An Imperfect Map (Will Have to Do) Landscape without horizon

Onlineausstellung: An Imperfect Map (Will Have to Do) Landschaft ohne Horizont

An Imperfect Map (Will Have to Do) Landscape without Horizon is an online exhibition at , in which the students Leandra Bigale, Beatrice Born, Ulrich Fischer, Johann Haberlah, Paula König, Merle Voigt, Ziqiu Zhao each contribute one of their works to the Imperfect Map. The exhibition was curated by Lena Johanna Reisner, initiated and supervised by Prof. Antje Majewski.

“The globe is perceived as a ball in a net of latitudes and longitudes”, Michel Serres noted in an essay on the travels of Jules Verne. During the long phase of European expansion, colonial powers – together with their sciences – operated through the paradigm of discovery to expand and create ever more detail in their world maps. Maps, and cartography itself as a form of knowledge production, are not neutral. They have often been historically deployed in order to control space and facilitate the geographic expansion of social and political systems. Equally, throughout the history of modern nation states and military technologies, maps have been connected with both the definition and expansion of property rights. Some artistic works in An Imperfect Map (Will Have to Do) investigate forms of territoriality as well as questions relating to landscapes and their calculability, configuration and control.
Topographic maps and satellite images both project a view from above onto that which they purport to show. This surveying of the surface of the earth is generally conveyed either through a technological lens or an abstraction, which displaces the viewer’s position to a space outside of the frame. In An Imperfect Map (Will Have to Do), this perspective is refused. Setting the map as an object – and its meaning for the political history of the geographic sciences – aside, the artistic works investigate practices of collecting, editing, and recording, as well as assemblage, notation, and speculation. Through painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and musical processes, aspects of landscapes are brought to the fore that leave the cartographic mode of surveying behind without once bringing a horizon line into the frame.
In her poem A Map to the Next World, from which the title of the exhibition is drawn, the Muscogee poet Joy Harjo speaks of a map that “must be of sand”, that “can’t be read by ordinary light. It must carry fire to the next tribal town, for renewal of spirit.” In Joy Harjo’s poem, the map appears as a fleeting image, one which cannot exist independently of the people who care for the knowledge, the experience, and the sites that it contains.
How might an imperfect map look that is capable of wresting itself away from the global network of latitudinal and longitudinal places and narratives? Perhaps it would generate productive voids and open fields, spaces that withdraw from control, instead telling of forms of belonging and relating. An imperfect map is not an object, but a constant, poetic movement towards orientation in an open terrain.

8 / 2 – 1 / 4 / 2021
Leandra Bigale, Beatrice Born, Ulrich Fischer, Johann Haberlah, Paula König, Merle Voigt, Ziqiu Zhao

15. February 2021

In Focus

The main goal of the Muthesius University in Kiel is to promote art, design and spatial strategies via research and development projects as a focal point for work and intellectual debates. As the only art university in the State of Schleswig-Holstein, the Muthesius is not only a place to develop culturally relevant biographies but with its project studies also a place of particular experimentation and realisation. To a certain extent, the profile of the Master’s programme represents study courses and development possibilities for students unique in the Federal Republic of Germany.

“At the centre of the Muthesius University’s focus is art and design, the creative and productive. Around this centre there revolves the fundamental relationship between theory and practice. This reciprocal relationship is a permanent process, a circular movement around the centre held by art and design. It needs free space to move. Thus, the firt condition for art and design at our university is freedom! To study at the Muthesius is the desire to use this freedom to mature into an equally creative and productive personality. In this way, we can provide our students with personal biographies”, promises President Dr. Arne Zerbst.

Around 660 study places are currently spread across the study courses in Fine Arts, Fine Arts for Secondary School Teachers, Spatial Strategies, Communication Design and Industrial Design.


Training and education at the Muthesius are project-oriented. Students are encourage early to gain experience with real clients. The Project Office, the Publication Office and the Centre for Media are interdisciplinary departments which help students to complete their projects successfully.
By particpating in the excellence clusters the Muthesius University is one of the internationally visible and competitive research institutes contributing to the sustainability of research in Germany. Numerous cooperation partners at local, national and international level appreciate the Muthesius University’s interdisciplinary structure and the personal atmosphere of the class sizes of a maximum to 20 students – an excellent basis for discourse leading to innovation.


Each term, students and lecturers discuss national and international positions in art and design within the framework of interdisciplinary workshop weeks and internally organised, public symposia. International lecturers are always a part of these required courses. Young people from over 30 countries around the world come together in Kiel to study art and design. They make up 14 per cent of the student body, with an increasing tendency. This puts the Muthesius University above the national average.


In order to make the variety of the Muthesius University more informative, in addition to the »official« information pages (the coloured half of the website) there are over 30 weblogs (the white half of this website) updated by the individual study courses/departments themselves (in German only).



Winter semester 2023/24
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