Openings, not Openings

Openings, not Openings

Screenshot Zoom Meeting, Artistic direction

since April 2020 


with artists, curators, employees and friends of the Bärenzwinger

"Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next" (Arundhati Roy)

In the last weeks, our team has been rattled by the Corona situation and it took some time until we found ourselves reunited as a split-screen.

We have been spending time observing what is happening to determine what our role is in this situation. Like many of us, we spoke more about aerosols than site-specific art. For the time being, we decided not to continue our exhibition and events as a stream, but first and foremost to use this situation to provide a space for the questions that arise and the uncertainty that comes with them. 

We are looking for continuity in terms of our collaborations, both current and planned for the year, investing in the invited artists and contributors.

The new annual programme starting with the next exhibition, now postponed indefinitely, is titled "Openings, not Openings". The aim is to work with different opening processes and to focus less on the act of exhibition openings (frequently a one-time event). However, the idea is not "no show", even if it seems that these are the current conditions. We ask ourselves how to deal with the theme of openings while the space is closed and what we can develop when the access to the site, with its specific architecture and history, is currently restricted. Due to the site’s current inaccessibility, we seek to develop new approaches to communication, encourage exchange and seek answers that have not yet found a space to be heard.

We have decided to ask artists, cultural workers, and experts how they experience the current situation, how they are coping and how their methods and collaborations have changed. In the process, we also quest

ion our role and the significance of artistic engagement in the current situation and would like to open and share this conversation, to open up new routes through the crisis.


Susanne Weiß

Karl Heinz Jeron

Erkan Affan

Monika Rinck

Citizen Art Days

Christopher Weickenmeier

Tuna Arkun

Sara Edström

Openings, not Openings
Openings, not Openings
Openings, not Openings
Openings, not Openings
Openings, not Openings
Openings, not Openings
Openings, not Openings
Openings, not Openings
Openings, not Openings

susanne weiß

Free curator

View contribution on Faceboook

She is currently curating the exhibition "Who we are and what we do - in the middle of the museum" and "David Polzin 'The Still Chairs'" for Kultur Mitte and the Mitte Museum Berlin.

Karl heinz jeron


View contribution on YouTube and Facebook 

Karl Heinz Jeron took us on experimental audio tours last year as part of the "Intimate Matter" exhibition.

Erkan Affan

Activist* and curator*

View contribution on Facebook

With Erkan Affan and SchwarzRund we discussed last year in the context of a TheorieMittwoch about exclusion and opening processes. In autumn 2020 Erkan Affan will work as a guest curator in the Bärenzwinger.

monika rinck

Poet and essayist

View contribution on Facebook

Monika Rinck can currently be seen with her installation "GOLDES WERT" in the Ruine der Franziskaner Klosterkirche

Citizen art days

Artistic platform

View contribution on Facebook

The artistic platform Citizen Art Days will probably be stationed in the Bärenzwinger next year.

christopher weickenmeier

Artistic director Klosterruine Berlin

View contribution on YouTube and Facebook

Christopher Weickenmeier was on the artistic direction team of the Bärenzwinger until 2019 and is currently artistic director of the Ruine der Franziskaner Klosterkirche. The online exhibition TIMES IN CRISIS, which he initiated, can still be seen on the YouTube channel of the Klosterruine Berlin.

Tuna arkun


View contribution on Facebook ansehen

Tuna Arkun works together with children, young people and adults in art and cultural projects. Among other things he designs courses at MiK - Jugendkunstschule Mitte.

sara edström


View contribution on YouTube and Facebook

Sara Edström is currently a resident at the Institut für Alles Mögliche. Together with two artists she runs Galleri syster in Lulea, Sweden.

Monika Gabriela Dorniak

Interdisciplinary artist

View contribution on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook

The migration history of her family lead Monika Gabriela Dorniak to work with refugees for occasional projects. Currently she donated editions to the initiative 'Time To Care' of @Entkunstung, who is raising money for refugees, whose condition has again worsened in the Covid-19 crisis.


Actor, Theater teacher

View contribution on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube

Im Visier Krawattenhut mit integrierter Maske!

Inga Rosa Kammerer works as a freelance actor for theater, film and TV, as well as in theater pedagogy for children and teenagers. She is giving different theater classes at MiK Jugendkunstschule in Berlin Mitte.

Shí Kollectiv

Artist Collective

View contribution on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube

Lina Launhardt was planning a performance for 02.05. in the framework of the current exhibition at Bärenzwinger.

Jasmin Werner


View contribution on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube

A video by Jasmin Werner relating to her work 'Schloss der Republik Burj Khalifa'.

For »Musée sentimental de l’ours de Berlin« Jasmin Werner developed two installations at the outside area of Bärenzwinger which resemble scaffolding and refer to the history around the Berlin Stadtschloss.
In the visual part of the works different reflections of windows from Stadtschloss and Palast der Republik are merged, episodically telling the story of a changing city between political systems. 
Transformations Bärenzwinger as a monument for this city has also 
witnessed, but which didn’t affect it as drastically so far. 
The shape of the two towers is inspired by the worlds highest building - Burj Khalifa in Dubai - whose steel structure was partly built with steel from the Palast der Republik.

Nadja Abt

Artist and Editior

View contribution on Instagram

Alternative Embassy of Brazil
project proposal for the Bärenzwinger, Berlin

Only a few meters away from the Bärenzwinger is the Brazilian Embassy of Berlin. In times when Brazil's government is trampling on the country's human rights and democracy, the
alternative embassy serves as a place of refuge and a space where resistance can be organised in artistic and activist ways.

Nadja Abt is an artist and works as the editor for Texte zur Kunst. From 2015-2018 she lived in São Paulo. For her collages, films, and paintings, she uses literature as a starting point to
create formal and textual layers that engage with Brazilian politics and art history, feminist discourses, and the maritime space. We want to work with her in spring 2021 within the
»Openings, not Openings« programme.

theres laux

Museologist (MA)

View contribution on Instagram

Under the synonym ArtPlanner Theres Laux is responsible for the organization of a variety of different cultural and economic events. All planned events, in which people meet face to face, had to be cancelled or postponed. By now some interesting digital alternatives were created, so that cultural education, entertainment and the information flow on products can be continued in virtual space. temporarily, only for a short time period; as it is better to see people being together, carefree, and see them smiling. 

Andrea scrima

Writer and Artist

View contribution on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube

Corona Report

Recording from Dona Blum during the Viral literature festival.
Conversation Series with Authors and Artists, 3 Quarks Daily
Andrea Scrima translates and works as a lecturer for the Kommunale Galerien in Mitte.


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