UTOPIA. Keep on Moving

Exhibitions & Events, 19 Apr – 26 May 2024
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz & Hanseatenweg

Opening on 19 Apr 2024, 7 pm

In the face of current crises and wars, there is a growing longing for utopias to dream up and shape better futures. With artistic installations, talks, concerts, film screenings and theatre performances, the project initiated by Akademie President Jeanine Meerapfel in collaboration with the sections explores the nature of political, social and artistic utopias.

Historical utopias are rethought. The utopian is rediscovered in the gaps and open spaces, in the marginalised, in the forgotten, in order to conceive of open horizons and opportunities for action. Art itself creates utopian spaces. The driving force is a utopia that encourages one thing above all: moving on.

Part of the programme is an exhibition in the Akademie building on Pariser Platz, which is itself the site of an eventful history. Argentinian curator Diana Wechsler is now filling these historically charged rooms with artworks and installations that question and rethink our various concepts of utopia and their possible role in our society.

All events will take place in the Academy buildings on Pariser Platz and on Hanseatenweg from 19 April to 26 May 2024.

At the opening on 19 April, Akademie members Aleš Šteger, A. L. Kennedy and Uwe Timm will discuss their thoughts on utopia – in dialogue with musical interventions by Floros Floridis.

With the kind support of the Gesellschaft der Freunde der Akademie der Künste.

Oscillations. Cape Town – Berlin. Sonic Inquiries and Practices

Exhibition, 27 Apr – 19 May 2024
Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin

Opening on 26 Apr 2024, 7 pm

Oscillations Workshop, CHR Cape Town, September 2023

Critical listening is the first step toward an ethics and aesthetics of care and freedom. Discarding listening habits and accepting new sound qualities afford access to other layers of history and experience. Ten Artists from South Africa and Germany share their listening experiences in new sound works. They reveal fractures in South Africa’s post-apartheid society, offer modes of transformation and healing, and question the ownership of sound in a postcolonial transhemispheric frame of reference.

During a two-year process, the project partners – the Akademie der Künste, the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape and Deutschlandfunk Kultur – have created a space for exchange, artist residencies, collaboration, and the creation of new sound works for the exhibition (27 April – 19 May) and the radio.

Oscillations is a project of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape (Cape Town) and Deutschlandfunk Kultur / Klangkunst (Berlin).

Sponsored by the TURN2 fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Sponsored by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Supported by the DAAD arts & media programme, Kulturstiftung Schloss Wiepersdorf and National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS).

Poesie der Zeit. Michael Ruetz – Timescapes 1966–2023

Exhibition, 9 May – 4 Aug 2024
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

Opening on 8 May 2024, 7 pm

Michael Ruetz, aus: Timescape 162 – Pariser Platz, Berlin, Phase 00, Mo 04.02.1991, 17:30 Uhr, Phase 16, Mo 28.08.2023, 10:33 Uhr © Michael Ruetz

Michael Ruetz, from: Timescape 162 – Pariser Platz, Berlin, Phase 00, Mon 4 Feb 1991, 5:30 pm, Phase 16, Mon 28 Aug 2023, 10:33 am

How to make visible the passage of time and transience, how to document the ruptures and changes that occur in societies and urban environments? These are the questions that Michael Ruetz – like few other artists – addresses in his work. Since the mid-60s he has observed the transformation of natural and urban habitats in locations in Berlin and elsewhere in Europe in a large-scale photographic study, capturing the changes in a series of photographic snapshots and inventory images. His Timescapes came about over a period of nearly sixty years and comprise more than 600 series made up of thousands of photos. 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.

At the heart of the exhibition are the Timescapes of Berlin. The photo series present a particularly powerful consolidation of the far-reaching transformation of German society in the post-war period, after reunification and up to the present day. Sites of power or historical relevance such as Potsdamer Platz or the Brandenburg Gate, the Schlossplatz, Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin’s government quarters or the Berlin Wall have undergone radical change, particularly since 1989/90. Buildings and visual axes disappear or are built anew, streets are returned to previous states or renamed, squares are radically redesigned, open spaces built upon, vacant spaces given new life.

Ruetz’ images of Berlin are an expression of how architecture can shape and redefine our environment, thus giving it a prerogative of interpretation over our perception. His photo series develop their own aesthetics beyond documentary sobriety, revealing a poetry of time in the process. At the same time, Ruetz’ photos admonish us, in these times of environmental and social crises, to rethink the principles of urban planning and development.

Photo leporellos with selected Berlin Timescapes will be published with the exhibition.

The documentary film Facing Time by Annett Ilijew supplements the exhibition programme.

Franz Kafka – The second century

3 – 4 Jun 2024, each from 7 pm
Lectures, readings and discussions presenting multiple perspectives on the author and his œuvre.

Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

3 June 2024 marks the centenary of Franz Kafka's death. This is obviously just the start of another century of perception of his work. On two evenings, the Akademie der Künste will once again explore the unfathomable basis of the fascination with the Prague-born German-language poet. As internationally renowned Kafka experts, Kafka biographer Reiner Stach and Kafka publisher Hans-Gerd Koch will deliver key lectures. Numerous members of the literature section will present essays and artistic texts on current views of Kafka's work.

As part of the supporting programme KUNSTWELTEN, Berlin high school students will compete with ChatGPT writing about a day in the life of K in the master’s style.