Conversation

Healing the Museum? The Potential of the Museum as a Site for Caring and Healing

With Grace Ndiritu, Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard, Dirk Sorge and Prem Krishnamurthy

Art institutions are still highly exclusive spaces despite striving to be inclusive and diverse. Bringing together perspectives from art and activism, this conversation critically discusses the art institution’s potential for structural change.

Ámà: 4 Days on Caring, Repairing and Healing
  • In English; Speech-to-text

Past Dates

Grace Ndiritu’s 2016 essay Healing the Museum, recently re-published by the Gropius Bau Journal, claims that Western art institutions are dead or dying. To what degree are institutions disconnected from the needs and perspectives of different peoples and potential audiences? Artists and activists have increasingly led in discussions about accessibility, representation and institutional structures. Considering the work of specific organisations that conceive of the possibilities of structural change within institutions, this panel brings together Prem Krishnamurthy, Grace Ndiritu, Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard and Dirk Sorge to discuss whether such art spaces can be sites of caring and healing.

The pre-recorded conversation between Jamieson Webster and Marcus Coelen will be followed by a live Q&A with Marcus Coelen and Robert Maharajh on site.

Grace Ndiritu is a British-Kenyan artist using shamanism and practices of sharing and healing to break down established boundaries and dualisms. From 2020 to 2021, Ndiritu established The Year of Black Healing, an artistic response to politicians’ attempts to co-opt Black Culture. Her work will be presented in a group show on caring, repairing and healing at the Gropius Bau in 2022.

Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard is an African-German editor, curator and activist. She is co-CEO and artistic director of the Each One Teach One (EOTO) e.V. and curates In[ter]ventions for the project Dekoloniale Memory Culture in the City in Berlin.

Dirk Sorge is an artist and cultural educator based in Berlin and Leipzig focussing on accessibility, standardisation, technology and automatisms. He is a founding member of Berlinklusion, a network that promotes the active participation of people with disabilities in art and culture.

Prem Krishnamurthy (facilitator) is based in Berlin and New York. His work across media explores the transformative potential of art and design. In 2021, Pompeii Archaeological Park released his digital artwork, Pompeii!, which reflects upon rituals, destruction, memory and letting go. He is currently artistic director of FRONT International 2022, the Cleveland Triennial of Contemporary Art.