“Wo kommen wir hin”.
An Artistic Research Laboratory at the Akademie der Künste

20 October 2018 – 2 June 2019

Concept: Kathrin Röggla, Karin Sander and Manos Tsangaris

Where are the arts and society developing today? And what about the potential for resistance from the arts in the political arena? From March to the beginning of June 2019 the new main focus programme of the Akademie der Künste is dedicating itself to these questions. The aim is to re-examine and reflect on the tools used for artistic production. Akademie members and guests use writing, composing, acting, scenography and conceptual work to rethink the forms of their artistic actions and question their limitations.

The programme was launched in December 2018 with a "Vorbereitungsbüro" at the Kolumba Art Museum of the Archdiocese of Cologne. It will pick up again on 22 March 2019 with a series of events and talks in the Akademie building on Hanseatenweg that culminate in a 14 day period of special events (18 May to 2 June). Acoustic and interdisciplinary works and installations are planned that negotiate diverse approaches to thinking and working.

Composer Manos Tsangaris, director of the Music Section at the Akademie der Künste, calls it "scenic anthropology": "A person who listens, watches, or discusses something with us becomes the focus of the composition, the production or the installation." What does this approach mean for artistic production and its medium?

Writer Kathrin Röggla, vice president of the Akademie, looks into communication crises in both private and public communication, in which concepts like dramaturgy, narrative or continuity increasingly play a role. Where are the ruptures in seemingly functional communication to be found today? And what is their relationship to politics? Can a new form of avoidance aesthetics embody this?

Visual artist Karin Sander, member of the Akademie der Künste, will collect visions of the future as productive forces, staging the spaces at the Akademie der Künste in a solo presentation from 28 April to 12 May. Together with Harald Welzer, sociologist and founder of FUTURZWEI, she poses questions about visions of the future, letting those who represent the future in our society speak for themselves.

In their mixed media performance comprised of film, dance, text and music, filmmaker Jeanine Meerapfel, president of the Akademie der Künste, and musician Floros Floridis address how artificial intelligence colonises people's daily lives.

Unlike the sciences, the potential for anarchic or paradoxical action exists in all artistic works. In this respect "Wo kommen wir hin?" is concerned with a research laboratory which creates possibilities for resistant action and thinking, providing the impetus for a sustainable co-creation of society. In addition to Kathrin Röggla, Karin Sander, Manos Tsangaris and President Jeanine Meerapfel, this sense of possibility is bringing together other members of the Akademie and guests, including: visual artist and scenographer Mark Lammert, filmmaker Doris Dörrie, writer and filmmaker Alexander Kluge, author A. L. Kennedy, the composers Helmut Lachenmann and Marc Andre, radio play author and visual artist Eran Schaerf, composer and sound artist Hanna Hartmann, actors Jens Harzer and Hanns Zischler, sociologist Harald Welzer, dramaturg Malte Ubenauf, musician Floros Floridis, the actresses Valery Tscheplanowa and Angela Winkler and radio play author Oliver Sturm.

A constant negotiation between different working approaches is expected to emerge – a kind of perpetual conference in which individual narratives remain visible and yet connect with one another at the same time – but also a dynamic experimental field of actors for the deconstruction of practiced certainties.

Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2019: Hito Steyerl

21 February – 14 April 2019
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
Tue – Sun 11 am – 7 pm, admission: EUR 5/3
Free admission for under 19s and Tue 3–7 pm

Award Ceremony and Exhibition Opening:
Wednesday, 20 February 2019, 7 pm
, free admission
Laudatory Address: Florian Ebner

Hito Steyerl is to receive the Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2019. With this award, the Akademie der Künste honours an international artist, whose special interest lies in the media, technology and the dissemination of images. Her work includes texts, performances, multimedia installations and essayistic documentaries, in which she addresses post-colonial criticism, feminist representation logic and the influences of globalisation on the financial, labour and product markets.

According to the jury, Hito Steyerl has succeeded in provocatively and astutely combining physical, visual and intellectual information into a single work in a manner unlike almost any other visual artist. When selecting the winner, the judges emphasised "that Hito Steyerl, with her montages of images from computer animations, mass media and scenes she has shot herself, responds to the influence of digital information and digital life, drawing attention to current political, societal and social processes with her work."

The award endowed with 12,000 euros will be presented in Berlin at 20 February 2019. On the occasion of the award ceremony, the Akademie der Künste will be showing an exhibition at Pariser Platz.

Hito Steyerl (born in 1966 in Munich) is a Professor of Experimental Film and Video, as well as a co-founder of the Research Center for Proxy Politics at Berlin University of the Arts. She studied cinematography and documentary film direction in Tokyo and Munich. In 2003, she completed her doctorate in philosophy at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Her works have been exhibited at the Biennale in Venice, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, among others. In addition to her work as an artist, she has also worked at the Center for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and as a guest professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen and the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. The Royal College of Art, London awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2016.

The exhibition is accompanied by a small-format paperback catalogue.

With the kind support of the Cologne Kreissparkasse which funds the Käthe Kollwitz Museum in Cologne.