CEREMONY
(Burial of an Undead World)

Institution

Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Location

Berlin, Germany

Time

23 Oct - 31 Dec 2022

Website

We live in the decaying ruins of the modern and colonial world-system. All around us we encounter the undead institutions that structure systemic inequality, border regimes, and subject forms. To make different futures possible, this undead world—which violently resists change in its refusal to die—must be laid to rest.

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[1] Peter Minshall, Sketch for the Adoration of Hiroshima, 1985. Courtesy of The Callaloo Company, Chaguaramas, Trinidad. [2] Stan Douglas, Deux Devises (still), 1983. © Stan Douglas. Courtesy of the artist, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner. [3] Cecilia Mangini, Stendalì suonano ancora (still), 1960. Courtesy of Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna. [4] Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (still), 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Memento Film International. [5] Tabita Rezaire, Fertility altar, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Amakaba. [6] Jane Jin Kaisen, Burial of this Order (still), 2022. Courtesy of the artist. 

We live in the decaying ruins of the modern and colonial world-system. All around us we encounter the undead institutions that structure systemic inequality, border regimes, and subject forms. To make different futures possible, this undead world—which violently resists change in its refusal to die—must be laid to rest.

 

Ceremony (Burial of an Undead World) is an exhibition that speaks of continuities among cosmologies and origin myths across space and time, only to upset, against this backdrop, the standard narratives of the modern era and its place in history. Ceremony refers to the writings of Jamaican theorist Sylvia Wynter, for whom the “underside costs” of modernity, from dispossession and slavery to extractivism and climate change, are intimately linked to the “mutations” of Christian cosmology into the secular discourse of modernity. 

 

Ceremony brings together works of various genres and time-periods as well as historical documents with multiple interlocutors. It also includes an extensive program of live events and a publication. 

 

Curators: Anselm Franke, Elisa Giuliano, Denise Ryner, Claire Tancons, Zairong Xiang

Exhibition with contributions by Leo Asemota, Shuvinai Ashoona, Richard Bell, Raymond Boisjoly, Gaëlle Choisne, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Alice Creischer & Andreas Siekmann, Mario Cresci, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Mariana Castillo Deball, Stan Douglas, Albrecht Dürer, Léon Ferrari, Jermay Michael Gabriel, Luigi di Gianni, Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi, Leah Gordon, Nicolás Guillén, Ho Rui An, James T. Hong, Huang Yong Ping, Dapper Bruce Lafitte, Carlo Levi, Jane Jin Kaisen, William Kentridge, Will Kwan, Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley, Titina Maselli, Cecilia Mangini, Guadalupe Maravilla, Peter Minshall, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Ernest Nash, Le Nemesiache, Rachel O’Reilly, István Orosz, Rosa von Praunheim, Tabita Rezaire, Elza Soares, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, Kidlat Tahimik, Rosemarie Trockel, Joyce Wieland, Tania Willard, David Wojnarowicz, Xiyadie, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, and many more.

 

Publication
Ceremony (Burial of an Undead World)

Edited by Anselm Franke, Elisa Giuliano, Claire Tancons, Denise Ryner, Zairong Xiang, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt
In English
Released in December 2022

How can modernity, and the developments of global capitalism, be described in the same terms as “other cosmologies”, which are commonly understood as pre-modern belief systems? This publication responds to two seminal texts by Sylvia Wynter, “The Ceremony Must Be Found” (1984) and “The Ceremony Found” (2015), using them as the basis to provoke a discussion of cosmology beyond the modern order of knowledge. The book includes several commentaries upon these two texts exploring the role that origin stories play in conditioning the categories of our thought, as well as our language and perception. The editors are particularly interested in demonstrating how Wynter’s paradigm of a “human ecumene” establishes a counter-universalism capable of unhinging modernist and capitalist modernity. For this, Wynter argues, a ceremony is needed.

 

Publication with contributions by Mario Bellátin, James Burton, Alice Creischer & Andreas Siekmann, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Giulia Damiani, Maria José de Abreu, Mariana Castillo Deball, Esther Figueroa, Anselm Franke, Cécile Fromont, Elisa Giuliano, Ayesha Hameed, Whess Harman, Aaron Kamugisha, Catherine Keller, Joshua Chambers Letson, Canisia Lubrin, Leora Maltz-Leca, Felix Mayer, Patricia Reed, Rachel O’Reilly, Denise Ryner, Ho Rui An, Jon Solomon, Kerstin Stakemeier, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Claire Tancons, Elena Vogman, Michael Washington, Zairong Xiang, and Dorothy Zinn.