Annual theme "Real Magic"
Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (2015/16)



Magic Arts

with Verena Kuni, Annika Lundgren and Kadri Mälk


Annika Lundgren


Verena Kuni is a scholar of art, cultural and media studies and professor for visual culture at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Her curatorial work is dedicated to interdisciplinary projects and programs at the intersections of theory and practice. Subjects of her research and writings are transfers between material and media cultures; media of imagination and technologies of transformation; DIY cultures and critical making; toys and/as tools; visual epistemology, information design, and (con)figurations of knowledge; biotopias and techno/nature/cultures; alternate realities and (trans)formations of time. She has also intensely researched and published on the artistic engagement with occult traditions (19th to 21st centuries) as well as on aesthetics, politics, apparatuses, and technologies of alchemy, magic, spiritualism, and parapsychology.


Annika Lundgren lives and works in Göteborg, Sweden, where she is an artistic director at the artist run platform Skogen. In her performances, interventions, and texts she has variously dealt with the performative aspect of magical phenomena and the interplay of magic, suggestion, and power. Strategies of Magic (since 2011) a series of lecture-performances based on music, text, and magic tricks, thematizes the relationship between politics and transformation. In other works the artist is concerned with the essence of the presumably irrational, for instance in The Stock is Rising (2010), at which she staged the levitation of the Frankfurt Stock Market. In a recent work, Winter is Coming – on Spirits and Populists, she compares manifestations of the occult practice of spiritualism with strategies, signs and imagery found in right wing extremist demonstrations. Lundgren studied at then Valand School of Fine Arts in Göteborg and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark. Her work has been seen in international group and solo exhibitions and has been awarded numerous prizes, including a residency at the Center for Danish Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (2001).


Kadri Mälk calls herself a metaphysicist by vocation. The jewellery artist draws inspiration for her artistic and curatorial work from the dark of the souls and the night as well as the colour black. In 2001 she organised under the titel Nocturnus an exhibition with international contributions at the Art Academy in Tallinn, where she has been teaching as a Professor for jewellery since 1996, and a night-symposium on the island of Muhu. At the Art Academy she studied jewellery art in the 1980s with Leili Kuldkepp, followed by studies of gemmology and stoneworking in St. Petersburg, studies with Bernd Munstein in Stipshausen close to Idar-Oberstein (Germany) as well as studies of design at the Lahti University of Applied Sciences in Finland. International solo exhibitions have been dedicated to her work, and her jewellery pieces are on show in museums and public collections such as The Victoria and Albert Museum London, the Espace Solidor in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, the Alice und Louis Koch collection in Zurich, the State Museum Hermitage in St. Petersburg und the LACMA, Los Angeles.

Among her publications are the exhibition catalogue Nocturnus (EAA, 2001), Ornament as a Crime (EEA, 1998, with Christer Jonsson), Chroma/Monochroma (EAA, 2007), Just Must (Arnoldsche, 2008) and Castle in the Air (Arnoldsche, 2011, with Tanel Veenre) – a publication about works of the Estonian jewellery art group õhuLoss (eng. castle in the air), that Mälk founded in 1999 as a mentor. In 2017 her monography Testament (Arnoldsche, 2017) has been published. Mälks work has received several international awards, most recently the renowned Bavarian State Prize 2016.