Center for Cartooning and Low Comedy, Bremen

The CCLC is dedicated to the practice, research, discussion and promotion of cartooning and low comedy. It sees cartooning not merely as an artistic form, but also as an ethical and intellectual stance, as a way of being in the world. Low comedy, in this context, means cartooning with other means, such as comics, animation, performance, comical objects, films, texts, music, sometimes even food or administrative regulations.
CCLC takes its departure from the understanding that caricature is a distilled form of what normally occurs in the construction of reality. In order to arrive at a workable model of the world, we ignore the overwhelming quantity of available and conceivable information about it. Even the limited amount of data our senses register has to pass filters of omission, distortion, generalization and amplification of some elements over others. Reality is, in other words, always already simplified and biased, a form of caricature. Cartoons are caricatures with a specific flavour. Cartoons are joyful, caricatures don’t have to be. Cartoons are hands-on. The word “cartooning,” comes from the practice of quickly sketching something on carton. It emphasises the temporary and humorous as well as the hand-made. Cartoons are kinder and softer than caricatures, they tend to prefer silliness and free play to aggression and confrontation. If abstraction, in art and science alike, has the tendency to reduce reality towards a lofty ideal, cartooning reduces it towards the funny and grotesque; neither is true.
Over the years, the Hochschule der Künste Bremen has attracted an unusually large number of faculty and students who worked at the interstices of art, illustration, cartooning and design. We see this concentration of comically inclined artists in Bremen as an underappreciated resource, an undocumented piece of local history, as something that distinguishes the HfK Bremen from other art academies.

Primarily, the CCLC will be a place where students and faculty, as well as guests from outside the HfK, can come together to draw cartoons, talk about them, create low comedy and develop it together. Beyond that, we will arrange public lectures, conferences, exhibitions and eventually publications.

1 i.e. Bernd Bexte, Michael Glasmeier, currently Kati Barath, Anette Geiger, Samuel Nyholm, Olav Westphalen