STUDIO BONN is the new public think tank of the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany. Join artists, scientists, programmers and activists discussing models of care for global communal infrastructure - mental, physical and digital. The events will remain accessible online in the form of videos and podcasts in both German and English and invite further collective discussion. Supplemented by in-depth essays, a ‘coral reef’ of long-term thinking about the common ground aggregates. Watch it grow on

STUDIO BONN. Listening to the Future
The Bundeskunsthalle Discourse Format

The Common Ground

Monday, 20 September, 8:15 pm, live in the Forum (doors open: 7.15–8.10 pm)
and livestreamed
€12 / concessions €8 incl. public transport (VRS only) through Bonnticket

Are political struggles drowned out by identity politics? Or do the growing self-confidence of minorities and the multiplication of perspectives simply reveal just how much (white, Western European, Christian) identity politics have always determined our society? How does embracing the new courtesies and agonising over the correct forms of expression affect the way we live together? Is freedom of expression under threat, or is it only just beginning to be being fought for? On 20 September 2021, journalist Petra Gerster and journalist Mohamed Amjahid will discuss these questions with Studio Bonn host Kolja Reichert in an installation by artist Verena Issel.

For more than twenty years Petra Gerster (born 1955 in Worms) worked as anchor for the ZDF’s daily news magazine heute – where she introduced the ‘gender star’ (glottal stop to signal gender inclusive use of gendered suffixes). Since her departure from the news at the end of May 2021, Petra Gerster has been writing a book on identity politics with her husband, the journalist Christian Nürnberger, which will be published in November (Vermintes Gelände. Wie der Krieg um Wörter unsere Gesellschaft verändert (‘Minefield – How the War Over Words is Changing Our Society’, Heyne 2021). At Studio Bonn, she will talk about her observations and thoughts for the first time in public.

In his books, newspaper articles and social media posts, political scientist and journalist Mohamed Amjahid (born 1988 in Frankfurt / Main) shows how structural racism works – and what a society and language could look like that afford everyone equal rights and respect. Mohamed Amjahid’s most recent publication is Der Weiße Fleck: Eine Anleitung zu antirassistischem Denken (‘The White Stain: A Guide to Antiracist Thinking’, Piper 2021), the one before Unter Weißen: Was es heißt, privilegiert zu sein (‘Among Whites: What it Means to be Privileged’, Hanser Berlin 2017).

In colourful collages and installations made of low-cost materials, Verena Issel (born 1982 in Munich) builds revenants of art historical forms – and questions their validity in the digital present, which is determined by a dissolution of forms. For Studio Bonn, Verena Issel transforms her site-specific installation SOFT RUINS (Aset in Tadmor II) (2018/2021) into a tv studio. The installation with ancient columns made of pastel-coloured foam was created in the wake of the destruction of the temple complex of Palmyra (also known as Tadmor) by the Islamic State in 2015. Aset is the Middle Egyptian name for Isis, the Egyptian goddess of destruction and reconstruction.

The 3G rule (Geimpft, Genesen or Getestet, meaning fully vaccinated, recovered or tested) applies at events. Admission only with proof of vaccination/recovery or a negative Covid test.
In light of the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bundeskunsthalle reserves the right to cancel events at short notice. By the same token, the regulations governing your visit may change. Before your visit, please check the latest updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

STUDIO BONN. Listening to the Future

Exchange Values
CRYTPO-CAPITALISM (English with German interpretation)
July 15, 8.15pm GMT-1, Live in the Forum of the Bundeskunsthalle (Admission only until 8.10 pm)
12 €/reduced. 8 € incl. VRS via Bonnticket

The craze around crypto art and NFTs (non-fungible tokens, i.e. digital certificates of ownership) blurs the boundaries of culture, economy and politics. Does blockchain technology offer ways out of parasitic platform capitalism, in which all users feed the ledgers of tech gigants? Or will it lead to even greater inequality and the complete financialization of human relationships? Artist Hito Steyerl, the cultural scientist Joseph Vogl and the musician Ville Haimala, one half of the duo Amnesia Scanner, discuss the opportunities and risks of a decentralised internet for the arts and democracy.

HITO STEYERL uses the latest control and surveillance technologies as artistic tools. Her highly alert video installations and essays have made her one of the world’s most influential contemporary artists and theorists.

In his book “Kapital und Ressentiment” (C.H. Beck 2021), the philosopher and literary scholar JOSEPH VOGL continues his investigation of the financial industry and shows how its alliance with platform corporations has turned populism into a lucrative business model.

VILLE HAIMALA’s band Amnesia Scanner (with Martti Kalliala) creates sublime, floating stills of information overload full of contradictory signals. Haimala has worked with various artists, for example with Anne Imhof on her current exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

STUDIO BONN. Listening to the Future

The Common Ground
(German with English subtitles)
Henrike Naumann, Andreas Reckwitz, Anke Stelling

STUDIO BONN moves into Henrike Naumann’s tilted post-’89 living room installation “Ostalgie” (2019). Sociologist Andreas Reckwitz (“The Society of Singularities”, Polity 2020), writer Anke Stelling (“Higher Ground”, Scribe US 2021) and artist Henrike Naumann discuss an escalated economy of valorisation and aesthetic displacement.

Digitalisation has taken the debate about what is culturally valuable out of museums and into everyday life. Everybody judges everyone else; everybody is an artist, a critic and a work. Some seek to assert themselves through the originality of their lifestyle, others by defending the putative authenticity of their roots. But if everything and everyone can become a cultural asset, what is the role of the work of art?

A conversation about the changing dynamics of what society deems valuable, the covert class struggle through culture and the connection between culture and populism.

Using Ebay furniture, Henrike Naumann explores German psycho-geographies after 1989. Anke Stelling's novels expose the delusion of self-realisation. In his book Society of Singularities, Andreas Reckwitz has developed a cultural theory that explains the rise of populism and that details the role the increased significance of culture plays in that rise.

STUDIO BONN. Listening to the Future

The Common Ground
(German only)
Monika Grütters, Eva Kraus

Since the opening of the Bundeskunsthalle in 1992, the political value of culture has steadily risen. This can be seen in the budget increases that Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters has achieved in her eight years in office – most recently in the two billion euros for culture to alleviate the consequences of the Corona pandemic. But do politicians really understand how culture works and what it achieves? Are the existing instruments enough to safeguard the work of artists? How do cultural institutions need to change? Is there a need for a Federal Ministry of Culture? And what remains of the cultural sovereignty of the individual states that make up the FRG? At the premiere of STUDIO BONN, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters, artistic director Eva Kraus and Kolja Reichert discuss the future of cultural policy.

Kolja Reichert
As programme curator with a focus on discourse at the Bundeskunsthalle, Kolja Reichert (38) originated and chairs the newly created STUDIO BONN programme series. The well-known art critic, writer and curator, studied philosophy and modern German literature at the Free University of Berlin. Since 2006, Kolja Reichert has been writing feature articles about music, art and urban development. Between 2016 and 2017, he was responsible for the art coverage of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, until 2020 of that of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. He has taught at various universities and written essays for exhibition catalogues, most recently on the works of Franz Erhard Walther and Kai Althoff. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Art Criticism Prize awarded jointly by the Association of German Kunstvereins and the Art Cologne. In 2018, the Berlin Academy awarded him the Will Grohmann Prize. In September 2021, his book Kryptokunst will be published in the Wagenbach Digitale Bildkulturen series.

Show bibliography

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Museumsmeile Bonn
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 4
53113 Bonn
T +49 228 9171–200

Opening hours

Mondays closed
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
(including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)