‘Tis the season dominated by winter festivities. The art world usually does not need an excuse for a party, so when there is one we can only expect a multitude of glühwein evenings with an artistic backdrop throughout the month of December. However, this month has many other reasons to celebrate, which often lie in the shadow of the commodified nature of the Christmas period.
Human Rights Day falls on December 10th, marking the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.
The milestone document proclaims the rights of every human being, regardless of race, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
The first part of our curated monthly listings for December focuses on art events in the city that take this important anniversary as a starting point and encourage further dialogue through a multitude of angles, both historical and contemporary.
The Grassi Museum is organizing an array of events to celebrate and discuss human rights. On the day itself the museum will have stations throughout where different human rights activists will be handing out information on their causes. Check out their website to see all their programmed events. Below we’ve selected the one we definitely won’t be missing.
Grassi Talks: Now! – Antirassistische Praxis im Museum
Wednesday the 4th, 19:00 – 21:00
The art world is often seen to be filled with liberal ideas and open dialogue. However, fundamentally it is an institution still dominated by white, male, and academic perspectives. The Grassi Museum invites a group of art professionals to discuss the role of museums in changing the status quo and how to create equal opportunity for those in marginalized groups.
It’s extremely inspiring to see a museum accepting the historic bias of the institution at large, that surely includes themselves, and seeking ways to change this.
Forum Live – Sprechstunde: Ist unsere Gegenwart schon reif fürs Museum?
Tuesday the 17th, 16:30 – 18:00
Contemporary History Forum
This new permanent exhibition translates to “our deals with the history of the GDR, the upheaval of 1989/90, and its consequences”, with a final section of the exhibition focusing on current developments and societal problems. On the 17th there will be a tour of the exhibition as well as a discussion with Dr. Ing. Anne Martin (Researcher in the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig) about the contemporary situation in direct relation to historic events in East Germany. This event will be in German.
Theatre: ALLES IST LEBEN. DIE Geschichte Milena Jesenskás
Friday the 6th, 20:00-22:00
Behind every great man is a great woman! This experimental theatre performance takes inspiration from Franz Kafka’s letters but from the perspective of the addressee: the Czech journalist Milena Jesenskás, lover and translator of Kafka. Her life encompasses experiences of pre-war German-Jewish intellectual circles, communism, fascism, women’s emancipation, and the ultimately deadly experience of opposing the Nazi regime. The production is in German and free of charge.
Piece of Silence
Exhibition dates: Nov 30th – Dec 21st
In the silence lies a tension that is already the idea of future possibilities. The exhibition takes this as a core idea using minimalist music and visual means expressed as a sound and video installation to explore the concept. Alongside the exhibition are a series of events, including a guided tour of the exhibition and discussion on December 21st at 15:00.
Launch Map #10
Thursday the 5th, 18:00-21:00
Under the title Bewegliche Arkitekturen – Architektur undo Bewegnung (“Mobile Architechtures – Architechture and Movement”), MAP reflects on different spaces in the context of (performance) art. The publication includes contributions from various fields such as science, curation, arts and academia. The launch is a great way to get a deeper understanding of the project and hear in person the thoughts of some great minds that are part of it.
Helmut is a great space in the East run by a co-operative. It functions as a multifaceted event space but also has a gallery space with a curated programme of solo exhibitions selected by an open-call.
Random Surface Displacement
Opening event: Friday the 6th, 20:00-23:00
Madrid-based artist Daniel Domingo Schweitzer invites us to “think of space as something that emanates from the body, as a sensory experience and, through an object, to influence in that experience”. His exhibition at Helmut reflects on this from the specificity of matter and form, which are taken to their minimum expression.
Tekla Aslanishvili ‘Algorithmic Island’
Saturday the 7th, 19:00-21:00
An evening of a film screening and talk by Berlin-based artist Tekla Aslanishvili in the framework of the exhibition, “Please divide in groups of II or III”. Aslanishvili investigates how digital technologies influence the urban environment and our everyday lives and will show and discuss excerpts of her essayistic documentary film, Algorithmic Island (2019). This event is in English.
To end with just a little bit of that Christmas cheer, join the Museum der Bildenden Künst as it hosts an evening of carol singing and Bach in collaboration with the children and youth choirs of the city.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Weihnachtsoratorium
Monday the 23rd, 20:00 – 21:30