Soft Opening

• Fri 11 12 2020 / 2 – 9 pm •
Canceled: Soft Opening Ghosts, TRACES, Echoes: Works in Shifts

Due to new governmental decisions to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, the Academyspace of the Academy of Arts of the World will not be open from 02 11 2020 until 10 01 2021. The exhibition Ghosts, Traces, Echoes: Works in Shifts cannot be visited during this period.


Many events of the past – although they do leave traces – are obscured by grand narratives. Shift 2 Traces focuses on writers who were active in Cologne and the Ruhr region, but who are often overlooked in the historiography of the region’s arts and culture. It looks at the way they are remembered in our post-migrant present.

Literary and cultural scholar and author Nesrin Tanç sets out in search of these traces – unearthing, examining, extracting, recombining, mapping and archiving. The preservation of the cultural heritage of immigrants from Turkey, who in many cases came to the region to work as part of labour recruitment agreements, is the central theme of her projects. Under the label Anatolpolitan and as the Agentur Ausländerrauş, she brings together traces of things that have previously been suppressed, and works towards a cultural historiography for a pluralistic society.

Over the past few months, Nesrin Tanç has set up an archive space in Duisburg where an inventory of the cultural history of immigrants from Anatolia in the Ruhr region is compiled and artistically addressed in a variety of different ways. One example is the literary magazine dergi/die Zeitschrift, which was published every two months from 1986 onwards by a literature group from Duisburg. Tanç found the majority of the materials in private houses, outside of official archive structures. They testify to an interwoven cultural history.

Tanç has drawn on her many years of academic, often collaborative artistic and activist cultural research to create an installation for the Akademie der Künste der Welt in collaboration with the illustrator Irem Kurt. The different elements give rise to a kind of open space; a house that doesn’t exist. An archive in which the traces of Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Greek-speaking writers are collected, as a fragile construction, permeable, inviting and perhaps still in development – literary, artistic, remembrance work as housebuilding.

One central element is a multi-layered literary map linking Duisburg and Cologne along the Rhine river, and situating parts of the research geographically. This map, like literature itself, often generates multilingual, translocal spaces. The maps are arranged in layers and illustrate the content of literary texts as well as relevant institutions and initiatives.

Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s piece Perikızı: Ein Traumspiel [Perikızı: A Dream Play] forms the narrative framework and served as the basis for Nesrin Tanç’s research. Akkordarbeit im halb verbrannten Wald is the title of the fifth chapter of Özdamar’s adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey. With reference to globalisation, regional structural change and regional historical myths like that of the miners in the Ruhr region, Özdamar’s Perikızı engages with 'work' as intellectual activity. Lütfiye Güzel is represented with texts from her book Oh No., which were written in 2018 during her time as city writer in Cologne, and with poems from her self-published volumes elle-rebelle and sans trophée. Excerpts from the works of both authors can be heard in the exhibition. Visitors to the exhibition can listen to excerpts from the play by Emine Sevgi Özdamar, along with excerpts from the works by Lütfiye Güzel, read by the authors.

Opening Hours: Fri–Sun, 2–7pm + Art Cologne: Thu–Sun | 10:00–19:00
Venue: Academyspace, Herwarthstr. 3, 50672 Cologne
Free Admission

We look forward to welcoming you soon as a visitor to the exhibition Ghosts, Traces, Echoes: Works in Shifts. Please note that, for your, our and other visitors' security, the compliance with the general rules of hygiene and in perticular the use of a mask covering mouth and nose are mandatory during a visit. If you have any questions, please contact us at +49 (0)221 337748 92.

Hygiene measures as PDF

Agentur Ausländerrauş : Akkordarbeit im halb verbrannten Wald is produced in cooperation with the Akademie der Künste der Welt and RVR/Interkultur Ruhr.