Focus on the contemporary: revisiting the future - being cosmopolitan
Friends and companions, old and new pay tribute to the evolution of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in honor of its 20th anniversary. From 2 - 30 September THE SPIRIT OF THE HAUS celebrates 20 years of cultures and worlds in art, word, and music at the Haus, which is located in the former Congress Hall in Berlin's Tiergarten. The visual artists Rirkrit Tiravanija, Christian Philipp Müller*, Anri Sala*, John Bock*, Arto Lindsay*, (*suggested by Rirkrit Tiravanija) showcase new productions at the Haus, the singers Oumou Sangaré and Monica Salmaso present their recent compositions. The month's festivities kick off with a lecture by the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah and end with the inaugural award ceremony of the newly created International Literature Prize - Haus der Kulturen der Welt for an author and his/her translator.
The anniversary festivities for 20 years Haus der Kulturen der Welt will open on 2 September 2009 with Kwame Anthony Appiah's talk on "Revisiting the Future – Being Cosmopolitan". The London-born philosopher and writer who grew up in Ghana is one of the most influential thinkers of our time. His notion of Cosmopolitanism is predicated on the principles of the existence of different people bound by a simple nexus of common values and humanity in which the classical ideal of world citizens is reconstituted. Appiah currently teaches at Princeton and lives in New York.
Born in Buenos Aires to Thai parents, Rirkrit Tiravanija's name has become synonymous with Berlin's rapidly evolving international art scene. For over twenty years, the peripatetic artist has participated in major international exhibitions, biennials, and festivals, and has created a variety of connections (audiences/artists, scenes/cultures) through his generosity and spirit. Together with John Bock, Arto Lindsay, Christian Philipp Müller, and Anri Sala he will generate a series of celebratory productions for THE SPIRIT OF THE HAUS. In "Come Together" he creates a link to a cooking performance first presented at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in 2005, in which he invited the audience to enjoy a communal meal.
Performance on 2 September 2009 (further information: http://www.hkw.de )
"TOHUWABOHU" in colloquial German describes a great disorder and confusion. Martin Luther translated the Hebrew word as "formless and void," which describes the world after God had created Heaven and earth, but hadn't yet created an order. Christian Philipp Müller (Switzerland) constructs in two equal parts an installation and a performance series, focusing on the history of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Entwined in a sousaphone – a bass tuba developed by the 19th century American composer Sousa – Müller entices the audience with a type of live radio show through the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, discovering hidden beauties, and divulging in mysterious stories about the former Congress Hall. On the walls in the open foyer, one can see his carefully researched installation "TOHUWABOHU", which finds order in chaos. Performances on 6 (15 h), 12 (15h) 13 (15 h), 15 (17:30), and 25 (17:30) September 2009.
(Limited attendance: Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Anri Sala's (Albania) "Why The Lion Roars" is a composition of feature films that not only communicate on a visual and textual level, but also through a feeling for temperature. Each of the 57 selected films represents one degree of Celsius, from minus 11° to 45°. A thermometer constantly measures the outside temperature in the Tiergarten and simultaneously edits the film programme, continuously screening the film that corresponds to the actual outdoor temperature. When an increase or decrease in temperature occurs, one film follows the other, interrupting it and perhaps provoking an unplanned collision of meaning. As temperature fluctuates in the morning then reaches stability later in the day, some films will be seen incomplete while others are projected in the whole and even loop at times. "Why The Lion Roars" is the temperature cut version of a fiction based on a real story: the weather. This commissioned work for the City of Paris' new art space 'Le 104' will be shown for the first time in Germany. A daily forecast of the Paris programme can be viewed at http://www.whythelionroars.net
The program runs September 4 – 27, 2009. Opening September 2, 2009.
The Haus der Kulturen der Welt presents objects by John Bock in ever new and surprising constellations. In his lectures, he transforms simple structures of life and artistic tasks into abstract phrases and absurd diagrams. John Bock (Germany) shows "a GlitterMotterRun of Quasi Me's in his lecture "The greased bendsteering in the luggage gets tangled up with the white shirt" on September 25 and 26 in the exhibition hall. Wrappings bend into analytical diagrams. The animalistic Existo sprays lubing-sparks into the Recipient-Cuboid. Turnaroundround round around from beginning over Now-Time to the end of Later-Time with 'have hair nice'." September 25 and 26, 7.30 p.m. (Limited attendance. Reservations: email@example.com)
According to Arto Lindsay (USA / Brazil) most parades are a joyful way to lose money. They are part of a long tradition blending conspicuous consumption, projection of authority and ecstasy achieved through exhaustion. Berlin is not stranger to parades… Our parade will be called The Penny Parade and as we march we will celebrate the humble pleasures of thrift and production.
(starts Sept 26, 4 p.m., Unter den Linden 6, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Oumou Sangaré is among the most popular artists in Africa. The singer from Mali, vivacious, emancipated and successful way beyond the field of music, has never shied away from talking about sensitive issues such as forced marriage or polygamy, and she does more to fight misery than just sing about it. For the first time in six years, she is touring through Europe with her latest album "Seya" (joy). On 3 September, she will perform at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt with her band and lots of "Seya". Monica Salmaso (Brazil) will open the show with interpretations of "Noite de gala, samba na rua" by Chico Buarque. She is pensive pop as only Brazilians can make it, enthused Jon Pareles in the New York Times and the great Brazilian singer and composer Edu Lobo says: "She has the best voice I have heard in years."
To conclude the anniversary month, on 30 September the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the private foundation Stiftung Elementarteilchen will be awarding, for the first time, The International Literature Prize – Haus der Kulturen der Welt for a first-time German translation of prose fiction. The award is endowed with 35,000 EUR, 25,000 EUR for the author and 10,000 EUR for the translator. A jury of renowned literary critics and scholars will select the award winner in a multistage process from among international candidates.
THE SPIRIT OF THE HAUS completes the program series "1989 – 2009 The Haus der Kulturen and the World", which is kindly supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Capital Cultural Fund).
The September Program is sponsored by BAYER AG.
Anri Sala, Why The Lion Roars © Anri Sala, commissioned by the City of Paris for "Le 104" / Commande publique de la Ville de Paris pour le 104, http://www.whythelionroars.net, Kindly supported by Geier-Tronic Videotechnik, Berlin
Christian Philipp Müller, TOHUWABOHU, Kindly supported by Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung
John Bock, Die abgeschmierte Knicklenkung im Gepäck verheddert sich im weissen Hemd, 2009 © John Bock, This project has generously been supported by Julia Stoschek Foundation e.V., courtesy: Klosterfelde Berlin; Anton Kern New York, in cooperation with NEWPROF models, Berlin
The Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien on the basis of a resolution adopted by the Deutscher Bundestag as well as by the Auswärtiges Amt.
Image: Christian Philipp Müller, Foto Thomas Eugster © Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2009
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