The Kassel-21 / Social Sculpture Lab brings Joseph Beuys' Social Sculpture into the present. Developed by the artist Shelley Sacks for the documenta archiv, the Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel / Neue Galerie and the city of Kassel, it sees itself as a global laboratory that offers visitors the opportunity to engage with Beuys' expanded concept of art and fill it with new content. In times of climate crisis, global antagonisms and growing social inequality, Kassel-21 / Social Sculpture Lab wants to be a platform for questions and suggestions on how a common, humane and ecologically sustainable future can look like. The "Survival Room" in the Neue Galerie serves as a base for this.


Participatory "connecting practices," seminar discussions, and "calls" will explore these questions online and on-site in Kassel. The Erdforum, FRAMETALKS, Feld der Begegnung, Landing Strip for Souls and New Eyes for the World are involved. Even though these "Enquiry Labs" each address their own problems with different methods, they bring people together in the figure of thought of Social Sculpture and address central questions such as: What kind of future do we want? How do our narratives, our ways of thinking and behaving, need to change in order to avoid suffering? How can the insights and practices we gain contribute to overcoming racism, fascism, and the exploitation of the earth, life, and each other?


Shelley Sacks is a universal artist who has advanced the idea of social sculpture in the form of connective practices. She worked with Joseph Beuys for over a decade in the context of his "Free International University" (FIU) and was involved in the South African liberation struggle for democratic processes, cooperatives and non-formal education. In 1997 she accepted a professorship in interdisciplinary art and social sculpture at Oxford Brookes University and founded the "Social Sculpture Research Unit".