• Fri 05 04 – Sun 14 07 2019 •
COPY IT: Only for those who have sinned – stolen or copied books, artworks, ideas...


Curated by Madhusree Dutta and the team of the Academy of the Arts of the World

Venue: Academyspace, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Köln

In german and english language
Free admission

Opening hours:
5 4 – 14 7 2019
FRI: 15:00 – 19:00
SAT + SUN: 14:00 – 18:00

Copying is the beginning of any evolution. Nature copies itself all the time – sometimes it copies the best practices and develops different and improved specimens. Sometimes it also makes faulty copies and yet develops newer specimens that might be perceived as threats to the existing system. Almost all exchanges, interfaces or transactions end up in some sort of copying and re-producing. Human intellect and cultural impulse have only been copying nature. Phoenician alphabets were copied and transformed to evolve the Greek alphabet, from which the Latin alphabet evolved as a pan-European communication tool, and eventually Latin was copied and transformed into several descendant languages of Latin and then into other languages of Europe. Think of an eventuality if the Phoenician civilisation had the will and means to copyright alphabets! Or if the Greek linguists were shamed and shunned for working on something that was 'originally' invented by others!

nur für Diebe und Raubkopierer - von Büchern, Kunstwerken, Ideen...
only for those who have sinned - stolen or copied books, artworks, ideas...

The venue makes replicas of various urban public sites that store and circulate knowledge and narratives – warehouses, libraries, graffiti walls, copy shops, bars and studios. As a direct provocation against copyright and control over access to knowledge, this exhibition pays tribute to various instincts, philosophies, endeavours, imaginations and devices of copying. Each exhibit demands playful engagement and interactions from the visitors – reading, copying, re-using, searching, remembering, portraying, documenting etc. The right to copy is observed by the very act of attending the show.

LOGO, JÜRGEN STOLLHANS, 2019, wall painting.

TIME COLLAGE, ANDREAS NIEGL and JÜRGEN STOLLHANS, 2019, text installation that deals with copy cultures in the modernist period.

READING ROOM, a collection of used books, soiled books, copied books, pirated books, out-of-print books, digitised books, catalogues and facsimiles on knowledge distributions and resource sharing.

BOOK THAT WE FORGOT TO COPY, book installation.

PHOTOCOPY MACHINES, from the collection of artist KLAUS URBONS of Museum für Fotokopie in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

THE RAPID PUBLISHER (founded in 2016) showcase the participative zines that have been created and published through instant interactions.

DELIRIUM, MIRJA BUSCH, 2018, a spatial installation that transforms the passion for theory in the art world into a new range of objects conducive to a different sensory experience. Stored in 246 bottles of must, brandy and pure distillate, and displayed in a library-like bar.

RE-RUN, RAQS MEDIA COLLECTIVE, 2013, HD video, 7.48 min, is a re-enactment of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photograph of a bank run in Shanghai in 1948.

PHOTO STUDIO, a polaroid camera set up that invites every visitor to take photos against various backdrops of landscapes pertaining to contemporary universe of information cultures.