KHI 2021+ Lecture Series

Burcu Dogramaci: Beyond the Burden of Representation: Želimir Žilnik’s Inventur – Metzstraße 11 (1975)

Želimir Žilnik: Inventur – Metzstraße 11, Munich 1975, 16mm, 9 min., screenshot (

In the media presence of labour migration in Germany of the 1970s and 1980s stereotypical representations dominate, exposing migrants mostly as the others of “native” societies. Migrants as people who have agency, who are resistant or creative, are scarcely given a place in public perception. For some time now, post-migrant research has been demanding that migrants be given agency and that there be a space for their many voices to be heard. However, early artistic projects made it possible for migrants to speak up by offering them artistic space. This presentation will discuss what opportunities for personal empowerment artistic projects in particular provided to migrants. To what extent had they already been given a voice and visual presence here? The focus will be on Želimir Žilnik’s Inventur – Metzstraße 11 (1975), its context, the interaction between photographer/artists, the actors, the changing audience, and the position of the researcher.

Burcu Dogramaci is Professor for Art History at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität of Munich. Her research focuses on the areas of modern and contemporary global art, photography and architecture; exile and migration; fashion history; the history of art history; and live art. She has been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council for her five-year project METROMOD (2017–2022), which focuses on six metropolises, including Bombay (now Mumbai), Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Shanghai, as workplaces for émigré artists from Europe in the first half of the 20th century. Her recent publications include the co-edited volumes Arrival Cities: Migrating Artists and New Metropolitan Topographies in the 20th Century (2020; open access: and Handbook of Art and Global Migration: Theories, Practices, and Challenges (2019).

This talk is part of the KHI 2021+ Lecture Series, organized by the doctoral and postdoctoral fellows, in collaboration with scientific staff and senior scholars of the Institute. It is envisioned as a forum to reflect on the futures of Art History through conversations with innovative voices in the discipline, working in different areas but sharing methodological concerns.

11 March 2021, 3:00pm

KHI 2021+ Lecture Series
The event takes place online.


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