Think & Dream Tank on the role of art in times of climate emergency
Sat 13 May 2023, 5—6:30 p.m.


Location: Temporary Gallery
Language: German / English

With Maria Teresa Salvati (Curator Everything is Connected), Miriam Szwast (Curator Museum Photography and Ecology, Museum Ludwig) and Sergen Canoglu (Expert Climate Justice, former District Speaker DIE LINKE Cologne)
Registration until May 13 at

Art institutions have emerged from the worldview of colonial modernity and are part of a market-driven logic. At the same time, they carry a great promise of freedom, which today, in view of the climate catastrophe, must be understood transgenerationally. The questions that arise from this for the art sector are absolutely necessary to be discussed controversially due to the drastic of the situation and increasing protests for political action:

What social role can / should art institutions play? What do "sustainability" and "climate justice" mean in this context? Is it enough to exhibit works that address ecological issues and appeal to the consciousness of the viewer? Or is it just another way of distracting from the urgency of the situation and the need for radical change of privileged societies? What needs to happen so that words such as "ecological," "sustainable," and "climate-responsive" are not just used for our own reassurance? Should art institutions perhaps even join the protests and put their resources and infrastructures at the service of the climate movement so as not to lose sight of their own promises of freedom?

As a thought-provoking follow-up to the symposium We Do/Are Photography - Photography and Climate Change, the Think & Dream Tank with curators Maria Teresa Salvati and Miriam Szwast and climate justice expert Sergen Canoglu offers an open space to discuss together the ambivalences, promises, and hopes surrounding the art industry in the face of climate catastrophe.



Carolina Caycedo: To Stop Being a Threat and To Become a Promise, (Still), 2017. Courtesy the artist