DSP Seminar

• Thu 14 04 – Thu 14 07 2022 / 7 pm •
Potosí Principle – Archive


The Decolonial Studies Program (DSP) deepens the contents and topics of the exhibition Potosí Principle – Archive in an accompanying seminar. Forms of (neo-)colonial exploitation, labor disputes in art, and forms of resistance against capitalist-induced environmental destruction will be discussed. Guest lectures and readings, among others by the curators Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann as well as the artists Elvira Espejo Ayca, Stefan Mörsch and others, complement the seminar.

The DSP Seminar on Potosí Principle – Archive will take place every Thursday on a weekly basis starting on 14 04 2022 and is open to all interested.

Thu 14 04 – Thu 14 07 2022 | 19:00
Every Thursday, except 12 05, 26 05, 02 06 + 16 06
Academyspace, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne
In German and English language
Participation is free of charge
Registration is not required

Current information about Corona can be found here.


Thu 14 04
with Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz

Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz introduces the genesis and theme of the exhibition in the seminar’s kick-off event and provides an overview of the structure and further sessions.

Thu 28 04
Filmscreening & Keynote Lecture

Harun Farocki’s The Silver and the Cross (2010) examines the painting Depiction of the Cerro Rico and the Imperial City of Potosí (Oil on canvas, 262 x 181 cm) by Gaspar Miguel des Berrío, 1758, in the Museo Colonial Charcas de la Universidad San Francisco Xavier, Sucre (Bolivia). Farocki analyses labor conditions under colonial rule in the famous silver city of Potosí. The film was produced for the exhibition The Potosí Principle, curated by Alice Creischer, Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz and Andreas Siekmann (2010-2011, MNCARS Madrid, HKW Berlin, MNA and MUSEF La Paz).

In his keynote lecture Art, Biopolitics and Colonialism Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz speaks about the intrinsic relationship between our understanding of art and colonial economy. The word principio in Spanish can mean two things: principio/beginning on the one hand, principio/principle on the other. In this sense, the history of the famous silver city Potosí, in today’s Bolivian Andes region marks a double beginning, the birth of art as a biopolitical tool, and the begin of a new era: modernity.

Thu 05 05
with Joanne Rodriguez

On 05 05 2022 Joanne Rodriguez will be our guest and will give a lecture analyzing the problems and possibilities of the exhibition based on the concept of the archive. Entitled The Potosí Principle Archive as a Decolonial Archive? A Discussion on Accessibility she also addresses the question of who the exhibition is aimed at. Joanne Rodriguez has been a research volunteer at Museum Ludwig since April 2021, where she is curating the upcoming exhibition HERE AND NOW. Anti-Colonial Interventions.

Thu 09 06
Film Screening and Lecture with Miguel Hilari
Aysa (La Paz, 1965 / 19 min.)
Bocamina (Potosí, 2018 / 22 min.)

Miguel Hilari, filmmaker from La Paz, Bolivia, is a guest at the DSP Seminar. Together we will watch his film Bocamina. The film shows the colonial city of Potosí. At the pit hole faces of miners coming from work. At school, children look at old pictures from the mine. Pictures from other times. We also show Aysa, an early film by the well-known Bolivian director Jorge Sanjinés, which tells the story of the hard and unforgiving life of the tin miners.

Thu 23 06
with Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann and Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz

On 23 06 Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann, curators of the exhibition Potosí Principle - Archive, together with Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz will present the anthology Potosí Principle Archive Volume 1-4. The catalog consists of 36 booklets, grouped in four volumes and published by Walther König. Its themes are: Extractivism, Labor, Debt, Inquisition, Machine Capitalism, and Decolonization Practices.

Thu 30 06
Film Screening and Discussion
Ave Maria, llena eres des Rebeldía (La Paz, 2010 / 18 min.)

Maria Galindo is a feminist and founding member of “Mujeres Creando”. The collective from La Paz uses the street as a space for political communication and has made a name for itself primarily through the production of graffiti, for example with slogans such as "Disobedience, through your fault I will be happy" or "Woman, neither obedient nor reverent, but free, beautiful and crazy".

On 30 06 we will screen Ave Maria, llena eres des Rebeldía by Maria Galindo. The film was made in 2010 for the Principio Potosí project in La Paz. It documents a procession at the market of La Paz with the image and the deconstruction of the image Virgen del Cerro (Anonymous, Potosí 1720).

Thu 07 07
Book presentation and lecture with Reclaim Your City

For almost two decades, artists and groups have come together under the label Reclaim Your City (RYC) for collectively organized exhibitions, murals, conventions, and temporary occupations. The book BITTE LEBN (Please Live) of the RYC network documents this movement but also questions the limits of artistic forms of action. Part of the publication are the Utopian Structures collected by Tobias Morawski, which can be seen in the exhibition as answers to Albrecht Dürer’s Traumgesicht.

Thu 14 07
The pictograms in the Potosí Archive and the Cologne Progressives

The Potosí Archive is structured by pictograms. They translate the central questions of the archive into pictorial narratives and are present throughout the archive to explain complex contexts or to give a visual dedication to the artists. This visual practice refers to the Cologne Progressives, an anarcho-syndicalist group of artists from the 1920s and 30s who developed pictograms and showed solidarity with the early Soviet Republic, the German soviet revolutions, and the Spanish struggle for freedom, but remained critical of state-fixated communism.

What is fascinating about the Cologne Progressive’s principle of representation is the graphic transparency of the motifs - designed from basic geometric shapes, cuts, color and surface inversions, as if their constructedness itself indicates that they are always reversible arguments in a political narrative. In this representation, the subject is part of, rather than the author of, a dialectical, historical movement.

In the last session of the DSP Seminar, Andreas Siekmann will give insights into his work shown in the Potosí Principle - Archive.