Akademie der Künste (Hanseatenweg)

Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin

Exhibition venue of the 10th Berlin Biennale

Founded in 1696 as an academic institution, the Akademie der Künste is one of the oldest cultural institutions in Europe. The Akademie has been formed through a membership process, which endures to this day. In its early history the Akademie der Künste foregrounded learning through teaching and exchange among members. Having established itself as a center for national cultural renewal and enlightenment, it gradually assumed its present-day form as a platform for discussions on art and politics. The 10th Berlin Biennale is interested in positioning sociopolitical and historical narratives in conversation with stories that inhabit the expansive archives of the Akademie, the lineage of membership, and the Brutalist architecture of Werner Düttmann from the late 1950s.

The 10th Berlin Biennale exhibition at the Akademie der Künste started with a temporary structure that introduces historical and visual elements from two heritage sites and one historical figure: Sanssouci, a summer palace built by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia in Potsdam, DE, between 1745 and 1747; Sans-Souci Palace in Milot in Haiti, built by King Henri of Haiti between 1810 and 1813; and Haitian revolutionary leader, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Sans Souci, an enslaved African who led troops in guerrilla fighting against the French in 1791. This conceptual frame underlines the ideological underpinnings of all historical narratives and the institutions that house them.