Tandem / in der Lehre bei Anke Feuchtenberger
Tandem / in classe with Anke Feuchtenberger
Herausgeber:innen | Editors
Jul Gordon, Magdalena Kaszuba, Birgit Weyhe & Brigitte Helbling
Titelillustration | Coverillustration – Lilli Gärtner
Gestaltung | Graphic Design – Jan Vismann
Übersetzung | Translation – Brigitte Helbling
Korrektur | Proofreading – Katharina Kowarczyk
© 2023 MamiVerlag, Hamburg, 2023
Preface by Jul Gordon:
The most important thing is to look really
closely, on the inside as well as on the outside.
This is what we learned from Anke.
We learned that if you want to draw a
story, you have to take into account that it
will start small and require time and dedication
and discipline to grow.
If you manage to do this, the drawing will
take the lead, free of any expectations, allowing
the narrative to grow.
»Anke taught me to trust in the drawing«.
In communications with our contributors,
we encountered this statement again and
again. Anke often stressed the importance
of approaching a drawing with humility.
Having set this on the page, I am no longer
sure. Is this really something she said? Or
is it something I discussed with a colleague
during an exchange on drawing? To
my mind, taking a humble stand towards
a drawing has something to do with Anke.
I would like to maintain that this is something
she could have said. In Old High
German, humbleness, humility means ›the
mindset of a servant‹.
This fits into what Anke taught us: We
draw and narrate with an eye to what is
there, without making it bigger than it is,
with as little intention as possible. When
we draw, when we find ourselves in a state
of close observation, we connect with our
surroundings and connect our surrounding
with our mind-flow. The drawing
itself insists on being taken seriously. It
imparts to us something that we did not
know, could not know. It demands an attention
that is nothing less than humble.
In this sense, we serve the drawing.
Motives, characters, artistic practices
that evolved in this way during
our studies with Anke have stayed
with many of us up to this day.
In her classes, intense discussions about
our drawings and stories opened up individual
paths for each of us. From the
outset, Anke treats her students with respect.
This respect extends to individual
circumstances: Be they responsibilities
as parents or care-takers, administrative
obstacles facing foreign students or problematic
life situations of all kinds. Many
of us have found support and solidarity in
She always respected our wish to be artists,
took seriously our longings and ambition.
This is a central point. Some students
find it hard not to question their right to
study at a university that emphasizes applied-
artistic skills and requires proof of
applicable »talent« (demands that can resonate
in one’s head). Which is why it is
so important to find a respectful, attentive
teacher as a counterpart. Someone who
is challenging, who expects discipline and
dedication to whatever a person is working
on. Who listens closely, looks carefully, tries
to understand what is there and in which
direction it might lead. We have learned to
take these questions as guidelines and to
follow their answers on our paths as artists.
One of our contributors describes how
Anke suggested that she not turn her
back to the object she was drawing. Instead,
she should find a position in which
»her heart is open to the object«. Which
may sound esoteric, Anke added, but why
not see what happens? In my understanding,
this does not sound esoteric at all. I
find the essence of everything that we learned
during our studies in this piece of
advice: To open our hearts to the objects
of our drawings.
What an immense fortune to have Anke as
a teacher in Hamburg.