Events | Leadership in the Arts or Failure is what it's all about!

Online | May 12, 2021 | 10:00 AM (PDT)

Online discussion with Mischa Kuball, Lilian Haberer, Steven D. Lavine and Jörn Jacob Rohwer. Introduction: Heike Catherina Mertens / in English

Why is failure a possible and important principle in artistic practice and its teachings? Our guests Steven D. Lavine and Jörn Jacob Rohwer will address this question in conversation with Mischa Kuball and Lilian Haberer. Based on Lavine's experience as long-term president of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts 1988-2017), our guests will connect the teachings of American (private) art schools with those in Germany.

CalArts lived through a long period of insignificance before Steven D. Lavine stepped in and led it to financial prosperity and international renown. Today, the art school is a cradle for Oscar and Pulitzer Prize winners, for Mellon and Guggenheim Fellows: a hotspot of U.S. creativity.

Background and starting point to this discussion is the newly published book "Steven D. Lavine. Failure is What It's All About. A Life Devoted to Leadership in the Arts" (Deutscher Kunstbuchverlag) by Villa Aurora alumnus Jörn Jacob Rohwer. In this book Lavine tells his personal story for the first time. He talks about cultural politics, philanthropy, the avant-garde, and his life in Los Angeles. Prompted by self-doubt and a desire to fail, he emerges as a subtle thinker, visionary, and transatlantic mediator between the worlds of art, education, and politics.

Jörn Jacob Rohwer is well known for biographical conversations with personalities from art, literature, science, and society - among others with Susan Sontag, Tomi Ungerer, Heinrich Hannover, Hans Keilson, Doris Lessing, George Tabori but also Leni Riefenstahl and Daniel Goldhagen or Richard Sennett. In 2004 Rohwer was a resident at the Villa Aurora.

The conversation is prompted by the just-published biography of former CalArts president Steven D. Lavine, written by Villa Aurora alumnus Jörn Jacon Rohwer: Jörn Jacob Rohwer / Steven D. Lavine. Failure is What It's All About. A Life Devoted to Leadership in the Arts. Deutscher Kunstbuchverlag, 2021. ISBN: 978-3-422-98155-3, Price: 34,90 € [D].

To join the event please register via e-mail by May 9, 2021 to: The zoom link and password will be send to you one day in advance (May 11).

In cooperation with The Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM).

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