Arts in the Technical Age
Focus topic 2019
2019 not only sees the centenary of the Universität Hamburg, but also the 90th anniversary of Aby Warburg’s death. This year, the Warburg-Haus focuses on Aby Warburg and the birth of modern art history in Hamburg within a programme on the occasion of the university’s jubilee: »Arts in the Technical Age«. Since the 1920s, the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (K.B.W., Warburg Library of Cultural Studies) played a major role in establishing art history and in interconnecting the humanities at Universität Hamburg. With the inauguration of the library’s building in Heilwigstrasse no. 116 in 1926 – today’s Warburg-Haus, that has been open to the public again since 1995 – her founder Aby Warburg had also provided an institutional place dedicated to interdisciplinary exchange. Inspired by the innovative impulses of Warburg’s art historical works and their methodological reflections, the »Hamburger Schule« (Hamburg School of Art History) around Erwin Panofsky, Fritz Saxl, Gertrud Bing, William S. Heckscher, Edgar Wind et al. found worldwide recognition through decades of continuous productive research, before and after the library’s exile to London in 1933. The annual topic »Arts in the Technical Age« traces the topicality of Aby Warburg’s approach to the 21st century. The university’s jubilee is a welcome occasion to evoke the role played by Aby Warburg, his family and the circle of scholars around him in the creation of the university in Hamburg – among them especially Erwin Panofsky, first full professor of Art History, and philosopher Ernst Cassirer, one of the first professors appointed in 1919 and rector of the university in 1929/1930. Attention is also given to the current projects and activities at the Warburg-Haus, its archives, research centres and its scientific and cultural setting.
After the opening event with an exhibition and performance by Israeli artist Hila Laviv in October 2018, the lecture series in the first half of 2019 focuses on Warburg’s relationship to technologies and to scientific research in Hamburg, technical animations in cinematography, and music and sound in the digital age (Thomas Hensel, Michael Diers, Gertrud Koch, Rolf Goebel). During the summer term, a seminar by Karen Michels introduces students to the history of the Hamburg School of Art History. The lecture series is complemented by thematic guided walks in the city on the tracks of Ernst Cassirer, Aby Warburg and Fritz Schumacher, Hamburg’s Chief Planning Director and teacher of the architect of the Warburg-Haus, Gerhard Langmaack (Birgit Recki, Karen Michels, Hermann Hipp), as well as visits organized in cooperation with the Denkmalverein Hamburg (historic preservation society of Hamburg), guided tours for students and interested visitors and film projections. Further events such as the choir concert »In den Gärten. Spiel für Chor und Bläser« (In the gardens. Work for choir and wind instruments) by Jochen Neurath, a production of the Bundesgartenschau 2019 and the chamber choir of the Mönchsee-Gymnasium Heilbronn (led by Claus Hutschenreuther, scenario by Frank Düwel) in cooperation with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hamburg, and the open day on June 25 2019, with short lectures by members of the international research network Bilderfahrzeuge – Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology and an evening lecture on Warburg and scholarship in Hamburg (Michael Diers), invite to the Warburg-Haus and to discover its history, archives and research centres.
Die Künste im technischen Zeitalter