Leena Crasemann


Dr. des. Leena Crasemann
Research Associate
Universität Hamburg
Kunstgeschichtliches Seminar
Heilwigstraße 116
20249 Hamburg
Email: crasemann@bilderfahrzeuge.org

Research project

Textile matters. Hybrid formations and new materialities of fabrics in contemporary art and architecture

Without textiles and their diverse formations, we could not build, we could not dress, we could not live. Textiles always have been central elements of social, political, technical and artistic contexts. Nonetheless, the textile is yet to be sufficiently investigated as a material dispositif in which resides its own dynamic. 

The project wants to analyze the tent as both a textile-based art installation and a textile-based architectural structure that has a years old history until today – as nomadic abode, military facilitiy during wars, temporary lodging due to global migration, a shelter for the homeless or pavilion at art fairs etc. On the basis of reciprocally related architectural and artistic fabric tent structures, the research project deals with the new materialities and hybrid formations of textiles: textile materialities that shape space and spatiality in innovative ways should no longer be understood as passive substances which undergo a process of forming. Instead, it is necessary to explore their active, vital and generative dimensions. 

The production, processing and distribution of textile materials go hand in hand with a set of material ‚migrations’, insofar as they have to transfer and cross diverse geographical, technical, cultural and semantic borders until they reach their status such as an artistic tent object or textile architecture – a status which, paradoxically, cannot always be maintained in the long term. 

In how far can contemporary tent structures be conceptualized as material, textile agents with a strong visuality and a years-old history, that can be anchored in the context of the research group Bilderfahrzeuge? How are textiles able to shape, protect and make lived reality possible? And how can we gain a deep understanding of their agency, their complex material-specificity, their historical dimensions and visual potentials?


Research interests

Contemporary art photography; the history and theory of photography; Discourses on postcolonial, gender and critical whiteness theory; materiality and thingness of artworks; textile-based art and architecture in the 20th and 21st century; history of textiles

Academic background

  • 2017-2018 Interim Professorship, Department of Art History, Universität Hamburg (covering for Prof. Dr. Margit Kern)
  • 2015-2017 Research Fellow, Department of Art History, Universität Hamburg
  • 2014-2015 6 months Postdoctoral Fellow, IKKM – Internationales Kolleg fürKulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
  • 2012-2014 Research Fellow, working for Prof. Dr. Peter Geimer at the Collaborative Research Center SFB 626 Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits, Freie Universität Berlin 
  • 2012 PhD, Freie Universität Berlin
  • 2008-2010 Research Fellow, working for Prof. Dr. Klaus Krüger, Collaborative Research Center SFB 447 Cultures of Performativity, Freie Universität Berlin 
  • 2001-2008 Magister Artium in Art History and Theatre Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, inbetween one year at the Università degli studi di Pisa, Italy

Publications (selection)


(forthcoming) Unmarkierte Sichtbarkeit? Weiße Identitäten in der zeitgenössichen künstlerischen Fotografie, Munich: Fink 2018 (Reihe: Berliner Schriften zur Kunst).

Re-Inszenierte Fotografie, edited by Klaus Krüger, Leena Crasemann, Matthias Weiß, Munich: Fink 2011.

Um/Ordnungen. Fotografische Menschenbilder zwischen Konstruktion und Destruktion, edited by Klaus Krüger, Leena Crasemann, Matthias Weiß, Munich: Fink 2010.


(forthcoming) „Textile Rekonfigurationen des Spinnennetzes: Zum Verhältnis von Form und Material in Stoffmustern und Fadeninstallationen Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts“, in: Textile Moderne, edited by Burcu Dogramarci, Böhlau: Vienna, Cologne, Weimar, 2019.

„Making strange. Fotografische Überarbeitungen kanonischer Identitätsbilder bei Mickalene Thomas und Dorothee Golz“, in: kritische berichte, 4.2016, edited by Änne Söll and Linda Hentschel, p. 34–43.

„Leere Leinwand, weißes Blatt. Der Anfangsmoment künstlerischen Schaffens als topisches Bildmotiv“, in: Dramaturgien des Anfangens, edited by Adam Czirak and Gerko Egert, Berlin: Neofelis 2015, p. 161–184.

„Discarded, arranged: On the convergent of things in the work Gefüge – Höffner, Hübner, Boss revisited“, in: Jonas Paul Wilisch: Reklamiertes Glück / Reclamed Luck, Exhibition catalogue, edited by Jonas Paul Wilisch, Berlin 2015, p. 5–9.

„Modulated Everyday Sounds. On the sound sculptures of Justin Boyd”, in:Be #22, Magazine of Künstlerhaus Bethanien, 2015, Berlin, p. 135–138.

„Annegret Soltau: Spinning, Enmeshing, Sewing – Emancipatory String-Games“, in: Feminist Avant-garde. Art of the 1970s, the SAMMLUNG VERBUND collection, Vienna, Exhibition catalogue, edited by Gabriele Schor, Hamburg, Munich: Prestel 2015, p. 268–275.

„Ceal Floyer“, in: Künstler. Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst, 105.2 (2014), p. 1–10.

„Metamorphosen des Raums“, in: Alice im Wunderland der Kunst, Exhibition catalogue, edited by Hubertus Gaßner, Annabelle Görgen, Christopf Benjamin Schulz, Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz 2012, p. 150–157. 

„Barbara Probst“, in: Lost Places. Orte der Photographie, Exhibition catalogue, edited by Hubertus Gaßner and Petra Roettig, Heidelberg, Berlin: Kehrer 2012, p. 62–63.

„Echte Orte, falsche Bilder? Wiederkehrende Wirklichkeiten bei Andrea Robbins und Max Becher“, in: Re-Inszenierte Fotografie, edited by Klaus Krüger, Leena Crasemann, Matthias Weiß, Munich: Fink 2011, p. 69–96.

Leena Crasemann, Matthias Weiß: „Re-Inszenierte Fotografie? Eine Einführung“, in: Re-Inszenierte Fotografie, edited by Klaus Krüger, Leena Crasemann, Matthias Weiß, München: Fink 2011, p. 9–27.

„Ausblendungen. Zur Frage des weißen Subjekts in den fotografischen Inszenierungen von Lisl Ponger“, in: Um/Ordnungen. Fotografische Menschenbilder zwischen Konstruktion und Destruktion, edited by Klaus Krüger, Leena Crasemann, Matthias Weiß, München: Fink 2010, p. 219–236.

Leena Crasemann, Jonas Beyer: „Kann es die Lingua franca einer entgrenzten Kunstgeschichtsschreibung geben? Zur Tagung Universalität der Kunstgeschichte? Methoden und Institutionen der Kunstgeschichte im globalen Kontext“, in: kritische berichte38.4 (2010), p. 89–93.

„Transkulturalität – Ansichten und Einsichten“, in: Gender im Blick. Geschlechterforschung in kulturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive, edited by Karin Gludovatz and Anja Middelbeck-Varwick, Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang 2009, p. 197–214.

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