Paweł Kowalewski

Tell me about yesterday tomorrow

An exhibition of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism about the future of the past
November 28, 2019–August 30, 2020

“Tell me about yesterday tomorrow”
Exhibition Opening: November 27th, 6pm

NS-Dokumentationszentrum München
Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism
Max-Mannheimer-Platz 1
D-80333 Munich, Germany


November 27 marks the opening of the exhibition titled “Tell me about yesterday tomorrow” at the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. Works of art by over 40 international artists explore how to interpret the past and its links to the present against the background of the historical exhibition, opening up a dialogue between contemporary art and the future of our memory performed by the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. These works, many of them new, invite viewers to consider global life realities while adding international perspectives to German history and creating polyphonic narratives of the past and future. Through the media of painting, photography, installation, video, and performance, artists from different generations convey many-sided images of history, recounting individual experiences and reporting on structural connections alike. The exhibition features selected works of art, some from the Nazi period and recent decades alongside new works created specifically for this context.

The works of art presented on “Tell me about yesterday tomorrow” are dedicated to different topics: the resurgence of nationalism, racism, or anti-Semitism; the violent exploitation of humans and the environment; the cultural and political impact of war, suppression, and trauma; and how national myths are depicted. They testify to how emotions are used to mobilize groups within society as fears and desires are conjured up and how people are stigmatized as “the Others” and collective narratives are pressed into the service of political ideologies. The exhibition’s international perspective reflects the global dimensions of these critical occurrences.

A major opening event will be held at the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism on November 27, 2019. The Polish art historian and curator Anda Rottenberg will deliver a keynote address titled “Long way to Laramie, Wyoming” at 6pm. Mirjam Zadoff, Director of the Munich Documentation Centre, city council member Florian Roth, and the exhibition’s artistic director, Nicolaus Schafhausen, will speak at 7pm Heba Y. Amin will open the artistic part of the evening with an artist lecture. After that, Michaela Meise will perform a concert of anti-fascist Schlager music. The opening party will start at 10pm at Kunstverein München.

The opening will also be accompanied by other events at associated venues around the city. On November 26 there will be an introduction on Ydessa Hendeles’ work at St. Bonifaz Church. An artist talk with Annette Kelm and Udo Kittelmann will be held on November 29 at Lenbachhaus. Curator tours are scheduled for December 3, 7, and 10. On December 11, actor Ulrich Matthes will speak with Nicolaus Schafhausen and Mirjam Zadoff about the role of artists in times like these.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Heba Y. Amin, Kader Attia, Sammy Baloji, Michal Baror, Cana Bilir-Meier, Ayzit Bostan, Mohamed Bourouissa, Andrea Büttner, Keren Cytter, Brenda Draney, Loretta Fahrenholz, Sirah Foighel Brutmann / Eitan Efrat, Aslan Ġoisum, Ydessa Hendeles, Arthur Jafa, Sebastian Jung, Brian Jungen, Leon Kahane, Annette Kelm, Baseera Khan, Ken Lum, Paweł Kowalewski, Else Lasker-Schüler, Jumana Manna, Paula Markert, Michaela Meise, Michaela Melián, Kent Monkman, Artur (Stefan) Nacht-Samborski, Olaf Nicolai, Otobong Nkanga, Emil Nolde, Marcel Odenbach, Emeka Ogboh, Trevor Paglen, Harald Pickert, Joanna Piotrowska, Jon Rafman, Willem de Rooij, Cemile Sahin, Mira Schendel, Gregor Schneider, Hito Steyerl, Rosemarie Trockel, Želimir Žilnik

The project “Tell me about yesterday tomorrow” is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Director: Mirjam Zadoff
Artistic director: Nicolaus Schafhausen
Assistant curator: Juliane Bischoff