4A Laboratory: Art Histories, Archaeologies, Anthropologies, Aesthetics (2019–2023)

4A Laboratory: Art Histories, Archaeologies, Anthropologies, Aesthetics (4A_Lab) is a research and fellowship program designed in cooperation with Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institute and Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz including their museums and research institutions. Further partners are Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Forum Transregionale Studien.

The program aims to create a space for dialog between – oftentimes separately operating – institutions and disciplines. In particular, 4A_Lab attempts to create a new dialog between Art History, Archaeology, Anthropology/Ethnology, and Aesthetic Practices (4A), as well as other disciplines concerned with objects, practices, ecologies, and narratives (OPEN). Central to 4A_Lab is a fellowship program which brings excelling international doctoral and postdoctoral researchers to Berlin.

4A_Lab has an interinstitutional, interdisciplinary, and transregional approach and explores transcultural dynamics with regards to aesthetic and material cultures, as well as social practices and representations in museums and elsewhere. The while, it takes up current object research issues testing new liaisons between Social Sciences and the disciplines of the four A. This dialog exceeds geographical and chronological boundaries, nevertheless it will be held in relation to the collections and object constellations of the museums and institutions of Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. This takes place in cooperation with researchers of the museums and expert representatives of Forum Transregionale Studien, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, as well as other institutions of the international scientific landscape. The dialog of the annually reconstituted group of researchers is structured by an annual theme which are presented and discussed publicly in scientific seminars, conferences, workshops, transregional academies, and small exhibitions.

The focus theme of the first two years 2019/20 and 2021/22 is Plants (I/II). The program welcomes projects from a wide range of topics relating to plants that place emphasis on aesthetic processes, history of ideas, and material cultures, from the 4A disciplines but also from philosophical or literary studies, in a transregional perspective.

The program, which has existed since October 2019,is a progression and restructuring of the two research and fellowship programs Connecting Art Histories in the Museum (2009–2019) and Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices (2013–2019).

4A Lab Annual theme 2021/22: “PLANTS II”

  1. Zachary Caple, 4A_Lab Postdoctoral Fellow  | 1 April 2022 to 31 July 2022: I Holocene in Fragments - II Phytopoeisis in an Anthropocene Dunefield
  2. Qiuzi Guo, 4A_Lab Postdoctoral Fellow  | 1 July 2021 to 31 July 2022: The Shadow of Trees: Photography and Visual Realism in 1920s and 1930s China
  3. Jung-Hwa Kim, 4A_Lab Postdoctoral Fellow | 1 March 2021 to 30 June 2022: Invented Woods and Forests: The Tree Collections, Displays, and Networks of the First Korean Arboretum, 1922-1948
  4. Pamela Mackenzie, 4A_Lab Doctoral Fellow | 1 March 2021 to 30 June 2022: Microscope/Macrocosm: Early Modern Technology, Visualization and Representations of Nature 
  5. Parul Singh, 4A_Lab Postdoctoral Fellow | 1 May 2021 to 30 June 2022: The Gardens of Qaiserbagh: Between Myth, Reality and Illusion
  6. Melis Taner, 4A_Lab Postdoctoral Fellow | 1 September 2021 to 31 July 2022: Plants and Animals on the Move in Early Modernity: The Global Connections of Early Modern Islamic Manuscripts 
  7. Lucas Vanhevel, 4A_Lab Doctoral Fellow  | 1 June 2021 to 31 July 2022: Theatrum Fungorum: Picturing Fungi in the Early Modern Low Countries (1450-1700)
  8. Judith Elisabeth Weiss, 4A_Lab Postdoctoral Fellow | 15 March 2021 to 15 July 2021: Plants in a Box. The Herbarium as Object of Knowledge and Art

4A Lab Annual theme 2019/20: “PLANTS I”

  1. Artzi, Bat-ami (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Mutual Growth: The Agency of Plants as reflected in Inca and Chimú Visual Culture
  2. Castellani, Carlotta (Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy), “Plants as Inventors”: the impact of Raoul Heinrich Francé theories on El Lissitzky in the context of the International Constructivist Movement
  3. Chatterjee, Sria (Princeton U, NJ, USA), Nature & Nation: art, design and political ecologies in the twentieth century
  4. Hannouch, Hanin (IMT Lucca, School for Advanced Studies), Colonial Landscapes and Organic Vision Robert Lohmeyer's Dreifarbenphotographie of Africa,
  5. Keogh, Luke (National Wool Museum, Geelong, Australia), The Wardian Case: Artefact of the Anthropocene
  6. Vanhevel, Lucas (Leiden U, Netherlands), Fungi in the Early Modern Low Countries: Image-forming, ethnomycology and beyond

Head: Dr. Hannah Baader
Programme Coordinator: Antje Paul
Contact: 4a_lab[at]khi.fi.it  
Website: www.khi.fi.it/4A-Lab