Bernd Scherer, who, as director of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), has significantly shaped the cultural landscape of Berlin since 2006 and has consolidated and expanded the presence of the house internationally, announces the end of his directorship as of January 1, 2023.
Scherer realigned the house to examine post-colonial structures as well as questions about the ecological and technological upheavals of our era. By transcending established disciplines, HKW achieved new forms of aesthetic and academic production. Bernd Scherer thus positioned HKW as a house for contemporary research and as a forum for contemporary arts.
The long-term projects initiated by Scherer have defined the image of HKW since 2013:
The Anthropocene Project addresses the far-reaching interventions of humans in planet earth, combines ecological questions with artistic research and thus redefines the role of cultural institutions. With 100 Years of Now, Scherer focused on cultures of remembrance and post-colonial positions. The New Alphabet asks about alternative semiotic systems and digitality.
Over the coming two years, Scherer and his team will implement a number of major projects. The long-term projects established in recent years will be completed and made accessible with the overarching Archive project in the form of a knowledge space that activates alternative pasts and futures. From spring 2021, the focus will be on education; in summer the system of art will be surveyed with the exhibition Illiberal Arts. In 2022, indigenous voices will be heard and the Anthropocene will be localized as many aspects of an artistic research trip lasting more than ten years come together in the final project on the subject of Cosmologies.
Quote from Bernd Scherer: “I will end my directorship with the Cosmologies project, which once again takes up the basic developments of the three major projects. In recent years we’ve tried to develop new aesthetic and theoretical forms of grappling with our society’s transformation processes. I look forward to continuing to shape the next two exciting years with my wonderful team. I think it would be great if the next generation took up this transdisciplinary practice to devise new languages for the challenges of a fundamentally changing world.”
Bernd Scherer is a philosopher and author of numerous publications on topics of aesthetics and international cultural exchange. From 1994 until 1999, Scherer had a decisive influence on HKW as head of the department of Literature and Humanities and as deputy director. He then moved on to positions at the Goethe-Institut, where he headed the institute in Mexico from 1999 to 2004 and then the central arts department in Munich. In 2006, Scherer returned to Haus der Kulturen der Welt as its director. Since 2011, he has been an honorary professor at the Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt University in Berlin.
Press photo at hkw.de/pressphotos
Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as well as by the Federal Foreign Office.