“TellTales” was a two-week arts and culture festival, organized by the collective OrgaOrga in July 2017, Mainz. As the title suggests, the contributions were a colorful bouquet of flowers in terms of history and historiography. Jandra Böttger and Johanna Ziebritzki, two art scholars of HfG Karlsruhe, held lectures during the festival.

Jandra Böttger dedicated her lecture to the theorist Elisabeth Ströker. By modelling natural phenomena through mathematical formulas, how the natural sciences draw on different concepts of reality. The connections between reality and fiction here are so varied and reciprocal, that Ströker claims a greater awareness of fiction in the natural sciences - a reference to the contingency of scientific knowledge in the past, but also a reminder of the margin between the real and the possible in the present. Ströker encourages us to think outside familiar structures and professes fiction as an important component of theory. By no longer styling the fictional to the opposite of an ordered, rational world, it is possible to re-think the relation between theory and fiction.

A singer with a song against cosmetic surgery, a naked dancer, a publisher who gives voice to prostituted girls from Baden, and a professor of Indian art in Calcutta - what unites these these women? They all came to prominence in the 1920s and developed their voices on the cabaret and theater stages, at publishers and in universities. With the books, pictures and songs of these artists and theorists, Johanna Ziebritzki tells the stories of cross-border commuters between disciplines and values. For the lecture in Mainz, Ziebritzki presents the interpreted research results, presented in the series “Intensive Care” organized by Rebecca Stephany on June 12, 2017 at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design.