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Karl Marx and Capitalism

Industrialization catalyzed enormous economic, social, and cultural upheavals in the 19th century. Karl Marx was among the most important critics of the volatility of “modernity” and capitalism. As a philosopher, journalist, economist, and political activist, he aimed to make the new dynamics comprehensible and malleable. Like Richard Wagner, the subject of a parallel exhibition at the Deutsches Historisches Musuem, Marx advanced to one of the most influential German personalities of the 19th century – with a controversial body of work still read across the world to this day. The exhibition “Karl Marx and Capitalism” presents and problematizes that work and influence of Marx as a confrontation with a dynamically changing capitalism and the controversies of the 19th century. Themes that take center stage include the critique of religion and society, the emancipation of the Jews and antisemitism, revolutions, new technologies, nature and ecology, economy, as well as struggles and movements in Europe – themes that have lost none of their explosiveness, either. The exhibition thus connects the historicization of Marx to questions of his currency, while also taking a critical look at the reception of his theories in the 20th and 21st century.

The exhibition is curated by Sabine Kritter, after a concept by Johnathan Sperber.