Entry free of charge| Please register till May 25, 2022:
You can also visit the symposium without prior registration, if there are still seats available.
How do things currently stand with freedom in our society? Is it an inalienable precondition for artistic work and action? Does the autonomy of art allow artists to make an impact? Does it facilitate reflection? Or is it ground down between animosity and exclusion?
The symposium “Art and Freedom. Under Pressure” looks back at the democratic rebirth of the Federal Republic of Germany while also creating a bridge to the present, examining the historical and present-day foundations on which artistic freedom is built.
The event sheds light on the ways artists have positioned themselves in authoritarian systems like the Nazi regime, as well as their political involvement and its consequences after the founding of the two German states. How do we deal today with disputed works and their creators? Which conditions are required to make artistic freedom possible?
The symposium explores strategies for artistic engagement in the face of repression, threats and hostility – from authoritarian political systems, but also from radicalized political groups within a democracy.
What happens when freedom comes under pressure? Those invited to speak include artists and art historians who have long faced and studied this question.
As a critical contribution to current cultural discourse, this year’s conference is the first in a three-part series organized by Deutscher Künstlerbund on the themes of freedom, democracy and society.
10 am Words of welcome from the event’s honorary patron by video link
Claudia Roth | Minister of State for Culture and the Media
10:15 am Opening comments
Prof. Dr. Stephan Berg | Director, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany
10:30 am Introduction
Albert Weis | Executive Board, Deutscher Künstlerbund, Germany
Historical context │ Dealing with controversial works or artists
10:45 am Impulse talks
Prof. Dr. Christoph Zuschlag │ Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Professorship for Modern and Contemporary Art History, University of Bonn, Germany
Dr. Dorothea Schöne │ Artistic and Executive Director, Kunsthaus Dahlem, Berlin, Germany
Hon.-Prof. Dr. Julia Voss | Curator, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany
(Unfortunately unable to attend: Prof. Olaf Nicolai | Artist and Professor of Sculpture and Fundamentals of Three-Dimensional Design, Academy of Fine Arts Munich, Germany)
Moderated by: Elke Gruhn | Artisic Director, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Germany
12:30 pm – 2 pm
Freedom under Pressure
2 pm Lightning talks
Sara Nabil | Artist, Frankfurt/M., Germany
Henrike Naumann | Artist, Berlin, Germany
Eric Otieno Sumba | Sociologist, political scientist and writer, Kassel, Germany
Elke aus dem Moore | Director, Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany
Moderated by: Elke Gruhn | Artistic Director, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Germany
Foundations of Freedom
Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky | Co-founders of ARTISTS AT RISK, Helsinki, Finland
Subject to changes.
In partnership with
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 2 | 53113 Bonn
By underground ad bus:
U16, U63, U66, U68, Bus 610, 611 und 630 to Heussallee/Museumsmeile
By train: RE5, RE26, RE30 und RE48 to UN Campus