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Announcement
March 23, 2021

New rector and professors for Film and Video

Merz Akademie, University of Applied Art, Design and Media, Stuttgart

(1) Maren Schmohl. © Merz Akademie. (2) Diana McCarty. © Courtesy of the Artist. (3) Filipa César. © Susana Pomba.

The Merz Akademie, University of Applied Art, Design and Media, Stuttgart is pleased to introduce the new rector Maren Schmohl and the new Film and Video professors Filipa César and Diana McCarty.

Maren Schmohl, the university's long-time vice rector, is the new rector since March 1, 2021. The Senate of the Merz Akademie has approved the proposal of its shareholder. She had already held the office by proxy for a year. Maren Schmohl is also a member of the Board of Representative of ELIA, the European network of artistic higher education institutions, and a founding member of EQ-Arts, an international agency for quality assurance for artistic higher education. Term of office is five years.

"Maren Schmohl has an excellent international network and is very familiar with all aspects of university management. In her previous leadership position, she has repeatedly provided new and important impetus for all of the university's areas of responsibility. As head of the academic department, she would like to set new goals in cooperation with the university senate," summarize Professor Peter Ott, Dean of the Merz Akademie.

Filipa César and Diana McCarty, two filmmakers and media activists, will jointly be professors of Film and Video at Merz Akademie starting in summer semester 2021. In their artistic work, the duo has focused particularly on interdisciplinary projects with a feminist-critical approach. They also want to maintain this way of working at Merz Akademie and further expand the link between all areas of study, especially moving image and Crossmedia Publishing.

Portuguese artist and filmmaker Filipa César's work engages with the fictional aspects of documentary film and the fluid boundaries between film and its reception. She is particularly interested in militant cinema and the political dimension of the moving image and the technologies used. In numerous workshops and seminars, she has already worked with students at universities in Europe and the USA, including Harvard University. She co-founded the Mediateca Onshore, an archival project and a place of learning with ancestors, nature and people in Guinea Bissau.

US-American Diana McCarty has been working on interdisciplinary projects focusing on gender, art and the politics of media for more than 30 years. She focuses on establishing various media platforms for interdisciplinary work and cross-cultural dialogues that address the social, political, and artistic aspects of today. She gained teaching experience at universities in Germany and Europe, including the Intermedia Department at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Budapest and the UDK Berlin.

In their interdisciplinary projects, César and McCarty show how their research goes beyond film production, is taken up by other means, and has an impact on current cultural and political debates. "As feminists committed to decolonial and Marxist principles, we understand filmmaking and media production as inherently collective practices. We look forward to discussing with students, challenging existing concepts, and guiding them on their journey as critical filmmakers." They are co-founders of the elsehere artist association.

Professor Peter Ott is convinced: "With their artistic profile, they are a very good fit for the Merz Akademie, and we look forward to our collaboration."

"With Filipa César and Diana McCarty, we have been able to attract two exceptional personalities to the Merz Akademie, from whose critical artistic practice and shared idea of thinking beyond genres and formats our students will certainly benefit greatly," adds Maren Schmohl.

Merz Akademie is a nationally accredited, non-profit University of Applied Art, Design and Media was founded in 1918. With a strong interest in the disciplines of the humanities, social and cultural studies, design, art, and technology, Merz Akademie positions itself as a unique place of learning, combining elements of a classical art academy, a technical college, and a department of humanities. It aims to facilitate the professional and academic education of design-authors who are prepared not only to fulfil but to define the requirements of an ever changing professional field.

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