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The 150th anniversary of the Serpentara provided the occasion for a positioning. In 1873, artists saved the oak grove in Olevano Romano, Italy, from being cut down. Today, “Villa Serpentara” is a residence for Akademie scholars. In 15 contributions, Serpentara artists, contemporary witnesses and art historians explore the myth, visual motif and stories surrounding the famous oak grove and offer new approaches to its history.

How can time and transience be visualised; how can changes in a society or an urban space be documented? Since the mid-1960s, artist Michael Ruetz has been observing the transformation of natural and urban environments at places in Berlin, Germany and Europe in a photographic study. His works, called Timescapes, comprise more than 600 locations and thousands of photographs. The central concept of Timescapes is that the position and visual axis of the camera always remain the same, while only the time intervals of the photo series vary.

How can time and impermanence be rendered visible, and how can the upheavals and changes taking place in a society or an urban space be documented? Few other artists have concerned themselves with these questions to the extent that Michael Ruetz has. In the mid-1960s, he embarked on a large-scale photographic study to observe the transformation of natural and urban environments in Germany and Europe. Ruetz has recorded the metamorphoses in photographic series made up of images inventorying the changes and snapshots taken over a period of decades. He calls them Timescapes.

Composer Gerd Kühr, who was born in Carinthia in 1952 and studied under Hans Werner Henze, among others, experienced his breakthrough in 1988 with the opera Stallerhof, based on the play by Franz Xaver Kroetz. To this day, he has devoted himself primarily to music theatre. In addition to an extensive interview with Gerd Kühr and an inventory of the Gerd Kühr Archive at the Akademie der Künste, the volume contains important texts by the composer.

Even in her youth, Ursula Mamlok (1923–2016) had one single career goal: to become a composer – despite all the adversity of 1930s Berlin, which she left with her parents at the last minute in 1939. In New York, the struggle for her compositional identity began. After a successful career in the USA, the grande dame of contemporary music ventured a new beginning in Berlin in 2006 after her husband Dwight Mamlok passed away.