The Faculty of Sensing

Thinking With, Through and By Anton Wilhelm Amo

Show the full version of this element's decorative background image.

Project description

The extensive exhibition and research project by the Kunstverein Braunschweig focuses on the African-born Anton Wilhelm Amo who pursued a career as a scholar in the German-speaking lands at the beginning of the 18th century. Born in Ghana, kidnapped and enslaved as a child, the young Amo was presented as a gift to the Duchy of Braunschweig und Lüneburg-Wolfenbüttel. During his residence at the ducal court, he received a humanistic education and went on to study philosophy and jurisprudence. Today Amo is regarded as one of the early philosophers of the Enlightenment. Among the topics addressed in his writings, he advocated against slavery and racial prejudices. “The Faculty of Sensing” aims to shift the focus away from his biography and toward his significance as a philosopher. His (legal-)philosophical body of work and its history of reception will be the focus of attention. The exhibition shall present Amo’s life and accomplishments in six theme-based chapters. Thirteen international artists have been invited to develop their own contemporary perspective of his work. The spectrum of artistic pieces ranges from performances and installations to photo and video works, text collages and temporary structures presented at the Kunstverein Braunschweig, at public venues around town and at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. The Kunstverein Braunschweig hopes that the project will stimulate a fundamental discussion on the politics of referencing and canonical formation. How is it possible that Amo can be regarded as one of the most influential and outspoken intellectuals of the 18th century, yet his work remains marginalised and for the most part forgotten and lost to posterity? An accompanying symposium will serve to initiate and advance further discussion at an academic level.

Curators: Jule Hillgärtner, Nele Kaczmarek, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

Artists: Akinbode Akinbiyi, Bernard Akoi-Jackson, andcompany&Co., Anna Dasović, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Theo Eshetu, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Lungiswa Gqunta, Olivier Guesselé-Garai, Patricia Kaersenhout, Kitso Lynn Lelliott, Antje Majewski, Claudia Martínez Garai, Adjani Okpu-Egbe, RESOLVE Collective, Konrad Wolf and others


No upcoming events at present

Previous events

  • 28 March, 2020 to 13 September, 2020: Exhibition

    Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig


Kunstverein Braunschweig

Lessingplatz 12
38100 Braunschweig (external link, opens in a new window)