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In its 13th year, the international traveling exhibition RECOMMENDED FOR IMITATION! ZNE! returns to its first stop for the 20th edition - enriched by the expertise of international artists and scientists. Discussions around environmental activism and sustainability have steadily gained urgency in recent years, and the central questions posed by the pioneering project ZNE! to connect art, science, and political activism are more relevant than ever.


In September 2010, the traveling exhibition ZNE! began in the Uferhallen. In terms of size, internationality, and richness of artistic approaches, it has long since become a pioneer of a different artistic practice. The exhibition was shown on four continents, in Addis Ababa, Lima and Beijing, in Mumbai, São Paulo, Puebla, Haifa and Jerusalem, in Bonn, Bremen, Essen and Hamburg. At a total of 29 exhibition venues, 225,000 visitors saw works by 128 artists and border crossers from 29 countries. At each new exhibition site, the presentation changed and condensed anew by integrating local artistic, scientific and environmental activist competences. Over 700 conversations were initiated and hosted between art, science, NGOs, business and politics.

From this rich fund, the final exhibition in Berlin presents over 70 artistic works as well as many other results and open questions. Eleven newly selected works deal with the colonial history of nutmeg and rubber, with the devastation of the Anthropocene and with renewable building materials.

The conventional building industry's catastrophic part in the climate disaster is the core theme of the exhibition's finale. Today, the building sector is responsible for nearly 30 percent of global CO2 emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption, 50 percent of resource use, 60 percent of waste generation and more than 70 percent of land use. Without transforming this sector through a circular economy and renewable building materials, a sustainable future will not be possible. Against this backdrop, it becomes clear that war and earthquake zones are not only scenes of humanitarian tragedy, but always of ecological tragedy as well. What role can natural building materials such as sheep's wool, mushrooms, hemp and bark also play in the reconstruction of these regions in the future?

"A fundamental finding of these 13 years is that we still lack the possibility for more continuous, interdisciplinary research and action," says artistic director Adrienne Goehler. "We need third places where science and art can seriously cooperate, a funding vessel from which both disciplines can draw for a coexistence, not a juxtaposition, of different forms of knowledge."

A diverse program of events brings together experts from various fields in talks, lectures and workshops, who discuss, among other things, how artistic and scientific research can be further networked and promoted, for example, through a "Fund for Aesthetics and Sustainability.

2010 saw the launch of the exhibition entitled RECOMMENDED FOR IMITATION! expeditions in aesthetics and sustainability. Sensitized by the social discussion on colonialism, the colonial origin of the term "expeditions" became clear. Instead, "expeditionen erkundungen" is now used in the title. This makes the change visible, the thought process comprehensible.

The significance of ZNE! received international recognition. In recent years, the exhibition has received many awards, including Best International Exhibition of the Year 2017 in Chile (El Circulo de Criticos de Arte de Chile), in 2014 as an official project of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, and in 2010 with the Special Media Award of the German Environmental Aid.

The exhibition is supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

The Environmental Foundation Michael Otto makes possible the performance installation Suspended State by the Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo on the opening evening.


Thanks to Research Institute for Sustainability, anstiftung, Rudolf Augstein Stiftung, ENERTRAG.


Media partner: taz - die tageszeitung
Additional information
Admission free
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday 12 - 20 h (on days with dialogue program until 22 h)