Academy of the Arts of the World / K5 at Kunsthaus Rhenania, Cologne, Germany
10 Apr 2015 - 27 Jun 2015


The Academy of the Arts of the World announces PLURIVERSALE II.

Spread over spring and early summer 2015, it continues the Academy’s mission to explore the interdisciplinary and intercultural field at the heart of the “old but changing Europe.” As our dedicated audience already knows, we are a nomadic institution, emerging in different places and times in the multifaceted city of Cologne. However, this spring, we open our new venue – the ACADEMYSPACE – which will host exhibitions, talks, concerts, discussions, and we cannot even predict what else.

PLURIVERSALE II will walk you through a dense context of contradictions, productive disagreements, and disturbing counterpoints, political as well as aesthetic, raising questions rather than offering solutions. Geographically, the far-from-exclusive focus is on the Middle East, because it is here that a new world order, or disorder, looms on the horizon; challenging all our preconceptions, scaring us with developments in Iraq and Syria, but also in Paris and Copenhagen. To grasp these changes, we need to rethink all our notions of the geopolitical and ideological landscape, as acclaimed essayist and keynote speaker PANKAJ MISHRA argues. Simplistic notions like the West and Islam will not do.

Resistance to simplification in increasingly troubled times is one of the key strands running through this season of events. Parisian curator ELENA SOROKINA presents a one-evening “narrated exhibition” titled Forms of Togetherness (and Separation), gathering artists deeply affected by the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, but not blinded by the rhetoric of “official,” global responses in universal, facile mourning. The search for a space beyond the flat universalization of globalism stands at the center of the Academy’s first joint discussion with Art Cologne, Beyond Global Curating, where the four prominent international curators YILMAZ DZIEWOR, GALIT EILAT, BASSAM EL BARONI, MONIKA SZEWCZYK meet to discuss the perks and pitfalls of both the globalization of art and its fierce localization. Theater director and filmmaker MILO RAU joins philosopher BORIS BUDEN to discuss the virulent new nationalisms of our time and their appropriation of pseudo-decolonial rhetoric, after the screening of Rau’s film Moscow Trials.

Especially against this background of darkness we must maintain our imagination and fantasy, a playful attitude to both the future and the past. This is why PLURIVERSALE II begins with a heavy dose of science fiction by acclaimed author DIETMAR DATH and the songs and sermons of Future Generation Art Prize winner NÁSTIO MOSQUITO, followed by London’s DEAN BLUNT and electronic producer AFRIKAN SCIENCES with afrofuturist rhythms.

The politicization of music, both explicit and implicit, forms one of several focuses in this season’s PLURIVERSALE. CHRISTIAN VON BORRIES‘S audiovisual performance Conflict Music counteracts past and future uses of music as a weapon of war with reappropriation in the age of copy-paste. Emerging Cologne composer THIERRY TIDROW presents a new musical-poetic manifesto in French, English, and Innu-aimun, calling for the personal and collective struggle to hold on to what already seems unsalvageable. Musician and visual artist RAED YASSIN will open ACADEMYSPACE with the exhibition Karaoke, a deeply personal and yet politically sensitive rumination on the luridly faded history of Middle Eastern pop culture, its hidden longings, failures, and ideological legacies.

PLURIVERSALE II continues to examine the new critical potential of performance as its own mode of knowledge production beyond traditional theatrical or academic formats with a series of one-man symposia and talks by emerging Cologne based artist SINA SEIFEE, this season’s Academy fellows TKH – WALKING THEORY, and Slovenian-born Düsseldorf choreographer LILI M. RAMPRE.
Academy member MARK TERKESSIDES‘S lecture on the deeply contradictory character of collaboration explores how its instrumentalization by neoliberal institutions nevertheless leaves a surplus of latent utopian potentials.

Many of the strands of PLURIVERSALE II come together in three early plays by director, performer, and artist RABIH MROUÉ. Blending fact and fiction, poignant biography, and historical tragedy, Mroué interrogates the political, often violent performativity of actions, images, and absences in the troubled and traumatizing context of contemporary Lebanon. Much in the spirit of our entire program, he raises more questions than answers.

PLURIVERSALE II is curated by Ekaterina Degot with David Riff and Peter Scheiffele.




Venue: K5 at Kunsthaus Rhenania,
Bayenstraße 28,
50678 Cologne


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