25.04.2017 09:47

University of Kassel appoints Nora Sternfeld to its documenta Professorship

Prof. Dr. Nora Sternfeld will be the new documenta Professor at the Kassel School of Art and Design, a part of the University of Kassel. The Austrian native is currently a professor at the Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. The University of Kassel has thus selected a figure with a strong reputation in the international art world for this position in good time prior to the beginning of documenta 14 in Kassel. In addition to other activities, Sternfeld will also work on the development of a planned documenta Institute.

Sternfeld (41) received a doctorate in art and cultural studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2012. In the same year she started in a professorship for Curating and Mediating Art at the Aalto University. Prior to that she had had various teaching appointments, including one at the Kassel School of Art and Design in 2009. Her research focuses on the theory and practice of art exhibition, critical museum research, art education and educational theory as well as curatorial and artistic research.

"I see one of the most important aims of my research work as positioning Kassel as an internationally relevant location for exhibition theory and practice, also in the periods between the exhibitions which occur here every five years," Sternfeld remarked. In addition to her research and teaching activities, she will be involved in the conception of a documenta Institute, which should include the existing documenta Archive. The University is working closely together with the city of Kassel and the documenta GmbH in this regard.

Sternfeld will formally begin with the professorship at the Kassel School of Art and Design on 1 January 2018 because she must first finish up with projects in Finland. However, she will already start with a teaching appointment at the Art School in the current summer semester and will thus be present in Kassel during documenta 14. Prof. Sternfeld will introduce herself at a public lecture on Thursday, 18 May at 5:00 p.m. in the lecture hall of the Kassel School of Art and Design, Menzelstraße 13. The Art School is a partly autonomous part of the University of Kassel.

"I am very pleased that we have been able to gain Ms. Sternfeld for this professorship, which has great significance for the national and international visibility of the University of Kassel," said University President Prof. Dr. Reiner Finkeldey. "This is also underlined by the fact that there was a very strong pool of applicants for the position. I am sure that Ms. Sternfeld will contribute to the regional as well as the international networking of the University of Kassel and of the School of Art and Design. This increases the visibility of the city, the University and the documenta in equal measure."

Prof. Joel Baumann, Rector of the Kassel School of Art and Design, commented on the new professorship: "The Kassel School of Art and Design is pleased about the establishment of a permanent documenta Institute in Kassel. The documenta had its origin at the Art School and is connected with it in many ways. Many of our teachers were artists who participated in the documenta. Since the beginning of the documenta, our students have also actively participated in the organisation, communication and dissemination of the documenta. As an educational institution we have thus been inexorably and continuously linked with the exhibition.  Continuing to develop this connection, integrating art studies, the humanities and the social sciences and at the same time pursuing artistic research and investigation strengthens this unique, profile-enhancing cooperation and highlights Kassel as a cultural and educational location. Therefore it is a central interest of ours to secure the establishment of the documenta Professorship at the Kassel School of Art and Design on a long term basis."

The exact denomination of the professorship is "Art Studies/documenta". The position will be financed for five years from funds of the innovation and structural development budget of the state of Hessen. During its development phase the professorship can also rely on funding from the Hübner and Kennedy Foundation GmbH. Following this, the Kassel School of Art and Design and the University aim to make it a permanent position.

For a picture please contact: 

Sebastian Mense
University of Kassel
Communications, Press and Public Relations
Tel.: +49 561 804-1961
Email: presse@uni-kassel.de