2 June 2021

The Akademie der Künste reopens at Pariser Platz on 17 June 2021 with the exhibition “Arbeit am Gedächtnis – Transforming Archives”

17 June – 19 September 2021
Opening days with reduced admission:
17 June, from 2 pm, 18 – 20 June, 11 am – 7 pm
Press conference 17 June, 11 am

With its exhibition “Arbeit am Gedächtnis – Transforming Archives” the Akademie der Künste reopens on Thursday, 17 June 2021, at Pariser Platz. 13 commissioned artworks and 15 selected exhibits from the Archives of the Akademie der Künste explore the artistic practice of dealing with memory and memory storage. With its exhibition, the Akademie der Künste reflects on the role of the arts and their institutions in the culture of memory. On the occasion of its 325th anniversary this year, the Akademie also revisits its own work on cultural memory.

The artistic positions, displayed in large-format installations as well as in video and sound productions, visualise the grammar of remembering and forgetting and show preserved material in new contexts: Candice Breitz, in a video library of 1001 sealed VHS cassettes, recalls the moving picture storage media of a past era and the influence they had on the cultural visual memory. Robert Wilson presents his visual archive of his brilliant artistic partnerSuzushi Hanayagi in a meditative installation that reveals how cultural legacy is inscribed in the arts and the body. Cemile Sahin’s film work questions the reliability of media narrative processes in the politics of remembrance. Eduardo Molinari uses his archive to show the continuityof colonial crimes, land seizures and climate change in Patagonia. The Archives of the Akademie der Künste serve as resource for the installations of Alexander Kluge and Arnold Dreyblatt. Thomas Heise conducts research on the international “corresponding members” of the Akademie der Künste (East) between 1950 and 1993, uncovering a piece of buried history in the process.
One exhibition hall is dedicated to 15 selected objects and documents from the Archives of the Akademie der Künste. They show memory as a driving force of artistic creativity and a medium for the exploration of the present day: from Walter Benjamin’s programmatic text Ausgraben und Erinnern, which describes memory work as an archaeological process, to the active process of remembering as illustrated in Einar Schleef’s journal entry: “Remembering is work”.

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

Archive positions by Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Inge Deutschkron, George Grosz, Walter Kempowski, Käthe Kollwitz, Ursula Mamlok, Heiner Müller / Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Edgar Reitz, Einar Schleef, Axel Schultes / Charlotte Frank, Uwe Timm, Heinrich Vogeler, Mary Wigman, Christa Wolf

The exhibition will be accompanied by weekly talks, lectures and panel discussions with the featured artists and guests, including Aleida Assmann, Sharon Macdonald, Max Czollek and Julian Heynen.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of a magazine in German and English.

Further information on the exhibition and the associated events is available at:

Exhibition information
Arbeit am Gedächtnis – Transforming Archives
Opening days
17 June, 2 pm – 7 pm and 18 – 20 June, 11 am – 7 pm:
All-day reduced admission € 3
Exhibition duration 17 June (starting at 2 pm) – 19 September 2021
Tues – Sun 11 am – 7 pm, admission € 9 / 6, discussion series € 3
Free admission for under 18s and Tuesdays from 3 pm
Corona-related access restrictions
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin, Tel. 030 200 57-1000

Press conference on Thursday, 17 June 2021, 11 am
Invitation to press conference to follow.

Press contact (on behalf of the Akademie der Künste)
Dorothea Walther | Tel. 030 7700 8798, box@dorotheawalther-pr.de