Underground and Improvisation. Alternative Music and Art after 1968

Exhibitions, Concerts, Discourse
15 Mar – 6 May 2018

Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin
Tue – Sun 11 am – 7 pm, admission: € 9/6
Free admission for under 18s and Tuesdays from 3 pm

Exhibition Opening: Wednesday, 14 March 2018, free admission

Two exhibitions on the themes of underground and improvisation, held from 15 March to 6 May 2018 in the Akademie building on Hanseatenweg, will focus on the alternative music and art movements in East and West, from the student revolts of the Prague Spring to the period after the fall of the Iron Curtain in Berlin and eastern Europe. The extensive supporting programme consists of a series of concerts, film showings, panel discussions and an interdisciplinary symposium.

The exhibition “Notes from the Underground – Alternative Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1968–1994” commemorates a generation of artists that occupied the interface between performance art, video art and experimental music, deliberately eschewing official culture. Censorship and scarcity produced richly imaginative and frequently ironic types of work. The exhibition presents a selection of contemporary testimonies, some for the first time, including musical instruments fashioned by the artists themselves, Super 8 films, Samizdat magazines and documentary recordings of performances.

The exhibition “Free Music Production / FMP: The Living Music” traces the history of Free Music Production (1968–2010), the Berlin platform for the production, presentation and documentation of free music, which was founded by artists. Legendary FMP concerts and events were held at the Akademie der Künste, entering the annals of international history as one of West Berlin’s most important cultural contributions. This exhibition and concert programme returns the story to its birthplace, forging new bonds with the contemporary music scene. The music programme is curated by Louis Rastig, Sergej Newski und Markus Müller.

The programme of discussions accompanying the exhibition is presented in corporation with the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb.

“Notes from the Underground – Alternative Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1968 – 1994” is a programme by the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, in cooperation with Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, curated by David Crowley and Daniel Muzyczuk with the support of Angela Lammert.

“Free Music Production / FMP: The Living Music” is an exhibition by Haus der Kunst, Munich, in cooperation with the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and curated by Markus Müller. Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Goethe Institute.

Further information

"Holocaust as culture".
On the poetics of Imre Kertész

12 – 14 Apr 2018

Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

The Akademie der Künste is holding a symposium with the title Holocaust as culture: On the poetics of Imre Kertész ("Holocaust als Kultur. Zur Poetik von Imre Kertész”) from 12 – 14 April 2018. The phrase ‘Holocaust as culture’ is a direct quotation from Imre Kertész and goes to the heart of his poetics. Jean Améry’s reflections in his canonical work At the Mind’s Limits become radicalised in Kertész' writings. Kertész even goes so far as to equate Auschwitz with “grace”, a grace that allowed him as a writer to transform the experience of extreme suffering into art.

Writers, literary scholars, critics, translators and companions will devote three days to exploring the biography and elective affinities of the Nobel Prize winner and member of the Akademie der Künste, who passed away in 2016 and whose literary estate is to be found in the Akademie archives. Questions regarding a new canon in the Shoah literature and especially Kertész' literary achievements which, as Péter Nádas has repeatedly emphasised, have for too long been overshadowed by the exclusive interest in his holocaust biography, will also be addressed in lectures and discussions. The opening lecture will be given by the Hungarian essayist László F. Foldényi, who will then participate in a panel discussion with the translator Christina Viragh and Akademie members Friedrich Christian Delius, Durs Grünbein and Ingo Schulze. Academy President Jeanine Meerapfel will give the welcoming address.

On 13 Apr, Ulrich Matthes will read unpublished diary notes on the making of Roman eines Schicksallosen (Fatelessness).

Further information will be available shortly.

By-Products of Love. An Exhibition with Works by Elfi Mikesch, Rosa von Praunheim, and Werner Schroeter

Films, Performances, Talks and Discussions
18 May – 12 Aug 2018

Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
Tue – Sun 11 am – 7 pm, admission: EUR 9/6
Free admission for under 18s and Tuesdays from 3 pm

Exhibition opening: Thursday, 17 May 2018, 7 pm, admission free

Elfi Mikesch, Rosa von Praunheim, and Werner Schroeter (1945-2010) represent a generation of outstandingly versatile artists who have been collaborating creatively with one another since their collective début in 1968, and who have devoted themselves to poetics of excess in their life and work. Elfi Mikesch, photographer, cinematographer and director, Rosa von Praunheim, filmmaker, painter, author and activist, and Werner Schroeter, film, theatre and opera director – they are all united by their militant engagement for divergent sexualities and their friendship as artists.

Drawing inspiration from Werner Schroeter’s film Poussières d’Amour (1996), the exhibition ‘By-products of Love’ is the first to present photographs, films, figurative art works, sound installations, and documents in a connected way, in the form of visitor-accessible spaces that set out the manifold aesthetic and biographical relationships between them. They construct a bridge that spans five decades, from the artists’ common roots in the West Berlin arts scene to the present day.

In their search for ‘other films, other images, and other forms of life’ (Mikesch), their gestures of emancipation draw on underground art, political activism and expressive pathos in equal measure. Mikesch, Praunheim and Schroeter have had a lasting influence on independent cinema: today, in these times of increasing intolerance and marginalisation, their subjects have lost none of their virulence.

The exhibition will be accompanied by films, performances, talks, and discussions with guests. It is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.