© Julia Weißenberg

Julia Weißenberg (*1982), Bergisch Gladbach

NRW scholarship for female media artists (2020)

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2020 was awarded to Julia Weißenberg.

Members of the three-member jury were Heike Ander (cultural scientist and curator, Academy of Media Arts, Cologne), Tasja Langenbach (curator and artistic director of the Videonale, Bonn) and Nico Joana Weber (artist and NRW media art fellowship holder 2018). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 62 applications.

Statement of the jury

What narratives lie beneath the surfaces of architectures, objects, products that surround us every day? What stories are interwoven in them? Which policies of social global cooperation are hidden behind the appearance of the external? Julia Weißenberg explores these politics in her works using a wide variety of media and formats and reveals them. It is the stories of raw materials that we wear on our bodies every day in the form of clothing or technical equipment and which, viewed in their pure form, reveal global relations of dependence and trade routes. They are the stories of brands and products, which lay over our perception and our bodies as invisible layers. And it is the architectures, which in their location in space and time make utopias and world views manifest. Julia Weißenberg breaks up these surfaces with targeted interventions and invites us to take a closer look.

In her project “The Habitat”, with which Julia Weißenberg applied for the scholarship for female media artists, the artist also looks behind the scenes of contemporary architecture and asks how different forms of work are reflected in the forms of our living. In concrete terms, she compares the living spaces of the “digital nomads” with those of Chinese migrant workers in so-called “urban villages”. While the former determine their place of residence themselves according to their own criteria and understand life out of a suitcase as the luxury of the freedom of a Western lifestyle, the others are at the mercy of superior power relations and are condemned to live and reside in a permanently temporary state between demolition and new beginnings. How can a feeling of security, safety and identity be created under these respective conditions and in the architectures designed for them, and what connection must our human bodies enter into with the architectural bodies for this to happen? What significance do these categories still have for modern nomadism? And is there a right to something like home? We are pleased to support Julia Weißenberg in realizing this project with the grant for female media artists from the state of NRW, and we are excited about the new readings she will open up for us.

Tasja Langenbach for the jury

Julia Weißenberg (*1982 in Bergisch Gladbach) studied at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, where she graduated in 2012.

Further information on the artist’s website.