"When Art erst held her peace, State-wisdom and Philosophy
began: when now both Statesman and Philosopher have breathed their last, there the Artist begins anew", wrote Richard Wagner in "Art and Revolution" (1849).
The question of where the artist "begins", what he strives for and what he stands aloof from, is the driving force behind this preoccupation by the Akademie der Künste with its former member, who even on the 200th anniversary of his birthday is still capable of polarising opinion like hardly any other. The reception of Wagner’s persona, his writings and dramatic
music works represents a mirror of contemporary aesthetics and positions. The question: What do you think about Wagner? elicits a response from many artists that goes to the heart of their respective passions – for the most part in a double sense.
In addition to the numerous Academy members, who will discuss Wagner and Bayreuth in their roles as composers, writers, filmmakers, directors or stage designers, a number of other internationally famous as well as young artists have been invited to debate their positions on this subject as part of the exhibition and a series of events. This will in - clude specially created works, installations, drawings, paintings and stagings as well as excerpts from staging recordings, photos, costumes, parts of stage designs, models and video interviews. These contemporary contributions will be supplemented by material from key archives.