past statements - Denkmäler in der Diskussion

past statements - present futures

Event has ended! However, you can find video documentation on our YouTube channel, just follow the links below each panel in the program.

forum, 7 – 8 October 2022, Haus der Kunst, Munich
accompanying program: 9 October

On 7 and 8 October 2022 Haus der Kunst, in collaboration with the City Department of Arts and Culture of the City of Munich and Freispiel Kulturagentur, will host a multi-day forum entitled „Past Statements – Present Futures“. The panels are convened by Cana Bilir-Meier & Saboura Naqshband, Romi Crawford and Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard as well as Emma Enderby, Damian Lentini and Andrea Lissoni (Haus der Kunst).

Recent debates in both Munich and throughout the world have been grappling with the question of whether the monuments in our cities are in fact truly representative of our contemporary ideals. Clearly, this is not always the case, as monuments from past times necessarily express past statements. What do we do with this discrepancy? And how can a diverse, democratic present address the past in a contemporary state of mind? Hence, the very act of collective remembering itself has gained relevance – as has the question of how contemporary ways of remembering can manifest themselves in new forms.  With both a transnational perspective and focus on the city of Munich, the forum will seek to critically debate the very act of collective remembering itself. Engaging with a diverse range of artists, especially those focused on transdisciplinary artistic forms, as well as thinkers, philosophers, and activists whose research and practice is devoted to the historical dimension of the contemporary moment.

Behind every monument, there is a multitude of debates, diverging notions, and a diverse range of people who are directly and indirectly involved. More often than not, conventional statues and monuments deny this complexity in favour of simple, homogenous ideas of collective memory, and it is not uncommon for those whose very stories and histories are actually at stake not to be heard. With this in mind, each of the sessions and workshops will seek to significantly expand common understandings of a monument; incorporating hitherto-neglected elements such as acts of forgetting or suppression, notions of time, movement or flux, as well as monuments that exist purely in language or sound, or those that occupy digital and augmented spaces. In so doing, the forum seeks to foreground the notion of memory as something that is both active and that which is constantly up for debate. Memory is part of the public sphere.

Furthermore, each of the invited conveyors and panelists exemplify just how deeply embedded this sort of thinking is to both Haus der Kunst and the Department of Arts and Culture of the City of Munich. Featuring artists and thinkers who have recently featured within their respective programmes – or with whom we hope to work in the future – the forum allows both organisations to act as hosts in the truest sense of the word: facilitating a space in which the public and key practitioners are able to meet debate and exchange ideas. In creating such a place of encounter, and by focusing on both present and future modes of memory, „Past Statements – Present Futures“ hopes to draw upon and uncover postcolonial, migratory, vagrant and displaced narratives which further define and enrich collective acts of remembering within public sphere.

An event organized by the Department of Arts and Culture of the City of Munich and Haus der Kunst. Conceptual advice and production management Sara Mack & Sarah Bergh/freispiel Kulturagentur

The event is part of the program “past statements” by Public Art München and Public History München at the Munich City Department of Arts and Culture, featuring interventions in public space and local debates.

Admission free



FRIDAY 07.10

12pm – 12.20pm
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Andrea Lissoni (Artistic Director, Haus der Kunst München)
Anton Biebl (Head of the City of Munich Department of Arts and Culture)

Forum Introduction
Magnus Elias Rosengarten, Daniel Bürkner, Sabine Schalm, Damian Lentini


12.30pm – 3pm
PANEL 1 convened by Cana Bilir-Meier & Saboura Naqshband
„In-Between Worlds – A Postcolonial and Postmigrant Search for Traces in the Cityscape of Munich – Of Memory Politics, Counter-Narratives and Continuities of Racist Violence“
with Gürsoy Doğtaş, Samet Leyla, Leyla Jagiella, Nabila Abdel Aziz, Gisela Kollmann, Sandra Chatterjee, and Arko Mukhaerjee


4pm – 7pm
PANEL 2 convened by Romi Crawford
“Black Arts Movement School Modality Session on Alternative Monument Making”
with Abiodun Oyewole, Robert Earl Paige, Fred Moten, Stefano Harney, Mechtild Widrich, Faheem Majeed, Cauleen Smith, and Val Gray Ward

SATURDAY, 08.10.22

Magnus Elias Rosengarten, Daniel Bürkner, Sabine Schalm, Damian Lentini


10.30am – 1pm
PANEL 3 convened by Haus der Kunst
“Movement, Environment, AR”
with Farhan Khalid & Mikala Hyldig Dal, Marina Pugliese, and Sandra Beate Reimann


2.30pm – 5pm
PANEL 4 convened by Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard
“On Nature and Culture of Memory“
with Ibou Diop, Dan Hicks, Anna Yeboah, Tapiwa Guzha, and Nicolas Premier
The entire film »AFRICA IS THE FUTURE« by Nicolas Premier is available every new moon for 24 hours on


5.45pm – 8pm
PANEL 5 convened by Haus der Kunst
“Transmissions – Mediating Monuments”
with Tony Cokes, Olaf Nicolai, and Dana Kavelina

SUNDAY, 09.10.22

Walk to “past statements” art projects in public space with Bettina Keß

10. 30am – Meet at Haus der Kunst

11am – Haus der Kunst
#MakeUsVisible x denkFEmale (artists will be present)

11.30am – Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft, Landesentwicklung und Energie.
Michele Bernardi: „Ein Ort für ein Wort. Ein Wort für einen Ort (Ein Zeitzeichen)“ (the artist will be present)

12.15pm – Siegestor
Steinbrener / Dempf & Huber: “Victory Spikes” (artists will be present)

1pm – Alter Botanischer Garten, Neptunbrunnen
Michaela Melián: „Maria Luiko: Trauernde, 1938“


external event information for Sunday afternoon
Electric Mountain / an artistic intervention at Obersalzberg
Location: Obersalzberg | Meeting point PATHOS Theater at 12:45 p.m. at the latest!
Tickets and information at