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Dorothee Kreutzfeldt


August 2019

Johannesburg based artist and educator Dorothee Kreutzfeldt has been selected by a jury of the Sommerakademie Paul Klee to participate in the  2019-20 edition of the Academy programme in Bern, Switzerland. The newly revised summer academy, under artistic director Tirdad Zolghadr, is a two-year programme of workshops run through the summer (beginning August 2019) within the curatorial framework of STATECRAFT. Artistic practitioners working at a postgraduate level are also offered the opportunity to teach at Bern University of the Arts HKB in December 2019 and 2020.

Dorothee is interested in the often fraught and contingent relationship between architecture, urbanity and history and the ways in which it shapes fragmented space, politics and imagination. She considers Johannesburg a major education in her work and collaborations, as painter, researcher and lecturer. The reconfigurations and re-imaginings of the colonial mining town/’post’ Apartheid metropole have profoundly informed all areas of her work.

Dorothee’s participation in the Academy is informed by this context and questions concerning the role and ideology of arts education within often exclusive space of the University; as well as her involvement in collectives between 1996 and 2009 that sought to re-imagine contexts for artistic interventions. She looks forward to exploring the complicity, opportunity or precarious interdependency between governance, space, artistic practice and pedagogies within the framework of STATECRAFT. Dorothee plans to integrate learnings from the Academy into course collaborations and workshops at the WITS School of Arts.


The full programme of discussions and presentations from the August 2019 academy can be listened to here.


Dorothee was born in Namibia, in 1970, when the former German colony was occupied and administrated by South Africa as the ‘fifth province’. Her family moved to Germany in ’78 where she completed high school before enrolling for undergraduate studies in arts at UCT in 1993. Questions of spatial practices, public and violence embedded in the urban fabric have been recurring topics in her work. In 2001 Dorothee set up a team of artists and researchers to investigate the impact of bomb attacks in Cape Town in 1999 during her ‘Fresh’ Residency at the South African National Gallery. For her Masters at Wits University she collaborated with sign-writers on a series of public paintings for ‘mothballed’ buildings in Johannesburg in the early 2000s. Dorothee was involved in building the artist’s collective Joubert Park Project at the Drill Hall in 2004, which aimed to activate the site and its role as military base and courtroom during the 1956 Treason Trial. In 2014 she co-published the book Not No Place, Johannesburg Fragments of Spaces and Times with Bettina Malcomess. The book brought together archival and visual material, historical and fictional texts in the attempt to read the complex reconfigurations of the Apartheid mining town and contemporary metropole. In 2012 Dorothee joined the Visual Arts Department at the WITS University and teaching has formed a key part of her practice since. She is currently, if skeptically, working towards a PhD proposal. Dorothee is represented by Blank Projects in Cape Town. Her latest exhibition with the gallery was entitled City Without A Sun.

City Without A Sun Installation view

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