public exercises

Ulrike Grossarth, Subject of study, Munich/Vienna 1999 © Ulrike Grossarth

June 4, 2014, 3–6 p.m. (German)
Workshop with Ulrike Grossarth

Since 1978 Ulrike Grossarth developed a method which is initially geared to the unconditional acceptance of the reality of the human body. The issue is to sculpt oneself into the space more and to thus strengthen the perception of one’s own materiality. Gradually the image of the body (ideal image) in an ideal situation and environment (mise-en-scène) vanishes, and the presence of one’s own body evolves in place of the embodied image. The combination of image levels with practical activity as an exercise in “paradoxical action” meanwhile comprises a field in the mentioned workshops titled public exercises, in which the artists presume new insights. Ulrike Grossarth is concerned with elaborating a vivid arsenal of formalizations and possibilities to gain insights which can then be transferred from the artistic field to other social fields, where they can lead to transcultural experience and practice.

For the Vienna workshop, Ulrike Grossarth draws on a repertoire of exercises exploring the relationships between body, space, and object that she has developed in her work in dance and sculpture since 1978.


Ulrike Grossarth was born in Oberhausen, Germany, in 1952 and lives and works in Dresden and Berlin. She studied Artistic Dance at the Else-Lang-Schule, Cologne (1969–72), and at Folkwang University (1972–74). In 1974 and 1975, she attended the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden. In 1980, she set up the Essen branch of the Free International University initiated by Joseph Beuys. Grossarth has been professor of Expanded Concepts of Art / Mixed Media Art at the Academy of Fine Arts Dresden since 1998. In 2009, she received the Käthe Kollwitz Award of the Berlin Academy of Arts.