Kunstverein Hannover presents its 2023 exhibition program.
Zhanna Kadyrova: Daily Bread—A First Retrospective
January 28–April 9, 2023
The Kunstverein Hannover (founded in 1832) presents Zhanna Kadyrova’s first retrospective. Daily Bread spans two decades of artistic activity, including both historical and modern works, all of which were developed in Ukraine, with a special emphasis on artistic output throughout the war stages of 2014 and 2022 to today.
The show is organized in collaboration with PinchukArtCentre and will be on display in a new format this summer at the institution’s Kyiv headquarters. It has been the major institution in supporting, promoting, and representing Ukrainian modern art and artists both inside and outside of Ukraine since the beginning of the war.
Two discursive events will be held in February and March in collaboration with the Foundation Life & Environment | Heinrich Böll Foundation Lower Saxony, the Network Remembrance and Future in the Hannover region, and the ZeitZentrum Zivilcourage to facilitate a broader discussion about the role of art and civil society in times of aggression and repression. Kadyrova also wishes to hear the voices of her fellow activists, artists, and community people. Online dialogues with directors Roman Khimei and Yarema Malashchuk, as well as artist and writer Yevgenia Belorusets, will make this feasible.
Agnieszka Kurant: Uncomputables
May 6–July 9, 2023
Agnieszka Kurant, a conceptual artist from Poland, investigates the phenomenon of collective intelligence, nonhuman intelligences (from bacteria and slime molds to artificial intelligence), the future of labor and creativity, and the extractivist economy of digital surveillance capitalism in her artistic practice.
The artist revisits prior works questioning the impact of technology on concepts of individuality and authenticity, as well as exploring multiple subjectivity and the “self” as a polyphony incorporating minerals, microorganisms, viruses, and algorithms in her first in-depth institutional solo show in Germany. Kurant produces conditions in which unanticipated, unstable formations, assemblages, and amalgamations develop or crystallize from a complex system: millions of molecules, a bacterial or termite colony, a social movement, or a swarm of digital ghost-workers.
The history of cybernetics, automation, biosemiotics, perpetual motion machines, and alchemy has influenced Kurant’s new idea. The identity of Hannover as the “Expo”-City, which has been inactive since the last world fair in 2000, perfectly reflects the techno-optimistic assumptions of pre-millennial thought. In light of the old projections of these necro futures—former fantastical and utopian leaps that rapidly became steep jumps into neoliberal pitfalls—the exhibition brings together new facets of Kurant’s practice.
Akinbode Akinbiyi: Sometimes to be lost is to be found, and to be found is to be lost anew
November 11, 2023–January 21, 2024
For nearly 50 years, Akinbode Akinbiyi has worked as a photographer, poet, and writer. He was born in Nigeria to Nigerian parents and lived in Oxford, Lagos, Heidelberg, and Munich before relocating to West Berlin. He is a self-taught photographer who works by hand and physically, as a peripatetic observer whose sensitivity to the present creates the wonder of everyday life that we see in his work.
Akinbiyi analyzes societal systems, uncovers the hidden, and makes the unseen visible during his treks through the streets of Bamako, Berlin, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, So Paolo, and other megacities, always equipped with an analog, medium format twin-lens camera. Through a distinctively poetic view of mundane situations, his work documents the everyday in an age of global mobility and constantly circulating images.
Akinbiyi will roam about Hannover beginning in spring 2023, providing the “Expo City” with another type of exposition—exposure. Under the artist’s leadership, the Kunstverein Hannover will also organize workshops with schools and young people. In addition, prior to the exhibition, an installation in public space will be presented.
From May 2023
Daniel Buren, the iconic conceptual artist, is the first artist asked to spend time in Hannover and construct an artistic project within the scope of the newly established Academy of Lived Experience. Buren’s contribution is an especially fruitful example of the Academy’s dedication to knowledge transfer because it is not the artist’s first collaboration with Kunstverein Hannover. In 1991, Buren created Wo? Was? Wie? , an exhibition in all rooms of the Kunstverein Hannover that included historical architecture with a focus on light and viewing angles.
From the inception, Kunstverein Hannover has been engaged to the regional art scene. In September, the customary Fall Exhibition, the largest survey show on the art scene in Lower Saxony and Bremen, will celebrate its 90th edition (August 12–October 22, 2023). For decades, the Kunstverein Hannover has also sponsored and promoted emerging artists. Three grants and a residency program are awarded biannually in partnership with a local real estate partner; the residency program will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2023.
New initiatives 2023–2027
Under the new direction of Christoph Platz-Gallus, Kunstverein Hannover introduces a number of initiatives above and beyond its annual programming.
Green Kunstverein is an overarching sustainability strategy that aims to assess and mitigate the environmental impact of Kunstverein Hannover’s activities in a variety of areas ranging from rethinking printed materials to reducing energy consumption to fostering sustainable collaborations and focusing on local supply chains.
Despite being one of the oldest German Kunstvereins, Kunstverein Hannover has never housed a permanent archive. The Living Archive research and education project will reactivate the Kunstverein’s institutional legacy by professionalizing, cataloging, and partially digitizing materials tracing the Kunstverein’s history, with the goal of making the archive available to scholars and researchers for the first time.
With the establishment of the Academy of Lived Experience, Kunstverein Hannover hopes to bridge the gap between the ideals of mentorship reflected in academies, allowing for an inspiring interchange amongst artists of various experience levels and backgrounds who form a learning community.
New visual identity by Grupa Ee, Ljubljana/Berlin
From 2023, Kunstverein Hannover opens a new chapter with a new visual identity conceived by design collective Grupa Ee (Mina Fina, Damjan Ilić, and Ivian Kan Mujezinović), based in Ljubljana and Berlin.