press release

03.07.2021 - 12.12.2021

an art campaign

With Cevdet Erek, Ali Eyal, Shilpa Gupta, Taus Makhacheva, Dhali Al Mamoon, Nicolás Paris, Charlotte Posenenske, PROPAGANDA DEPARTMENT, Evariste Richer, Yazan Rousan, Kerstin Schroedinger, Antje Van Wichelen + Maxime Gids, Ala Younis

Curated by Madhusree Dutta, Ala Younis

The exhibition HANDS is an effort to bring tactile sensations, playfulness and interaction back to public life—in the midst of a pandemic in which touch and hands are in and of themselves stigmatized as sources of contamination. The challenge for artists in this moment is to create accessible artistic practices, to anchor artworks in everyday realities and to fully utilize their playful and therapeutic potential. Touch Again! Live with Art! Let’s Play! represent the parameters that define the rules of play for these artworks. The artists in the exhibition have created objects that are tactile (Touch Again!), reproducible and thus more accessible (Live with Art!) and that inspire playfulness (Let’s Play!). Nine artists—Cevdet Erek, Ali Eyal, Shilpa Gupta, Taus Makhacheva, Dhali Al Mamoon, • • PROPAGANDA DEPARTMENT, Evariste Richer, Yazan Rousan and Antje Van Wichelen with Maxime Gids—were invited to each create an artwork according to these specifications. As part of the art campaign the artists also have made multiples of each object—sometimes identical to the exhibits or in sizes smaller than the mother objects, sometimes as fractions or as an essence of the exhibit. They are available for a standard affordable price, independent of production costs and name recognition of the artist. The goal is to demystify art, to detach it from gallery and marketing strategies and to transfer it from institutional spaces to private and public ones.

The two curators Madhusree Dutta and Ala Younis offer an invitation to Exhibtion Tours in the Academyspace on 25 September at 3 or 5 pm as well as on 18 November at 5 pm. The Exhibition Tours afford a chance to ask the curators questions directly, to engage in discussion, not to mention the opportunity to playfully explore the exhibited artworks on site.

The online workshop A Small World or a Place In-Between Us with Nicolás Paris on November 6 and 7, 2021 from 4–7pm (CET) will interrogate and explore the relationship between different anatomies of nature. The workshop aims to observe and understand structures and growth phenomena in nature through various tactile exercises and collaborative processes. The exercises are grounded in participatory practices designed to encourage exploration of the notion of shared time between humans and between humans and nature. Selected fragments of the experiences that materialize over the course of the workshop will be displayed in the exhibition. The number of participants is limited, please register at Participation is possible on one or both workshop days.

With Charlotte Posenenske, the exhibition pays tribute to an artist who espoused accessible and interactive art practices and who was creating works as early as 1967 that were reproducible and affordable, collaborative and tactile, unlimited and unsigned, not to mention playful and ephemeral. The question today is how—on a curatorial and artistic level—to approach an artist who theoretically defined her work so precisely, without falling prey to the fascination of this exact theoretical brilliance? How can she be placed into the context of the 1960s without obliterating her peculiarity? These questions will be discussed in the Online Talk Matters of Tactility: Revisiting Charlotte Posenenske with our guests Alexis Lowry and Astrid Wege, moderated by art historian Dirk Hildebrandt on November 27, 2021 from 4–5:30pm (CET) via

Alongside this homage to Posenenske, Ala Younis’s video installation Hands: dismemberance also stands for the programmatic focus of the exhibition and can be read as a prologue for the whole project HANDS. In this work Younis addresses the constraints, deformations and the dismemberment of hands. The artwork was created in collaboration with poet Iman Mersal.

The performance Hyphea by Mouvoir on December 10 directed by Stephanie Thiersch wraps up this year’s engagement with tactility and the dignity of hands.

Exhibition tour, HANDS: September 25, 3pm and 5pm, with Madhusree Dutta, Ala Younis. In English. Participation is free of charge, register at Academyspace, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne.

Podcast series, Learning to Listen: October 07 + 14 + 21 + 28, with Danielle Almeida, Chimurenga (Ntone Edjabe), Olivier Marboeuf, Tropical Diaspora (DJ GArRinchA, DJ Dr. Sócrates), curated and moderated by Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz. In Englisch, Portuguese. Available at, Apple Podcast, Soundcloud, Spotify.

Online workshop, A Small World or a Place In-Between Us: November 6–7, 4–7pm, with Nicolás Paris. In English,Spanish. Optional material costs: 9 EUR. Register at, participation is possible on one or both days.

Exhibition tour, HANDS: November 18, 5pm, with Madhusree Dutta. In English. Participation is free of charge, register at Academyspace, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne.

Online talk, Matters of Tactility: Revisiting Charlotte Posenenske: November 27, 4–5:30pm, with Alexis Lowry, Astrid Wege, moderated by Dirk Hildebrandt. Free admission, zoom-link available at

Performance, Hyphea: December 10, 8:15pm, by Mouvoir, with Fabien Almakiewicz, Gyung Moo Kim, Camille Revol, Joel Suárez Gómez, Margaux Marielle-Tréhoüart, among others. Choreography: Stephanie Thiersch. Tickets 10 EUR / 8 EUR via Stadtgarten, Venloer Straße 40, 50672 Cologne.