Benjamin and Brecht.
Thinking in Extremes
The relationship between Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) and Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) was an unusual one. With their very different backgrounds and influences, the critic and the poet became close to one another during the Weimar Republic. They discussed fundamental issues about art and politics in a way that is excitingly provocative and still relevant today. During their years of exile, they became trusted friends. The exhibition at the Akademie der Künste shows the topicality of this friendship, the historically documented aspects, resonances from friends and enemies, and moments of reception in ideas and art. Starting from their close personal relationship, this exhibition responds to Benjamin’s and Brecht’s names having become ciphers, models for art and a particular view of the world. On display are manuscripts, objects from Brecht’s apartment, and artistic commentary by Zoe Beloff, Adam Broomberg/Oliver Chanarin, Edmund de Waal, Felix Martin Furtwängler, Friederike Heller, Alexander Kluge, Mark Lammert, Thomas Martin/Irina Rastorgueva/Jakob Michael Birn, Marcus Steinweg and Steffen Thiemann.
The exhibition is funded by the FRIES Group, the Society of Friends of the Akademie der Künste, the Goethe-Institut, the Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Research and Culture, and by Alexander Kluge, Munich.