Foreign students at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig – an international chapter of art in the GDR
On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst /Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, the exhibition “Freundschaftsantiqua” presents a collection of special material to the public for the first time.
Since the beginning of the 1950s, a large number of people from other countries came to the GDR, not only as members of the workforce but also as students at the universities and academies. Most of them were from developing African or Asian countries, or from other Socialist states in Europe. A large number of foreign students came to study at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, where their dissertations and student research projects are stored in the archives. This material comprises whole works and groups of works, some of which belong to the photographic collections. This body of work is largely unknown, and has been the subject of very little research up to the present day.
In general, internationality in art, cultural policy and cultural exchange in the GDR has rarely been a central theme of scientific and artistic studies. In this way, the exhibition breaks new ground. This first step towards the processing and visualisation of the HGB material reveals new facets of the image of GDR art and art history from a critical point of view.
Christiane Eisler und Rozbeh Asmani produce new artistic works for the exhibition. Additional art mediation projects, the accompanying programme and publications all aim to deepen our knowledge and understanding of certain aspects of the life and work of these temporary citizens of the GDR, linked with current social discourse on education and interculturality.