Martin Roth Symposium II

ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) will present, in co-operation with re:publica, the second Martin Roth Symposium as a digital-analogue Theme Week from 7 to 11 September 2020 both online as well as locally at Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.

Museums offer public spaces for encounters between people and ideas. If cultural products belong to the whole of humankind and if participation and inclusion are the means of lively communities, how might the museums of the future be built as spaces of polyphonic and critical dialogues under globalised conditions? How can these dialogues refer to our pasts and futures? How might they serve cultural democracy for all, while challenged by increasing anti-liberal tensions worldwide. And is it even possible to see the museum in a radically democratic light, as many artists and curators are demanding today?

This year’s five-day symposium asks critical questions about the museum’s future. It intends to identify innovative strategies which, from a global perspective, are needed to establish a space of democracy through architecture, analogue and virtual formats, local and international exchange, and alternative international (art) histories. Over five days, top international experts from these sectors will unpack and bring to light challenges and visions in the fields of museum and culture.

About Martin Roth Symposium

Timetable

Monday, 07. September 2020
17:00 - 20:00

Panel I: Museums and Futures

The opening panel will present a global perspective on the future of the museum as a space of democracy. It aims to illuminate the museum as a source of inspiration for intellectual, political and aesthetic discourses and as a visible architectural signal for the development of cities. Comparisons between political and cultural situations on different continents show the great importance, despite the enormous diversity, that the museum has worldwide, but must not ignore the fragility and danger to which this central cultural institution is exposed today.

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Tuesday, 08. September 2020
17:00 - 20:00

Panel II: Museums and Power

Museums have been transformed from exclusive places, namely royal collections in previous centuries, to spaces open to the general public. But how inclusive are today’s museums really? What is the role of museums as “democratising, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures,” as stated by the draft ICOM museum definition? Are museums public powerhouses for society or are they left alone with provenance research, digitalisation and the processes of decolonisation? What active roles can museums play in modern societies and what are the limits of a museum? How political should museums be? How are the task of museums and their independence as research institutions shaped under the influence of authoritarian governments and ideological positions? How is the young generation to be attracted? This panel will discuss these questions concerning the roles of public and private museums in society and which stakeholders have to be considered when managing a museum in the 21st century.

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Wednesday, 09. September 2020
17:00 - 20:00

Panel III: Museums and Entertainment

Today, the discourses of museums cannot be conducted without considering issues of participation and the involvement of the audience. How can the social space of the institution and the exhibition spaces of the museum be filled with life? Is enjoyment part of what museums must offer to the public?

Are we afraid to put popular entertainment on museums’ programmes?

Should this be left to the entertainment industry? Is the museum an immersive space or a glass house? This panel will unpack ideas and alternatives to these and other questions. It will challenge our traditional views of reality and virtuality, the role of institutions versus open spaces and finally the merger of art, science and entertainment.

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Thursday, 10. September 2020
17:00 - 20:00

Panel IV: Museums and Architecture

The meaning and function of museums has shifted fundamentally in the course of history – from the early days focusing primarily on collection, to today’s concepts for museums emphasising exhibition and education programmes and developing local and global utopias of encounters and community. It is now commonplace to see museums as public spaces, but who do they belong to and how? What are the conditions and modes of access that best serve collections and that best encourage dialogue between objects and people? What are the options for showing materials that are stored, vulnerable or contested? This panel will address the nature of space in our current museums with an eye on both the past and the future. Prevailing typologies (e.g. the recent series of roofed courtyards or the return of the cabinet of curiosities) will be considered. How do they establish new domains in old places? What will it take to create spaces where the public and artefacts can come together outside of their familiar settings, negotiating relationships between the open and the closed or the local and the global, between the hauntings of history and the promise of utopia?

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Friday, 11. September 2020
17:00 - 20:00

Panel V: Museums and Failure

This panel will highlight “best practice in failure,” not as an oxymoron but as a necessity. This concerns praising the value of failure for self-reflection and as a motor of innovation for museums. What does failure mean in the museum sector? Where is the space to talk about mistakes and reflect upon wrong decisions in a “culture” that emphasises positive news and success stories? How and what can we learn from negative experiences and disappointments for the development of museums as open democratic change agents and conveners? How do we take responsibility for our mistakes? How can we share our experiences of knowledge gained through failure? Which failures can we afford? Do museums need a more enterprising, entrepreneurial culture that embraces failures? What conditions and values are needed in museums for productive learning processes, open exchange and a dynamic self-reflective culture? 

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Speakers

Portrait Lucy Darwin

Lucy Darwin

Producer

Darwin worked in exhibition and distribution for ten years before moving into production. She joined Terry Gilliam for the post-production of Twelve Monkeys (1995) and went on to produce the critically-acclaimed Lost in La Mancha (2002), for which she received BAFTA and European Film Awards nominations. In 2006, she produced Woody Allen’s Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominated Match Point. Her most recent production is the feature documentary He Dreams of Giants.

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Portrait Andreas Görgen

Andreas Görgen

Head of Culture and Communication at the German Federal Foreign Office

Dr. Andreas Görgen is head of the Department of Culture and Communication at the Federal Foreign Office (FFO). He began his career at the Berliner Ensemble before moving to the Ecole Nationale d’ Administration in France; he subsequently took positions in the federal public service, i.a. at the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, before leading Siemens Energy Sector in South West Europe from 2009 on and returning to the FFO in 2014.

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Portrait Julia Grosse

Julia Grosse

Editor-in-Chief of 'Contemporary And' and 'Contemporary And América Latina'

Grosse studied art history, German literature and media studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum and worked as a columnist and arts journalist in London for the taz, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, AD Magazine, SZ Magazin and Süddeutsche Zeitung. Grosse curated 'Friendly Confrontations. Festival on Global Art and Art Criticism' at the Kammerspiele in Munich, and is currently a guest lecturer at the Institute for Art in Context at the University of the Arts in Berlin. Her book Ein Leben lang is published by Hoffman und Campe Verlag.

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Portrait Louisa Hutton

Louisa Hutton

Architect and Co-founder of Sauerbruch Hutton

Louisa Hutton taught at the Architectural Association and is member of the Curatorial Board of the Schelling Architecture Foundation as well as an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She was also a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, a Commissioner at CABE as well as a member of the first Steering Committee for Germany’s Bundesstiftung Baukultur. She gives lectures and participates in juries worldwide. The architectural firm Sauerbruch Hutton has received numerous awards over the past decades. In 2015 she was awarded an Order of the British Empire.

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Portrait Andrew McClellan

Andrew McClellan

Professor of Art History at Tufts University

Andrew McClellan is author and editor of numerous books in the field of museum science and museum history, including 'Inventing the Louvre', 'Art and Its Publics', 'The Art Museum from Boullée to Bilbao', and 'The Art of Curating'. He is currently collaborating with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on a comparative analysis of the works in American museums by the forger Alceo Dossena. He is also working on his latest book 'The Art Museum Beyond Bilbao'.

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Portrait Michael Moriarty

Michael Moriarty

Coach, Apex Discovery Coaching & Development

Moriarty coaches individual leaders and leadership teams, as well as delivering leadership development programmes for international MBA courses. Formerly, Moriarty was a British army officer and led six operational tours of duty over 20 years of service. He also held appointments in the British Ministry of Defence and in the Army’s Personnel Headquarters. In his post-military career, Michael worked for Eurostar, a private equity partnership, and a development project in Afghanistan before joining Apex.

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Portrait Yvette Mutumba

Yvette Mutumba

Editor-in-Chief of 'Contemporary And' and 'Contemporary And América Latina'

Dr. Mutumba studied art history at Freie Universität Berlin and holds a PhD from Birkbeck, University of London. Between 2012 and 2016, she worked as a curator at the Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt am Main, and later as part of the Curatorial Team of the 10th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2018). Yvette is also Curator-at-Large at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and currently lectures at the Institute of Art in Context, University of Arts, Berlin.

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Portrait Ulrich Raulff

Ulrich Raulff

President of ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

Professor Dr. Raulff studied philosophy and history at Marburg, completing his doctorate in 1977. He worked freelance for various media organizations before joining Humboldt University in Berlin as a Professor in Cultural Studies in 1995. Between 1994 and 2001, he also held Editor, Chief Editor, and Head of Department positions in the feuilleton section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung. From 2004 to 2018, he was Director of the German Literature Archive in Marbach.

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Portrait Robin Reardon

Robin Reardon

Portfolio Executive Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering

Reardon leads a global team to deliver ambitious experiences in Disney theme parks, resort hotels, cruise ships, and consumer products. Previously, she held positions in marketing, business development, project management and design. In 1997, she founded her own design and production consultancy, R3 Productions, based in New York city and specialized in design solutions for memorable, repeatable guest experiences. Her clients included the World Science Festival in New York City, Herschend Family Entertainment, and Warner Bros.

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Portrait Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman

Director of the Warburg Institute and Professor of Cultural History at the University of London

Professor Sherman earned his BA from Columbia University and his MPhil and PhD from the University of Cambridge. He previously worked with Martin Roth at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), where he was Director of Research and Collections and Project Lead on the creation of the Mellon-funded V&A Research Institute (VARI). Best known for his work on the history of reading, Bill’s current projects explore the interface between word and image, knowledge and power, and the Early Modern and Modern.

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Voices and Visions

© ifa

Mariët Westermann

recalls what has changed since the last Martin Roth Symposium in 2018 and what Martin Roth would call us to do to overcome the situation we are facing right now. She explores how contemporary art has been leading the way on how to become more inclusive, and what museums can learn from the digital sphere to attract their audiences.

MuseumsNow

Interviews with actors in the international museum landscape, which provide an insight into current museum practices and civil society actions of museums worldwide.

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With kind support of Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
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