© Katja Illner

Dear friends of the ADKDW,

Titled Not Afraid of Art, the ADKDW will be presenting a 3-year project in which the academy members and international artists and thinkers collaborate with the art scene in Cologne. The aim is to create a space for (co)learning and to cultivate an understanding of the social and political potential of the arts. Within this broad project, the exhibition Memory is not only past will kick off in April 2024. The exhibition probes time as it manifests itself not only in human memories, but also as institutional subjects, objects and archives. Our memories accumulate into biographies of individuals and societies. They also guide our actions in the present. What is at stake?

The exhibition brings together five artistic positions to reflect on this question: Anna Zett recalls her own childhood experiences as she researches acts of resistance in the GDR. Salwa Aleryani explores how buildings and landscapes depicted on national currency change and follow the lives of those who still - or no longer - inhabit them. Barış Doğrusöz translates surveillance architectures into abstract forms whose shadows renders a complex map of geometrical vectors. In his wall painting, Yussif Musah sheds new light on photographs from Cologne archives and shows how restorative tasks inhabit acts of representation. In the work of Ute Hörner and Mathias Antlfinger, the animalistic leaves its traces in the human habitat: two parrots were given a model of their own home.

In August, a two-day summer academy will delve deeper into the leitmotif Not Afraid of Art. Accompanied by musical performances, the academy members and their guest speakers will enter into a dialogue with the local cultural scene in lectures and talks. We cordially invite artists, cultural professionals and all interested Cologne residents to engage, learn and discuss together with us!

Best regards
Ala Younis