Open Lecture/Workshop (online)

Crying Classroom, Nadja Kracunovic & Rand Ibrahim
This is a student organized session by Laura Wiemers (MA Fine Arts). You are invited to join the exchange and dialogue with your computer during a livestream at the lecture hall.
Crying Classroom
In a world where emotional responses are often privatized and suppressed, the Crying Classroom, an interdisciplinary art project, seeks innovative approaches to explore the emotional needs and cognitive processes of individuals and groups. As part of our ongoing mission to challenge conventional academic structures and foster critical dialogue, we would like to exchange with the students of the Iceland University of the Arts through a workshop.
We will investigate the connection between collective capacity and social responsibility. Our focus will be on understanding the complex nature of emotional responses that arise in challenging conditions and how they affect us and our reaction to them. The workshop will adopt several techniques and methods of communication and research, inviting all participants to reflect and engage in our process of recognition and positioning.
Our story
Research in art history and art theory, along with the whole art academic context, has so far dealt with crying rather marginally. Giving the space for such a topic to be explored and approached interdisciplinarily was the aim of the Crying Institute, an art theoretical and historical seminar held at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in 2022-23 by Professor Dr. Birte Kleine-Benne, with the assistance of the artists Be Körner, Tatiana Theo Ilichenko, Nadja Kracunovic, and Rand Ibrahim.
Focused on the research in crying, including perspectives from medicine, biology, anthropology, psychology, psychoanalysis, social studies, cultural studies, politics, history, gender history, religion, semiotics, sociology, and communication theory, the institute compiled theoretical and historical key texts, significant terms and terminologies, suitable methods, and already existing artistic works/practices on this topic in art history and contemporary art that investigated the topic. The aim was to become operational as an institute and crying experts.
This institute urged us to move to the physical space for further discussion and evolve to the new stage of research in a culture of emotion called Crying Classroom, providing research space for artists of all disciplines, art practitioners, and students while establishing a culture of emotions, new artistic strategies, and pedagogies.
Nadja Kracunovic (b.1996) is a Serbian-born artist living in Germany. Her interdisciplinary art practice intersects performance, visual arts, and theater, focusing on the personal experience of survival. She forms characters through narration, cabarets, participatory settings, objects, and monodramas to address her female heritage and imposed societal burdens. Drawing materials from her diaries, folk tales, family history, and intimate encounters, Kracunovic breeds feminine narratives that employ her voice, humor, and poetry.
As a professional crier and nostalgist, she is a co-founder of the ‘’Crying Classroom’’, a collaborative, artistic project that researches the act of crying through the self-governing community and the initiator of the never-ending experimental radio station ‘’Future Nostalgia FM’’ (2021- ∞).
Rand Ibrahim (born 1993) is a multimedia artist currently based in Weimar, Germany. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Fine Art from Damascus University in 2015 and is presently pursuing her studies in the master's program "Public Art and New Artistic Strategies" at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar since 2021. Her artistic practices encompass Performance, Site-specific installations, Sculpture, Video, expressionist figurative and abstract painting and Book Art. Rand uses diverse media and formats to tackle issues pertaining to oppression, political awareness, and social and environmental justice.
Through her works, she navigates the realm of storytelling, employing symbolic notions to convey narratives that revolve around collective and individual memory, intertwining facts and imagination. Rand is a co-founder of the Crying Classroom and her interest in the topic relates to understanding how crying can be an artistic and human strategy to act, criticize, and demonstrate human comprehension and awareness.
After studying art history, philosophy and modern German literature (and later political science), participating in a 2-year research project about online structures between Germany and South Africa founding and participating in several other projects, and the completion of an art-scientific doctorate on complex artistic fields of action, Prof. Dr. Birte Kleine-Benne (born 1970) researches and teaches as an art scientist in addition to artistic and scientific curation in various art ventures (notably: artlabor e.V., The Crying Institute is the result of working with outstanding people who she was privileged to meet in 2022/2023. Research, teaching, publications, curatorial activities and more here. Visit crying Institute blog.
This event is a part of the spring 2024 lecture series held by the Department of Fine Art and takes place in the Laugarnes Lecture Hall (L193) at Laugarnesvegi 91, 105 Reykjavík.
For further information on the lecture series click HERE.