Sommerakademie is primarily a seminar-based course that explores the international contemporary art center of Berlin, Germany, through lectures and discussions with artists, curators, and scholars, and through readings and intensive discussion. The program offers a unique context to research art and to explore various modes of creative and cultural production in relation to the material, social, and political conditions of Berlin as a historical, national, and contemporary global site.
Students gain critical, historical, and practical understanding of how artists engage history, communities, and social contexts in relation to the conceptual and practical dimensions of their work. As they investigate how artists and cultural producers engage public space, students explore models of production that may involve collaboration and situational engagement. Berlin's contemporary architectural sites—which are witness to the city's traumatic past during the Third Reich and Cold War division, as well as its global presence—further provide an opportunity to consider spatial and temporal, social and political aspects of context-driven work. Ultimately, the class explores how art can engage the social and political realms related to "place" in order to mediate the conditions of contemporaneity.
The program includes discussions with artists, architects, historians, art dealers, and gallerists; recent artist studio visits have included Franz Ackermann, Daniela Comani, Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Locher, Carsten Nicolai, Karin Sander, and Renata Stih + Frieder Schnock.
Past walking tours and visits to museums and galleries in various districts have included: Autocenter, the Boros Collection, Hamburger Bahnhof, the Holocaust Memorial, House of World Cultures, the Jewish Museum Berlin, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Martin-Gropius-Bau museum, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, the Stasi Prison, the Topography of Terror, and the Venice Biennale.
This course is open to Graduate School of Art majors and undergraduate-level seniors. For more information, contact:
Director, Graduate School of Art