Re-Narrating History
Deutsch

What meaning does Marcel Duchamp’s concept of the readymade have for contemporary art? The symposium The Readymade Century at Haus der Kulturen der Welt will explore new perspectives on the artist’s famous works and appropriation strategies in contemporary art. In the journal the art historian Dieter Daniels, curator of the program, reflects on the history of the art concept’s influence and its contemporary relevance. To article...

What is the relationship between the October Revolution of 1917 and concepts such as “cosmos” and “immortality”? No one formulated this as clearly as Nikolai Fedorov (1829-1903): In his “The Philosophy of the Common Task” (1906) he called for the abolition of death, the physical reconstruction of all the dead and – as a logical consequence – the expansion of mankind into the cosmos. Is it even possible to describe the entire soviet experiment as a form of applied Cosmism? With his exhibition at the HKW the media theorist and philosopher Boris Groys takes a look at one of this epoch’s rather neglected movements. A debate on the overcoming of death, revolutionary new beginnings, and the limitations of current body technologies. To article in German...

According to the thesis of the curator Adania Shibli, railways and their rail networks do not just constitute infrastructures, they also narrate histories of colonialism and its consequences. The curator invited Philip Rizk to write a piece about his journey from Berlin to the border of Syria, which the writer and filmmaker began in the summer of 2017. In his text Rizk explores the figure of the anarchist Alexander Berkman (1870-1936) who during his lifetime played an important role in the resistance against US and Russian imperialism, and, traveled on the tracks of the Baghdad Railway 100 years ago. To article...

By train from Berlin to Baghdad, from Damascus to Mecca: hard to imagine today – but this was not always the case. The writer and cultural researcher Adania Shibli on the history(ies) behind her program “After the Wildly Improbable”, on forbidden books, the utopia of travel, and rail tracks as witnesses. To article...

From the second half of the 19th century Russian Cosmism pursued the goal of physical immortality and resurrection through technological means. The Cosmists were pioneers of space travel and were committed to the human colonization of the universe. In the Journal the artist Anton Vidokle, and the artist and museologist Arseny Zhilyaev, speak about Bio-Cosmism, an art without death, and the museum as a potential site for a curated, transhistorical resurrection. To article...

History is often treated as a single, official narrative. In his works, the artist IM Heung-soon looks beneath the surface of such monolithic narratives and searches for the personal histories and unique experiences of the many individuals that lie at its basis. He speaks with Miki Kanai on the importance of interviews for his work, on stories that cannot be told with words, and the meaning of respect. To article...

How could the nation state become the central form of political organization worldwide? Why is it so difficult to conceive alternatives to this relatively young classification system? The program “Die Jetztzeit der Monster. What Comes After Nations?” explored the challenges and limits of the nation state system, the historical connections of its genesis, and alternative models for the reorganization of the international order. To article in German...

For his installation in the exhibition “2 or 3 Tigers”, Chia-Wei Hsu, together with the frog god Marshall Tie Jia, reconstructed his temple in Wu-Yi that was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. In the journal interview the artist discusses the common features of spiritual and digital worlds, his process-driven work with local communities, and the valuation of multiple variants of history. To article...

The division of Korea has far-reaching consequences to this day – for the people both sides of the border in every imaginable area of life. The artist Minouk Lim speaks about how the traumata of the South Korean population has (not) been addressed in the media, about collective memories resulting from shared television experiences, and her own engagement with media technologies. To article...

100 years ago educational reformers worldwide attempted to establish the foundations for new learning and teaching. In the long-term praxis project “Schools of Tomorrow“, which examines these past approaches from today’s perspective, artists, pedagogues, and scientists experiment with new learning formats. The curator Silvia Fehrmann and Daniel Seitz from Jugend hackt discuss alternative approaches, the complexities of the daily life of the new generation, and independently minded children. To article in German...

According to widespread demands, school instruction needs to comprehensively change in order to prepare young people for a future knowledge-based society. The present is characterized by geopolitical conflicts: climate change, exploitation of resources and neo-nationalism. Social inequality is growing. What skills are needed to open up future perspectives? How can we imagine schools that take part in shaping a desirable tomorrow?  Keri Facer, Professor of Educational and Social Futures at the University of Bristol, examines the challenge of rethinking the relationship between schools, society and the future. To article...

Today a global quantification industry is engaged in the measurement of learning achievements. However, the education of self-determined, empowered subjects cannot be expressed in figures. What alternatives are there to a concept of teaching as the exercise of control? In his contribution the educational theorist Gert Biesta focuses on the role of teachers in an emancipatory education program. To article...

Who has the sovereignty of interpretation over history? What new perspectives and approaches to it are possible? The artist, filmmaker, and theater creator Ho Tzu Nyen on the tiger as a metaphor for the historical entanglements between man, nature, and culture in Malaysia and Singapore, the meaning of language and song in his work, and the uncertainties generated by engaging with (colonial) history. To article...

How to develop a non-essentialist conception of identity? What strategies are conducive to decolonize the imagination? Anselm Franke and Hyunjin Kim, the curators of the exhibition 2 or 3 Tigers, discuss the colonial beginnings of worldwide surveillance, the dangers of nationalism in history and today, and the possibilities for emancipation from understandings of tradition in both East Asia and the West. To article...

From “Freedom Now” to “White Zulu”: Writer Max Annas spent several years at the University of Fort Hare in East London, researching South African jazz. In this interview, he speaks about the political importance of jazz for the history of the country, from Freedom Now to White Zulu. To article in German...

The writer Rana Dasgupta questions sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos about the state organizing its own erosion and the lack of alternatives to protect our societies from the consequences. To article...

The historian Cemil Aydin about the effects of breaking up multi-ethnic societies and the Ottoman Caliphate as a symbol for Cosmopolitanism. To article...

A conversation with the curators of Now is the Time of Monsters and the writer and journalist Slavenka Drakulić about national narratives, international law, and the obstacles of “official history”. To article...

Class, race, and Pop: How a marketing professional in the USA invented the racial division between “black” and “white” music. The musician Dom Flemons, himself affected by this pigeonhole thinking, speaks about a little known aspect of American Folk music. To article...

What could be a contemporary definition of public benefit housing? For the 100 Years of Now. Journal, architectural historian Anne Kockelkorn explores central issues of social housing construction in West Germany. In an interview on the core question of the new publication “Wohnungsfrage,” she describes a paradigm shift from housing quantity to housing quality in the 1970s, and develops scenarios that could lead to an improvement of the living situation of many: away from housing as a commodity to an understanding of housing as a use-value. To article...

Die internationale Brisanz der Wohnungsfrage, Kulturtransfers und das Bauhaus – HKW-Intendant Bernd Scherer im Gespräch mit Claudia Perren und Franziska Eidner. To article...

Alexandra Kollontai (1872–1952) was one of the most significant Russian revolutionaries and feminists. Through her engagement with class struggles in the wake of the Russian Revolutions of 1917, she came to the conclusion that the working class could not be successful in realizing its program without the active participation of women or without adopting the issue of women’s rights. She spoke up for equal rights for women, free love, and an end to the bourgeois structures of marriage and family. The social scientist Gisela Notz shows how Kollontai fought for these throughout her life. In her essay contribution to the current cooperation between the HKW and HAU Hebbel am Ufer “Utopian Realities – 100 Years of Now with Alexandra Kollontai” she points to how these struggles continue today. To article in German...

Is democracy dead? For the launch of the program series STAAT 1-4 (2016-2018) from Rimini Protokoll to post-democratic phenomena and the gaps in the system, the philosopher Boris Buden illuminates the historical “truth” of modern democracy. Focusing on the purification of the idea of democracy against the background of a “dirty” history he explains the reasons for history’s contemporary return from ideological repression. A look beneath the cloak of the sublime instance of democracy. To article...

How should today’s European societies deal with the damage of the colonial era? With the consequences of the destruction of places, bodies, and identities? And what forms of “reparation” for contemporary injustices would be appropriate? Within the framework of the event BODY the artist Kader Attia and the philosopher Françoise Vergès addressed old and new collective wounds, amputations and their associated phantom pain. Hannah Gregory attended the film and discussion evening for the journal and discusses here their complementary positions. To article...

The Ethnological Museum’s time in Dahlem is coming to an end, its move into the Humboldt Forum is imminent. A theme evening organized by HKW with lectures and a concluding discussion in the museum addressed one of the core questions of museology: The complexity of the term thing. Museal things are removed from their original context, their “migration history” takes them to different locations, establishing new relationships. The media theorist Arjun Appadurai, the cultural theorist Tony Bennett, and the museologist Sharon MacDonald went in search of alternative ideas of things. They explored the protagonists and circumstances of migration, placing migrating objects in relation to migrating people, juxtaposing the immutability of objects with the mutability of their meaning. Ana Teixeira Pinto listened in and has drawn her own conclusions. To article...

Artist Kader Attia – observes the film maker and composer Manthia Diawara – has a special gift: He can talk about alterity and the traumas caused by the colonial “Other” without lapsing into antagonisms. Attia’s “Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures” provides a clear demonstration of this. The work shows familiar looking masks and sculptures from Africa and Europe, all of which are damaged and disfigured and in need of repair. Perhaps it is the trauma that Attia alludes to which generates a sense of commonality: The shared longing to be restored, to be repaired. The carnage of modernity – the guilt of colonialism and the First World War – is the starting point for the relationship between the self and the “Other”. Even if they are only relationships between damaged identities which Attia so emphatically postulates in his work. To article...

What happens to objects, to things, in a museum? In his essay “Civic Laboratories”, published in 2005, the English cultural and social theorist Tony Bennett examined the simultaneous mutability and immutability of objects in museum contexts. To this end he focused on questions of identity formation, taking his readers on a journey from European theory and Baldwin Spencer’s staging of Aborigines in Australian museums to Franz Boas’s life groups at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. How do objects change as a result of their embedding in different regimes of objecthood? What forms of interiority do they trigger in the observing subject? And what forms do they require? To article...

The First World War was by no means “the war to end all wars” it was conceived to be: Anonymous killing and the total removal of boundaries on a technological and bureaucratic war machine are mortgage debts that remain unpaid to this day. According to Jörn Leonhard in his contribution to the project Tatort Schlachtfeld “The victor wasn’t a nation, a state, or an empire, and the First World War’s result wasn’t a world without war. The real victor was war itself.” To article in German...

Introductory speech from Bernd Scherer, Director of the HKW, on the occasion of the kick-off to 100 Years of Now on 30/09/2015.

Emergency administration of the moment versus history as a space of possibility: How can our society develop new models for action instead of just continually reacting to unexpected challenges? In order to answer this question Bernd Scherer has thrown a wide net—from contemporary history to military and technological history. Capitalism, technology and acceleration have given rise to an explosive amalgam whose composition urgently requires analysis: the present. To article...

An interview with Jihan El-Tahri

Documentary filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri takes a close look at modern Egyptian society in the shadow of the three “Pharaohs” Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak. A discussion about her planned trilogy. To article...