Call for Ideas — Castle Appropriation

Berlin, 13 June 2024

Deutsche Version →

The Humboldt Forum, built between 2013 and 2020, presents itself in the shell of the palace of the Prussian kingdom and the German Empire. As an idealised cover memory, it suppresses the complex history of the site in the 19th and 20th centuries: Imperialism and the oppression of minorities, the revolution of 1918, the period of the Weimar Republic, the Second World War, the division of Germany and the GDR, but also the peaceful reuni­fi­cation and the cultural appro­priation of the Palace of the Republic. The history of the site now also includes the role of right-​wing extremist circles in the “faithful” recon­s­truction. The radical­i­sation of the recon­s­truction project, which goes beyond the Bundestag resolution of 2002 — such as the Christian-​fundamentalist charge of the dome slogan — has gradually margi­na­lised and even eradi­cated other, criti­cally reflected views of German history at this site.

The non-​relationship between the external appearance of the building and the utili­sation concept of the Humboldt Forum is also proble­matic. The legiti­mising reference to the royal art chambers cannot bridge this discrepancy. And to the extent that it does, it exacer­bates the problem of the external appearance. For the collec­tions on display inside are of colonial origin and the result of an imperial Prussian-​German history of violence. Their presen­tation raises the question of the relati­onship of the Prussian-​German monarchy and history to colonialism, without any critical thema­tis­ation having taken place to date.

It is time to break with the uncri­tical glori­fi­cation of Prussia and change the external appearance of the Humboldt Forum. We are therefore inviting artists, designers and archi­tects to submit proposals that use artistic means to visualise the repressed layers of the site and inscribe them into the façades of the Humboldt Forum. In addition to permanent, physical forms of inter­vention, we are also interested in temporary, perfor­mative and artistic-​research works.

Artistic contri­bu­tions are also possible that deal with funda­mental changes to the programming, gover­nance and handling of the collec­tions, if these proposals also emerge in the urban space; because it remains essential to question the current character of the public space through the building.

The status quo should not be seen as the end point of a painful process, but as a starting point that can be trans­formed and developed as part of a culture of remodelling that is open to different views and perspec­tives on history and takes into account the diversity of today’s society.

This call for ideas is the first step in a campaign that demands that the federal government, as owner and operator, further develops its building and organises a compe­tition for the reali­sation of corre­sponding art-​in-​architecture projects and imple­ments the result.

Selection committee

The organiser will make a selection depending on the type of commu­ni­cation, whereby a broad spectrum of ideas should be maintained in any case and no ranking order will be deter­mined. The selection committee consists of: Julia Grosse, Annette Maechtel, Hito Steyerl.

Presen­tation and Publication

The works will be presented and discussed on 10 October at the neue Gesell­schaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) Berlin and published in a book by DOM-​Publishers as well as commu­ni­cated in other ways.

Invited Artists

The call for ideas is open to everyone. Parti­ci­pation has already been confirmed in advance on invitation by: 
The Department / Theo Deutinger
Förderverein Palast der Republik
Max Graf
Mischa Leinkauf
Esper Postma
Anike Joyce Sadiq
Karin Sander
Daniel Theiler
Ina Wudtke & Dieter Lesage

Submission of ideas

Works can be submitted digitally until 15 September on our website schloss​a​neigung​.de

  • Key visual: Repre­sen­tation of a freely chosen exterior view of the castle with the artistic
  • Optio­nally up to three further images of your choice
  • For larger video files a link can be provided
  • Explanatory text 1 page A4
  • Author’s decla­ration

Learn more →


The organiser provides photo­graphic material and infor­mation on histo­rical and current traces on its website, which can be used by parti­ci­pants to present their own ideas.



The organiser will make a selection depending on the type of commu­ni­cation, whereby a broad spectrum of ideas is to be maintained in any case and no ranking will be determined. 

The selection committee consists of: Julia Grosse, Annette Maechtel, Hito Steyerl.


Questions can be sent to the organiser at mail@​schlossaneignung.​de. These will be answered verbally at an online collo­quium on Monday, 15 July 2024 at 17:00 on zoom. Zoom link: https://​uni​-kassel​.zoom​.us/​j​/​7​2​1​3​2​6​0​361

A recording of the collo­quium will be made available online.


Klaus Brake, Stadtforscher und -planer
Elisabeth Broermann, Architektin
Max Czolleck, Publizist
Christian Koppe, Historiker
Kristin Feireiss, Kuratorin
Harry Friebel, Soziologe
Theresa Keilhacker, Architektin
Doris Kleilein, Verlagsleiterin
Detlef Kurth, Stadtplaner
Anton Maegerle, Investigativ-Journalist
Philipp Meuser, Architekt und Verleger
Silke Neumann, Kommunikationsexpertin
Anh-Linh Ngo, Chefredakteur
Philipp Oswalt, Architekt und Publizist
Fred Plassmann, Filmemacher
Eike Roswag-Klinge, Architekt
Agnieszka Pufelska, Historikerin
Yvonne Rothe, Künstlerin/Grafikerin
Philipp Ruch, Künstler
Ulrike Steglich, Journalistin
Alexander Stumm, Architekturwissenschaftler
Tina Veihelmann, Journalistin
Anna Yeboah, Kuratorin und Architektin
Jürgen Zimmerer, Historiker