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Friday, May 24, 2024

Das Archiv der Avantgarden – Egidio Marzona (ADA) is open.

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On 5 May 2024, a new institution, the Archiv der Avantgarden – Egidio Marzona (ADA), will be moving into the Blockhaus, a historical building on the banks of the Elbe in Dresden that has been specially adapted to house it. Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD) is warmly inviting visitors to celebrate the launch of the ADA. After six years of construction work, the house is opening its doors and welcoming exhibition-goers of all ages, researchers and the simply curious.

Image above: Innenansicht ADA© Archiv der Avantgarden, SKD, Foto: Klemens Renner

In 2016, Egidio Marzona donated some 1.5 million objects to the SKD. In this progressive, aesthetically bold building designed by the Spanish-German architectural practice Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, that extensive collection is to be housed in a massive cube that floats freely above the exhibition level. This architecturally unique location creates a flexible space for research, exhibitions and discussion.

The first exhibition to take place in the year the ADA opens, “Archive of Dreams. A Surrealist Impulse” (5 May to 1 September 2024) will be dedicated to the reinterpretation of the term “archive”, from its “outdated” 19th-century understanding to what is now known as “activating” the archive. Featuring roughly 350 works of art, documents and publications from the 20th century, the project will reflect the fantasies, longings and even nightmares of artists from a wide range of avant-garde movements such as Dada, Surrealism, CoBrA, Fluxus and Pop Art.

DEEDS.NEWS - des Archivs der Avantgarden - Foto Klemens Renner
Wendeltreppe im ADA© Archiv der Avantgarden, SKD, Foto: Klemens Renner

In the autumn of 2024, a second special exhibition (opening in November 2024) will be dedicated to the ADA’s extensive collection of visionary architectural designs, most of which were never brought to fruition. This project will also shine a spotlight on the concept behind the newly opened ADA and its ambitious architecture.

The research platform on the top floor will act as a location for annually changing presentations that straddle the archive’s holdings, glimpses behind the scenes at the ADA and contemporary artistic idioms. Researchers working there will be surrounded by art, artefacts and historical sources. In cooperation with the SKD’s research department, the Mexican-born artist Erick Beltrán is developing a conceptual piece for this platform that tackles the ADA’s networking structures, on one hand, and the radical ideas and utopian dreams of the avant-garde, on the other.

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