• 22​ – 31​ 07​ 2016 •
Youth Academy of the Arts of the World Kindly Disinvited

With the "Youth Academy", the Academy of the Arts of the World supports young, up-coming artists. In the course of the past year, the eleven participants of the current annual program addressed the issue of anti-racist discourse production in practical and theoretical workshops critically reflecting their own privileges, being white, migration, possibilities of solidarity, and questions of self/representation in art. The results of their experiences put into artistic practice will be on display from 22nd to 31st of July 2016 in the ACADEMYSPACE in Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne. The group exhibition‘s title KINDLY DISINVITED tackles the question of who is invited to this kind of events. Who enjoys the privilege of an invitation to participate in a vernissage? Who is not likely to be welcome to such an event? Who has the privilege of inviting?

Over a period of more than a year, the participants of the Youth Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne have worked on questions of image politics and mechanisms of power inherent to camera related practices. After critically negotiating participatory practices, we went instead for film as the language of selfrepresentation. Furthermore, we discussed the false promise of artistic work “with or about refugees,” which is formulated despite the obvious fact that any artist, regardless of their origin, is able to produce artistic works on their own. During a workshop week entitled The Privilege of (Self-) Representation in February of this year, four guest speakers contributed their perspective on our entire annual work program: African Studies specialist Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst outlined possible applications of the discussions about Critical Whiteness and Cologne’s colonial history. Massimo Perinelli lectured about the contribution to emancipatory practices provided by migrant movements and communities in the Federal Republic of Germany from the 1960s until the present day and pointed out a precise notion of solidarity, which calls for being applied within the arts, too. Nanna Heidenreich gave a talk about how to negotiate migration in the arts and the filmic image. The artist Cana Bilir-Meier presented excerpts of her work in which she carefully interweaves her own family history with the writing of history about those people who lived in Germany as “guest workers.” Katia Barrett and Antonina Baever were present as guest artists and provided insights into their practice.

In their exhibition KINDLY DISINVITED the participants of the Youth Academy of the Arts of the World present the results of an entire year’s work. Set up as a film workshop, as workshop camp or laboratory of image production the exhibition serves to display our negotiations of diverse forms of racism, discrimination, and discourses of Critical Whiteness and tackles mechanism of in- and exclusion. We aim at deconstructing hastily proclaimed forms of multicultural harmony and self-critically show queer selfaffirmation and questions of solidarization as places of refuge in our own work. We attempt to realize this BY USING images. Unlike an object racism is not something we can just push away. With this exhibition we intend to outline a field, where negotiations can never come to an end. We consider this an expanded, accessible film, which briefly interrupts its own production to turn to the spectators and show them what previously happened in order to look enthusiastically at everything that still needs to be done. Lotta Continua.

Ulf Aminde, Ronja Bader, Maria Chatzidimou, Manon Diederich,FEG, Anna Lebedeva, Adrian Robanus, Walter Solon, Nina Weber, Argia Helen Wehner and Elsa Weiland with Nora Wiedenhöft, Jan Kryszons and Roel Weenink and their great assistance and Georg Blokus and with works by Cana Bilir-Meier, Massimo Perinelli, and Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst.