Annabelle von Girsewald – About



homecomings is an exhibition project funded by Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin is directed by Annabelle von Girsewald and Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch. The project is inspired by Georges Perec’s reflection on lived space in Espèces d‘espaces (Species of Space, 1974) and the House Project (1974–) by Icelandic artist Hreinn Friðfinnsson. Based on a myth, Friðfinnsson built an inside-out house in a lava field of Iceland. By placing the wallpaper on the outside and the façade on the inside, he conceptually encapsulated the universe within his structure. Years later, returning to this original concept, a series of mirrored iterations successively dematerialized the house to a simple frame. Perec’s writing, guided too by a framework of interior logic, aggregates space through incremental delineation, where presence and absence, inside, outside codetermine: “Space is a doubt: I have constantly to mark it, to designate it.”



Portfolio homecomings 2013 (pdf)

Cornered Rooms

2 September – 17 October 2010, Cornered Rooms, Waterside Project Space, London

16 October 2010, Poetic Corners. From Modernist Spaces to Homecomings, London

How do you corner a room? What defines a room? A corner? These questions within the context of anxiety are of interest for the exhibition project entitled “Cornered Rooms”. What happens at this point of intersection of two converging lines? The situation concerns an individual between two ninety-degree angles while inside a room of a building. How does he or she confront the possibility of no escape? Juxtapose a situation of no escape against contemporary architecture’s preoccupation with ‘exit situations’. If the new normal is insecurity a culture marked by risk and fear, the corner is claustrophobic and provides no means for escape. The corner may serve as a metaphor for our social condition. This could offer one possible starting point for this project. If buildings transform and shape us, where and how does the corner position us? How can the cornering of a room trigger transformation?


Project Proposal (pdf)

Poetic Corners (pdf)

Bibliography Poetic Corners (pdf)

Art Monthly 2010 Oct No. 340 (pdf)

Art Monthly 2010 Oct No. 340 (pdf)

Art Monthly 2010/11 Dec-Jan No. 342 (pdf)


8 August – 13 September 2008, HomeBodies (the exhibition), Atelierfrankfurt, Frankfurt am Main

HomeBodies an exhibition project calls for the reconfiguration of ‘home’.  The aim of the project is to investigate the contemporary feeling of not being ‘at-home’ physically and metaphorically speaking. The title of the project, “HomeBodies” comes from the American word homebody meaning a person who prefers pleasures and activities that center around the home; stay-at-home. It is the starting point for the project where the reversal of its common usage becomes a program. The program intends to create multiple positions of the complex situation of not feeling ‘at-home’. Feeling ill at ease within a body and or home begins with lived experience which will be located and continuously redefined by all those involved in the project.



Press FAZ 10.09.08 (pdf)

HomeBodies (pdf)



The home exhibition trilogy took place in Frankfurt am Main from May 2005 – June 2006 in Annabelle von Girsewald’s apartment on Jungstr. 18. The final exhibition “homing desire” followed the second “home is where the hurt is” and the initial exhibition “home is where the heart is”. The concepts of diaspora and the transnational formation of identity are central to this project. The following artists dedicated themselves to all three exhibitions: Ioan Godeanu (1974, Bukarest), Tamara Henderson (1982, Halifax), Denise Mawila (1970, Frankfurt am Main), Anna Ostoya (1978, Krakow) and Giovanna Sarti (1967, Cervia). In order to create a common ground each artist received copies of the essays “Diaspora, Border and Transnational Identities” by Avtar Brah and of Paul Gilroy’s “Diaspora and the Detours of Identity” at the beginning of the project. All participants engaged in thinking about themselves coming and going and did something creative with the apprehensions at hand.

homing desire

20 May – 23 June, 2006

Homing desire inscribes a longing for a remembered prior home, the desirability of its return yet this is questioned itself. Why desire the past as a real single starting point? Why the wish for a future anchored in one home base? The word, home is the root of the verb, homing, a continuing process to go or return home, to be guided, or to move towards a goal. The drive to return ought to be thought as equally with and distinct from its former and present geographical and genealogical home. Such a form of homing desire is not to idealize one over the other and maintain oppositional value systems, but rather recognition with respect to both. The diasporic imaginary isn’t rootless it claims many homes. Most importantly is the creative tension between the fixed and non-fixed while referring to a center, margins and borders.


c/o Jungstr. 18

60486 Frankfurt am Main



home is where the hurt is

18 November – 23 December, 2005

The individual verses society under structures that shape and influence home and identity is of interest. (To keep in mind, once again: Identity is the interplay between subjective experience of the world and historical and cultural settings in which shifting subjectivities are formed.) Here the focus is on the historical and cultural settings. These settings, situations, and/or contexts are vital for the formation of the home and identity. The transnational displacement of the individual with a certain culture is defined by outside structures. Experienced tension and alienation result and the home is where hurt is located. This exhibition investigates intolerance, the unknown, and new terrain. Hurt may be felt as a physical or emotional pain and/or discrimination based on one’s social, ethnic, or economic situation.

Artist talk with Denise Mawila and Anna Ostoya on 27 November, 2005


c/o Jungstr. 18

60486 Frankfurt am Main



home is where the hurt is (pdf)

home is where the heart is

Friday May 13 – June 30, 2005

The first planned exhibition entitled “home is where the heart is” implies an idealistic personal understanding of what home is or could be. The feeling of being at home as an experience of the senses as if the essence of ‘home’ could be captured in full or revealed in an individual created system of meaning is the core of this exhibition. The physical state of being at home in a house, structure, or specific location.


c/o Jungstr. 18

60486 Frankfurt am Main


home is where the heart is (pdf)


Artist Assistance

Committed to the realisation of art works Annabelle von Girsewald has assisted artists in production for the following projects; Sigrid Sigurdsson, Die Bibliothek der Alten 2000-2105 Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main under Prof. Dr. Kurt Wettengl; Philippe Parreno, Fraught Times: For Eleven Months of the Year it’s an Artwork and in December it’s Christmas (October) Pilar Corrias (2008); Ulla von Brandenburg, Singspiel, 53rd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2009); Florian Hecker Art Basel Project Galerie Neu (2012).


Furthermore she has assisted the following exhibition projects: Ostend-Blick in ein jüdisches Viertel, Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main under Dr. Helga Krohn (2000); Jeff Wall Figures and Places, Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main under Jean-Christophe Ammann (2001), Juden in Deutschland 1945 – 2000 Konzeptionelle Überlegungen zu einer Wanderausstellung, (as exhibition not realized) Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main (2002-2003); Tobias Rehberger Cuckoo Clock Shop, Pilar Corrias London (2009); Keren Cytter,  Moderna Museet Stockholm (2010); Sergej Jensen Master of Color, Galerie Neu Berlin (2011); Klara Lidén, Galerie Neu Berlin (2011); 20 Years Galerie Neu, Galerie Neu Berlin (2014). Dedicated to the communication of art Annabelle von Girsewald gave tours in English and German at Manifesta 4, Frankfurter Kunstverein under Nicolaus Schafhausen (2002) and presented the Berlin Art Scene for Context Tours.

Contact / Links


Annabelle von Girsewald (1972, USA) is an exhibition maker, tour manager and art agent based in Berlin. Her M.A. education in American Studies and Empirische Kulturwissenschaften took place at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Her academic ‘home’ themed shows started in her apartment in Frankfurt am Main 2005. In London 2007 her project “HomeBodies” was initiated at Birkbeck College and she curated “Cornered Rooms”. Her Berlin Lottery funded project “homecomings” resulted in two exhibitions, a symposium and forthcoming publication. She began researching Icelandic turf houses in 2016. Last year she led a workshop on Icelandic turf houses at Gerdarsafn – Kopavogur Art Museum. She is an (extraordinary) member of the Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen.

Education (pdf)