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Akademie Schloss Solitude celebrates the 30th anniversary
Transformation – Unfolding the Future
Design: Stegmeyer Fischer Creative Studio
01. March 2020

The year 2020 is a special one for Akademie Schloss Solitude, in which it celebrates its 30th anniversary. Akademie Schloss Solitude has been uniting artists from all over the world for three decades. During this time, an active international network numbering 1,470 artists and scientists from more than 120 countries has formed. Akademie Schloss Solitude was founded in 1989 with the goal of promoting transcultural and interdisciplinary exchange. This intention was formulated against the background of the reunification of East and West and the »end« of political front lines. Where do we stand today? A complex world in which rapid changes elicit fears and new front lines are built up, a time in which old structures are reviewed and the new has not yet found expression. Artistic thinking, action and research all play a special role in this friction-prone time of change.

In its anniversary year, the Akademie is devoting itself to current social transformation processes and future issues in various formats under the umbrella theme of »Transformation – Unfolding the Future«. Akademie Schloss Solitude is an ideal place to reflect on a variety of global interdependencies, test new economies of knowledge production and community building, and thus to lay the foundations for change and innovation. As a cultural institution, the Akademie plays a special role, creating space for collective imagination, inviting action and stimulating social change processes, which are inspired, initiated and guided by its fellows. 

On the occasion of its anniversary year, Akademie Schloss Solitude has revamped its corporate identity and will launch its new web presence in June. In keeping with the anniversary theme, the series of talks and workshops entitled »Transformation – Unfolding the Future« was supposed to begin in April. The start had to be postponed due to the current pandemic situation. Featuring international guests including Denise Ferreira Da Silva, Bruno Latour, Nishant Shah and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, this series focuses on central questions of transformation: How do we wish to shape our society and life together in the future? Which tangible and intangible concepts can serve as a reference for social transformations and as a basis for political decisions? And what role do artists and scientists play in this field of tension and experimentation? This series of talks and workshops once again ensures that Akademie Schloss Solitude is positioning itself as a place for public debate on current topics from the spheres of art, culture, politics and science in 2020. 

Digital Solitude
In addition to its main fellowship program, Akademie Schloss Solitude supports artists who practice innovative and alternative approaches to digital media, technologies and key social themes. Its programs promote a critical examination of digital culture, as well as the facets and effects of the digitization of media, art, culture and society. On February 20, the first exhibition of this year opened in the Römerstraße project space. For the first time, this exhibition, entitled »Our Loves Are Not Only Human« unites selected digital projects that have been produced over the past two years in the context of the Web Residencies by Solitude & ZKM. The exhibition runs until 29 March.

On February 21, 2020, Akademie Schloss Solitude, together with the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, presented the second HASH Award for net-based projects in the fields of art, technology and design. The prize is funded by the LBBW Foundation.  At Akademie Schloss Solitude a permanent digital exhibition will be installed, presenting alternative digital visions of the future.

2020 is also a year in which many of the collaborations initiated last year will be revealed. From March 5 to 7, 2020, the symposium entitled »Paradoxes of Progress« took place at Akademie Schloss Solitude in collaboration with the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. The symposium explored the extent to which the aspiration to progressively change society through art still defines us today, and how global art relates to this. Akademie Schloss Solitude is set to open two collaborative exhibitions in the period between June and September: The exhibition »Beyond Walls« at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (contemporary art museum in Stuttgart) and a recurring artistic exchange with the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (State Gallery Stuttgart), which begins in September 2020.
With the inaugural »Zukunftsrede« (Address for the Future), the Literaturhaus Stuttgart, Akademie Schloss Solitude, the IZKT (International Center for Cultural and Technological Studies) at the University of Stuttgart, the Institut français and the Hospitalhof Stuttgart (Protestant educational center) are jointly adopting a format that will provide a platform for outstanding personalities from politics, philosophy, literature and science to take a courageous look into the future in the coming years. Due to the current pandemic situation, concrete dates will be announced as soon as events can be realised. 

Ceremony with picnic and summer party
A special highlight in the anniversary year is the large-scale anniversary celebration on July 4, 2020 with picnic and subsequent summer party, to which Akademie Schloss Solitude would like to cordially invite you all. Save the date!

We are also pleased to announce the first jointly curated Festival of the Arts, »DIE IRRITIERTE STADT« (THE IRRITATED CITY), which will be taking place across Stuttgart and its environs from July 20 to 26 in cooperation with TANZPAKT Stuttgart, the association Musik der Jahrhunderte, Produktionszentrum Tanz und Performance, Theater Rampe and the Cultural Office of the State Capital of Stuttgart. TANZPAKT Stuttgart is funded by the TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund with the support of the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and by the State Capital of Stuttgart.

New fellowship program
Akademie Schloss Solitude will also begin a new fellowship program in the fall. Akademie Schloss Solitude, in cooperation with the foundation KfW Stiftung, announced fellowships with a thematic focus for the first time in its history in 2019. Starting in October 2020, a group of seven selected fellows from various disciplines will explore the topic »Mutations« within the context of a learning and study community.

Namibia initiative
Akademie Schloss Solitude is embarking on an intensive artistic exchange with Namibia as part of the Namibia initiative of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. In the two-part workshop series entitled »Colonial Heritage – Shared Futures«, which will take place at Akademie Schloss Solitude in November 2020 and in Namibia at a later point in time, artists will explore the possibility of a collective reappraisal of history in order to jointly shape the future.
A macrosocial discourse also requires »new« places of learning and memory.
In this context, Akademie Schloss Solitude will offer fellowships for artists and authors.
Thus, in its anniversary year, Akademie Schloss Solitude will use the expertise it has acquired and tested over 30 years to collaborate with international fellows, jurors, guests, collaboration partners and sponsors on various aspects of transformation. We would like to see a form of collectivity in which interrelationships are recognized and needs are shared. This type of value-oriented understanding of human interaction and mutual support is key for the future.