Harriet Häußler – A European Creative from Berlin

In Berlin, we met Harriet Häußler, a leading expert on Anselm Kiefer and art historian.
Harriet highlighted the evolving challenges and innovations within the art world. As geopolitical shifts and technological advances occur, galleries are adapting by integrating artificial intelligence into critical functions such as art authentication and curation. We had a chat at Neue National Gallerie in Berlin.


Harriet Häußler in a Julien Dress. Tri-colour from the Jasmin Khezri Collection


IRMA: What can galleries – small and big ones – attempt to stay relevant in the future?
HARRIET HÄUßLER: Galleries have to accept that the world is in fact dramatically changing – in terms of geopolitical movements as well as ongoing technological innovations. We all have to see that some innovations don’t work in the art world, but some do. And even if a gallery is dealing with old masters you can and should use artificial intelligence.


IRMA: What are your thoughts on the role of artificial intelligence in detecting and preventing art forgeries??
HARRIET HÄUßLER: AI can be used to reveal art forgeries faster and with unfailing accuracy. The software compares thousands of small details of works by one artist with the work that is presumable a forgery. Furthermore, museums could use the software to compile exhibitions more easily – AI can quickly scan all kinds of lists of art works so that the curator knows where a work is located and if it can be loaned. If we think with an open mind in the art market we can find lots of other possibilities where we could use the new technology.

Harriet Häußler in a Julien Dress. Tri-colour from the Jasmin Khezri Collection


IRMA: How do you view the regulation of the sale of European artworks to foreign markets?
HARRIET HÄUßLER: Cultural Heritage Laws are discussed since its beginning. Italy implemented the idea of protecting its own cultural goods in the 15th century when the first “Papal Bullae” with measures for the protection of antiquities were released. In 1820 the Decree of the National Commission of Fine Arts enacted the obligation to register and the state right of first refusal for the discovery and sale of all antiquities found in Italy. It is an important law drawing attention to national cultural assets and keeping the state up to date. But it is a good question if the German Cultural Property Protection Act in its current version is the best for the country. Very often e.g. it is impossible to provide a complete record of the provenance of an art work which is an important part of that law.


IRMA: As an artist how can you bring your creativity into sales?
HARRIET HÄUßLER: The mere recognising that an artist is also an entrepreneur who aims for profit is a great advantage for him/her in terms of being able to achieve better results in the art market. Artists should not work against the market but within the market. Accepting that art has a financial as well as an esthetic and ideological value helps a lot. And of course, artists can use their own creativity in selling their work: Think about the different ways of offering work in today`s world! Create invitation cards, posters, books on your art in your own style – today it is much easier, faster and cheaper.

Harriet Häußler and Jasmin Khezri from IRMASWORLD at Neue National Gallerie in Berlin

IRMA: Why is the knowledge of art history so important in our times, even when working in economy, politics, medicine or services?
HARRIET HÄUßLER: Art history unites in itself two major human aspects. First: Art. Art is – to me – the main distinguishing criterion of human beings from animals. Second: History. Human beings are the only creatures on earth who can conserve their history in signs, letters and in audiovisual files. Every human being should get an idea of what it means to be human. It doesn’t matter which profession you have but to know and to feel that you are one little part of the history of mankind has indeed a deep influence on your thoughts, words and actions. Some subjects such as love, faith, hate, childhood or everyday life can be found in art works all over the world for centuries and millennia.


IRMA: In your opinion why will there be an even higher demand in creativity in the future?
HARRIET HÄUßLER: Yes, indeed, more and more creativity is required. The increasing complexity of our bipolar life – virtual/digital and analogue – in a multi-perspective, global, ever changing world can only be made comprehensible if you think creative. You have to get out of your familiar comfort zone and have to think outside the box. Imagine having skipped two decades of history and waking up in 2024 when your last day was in 2000. What would you think of online meetings in the middle of the night with colleagues from all continents, of dating apps on the computer, of silent airports like the one in Singapore, of silent cars like the electronic ones? Without a free, creative mind you can get easily mad in today’s world.