Arbeit am Gedächtnis – Transforming Archives


Cultural memory is the basis of the human future. The arts and cultural institutions play a decisive role in this. The examination of memory and memory stores are central to current artistic practice: artists question archives, rethink selection processes, scan gaps in the repository and create their own archives against forgetting. For memory is a contested field: amidst the current dynamics of digital change, right-wing and nationalist narratives, postcolonial debates about historical responsibility, and the struggle for sustainability and diversity, it is necessary to defend and at the same time reassess traditional spaces of knowledge and memory.

On the occasion of its 325th anniversary, the Akademie der Künste also reflects on its own institution and its archives as memory repositories. An exhibition with 13 commissioned works and 15 exemplary positions from the archive shows the grammar of remembering and forgetting and places what has been preserved in new contexts.

With works by: Mirosław Bałka, Candice Breitz, Ulrike Draesner, Arnold Dreyblatt, Thomas Heise, Susann Maria Hempel, Alexander Kluge, Eduardo Molinari, Matana Roberts, Cemile Sahin, Cécile Wajsbrot, Jennifer Walshe and Robert Wilson.

The event "Going through the Heart. An Introduction" is the kick-off for the discussion series on the exhibition "Arbeit am Gedächtnis – Transforming Archives". Johannes Odenthal and Werner Heegewaldt will introduce the exhibition project. Followed by an interdisciplinary dialogue between Cécile Wajsbrot and Jeanine Meerapfel on the role that remembering and forgetting play in their respective artistic work.

Please note the hygiene measures.

The installation by Robert Wilson can only be viewed until 22 Aug.

17 Jun — 19 Sep 2021

Tue – Sun 11 am – 7 pm

€ 9/6. Free admission for under 19s, Tuesdays from 3 pm and on the 1st Sunday of the month

Installation by Robert Wilson only until 22 Aug

Guided tours including the Picture Cellar: Tue 5 pm, free admission + Thur 5 pm, 3 plus exhibition ticket

Curators' tours excluding the Picture Cellar: Sun at noon, admission with exhibition ticket

Further information

Some audio installation can only be enjoyed with headphones. Please feel free to plug in your personal headphones (standard phone jack).

Small bags (no larger than A5) are permitted in the exhibition halls.