Event Tue Aug. 30, 2022, 6 pm

An Encyclopaedia of Tenderness

Lecture by Anne Brannys

Portrait of Anne Brannys

“An Encyclopedia of Tenderness”: How do these two things fit together?

After all, the tender is close to the diffuse, the vague, the difficult to grasp, and thus tends to imply a dissolution of orders. On closer examination, however, this combination turns out to be not so contradictory. If we understand orders of knowledge such as the encyclopedia as relational orders of information that form a system out of themselves, this also means that they are subject to their own inherent fluctuations, that they must be questioned by themselves and constantly reorganize themselves. Thus, in a way, encyclopedias threaten their own existence as fragile constructions that can achieve stability through constant reconfiguration and the inclusion of their own blurred edges.

In the project Encyclopedia of Tenderness, scientific and artistic approaches are interwoven in every respect. Conceptually as well as in terms of design and methodology, the work was conceived through a gradual exploration of the subject matter. In her work, the author brings together the everyday and the curious, phenomena from the humanities and sciences as well as artworks in order to investigate the concept of tenderness—even where one might not expect it to exist. Breath, blushing, flesh, rabbit heart, touch-me-not, gentleness, breaking point, Zorro—the lemmas alone give an idea of the interconnectedness of the objects and situations described, which combine in a wondrous and at the same time compellingly logical manner to form a moving whole. Literary and poetic approaches, gentle, confident reflections, and unexpected facets of the delicate—this foray through and plundering of art, literature, and science invites the reader to discover the many facets of tenderness from A to Z.

For the Kestner Gesellschaft, Anne Brannys will engage with the exhibition by placing a personal selection of works in a tender relationship with the contents of her encyclopedia.

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