Elise Lammer

Elise Lammer is a freelance curator, critic and researcher. Trained as a fine artist in Barcelona, she holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths College, London. She is particularly interested in alternative communities and collaborative practices, topics she’s been exploring first-hand with Kunsthalle Roveredo (Graubünden, CH), an artist’s residency and exhibition space she founded in 2013. She further explores the topic of self-organization and alternative pedagogies in her educational activities at the Institut Kunst Basel and at HEAD, Geneva.

Since 2014 she’s a curator at Kunstverein SALTS (Birsfelden, CH), where her aim is to develop a conversation with young artists to develop unique site-specific projects. Since 2015, Alpina Huus has allowed her to link her long term interest in the impact of new technologies on human behaviour with performance. For her, performance allows to re-examine the experience of an artwork in a context where art is more and more witnessed through the online circulation of images.

Currently she’s a fellow at the Istituto Svizzero di Roma, where she produces a telenovela based on the diplomatic History of the various national Institutes in Rome. This project is a development of Lammer’s Fictional Critique project to find new strategies for art criticism, by promoting the use of 1st person and emotions to tackle the meaning of art, in texts and short films.

SAA: Why does art need to be mediated?

EL: It doesn’t always need to. Certain artworks are more autonomous than others. 

SAA: What reason would you have to talk or write about art you don’t like?

EL: If something politically damaging is influent enough to have a negative impact on a great amount of people, I think it’s worth raising one’s voice. It’s a collective responsibility. In a different register, talking about bad art helps me define what good art is.

SAA: Tell us what the last artwork you loved did to you?

EL: It helped me become a better person. 

SAA: Which institution/book/artist inspired you lately? How or why?

EL: Open School East in Margate, UK; Akademie Isotrop in Hamburg and the current turn Institut Kunst is taking under Chus Martínez’ direction. Recently, I’ve been really interested in self-led, alternative pedagogies in art education. Being a guest teacher myself, it’s something that I think a lot about. It made me realize what an incredible tool an art school can be to change the world!