sculptural democracy
forms of the »we«

gustaf-gründgens-platz in front of düsseldorfer schauspielhaus
8 jun to 29 sep 2021
plastische demokratie
plastische demokratie

click here to go directly to »sculptural democacy. forms of the we«


»so if one thinks in utopian terms [or rather if one thinks at all], in the end the whole world will be an academy.«  joseph beuys, 1969b

»Sculptural Democracy. The Forms of the We« is a lab. From June to September 2021, it will unfold online and in public space in Düsseldorf. The multifaceted experimental arrangement takes the 100th birthday of Joseph Beuys as an occasion to illuminate his impulses for the radical co-design of democracy according to the principles of sculpture and to examine them with regard to today's challenges. 

The central themes of our time will be negotiated: the political system, climate, capital, digitalization, education and living together. Behind the collectively developed project are the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, raumlaborberlin and the project team »beuys 2021«. Together, they invite architects, artists, scientists, students and visitors to explore and discuss Beuys' ideas, to contextualize and update them. 

The nucleus of the project is an experimental architecture developed by raumlaborberlin on Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz: in front of the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus in the center of the city. Here - in this structure that serves as stage, image and building at the same time - pioneering radical democratic models are explored and compared. Utopias, ideas, plans for a more democratic democracy are discussed and negotiated. And people live together. Whether cooking, eating, working or hanging out, speaking, performing or living: Sharing and participating are integral parts of the intended thought process as well as of the research project


artistic direction: eugen blume und catherine nichols (»beuys 2021«); frauke gerstenberg, andrea hofmann und markus bader (raumlaborberlin); ludger schwarte (kunstakademie düsseldorf); timo skrandies (heinrich-heine-universität)




8 to15 Jun 2021

What are we missing? What are we fighting for? What should our political system look like? With what kind of democracy can we face the future? These and similar questions will be attempted to be addressed by a series of lectures and discussions that will take place in Düsseldorf at the start of the »SCULPTURAL DEMOCRACY« project. There will not be any »boxing matches for direct democracy (by referendum)« to be expected, but very different approaches, especially from the field of political philosophy, with which we will begin our discussion and work, in comparison to the impulses of Joseph Beuys and in view of today's necessities and challenges. 




9 Jul to 29 Sep 2021

starting on july 9, the models will be dedicated to the examination of 100 radical democratic projects – historical as well as current. on the one hand, this collection of projects places beuys’s political actions in a historical context. on the other hand, the online archive offers an insight into a broad range of attempts to establish truly democratic structures in society. from july 9 to sep 29, 2021, everyone is invited to view the interactive model database online and expand it themselves.

the poster campaign »protocols of the future« by media artist arnold dreyblatt marks the launch of this interactive archive. 600 unique posters, 320 of which will be displayed in the düsseldorf cityscape from july 12, refer to joseph beuys’s free international university (fiu). the unique posters feature quotations drawn from fiu protocols (1973–1978) and the »manifesto for the founding of a free international university for creativity and interdisciplinary research«. in autumn, arnold dreyblatt will engage with the project and the posters within a research workshop offered as part of the live-in lab.




27 to 28 Aug 2021

Kunst, Politik und Partei

What ist he significance and scope of political interventions based on artistic principles? What can we learn from past, existing and newly founded political parties? From the German Greens party, co-founded by Joseph Beuys, say, or from Christoph Schlingensief’s CHANCE 2000? From Die Piraten (The Pirates), the Bergpartei (The Mountain Party), or Die Urbane, the hip-hop party founded in 2017?

In the lead-up to the federal election prominent representatives of some of Germany’s smaller political parties meet to perform and discuss the possibilities and realities of political parties and party formations, referenda, citizen initiatives and other forms of direct democracy. Their discussion is accompanied by the question of how much potential there is to be found in Joseph Beuys’s concept of a »sculptural democracy«.

The participants include Raphael Moussa Hillebrand, Fabian »SirQlate« Blume and Yvonne (Ocran) Müller from Die Urbane. Eine HipHop Partei (Antikolonial & Machtkritisch), Lukas Beckmann, co-founder of the German Greens party, the artist Johannes Stüttgen, Claudine Nierth, Chair of the association Mehr Demokratie e.V. and Jan Theiler alias Pastor Leumund, founder of the Bergpartei.

free entry

please note: according to the current corona protection ordinance in nrw, proof of convalescence, complete vaccination or negative test result (not older than 24h) must be presented upon admission


27 aug , 7 – 9 pm 
performance and talk: die urbane. eine hiphop partei (Antikolonial & Machtkritisch)

With Raphael Moussa Hillebrand and Fabian »SirQlate« Blume

Hong Kong-born Raphael Moussa Hillebrand and East Berlin-born Fabian »SirQlate« Blume talk about their reasons for founding Die Urbane. A HipHip Party (Antikolonial&Machtkritisch) in 2017. In a performative exchange with the audience, they offer an insight into their understanding of democracy, the shortcomings they see in the current political landscape, which interests they consider to be underrepresented, the goals they have set for themselves, and the role they envision for art and subcultures.

to  live-stream


28 aug 2021, 2–2:30 pm

parliament: When Art Meets Realpolitik: Thinking about Joseph Beuys

with Lukas Beckmann, Johannes Stüttgen and Claudine Nierth; chair: Eugen Blume and Catherine Nichols

Lukas Beckmann, co-founder of the German Greens party, the artist Johannes Stüttgen and Claudine Nierth, chair of Mehr Demokratie e.V. discuss Joseph Beuys’s attempt to make his theory of social sculpture the basis of a new realpolitik: from his founding of the German Student Party to his nonpartisan candidacy for the Aktionsgemeinschaft Unabhängiger Deutscher, a party associated with both right-wing nationalist and ecological goals, to his involvement and ultimate failure to achieve his goals with the Greens.

to live-stream

28 aug 2021, 4–7pm

performance: Pastor leumund – Reizwortmeditation und Diskurs-Disko

to live-stream

parliament:   Art, Politics and Political Parties in the Year 2021

with Fabian »SirQlate« Blume and Yvonne (Ocran) Müller, Pastor Leumund, Lukas Beckmann, Johannes Stüttgen and Claudine Nierth; chair: Eugen Blume and Catherine Nichols

Fifty-four parties and electoral groups have been approved for the imminent federal election on September 26, and forty-seven are currently running. Of the forty-seven, forty are small parties. It is well known that smaller parties can influence politics by bringing innovative ideas and other voices into the field. But how else do they contribute to strengthening democracy? Are small parties the most effective means of increasing political participation? And what do they have to do with art?

to live-stream


Live-In Lab

22 to 29 sep 2021

The Live-in Lab takes place in the experimental architecture designed by raumlaborberlin in front of the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus on Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz. Part of the Live-In Lab is exploring and comparing the models, discussing and negotiating ideas and being together, working, thinking, eating and living on site. 

Event Partner Address
40211 düsseldorf