Feuerwerk auf der Elbe hinter dem Holländischen Palais 1719 in Dresden
© SKD, Foto: Herbert Boswank

Public Assembly of the Transcultural Academy Towards a Worlded Public

24—25 November 2022, Japanisches Palais, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

The Transcultural Academy

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.


Thursday, 24 November 2022

19:00 (CET)

A Worlded Public: Where Do We Stand?
A conversation with Eva Bentcheva (Heidelberg University / Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation), Lotte Arndt (TU Berlin / Reconnecting ‘Objects’) and Isabel Raabe (Talking Objects Lab) with an introduction by Doreen Mende (SKD / HEAD Genève).

Friday, 25 November 2022

10:00 – 17:00 (CET)

Research Reports by the Fellows of the Transcultural Academy Patricia Esquivias, Saba Innab, Choy Ka Fai, Tuan Mami, Lizza May David and the King Mayesse Foundation with Sebastian-Manès Sprute. 

19:00 (CET)

Conversation with the Fellows of the Transcultural Academy, moderated by Christiane Mennicke (Kunsthaus Dresden) and Thomas Geisler (Design Campus, SKD)   

To the program (pdf)

Participation is possible both in-person at the Japanisches Palais in Dresden and online. 

To register

Follow the livestream

In addition to the Public Assembly, the researcher, curator and author, Agnieszka Roguski, has been invited to be a critical commentator and editor of a living document featuring conversations, introspections, questions and reports stemming from the Transcultural Academy. Roguski will focus on infra-political resonances of the Academy, as well as develop a dislocated, multivocal and transmedial platform for “speaking back” (Sara Ahmed) to the museum complex.


Fellows of the Transcultural Academy

Patricia Esquivias is a research-based artist and lives in Madrid. She studied in London (1997-2001) and San Francisco (2005-2007). Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Kunsthaus Dresden and Langenhagener Kunstverein, 2021, Centro Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, 2016, Kunsthalle Winterthur, 2013 and Museo Arte Contemporaneo de Vigo, 2013, among others.

Saba Innab is an architect, artist and urban researcher working with historical research, drawing, mapping, model making and spatial interventions. She explores liminal states between temporality and permanence through notions of housing and their political, spatial and poetic implications in language and architecture. She was Fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program 2020; recent exhibitions at the ifa Gallery Berlin and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.

Choy Ka Fai is a Berlin-based artist from Singapore. His multidisciplinary art practice operates at the intersection of dance, media art and performance. Essential to his research is the ongoing exploration and investigation of the metaphysics of the human body. Through research expeditions, pseudo-scientific experiments and documentary performances, Ka Fai appropriates technologies and narratives to imagine new futures of the human body. His projects have been presented at Sadler’s Wells (London, UK), ImPulsTanz Festival (Vienna, Austria) and Tanz Im August (Berlin, Germany).

Interdisciplinary experimental artist Tuan Mami is constantly exploring new methods to evolve through reflective questioning and social research. In recent years, he has begun to explore the concept of *humanity*. In doing so, he observes and questions social interactions between people and people with their environment to reconstruct social processes. Recent exhibition participations include documenta 15 (2022) and Prague Biennale (2020).

Lizza May David (b. Quezon City, Philippines) lives and works in Berlin and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg and the Berlin University of the Arts. Current exhibitions: Spheres of Interest* - ifa Galerie, Berlin (DE, 2022), Transition Exhibition - Brücke-Museum, Berlin (DE, 2022), The Vibration of Things - Triennale Kleinplastik Fellbach (DE, 2022).

The King Mayesse Foundation is working on its visibility and self-determined representation through the collection of the Staatliche Etnographische Sammlungen Sachsen together with Sebastian-Manès Sprute, also to overcome art history's Eurocentric view of Cameroonian objects.

Agnieszka Roguski is a researcher, curator and writer living in Berlin. She is the Artistic Director of M.1 Arthur Boskamp-Stiftung in Hohenlockstedt, North Germany. In her PhD thesis (Freie Universität Berlin), she investigated postdigital self display as curatorial act from a queer-feminist perspective. In 2022, she was a researcher in residence at the MMCA Seoul, South Korea.


Concept: Noura Dirani and Doreen Mende, in collaboration with Eva Bentcheva
Coordination: Anna-Lisa Reith
Study Groups (internal): Conceived by Eva Bentcheva, Franziska Kaun and the Lektürerunde der SKD 

The Transcultural Academy Towards a Worlded Public (2022) at the Japanisches Palais results from a collaboration between the Cross-Collections Research Department and the Staatliche Ethnographische Sammlungen Sachsen at Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. This year’s edition has been conceptualised in consultation with Heidelberg University’s team of the international research project and network Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation.

Partners and Sponsors

Sponsored by

To top