››I was quite happy to feel like that, precisely because I was afraid of being influenced by my roots. When I was in the US, I had no roots at all because I was born in Europe. So it was easy, I was bathing in a calm sea where I could swim freely; you can’t swim freely when you get tangled up in roots.‹‹ (Marcel Duchamp)
When Gertrude Stein was once asked whether she missed the United States in her self-chosen exile in Paris, she responded: ›› What good are roots if you can't take them with you? ‹‹ 70 years later, the question of cultural roots is more topical than ever. More than 175 million people are living outside their homeland, 60 million people worldwide are fleeing from wars and persecution. Emigration , the intensification of flows of people and money, professional nomadism, the densification of traffic networks, and mass tourism give rise to new transnational cultures leading to changes and ruptures of identities, ethnicities and nationalities. What cultural challenges does multiculturalism, as a no longer new but constantly changing movement, pose? Can we reflect on transnational societies beyond the notion that humans are primarily carriers of their descent? How relevant are cultural roots amidst all these questions? Racism and traditionalist ideologies develop rapidly in their name and promote exclusion, while phenomena of uprootedness spread with each migration flow and lead to the waning of numerous identities. In this state of cultural conflict, obsessive notions of belonging, property, and descent take their course anew.
The Dance & Performance Section and the Museum für Neue Kunst engage with local logics of descent and establish a Heritage Depot to newly distribute cultural heritage.
In times of economic and political migration flows, genealogical concepts of descent and belonging appear obsolete. We produce a view to the future and ask: Who are our heirs and can we discuss their role with them? Pursuing the question of whom intellectual property belongs to today and who takes possession of cultural assets, international artists discuss the future of their material and invent formats of handing over to the visitors. A performative museum that produces transmission chains and asks itself what a descendent is, if not a carrier of the past.