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Elke Marhöfer

About Elke Marhöfer

Dr. Elke Marhöfer is an artist and a researcher. She currently pursues a postdoctoral research at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Landscape Ecology and Planing Laboratory in collaboration with the Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg and the researcher and artist Mikhail Lylov. She does research in “Disturbed Ecologies,” “Natural Farming” and “Human and Nonhuman Landscaping Practices.”

Via the potentialities of moving image and writing, Elke works with notions of self-admitted foreignness and radical othering. She collaborates with dear friends and things, revises notions of animals, vegetables and objects. She offers a fresh view on art and media, which emphasizes the consistency between environment and technology. Testing for example nonhuman perspectives, that is translating a technology like the camera from a human cultural and technical device into an extension of the intensive forces within the surrounding environment. By this the camera becomes a tool, which is in principle not different from nonhuman animal tools. Using a camera to record film becomes similar to orangutans using leaves to make squeaky kiss noises.

Elke speculates how anthropology without the categories of being, without ontological distinction would look like. Does a monistic political ontology make the distinctions of plants, animals, humans and things redundant, and by eradicating signification enable a responsive, but unnatural participation, or is it necessary to keep difference?

Projects have received fellowships, grants, and generous support from the Swedish Research Council (Sweden), Akademie Schloss Solitude (Germany), Whitney Independent Study Program (US), IASPIS Residency (Sweden), Cité des Art International Paris (France).

Art exhibitions include the Kyiv Biennale, (Ukraine) Biennale of Urbanism Shenzhen (China), Houston Museum of Fine Arts (US), Röda Sten Gothenburg (Sweden), Guangzhou Triennial (China), FCAC Shanghai (China), Kaohsiung Museum Taipei (Taiwan), Palais de Tokyo Paris (France), Manufactura’s Studio Wuhan (China), and in Germany Berlinische Gallerie, Badischer Kunstverein Karlsruhe, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Halle 14 Leipzig, Museum Morsbroich Leverkusen.

The films have been screened at BFI-Film Festival London, Berlinale - Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, IFFR - International Film Festival Rotterdam, Courtisane Festival Ghent, Images Film Festival Toronto, The Showroom London and the Cinematek Kyoto, Brussels, Stockholm, Toronto and Tokyo.

* born 1967 in Baracoa, she studied Fine Art at the University of the Arts in Berlin, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York City. Elke was awarded a Doctor of Arts from the University of Gothenburg.


PUBLICATIONS   Monographs 
Elke Marhöfer, Mikhail Lylov, Shape Shifting, Berlin: Archive Books, 2015.
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Elke Marhöfer, prendas - ngangas - enquisos – machines, Berlin: Archive Books, 2015.
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Elke Marhöfer, Nobody knows, when it was made and why, Berlin: Archive Books, 2015.
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Elke Marhöfer, No, I am not a toad, I am a turtle! Berlin: Archive Books, 2012.
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Elke Marhöfer, 艾克·马赫费尔访谈, Shanghai: Fei Contemporary Art Center, 2010.

Elke Marhöfer, as soon as there is more than one, Frankfurt/Main: Revolver Verlag, 2005.
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Journal article

Elke Marhöfer, Gunvor Nelson. “What triggers this kind of filming?.” OEI: On Film 69-70 (2015); 99-100.
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Elke Marhöfer. “Nicolás Guillén Landrián.” OEI: On Film 69-70 (2015); 452-457.
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Elke Marhöfer. “Film Chaos.” Paletten (2014); 44-49.
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Jean-Marie Straub, Elke Marhöfer and Mikhail Lylov. “A Thousand Cliffs.” In Standpunkt der Aufnahme (Point of View) edited by Tobias Hering. Berlin: Archive Books, 2014.
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Elke Marhöfer. “You don’t need no education.” In What is to be done? edited by IDEA, Clui. Kassel: dokumenta 12 magazine, 2007.   Chapter or part of a book

Elke Marhöfer, „Becoming Extinct (Wild Grass)“ in Ethical Materialities in Art and Moving Images edited by Silke Panse, Bloomsbury 2019 (forthcoming)

Elke Marhöfer. “17. octobre 1961 Paris.” In The Evil, edited by Raimar Stange & Gal.Lehmann, Dumont Verlag, Cologne, 2007.

Elke Marhöfer. “Les exclus.” In Klartext – Berlin, edited by Kunstraum Niederösterreich, Vienna, 2006.

Elke Marhöfer. “mach dich weg und denke wir.” In Nine Points of the law, edited by NGBK, Berlin, 2003. 


e-mail: contact(at)