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Experiencing the world means exposing oneself to it. For ten years, LIA – Leipzig International Art Programme has hosted a wide array of international artists in Leipzig, one of the most vibrant artistic hubs in Germany. Here they live and work in a former cotton mill called the Spinnerei. Among the many cross-fertilizations, a sustainable German-American artistic exchange emerged, including a host of ongoing fruitful partnerships. In response to the residencies in Leipzig, many Leipzig artists then proceeded to live and work in the USA.

Presented by BFA Visual & Critical Studies, "Gaze Shift" juxtaposes these two sides of the exchange. For to gaze upon the foreign is likewise to gaze upon oneself. The exhibition asks questions about how our identities are shaped and how we perceive each other. What is different? What is similar? Where do we meet? Where do we part? Nullius in verba. "Do not listen, go and experience yourself," says Horace. Each artistic point of view is biographically determined and culturally colored, each judgment formed by experiences that precede us. This variety in perspective determines what this exhibition aspires to present, a dialogue between two cultures. Furthermore, "Gaze Shift" is part of the initiative Wunderbar Together taking place during the Deutschlandjahr USA/The Year of German-American Friendship.

Participating artists: Katie Armstrong (BFA 2010 Visual & Critical Studies, USA), Conner Calhoun (BFA 2015 Visual & Critical Studies, USA), Santiago Chavez (BFA 2016 Visual & Critical Studies, USA), Francesco Cincotta (USA), Marcelo Daldoce (USA), Henriette Grahnert (D), Margo Greb (BFA 2017 Visual & Critical Studies, USA), Franziska Holstein (D), Volker Hüller (D), John Jacobsmeyer (USA), Silke Koch (D), Kylie Lefkowitz (BFA 2014 Visual & Critical Studies, USA), Bastian Muhr (D), Maria & Vlado Ondrej (D), Oskar Schmidt (D), Charlotte Segall (USA), Julia Stoddard (BFA 2016 Visual & Critical Studies, USA) and Matthias Weischer (D).

Curated by Anna-Louise Rolland, director, LIA-Leipzig International Art Programme.

Special thanks to the German Foreign Ministry, the Goethe-Institut, LIA main sponsor BMW, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, the School of Visual Arts New York City, the New York Academy of Art and Atelier für Radierung Maria und Vlado Ondrej.

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