Is the alternative space a true alternative?

Chantal Kaufmann
Institute of Fine Arts and Media Art, Painting
2022W, artistic Seminar (SEK), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04563



The seminar consists of two complementary parts, with the focus on the realization of a joint exhibition. Accompanying we deal with the history of the exhibition space and different strategies of "self-empowerment".


In groups, students will present a selection of the following topics per session:


-   The history of the White Cube and its predecessors in Brian O'Doherty, Inside the White Cube, The White Cell and Its Predecessors, pp. 7 - 24 (1976).


-    The exhibition space as a social and political phenomenon in Martin Beck, Alternative: Space, in: Alternative Art New York 1965 - 1985, pp. 249 - 279, (ed. by Julie Ault, 2002)


-    Examples of alternative art spaces (e.g. Artist Space, A.I.R., Friesenwall120,

Botschaft e.V)


   - Challenges in historicizing collective art production in Julie Ault, Active Recollection: Archiving Group Material, Self-Organised, hrsg. von Stine Herbert & Anne Szefer Karlsen (2013) und Doug Ashford, Group Material: Abstraktion als Einbruch des Realen, Transversal Texts (2010)


  • Artists* (outside the classical institutional critique canon) in dealing with mechanisms of exhibitionism e.g. Florine Stettheimer or Jutta Koether in Jutta Koether in interview with Ariane Müller, Artfan (1992); Julia Gelshorn, Besessene Malerei, Aneignung als "Affektiver Import" bei Jutta Koether, Katalog Tour de Madame, pp. 235 - 244, (2018); Painting Abuse, A Conversation between Isabelle Graw and Jutta Koether, 32 - 40, catalog The Thirst Moderna Museet 2011); Isabell Graw, Peripheral Vision: The Art of Jutta Koether, in Artforum (2006).


  •  Modern forms of independent art criticism in the form of online publishing (The white Pube,, Manhattan Art Review


  •  American fine Arts & co., the example of an"anti-art gallery” in: Dealing With - Some Texts, Images, and Thoughts Related to American Fine Arts, Co. (ed. by Valérie Knoll, Hannes Loichinger, and Magnus Schaefer, (2012).


This list is intended as a proposal and suggestions from students are welcome! In the first session we will discuss the topics that will serve as input and inspiration for our own exhibition and assign the individual presentations.

Examination Modalities

The requirements for successful performance in the course are full attendance, active participation in class, a group presentation of one of the texts and participation in the final group exhibition.


19 October 2022, 14:00–17:00
16 November 2022, 14:00–17:00
30 November 2022, 14:00–17:00
14 December 2022, 14:00–17:00
11 January 2023, 14:00–17:00
25 January 2023, 14:00–17:00
27 January 2023, 14:00–17:00, "This date stands as a placeholder for exhibition setup and opening"

Course Enrolment

Via online registration

TransArts - Transdisciplinary Arts (Bachelor): Artistic and art technology foundations: Artistic and art technology foundations 180/002.01

Fine Arts (2. Section): Artistic and Research Practice: Exhibition Practice and Curating 605/201.05

Fine Arts (2. Section): Artistic and Research Practice: Free Electives out of Artistic and Research Practice 605/201.80

Co-registration: not possible

Attending individual courses: not possible