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Marcus Ahlers | Meral Alma |

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Marcus Ahlers, M.F.A.

Visual artist

Marcus Ahlers was born in the United States. His work as a visual artist is strongly characterized by the influence of two study paths. He achieved a master’s degree of Fine Arts at Maryland Institute College of Art with an emphasis on sculpture. Receiving a Fullbright scholarship, he moved to Berlin in 2002. In 2013, he acquired another Bachelor of Science degree in energy and process engineering at Technical University of Berlin. There, he is currently enrolled for the master’s study program of energy systems for buildings. The concept of system and the related investigation of human existence as a dynamic manifestation of energy and information is the starting point for his research. His interdisciplinary interests are expressed in his artistic work, integrating technical as well as philosophical aspects and analyzing the topics of perception as well as the relationship between human beings and the environment, among others. For further information, please visit

Meral Alma, M.A.

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Prof. Dr. Alexander Becker

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Dr. Gerhard Daum

Born in 1954, Daum’s artistic interest in pictorial constructions within geometric space began to develop while he was still at school. After completing his studies in medicine with a doctorate he went on to work in the pharmaceutical industry and in hospital management. Several years ago he resumed his artistic activities, basing his pictorial constructions on mathematics. The initial forms of his experimental works are always rooted in elements of Euclidean geometry, which provide frameworks for the design of abstract figures in virtual space and are removed once the construction is finished. The figure speaks for itself without the viewer being given insight into the manner of its making. Daum constructs his works on drawing cardboard using pencil, ruler, compass and tubular drawing pen.

His work is driven by a quest for beauty and simplicity. He achieves this by applying symmetric and asymmetric proportions that result in the harmoniously balanced forms of his pictorial constructions. He pursues a non-representational style inspired by natural science and mathematics, that adopts stylistic elements of Constructivism. With his characteristic way of working he has set new Constructivist accents. For further information, please visit

Dr. Sonja Frenzel

Research fellow

Sonja Frenzel is a research fellow at the Institute for Anglophone Literatures and Literary Translation at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany. Her current research interests revolve around urban poetics, material agencies, and the ethics of translation. Her list of publications includes academic as well as creative texts.

Prof. Dr. h.c. Karl Otto Götz

Visual artist

At ko-gö a detailed and comprehensively established tabular biography (until 2010) can be found. The information most relevant to w/k is presented below.

1914 Born February 22 in Aachen
1947 Götz becomes a member of the artist group CoBrA
1954 First solo exhibitions in Paris and Seattle
1958 Participation at the XXIV. Biennial in Venice
1959 Participation at the Dokumenta II in Kassel
1959–1979 Professorship at Academy of Arts Düsseldorf. Among others, Gotthard Graubner, Kuno Gonschior, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Rissa, H.A. Schult and Franz Erhardt Walther studied under Karl Otto Götz.
1965 Marriage with Rissa
1971 The experiments on visual perception performed at Academy of Arts Düsseldorf since 1970 and the contribution to personality research are internationally recognized by renowned psychologists
1972 Götz and Karin Götz (Rissa) publish the book Probleme der Bildästhetik. Eine Einführung in die Grundlagen des anschaulichen Denkens
1984 Great retrospective monotypes, paintings, gouaches 1935–1983
1989 Order of Merit (North Rhine-Westphalia)
1996 State award for painting (Rhineland Palatinate)
1997 Establishment of the K.O Götz and Rissa Foundation
2004 Honorary member of Academy of Arts Düsseldorf. Numerous exhibitions on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
2007 Awarding of the Federal Cross of Merit (1st class) by the German Federal President
2009 Awarding of the Order of Merit of Rhineland Palatinate to K.O. Götz and Rissa
2010 Awarding of the honorary doctorate of Academy of Arts Münster

Anna Lena Grau

Visual artist

Born in Hamburg in 1980. She studied free art at University of Applied Sciences for Visual Arts Hamburg and was taught by Dr. Hanne Loreck and Pia Stadtbäumer. She works as an artist, curator and lecturer at Academy of Arts Bad Reichenhall. From 2008 to 2011, she was part of the artist group Von dritten Räumen. Grau held exhibitions at Kunstverein Hamburg, Kunsthalle Kiel, Kunsthaus Essen and at Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Brussels among others. She received numerous renowned scholarships like Hamburger Arbeitsstipendium and Stipendium Künstlerhaus Lauenburg.

Grau takes an open view on sculpture. She works with the peculiarities of traditional techniques in an experimental way. Often, she entrenches her work in a narrative of historical references or artistic traditions, such as the one of museums or scientific collections. She reflects on philosophic-scientific methods in drawings, sculptures and installations.

Hugo Boguslawski

Visual artist

Born in Gelsenkirchen in 1970.

1991–2001: Studied art at Münster Art Academy, Prof. H.-J. Kuhna’s painting class
1991–1995: Foundation course in biology at the University of Münster
1995: H.-J. Kuhna’s master-class student
2002: Diploma

Hugo Boguslawski’s painting operates at the interface between representational art and ornamental abstraction. As an exponent of Structural Painting, he rhythmically assembles set pieces from nature in new compositions and thus recodes perceived, three-dimensional reality on the two-dimensional surface of the canvas. He finds inspiration not only in the landscape in general, but also in palaeontological finds. Hugo Boguslawski lives and works in Düsseldorf.

Dr. Bernhard Jansen

Art historian

In tandem with Linda Walther Bernhard Jansen directs the research project “art research – Internationale KünsterInnen- und Ausstellungsdatenbank” (international artist and exhibition database) in the Institute of Art History at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Since 2005 this project has been researching and correlating information from the realm of contemporary art exhibitions worldwide.

Dr. Anna-Sophie Jürgens

literary and cultural scholar

Anna-Sophie Jürgens is a Feodor Lynen Postdoctoral Fellow (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation) at the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. She works in the fields of Comparative Literature, Popular Entertainment Studies and Science in Fiction Studies, and has a doctorate in Comparative Literature from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. She was a 2017 fellow of the National Library of Australia and was honoured with a PhD and undergraduate scholarship by the German National Merit Foundation (awarded to the top 0.5% of the German student and postgraduate population). Her research draws upon modern and contemporary circus fiction, the history of (violent) clowns, clowns and scientists, and aesthetics and poetologies of knowledge.
Jürgens’ publications include Poetik des Zirkus (2016, monograph); Patterns of DisǀOrder (2017, ed. with M. Wierschem); LaborARTorium (2015, ed. with T. Tesche); ‘Comic in Suspenders: Jim Sharman’s Circus Worlds in The Rocky Horror (Picture) Show’ Journal of Australian Studies (2018); ‘A funny Taste: Clowns and Cannibals’ Comedy Studies 9/2 (2018); ‘Circus as Idée fixe and Hunger: Circomania in Fiction’ Comparative Literature and Culture (2016); ‘The Joker, a Neo-modern Clown of Violence’ Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (2014). Anna-Sophie is guest editor of two special-themed journal issues to be published in 2019 – on Circus & Science (Journal of Science & Popular Culture) and violent clowns (Comedy Studies).

Mischa Kuball

lives and works in Düsseldorf/DE

*1959 in Düsseldorf/DE. Mischa Kuball has been working in the public sphere since 1987. He uses light as a medium to explore architectual space as well as social and political discourse in his installations and photographs, reflecting on a whole variety of aspects from sociocultual structures to architectural interventions, emphasising or reinterpreting their monumental nature and context in architectual history. Public and private space merge into an indistinguishable whole in politically motivated participation projects, providing a platform for communication between the audience, the artist, the work itself and public space.

Since 2007 Mischa Kuball is a Professor in the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, associate professor for media art at Hochschule für Gestaltung/ZKM, Karlsruhe, and since 2015 member of North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, Duesseldorf. Publications:


Visual artist

Born in France in 1974, malatsion has lived in Frankfurt since 2004. From 1992 to 1998, she studied Art History and Archeology at the University of Poitiers. Afterwards, she studied at the Academy of Visual Arts of Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg where she graduated in 2003. Her installations often deal with man’s behavior towards nature and with the changes in its essence produced by this influence. By contrast, her abstract and geometrical two or three dimensional works architectonically explore space as a field of imagination. malatsion stages her sculptures in spatial scenarios and simultaneously analyses the created objects in scientifically precise drawings and photographs. In the context of her reflection upon the interaction of man and his natural environment, malatsion took wild bee swarms as a living core for a sculptural work created for the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Sorocaba, São Paulo in 2016.

Detlev van Ravenswaay, Dipl.-Des.

Independent artist

The artist considers science a motor of new motives. New findings bring new image ideas. What appeared to be inconceivable becomes visual reality. Creative aspects absorb information and atmosphere and turn them into new art that assists scientists in spreading their work. Or the other way around: the artist suggests approaches to scientists that they have not “seen” until then.

Born in 1956, diploma-design-studies at University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein in Krefeld. After 20 years of designing for advertising agencies and as a freelancer, specialization in Space Art and illustration. 3000 artworks are formed for the national and international media landscape and for projects that are not located on this planet. In this millennium, new start as an independent artist.


Visual artist

1938 Born in Rabenstein, Chemnitz
1953 Leaving German Democratic Republic
1959 General qualification for university entrance, Bochum
1960 Studies at Academy of Arts Düsseldorf (K.O. Götz)
1964 State examination in art education
1965 Works as free painter. Marries K.O. Götz
1969 Lecturer at Academy of Arts Düsseldorf
1975 Professor at Academy of Arts Düsseldorf
1988 Equal opportunities officer at Academy of Arts Düsseldorf
1997 Establishment of K.O. Götz und Rissa-Stiftung (Foundation)
2000 Prorector at Academy of Arts Düsseldorf
2003 Retirement Academy of Arts Düsseldorf
2004 Lectureship at Academy of Arts Düsseldorf
2007 Leaving the academy
2009 Member of the board of advisers of art college NRW. Award: Order of Merit, Rheinland-Pfalz
2012 Rissa becomes an honorary member of Academy of Arts Düsseldorf

Thomas Schönauer

Sculptor and Painter

Thomas Schönauer, born in 1953, works as a sculptor and painter; his works are internationally renowned.

Following his studies of literature and philosophy at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf Thomas Schönauer studied several more terms at art academies in Winnipeg (Canada) and Düsseldorf. Leaping in at the deep end, he started working as a professional artist. At quite an early stage already he won several international competitions:
1988: Donation from the Stadtwerke Düsseldorf (municipal works) for the 700-year anniversary of the city of Düsseldorf.
1992: Overall concept for the German presentation at the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
1990–92: Concept and sculptural installations for the Aquarius Water Museum in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

Thomas Schönauer is a “man of space” – so it is barely surprising that many of his sculptures bear a strong relation to architecture and landscape. Hence his intense collaboration with the landscape designer Andreas Kipar from Milan. But his painting too is concerned with the phenomena of nature and space, and with endeavours to invest surface with the third dimension. His impulse towards research and innovation has always prompted him to seek a close relationship with industry. In 2013 that led to a cooperation agreement with the chemicals company Henkel to provide the artist with adhesive products from its own laboratories for his painting. A first highlight of this innovative partnership was a much-regarded joint presentation at the Long Night of Science held in the Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf. The notion of the Engineering Artist coined by his friend Frank Dopheide, managing director of the Handelsblatt Publishing Group, succinctly describes the essence of Schönauer’s work. His works are to be found in numerous private, corporate and public collections.

Further sources of inspiration for Thomas Schönauer are his intense preoccupation with current social challenges such as populism, digitisation, governance and networking. In the context of such issues Schönauer also participates in public debates or is invited to keynote lectures or think tanks, as well as making his mark as an author, writing on these themes in, for example, The Huffington Post. In 2016, together with Burkhard Böndel, Ines Kaldas, Andreas Kipar and Ralph Richter, he founded the Bewegung gegen das lineare Denken (Movement against linear thinking). In 2012 he was appointed associate member of the Association of German Architects (BDA). Since 2016 he has also been a member of the advisory board of the Deutsche Rheumastiftung (German Rheumatism Association).

Thomas Schönauer is married to a Brazilian psychologist and has two daughters.

For further details:

Prof. Dr. Markus Schrenk

Artist and Philosopher Düsseldorf/DE

Markus Schrenk is Professor for Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany. His core area of research is Metaphysics, especially Metaphysics of Science: Laws of Nature, Causation, Dispositions, and Modality.

He is the author of The Metaphysics of Ceteris Paribus Laws (2007), co-author of Einführung in die Sprachphilosophie (2nd edition 2014), and editor of Handbuch Metaphysik (forthcoming 2016).
Routledge has published his Metaphysics of Science. A Systematic and Historical Introduction in July 2016.

Prof. Dr. Peter Tepe

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Linda Walther, M.A.

Art historian

In tandem with Bernhard Jansen Linda Walther directs the research project “art research – Internationale KünsterInnen- und Ausstellungsdatenbank” (international artist and exhibition database) in the Institute of Art History at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Since 2005 this project has been researching and correlating information from the realm of contemporary art exhibitions worldwide.