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Ceremony (Burial of an Undead World) at Haus der Kulturen der Welt

October 23–December 30, 2022

The modern and colonial world systems are in ruins around us, and we live in them. The institutions that structure systemic inequalities, border systems, and subject forms are everywhere we look. This realm of the dead must be put to rest in order to allow for other futures since it vehemently opposes change by refusing to perish.

The exhibition Ceremony (Burial of an Undead World) explores the continuity of cosmologies and origin stories throughout space and time, only to upend common perceptions of the modern age and its historical context. Ceremony alludes to the theories of Jamaican theorist Sylvia Wynter, who believes that the “mutations” of Christian cosmology into the secular discourse of modernity are directly responsible for the “underside costs” of modernity, which range from climate change and extractivism to eviction and slavery.

Ceremony combines literary creations from many genres and historical eras with documents with multiple interlocutors. A periodical and a sizable schedule of live events are also included.

Curators: Anselm Franke, Elisa Giuliano, Denise Ryner, Claire Tancons, Zairong Xiang

Exhibition with contributions by Leo Asemota, Shuvinai Ashoona, Richard Bell, Raymond Boisjoly, Gaëlle Choisne, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Alice Creischer & Andreas Siekmann, Mario Cresci, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Mariana Castillo Deball, Stan Douglas, Albrecht Dürer, Léon Ferrari, Jermay Michael Gabriel, Luigi di Gianni, Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi, Leah Gordon, Nicolás Guillén, Ho Rui An, James T. Hong, Huang Yong Ping, Dapper Bruce Lafitte, Carlo Levi, Jane Jin Kaisen, William Kentridge, Will Kwan, Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley, Titina Maselli, Cecilia Mangini, Guadalupe Maravilla, Peter Minshall, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Ernest Nash, Le Nemesiache, Rachel O’Reilly, István Orosz, Rosa von Praunheim, Tabita Rezaire, Elza Soares, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, Kidlat Tahimik, Rosemarie Trockel, Joyce Wieland, Tania Willard, David Wojnarowicz, Xiyadie, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, and many more.

Ceremony (Burial of an Undead World)

Edited by Anselm Franke, Elisa Giuliano, Claire Tancons, Denise Ryner, Zairong Xiang, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt
In English
Released in December 2022

How can “alternative cosmologies,” which are typically thought of as pre-modern belief systems, be compared to modernity and the advancements of global capitalism? The purpose of this article is to react to two important works by Sylvia Wynter, “The Ceremony Must Be Found” (1984) and “The Ceremony Found” (2015), and to use them as a springboard for a discussion of cosmology outside the realm of conventional wisdom. The book contains a number of comments on these two books that explore the part origin myths play in shaping our mental categories as well as our language and perception. The editors are especially interested in showing how Wynter’s concept of a “human ecumene” establishes a counter-universalism capable of untying modernist and capitalist modernity. Wynter contends that a ceremony is required for this.

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 12–8pm

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