Apocalypse and World Salvation

An exhibition project with Agnes Denes (USA), Arava Institute (ISR), Orkhan Huseynov (AZE), Michael Pawlyn/Exploration Architecture (GB), Oliver Ressler (A), Levi van Veluw (NL) & Pinar Yoldas (T/USA)

Environment: Kateřina Šedá (CZ)

26 | 11 | 2020 - 31 | 12 | 2021

Sponsered by Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg | Fränkel Stiftung | Sparkasse Bodensee | Architektenkammer Baden-Württemberg | Exploration Architecture | Arava Institute for Environmental Studies | Die Blaue Blume e.V.

Our expectations of the future have rarely been so defined explicitly by the idea of collapsing worlds as they are currently. In addition to concerns about climate and biodiversity, anxieties about the end of a human-dominated world are growing as artificial intelligence threatens to take control of the human species.

At the same time, however, there are also doubts as to whether the current zeitgeist is really being described accurately through the invocation of apocalyptic fears and ‘end time’ ideas and talk of the narrowing future horizon. There is much to suggest that the Silicon Valley and Fridays for Future generations have a significantly different view of world events than those that preceded. Architects, for instance, design local and global utopias for climate-friendly and socially acceptable survival on the planet.

With the annual theme "Apocalypse and World Salvation", the focus will be on current end-time scenarios and narratives, possible future horizons and the aesthetics of related political movements. A lecture series on art and cultural history will focus on the historical dimension of artistic disaster prediction. In a group exhibition and an accompanying series of student-curated and devised events, current artistic engagement with end-time fears and impending global disasters will be contrasted with possible rescue scenarios and utopian refuges. 

The focus is on three themes: 1. climate rescue, 2. utopian habitats and architecture, and 3. considerations of new species.


Photo credits: Karen van den Berg

The artist Kateřina Šedá (CZ) created a space of experience for the three thematic fields in the "White Box" in cooperation with students and employees* of ZU and Czech pupils*. In Kateřina Šedá's environment, a complex magical image is created that opens up different paths into the future. The documentations of large-scale architectural visions for the fertilization of the desert by Michael Pawlyn (GB) and the micro-invasive interventions of Israeli and Palestinian architecture students from the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (ISR) or Agnes Denes' (USA) large-scale utopian planting actions invite us into refuges and enticing utopian landscapes. Orkhan Huseynov's (AZE) soap-opera adaptations ironize the talking about the climate catastrophe. Oliver Ressler's (A) rich documentations of the work of climate activists* and Levi van Veluw (NL) irritatingly beautiful conjoinings of man, world and machine as well as Pinar Yolda's (T/USA) toxic-futuristic micro-ecotopes create images full of abysses, grace and wit.

Environment of Kateřina Šedá | painting action of ZU students | workshop with students of ZUŠ HRANICE school

Environment of Kateřina Šedá | painting action of ZU students | workshop with students of ZUŠ HRANICE school

Environment by Kateřina Šedá (CZ)

Starting from the question of what a space might look like that allows us to enter a realm between apocalypse and world salvation, acting as a kind of time lock between past, present and future, Kateřina Šedá came across the famous computer game series Fallout. This game creates a post-apocalyptic world after the global nuclear war. Among the iconic spaces of this game are the so-called vaults - shelters and bunkers built before the catastrophe to enable the survival of humanity and its technology. Based on this gloomy gaming world, the idea was born to transform the White Box exhibition space into such a safe or bunker. Thus, on the one hand a common apocalyptic scenario is conjured up. On the other hand, the walls of this grey safe room are also covered with children's drawings. The motifs for this were created by ten-year-old students of the Czech school ZUŠ HRANICE in a workshop with the artist. Šedá used this powerful visual material to compose room-filling wall drawings, which were then transferred to the walls of the white box by students of Zeppelin University in a two-week painting action.

Participating students from the Czech Republic

Halmazňová Elena Františka (11)
Vaculíková Daniela (11)
Koutná Ema (12)
Strnadlová Dorota (12)
Sedláčková Aneta (9)
Novák Gabriel (9)
Jungová Alena (10)
Nováková Anna Marie (10)
Němcová Jolana (11)
Šatánková Kateřina (11)
Vaculová Lenka (11)
Frömlová Barbora (13)
Wolf Lukáš (13)
Vrtalová Anežka (15)
Sládečková Kristýna (12)
Sládečková Sára (9)
Stuchlík Adam (9)
Randýsková Natálie (9)
Horníková Nela (10)
Hiklová Anna Marie (10)
Pytelová Viktorie (10)
Palacká Markéta (10)
Macurová Karin (10)
Skřičková Jolana (10)
Ocelka Tomáš (8)
Vacula Lukáš (8)
Holotíková Karolína (9)
Klimek Lukáš (9)
Klimková Michaela (12)
Michael Krčmář (17)

Participant ZU students

Anin Ohm
Anna Reimnitz
Cosima Pourroy
Ida Schaeff
Laetitia Lüke
Leonie Georg
Louisa Müller Spreer
Ludwig von der Osten
Sophie Hamann


The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive public program of lectures and workshops with the participating artists and student curated events. In addition, a lecture series, a concert, a film program and public discussions are dedicated to the topic.

02.02. – 27.04.2021
Lecture Series on the annual theme

with Prof Dr Jan Söffner (D ) | Prof Dr Karen van den Berg (D) | Prof Dr Pierre Cassou-Noguès (F) | Dr Philipp Kleinmichel (D) | Prof Dr Kirsten Kramer | Dr Joachim Landkammer (D) | Prof Dr Maren Lehmann (D) | Michael Pawlyn (GB) | Oliver Ressler (A) | Dr Esther Schomacher (D) | Prof Dr Pinar Yoldas (T/USA)
Program overview of the lecture series

26.11. – 16.12.2020
Silent Apocalypse

Interventions at the ZF Campus, curated by students of the course "Curatorial Practice"

09.11. – 23.11.2020
Participatory painting action

Students transfer Kateřina Šedá's drawings on to the walls

360° views of the exhibition project

Picture credits: ZU/Samuel Groesch

Further Information

Cooperation partners

Together with a local network of environmental activists, architects, cultural institutions and regional actors, a program is being developed that will showcase exemplary solutions and approaches to urgent future issues. For example, events on the subject of "sustainable building" are being conceived with the local group of the "Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Architects" and the cultural and residential project "Die Blaue Blume e.V.", an event on the significance of artificial intelligence for the state is being organized with the Zeppelin Museum, and a lecture event is being held together with the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein as part of the exhibition project "Parliament of Plants" there.

Responsible for the project

  • Prof. Dr. Karen van den Berg | Academic Spokeswoman of the artsprogram of Zeppelin University | karen.vandenberg@zu.de
  • Rahel Gloria Spöhrer | Curator of the artsprogram of Zeppelin University | rahel.spoehrer@zu.de
  • Ulrike Shepherd | Concept and Curation

Open for events and on request
Telefon: 07541 6009 1302

Email: artsprogram@zeppelin-university.net

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