Uncertain States

Artistic action in states of emergency

Maziar Moradi, Ohne Titel, 2007 (aus der Serie 1979) © Maziar Moradi

With more and more refugees arriving in Western Europe since 2015, states of emergency have become almost everyday occurrences. The Akademie der Künste has developed an exhibition titled "Uncertain States" which explored the topic of escape and migration. The artists' experiences under National Socialism and during the Cold War were presented in combination with recent scientific, social and artistic findings. The aim was to create a dialogue between the historical experience of escape and exile, the latest findings in migration research and thematically related artistic positions.
The exhibition opened with a "Room of Experience" which illuminated the experience of escape based on selected biographies and items from the archives of the Akademie der Künste, e.g. from Heinrich Mann and Walter Benjamin. Not only have the materials portrayed disturbing and traumatising aspects of escape, but they also offered the potential of new beginnings which could prove useful for addressing the present circumstances.
Contemporary artworks – for example, by Mona Hatoum and Arcadi Zaides – frequently focused on vulnerability and instability, violence and loss. The project also included a parallel “think-tank” featuring discussion forums for guest researchers and artists, and the presentation of current and model projects, such as the Grandhotel Cosmopolis from Augsburg and the Migration Audio Archive from Cologne.

Curators: Werner Heegewaldt, Anke Hervol, Jeanine Meerapfel, Johannes Odenthal,
Curatorial advisor: Katerina Gregos (GR/BE), Diana Wechsler (AR)
Artists: Reza Aramesh (IR), Ayşe Erkmen (TR/DE), Yervant Gianikian/Angela Ricci-Lucchi (IT), Mona Hatoum (LB/GB), Isaac Julien (GB), Zineb Sedira (DZ/FR), Graciela Sacco (AR/GB), Nasan Tur, Micha Ullmann (IL), Arcadi Zaides (BY/IL) and others

Objects and documents from the archives of Erich Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Ruth Berlau, Bertolt Brecht, Valeska Gert, Lilian Harvey, Heinrich Mann, Bruno Taut, Kurt Tucholsky and others


Akademie der Künste

Pariser Platz 4

10117 Berlin

www.adk.de (external link, opens in a new window)