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Academy Towards a Worlded Public

The Transcultural Academy, Towards a Worlded Public (2022), at the Japanisches Palais of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD), engages with research inquiries and public articulations of transdisciplinary processes in museums. It explores how artistic practice and curating may speak to - and further develop - a museum public with different perspectives, voices and positionings. The two-day Public Assembly (24-25 November) offers insights into the Transcultural Academy’s current residency programme. This features invited artists and curators from Cameroon, Lebanon, Spain, Vietnam, the Philippines and Germany whose work explores methods for activating transversal publics in exchange with art historians and museum curators at SKD.

SKD’s foundations date back to 1560 as the courtly ‘Kunstkammer’ of Elector August and Electress Anna. Later expanded during the time of the Holy Roman Empire by Augustus II (also known as ‘Augustus the Strong’, 1670-1733), SKD’s cosmogony cannot be separated from tensions between the collections’ imperial property and artistic virtuosity; to this day, SKD remains entangled in structures of coloniality and the power of imagination. In this respect, it also embodies an exorbitant richness of "potential history" (Ariella Aïsha Azoulay), transmitted across generations through forms of knowledge about resistance, care and the undocumented. The 2022 Transcultural Academy addresses this complex history. It further asks: what perspectival shifts can be induced in existing categories of museum classification? What would a true recognition of different positionings look like? Furthermore, can histories which have been violently repressed in the past return to reflect a ‘worlded public’ in the present? How does the notion of ‘worlding’ differ from ‘transcultural,’ ‘cosmopolitan’, ‘diasporic,’ or ‘international’? More specifically, what does ‘worlded’ mean in the context of a museum complex like SKD with a 500-year history? What are the limits of the museum in generating a ‘worlded public’? And most importantly, who constitutes such a public?

These questions draw upon the notion of "radical co-presence" (Bonaventura De Sousa Santos) in which different memory cultures, definitions of art and cultural practices are used to conceive a multi-layered public. Together with resident Fellows and guests of the Transcultural Academy, the Public Assembly aims to deepen transcultural learning processes, rehearse artistic action and discuss methods for creating a more just museum in the 21st century with the SKD as a case study.

On Friday, November 25, 2022, from 10 am to 5 pm, Transcultural Academy fellows (Patricia Esquivias, Saba Innab, Choy Ka Fai, Tuan Mami, Lizza May David, and the King Mayesse Foundation with Sebastian-Manès Sprute) will present their research reports.

When? Where?
24 - 25 November 2022
Japanisches Palais, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Palaisplatz 11
01097 Dresden

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