA Committee, currently on view at the Museum Weserburg in Bremen. The group integrated subversive artworks into the film sets of the TV series ›Melrose Place‹ in the 1990s, showing political art to an audience of millions.

What would you do if you weren’t an artist?
Politics.

What are you reading or listening to at the moment?
I recently listened to ›Day X‹, the ›New York Times‹ podcast series on the Hannibal network. It gives a good overview of a complex topic; I can highly recommend it.

What should art today be able to do, in your opinion?
Reaching people where they are and where they are able to be. And perhaps changing its form to do so.

What aspect of the pre-pandemic world do you grieveand what things do you not miss at all?
My openings were always full of crowds squeezed between shelf units while someone played hard beats somewhere. I really miss these shared experiences. At the same time, events with limited attendance and advance booking involve a great deal of commitment from people to actually come and join in the discussion.

If you had to sum up your work in one word, what would it be?
›Möbilisierung‹ [a German word that means furnishing, but is also almost identical to the word for mobilisation].

Do you have a daily ritual?
Power dressing. I’ve been dressing like I have an extremely important appointment every morning since 2020. This is how I got through lockdowns and quarantine, and it has helped me motivate myself again after all the uncertainties and setbacks. It hasn’t always worked, of course, but I can’t imagine a better way to start the day. It is a must for me now.

What art or culture-related events do you look forward to in the near future?
Everything.

HAUS DER KULTUREN DER WELT
Illiberal Arts
11 SEP—21 NOV 2021
Berlin Art Week Special, 15 SEP 2021

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