Doreen Mende

Commissioned Artist: Moving Away

Doreen Mende, born in East-Germany, is a curator, theorist, researcher, and writer. She is currently Associate Professor and Head of the CCC Research Master and PhD-Forum of the Visual Arts Department at HEAD in Geneva, Switzerland. Mende co-founded (with Tom Holert and Volker Pantenburg) the Harun Farocki Institut (HaFI) in Berlin. Her concept-driven projects evolve from analyzing processes of making public (aka exhibiting) through concrete examples of techno-geo-spatial practices, i.e., curatorial politics. In 2016, she started the collaborative slow research project The Navigation Principle.


Mende’s recent curatorial projects include KP Brehmer Real Capital – Production (2014, Raven Row, London); Of Violence (2014, EVA International, Dublin), Travelling Communiqué (2014/13, Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade, Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin), A Triple Timeline (Qalandiya International, Ramallah); Double Bound Economies (2013/12, Halle 14 Leipzig, centre de la photographie Geneva, ETH Zurich), Candida Höfer: Projects Done (2009/10, CAAC Sevilla, MARCO Vigo).


Her practice-driven PhD thesis The Itinerant, awarded in Curatorial/Knowledge from Goldsmiths University of London, analyses the image as geopolitics of socialist solidarity of the GDR with Palestine during the early 1980s at the threshold between revolutionary struggle and humanitarian violence. In that framework, Mende was Research Fellow of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut.


Mende is co-editor of e-flux journal 59 on Harun Farocki, and of the publication series Displayer (HfG/ZKM Karlsruhe). Her essays and peer-reviewed articles are part of compilations like Proxy Politics Power and Subversion in a Networked Age (ed. Research Center for Proxy Politics, Archive Books), Jerusalem Quarterly 66 (ed. Salim Tamari and Issam Nassar), Future Imperfect: Contemporary Art Practices and Cultural Institutions in the Middle East (ed. Anthony Downey, Sternberg Press), In a Manner of Reading Design. The Blind Spot (ed. Katja Gretzinger, Sternberg Press), The Curatorial: A Philosophy of Curating (ed. Jean Paul Martinon, Bloomsbury Academic London), among others. Mende lives in Berlin and Geneva.