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.
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.
Activist* and curator*
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.
Artistic director Klosterruine Berlin
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.
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
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.
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.
Artist and Editior
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.
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.
Writer and Artist
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.
picture 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Drawings in my apartment on the kitchewall by me and three roommates (professions: computer scientist, app-developer, architect)
How does the world currently look like?
Watercolor and collage on paper
Eunsun Ko is an artist. Her focus lays on sculptures, drawings, installations and texts. She lives
and works in Berlin and is giving workshops and courses for art projects. Since 2015 she’s working as an art teacher for MiK - Jugendkunstschule Mitte.
Artist and Cartoonist
Depicted are the first 6 pages of the comic „Wa(h)nsee”, a 24-page comic book.The black and white drawings were made during the 24h comic-event of Literarisches Colloquium Berlin last October. In 24 hours 24 comic-pages are being drawn and written, forming a complete story. During the last two months Robert Günther edited and colored the pages digitally. The drawing’s and story's mood fits well into this time of isolation and distancing rules.
The finished book will be published in the end of September with JUTE COMICS Verlag. Robert Günther is an artist and cartoonist. His main focus is drawing and print graphics. After graduating as a Meisterschüler at Berlin University of Arts he worked as a teacher for fine arts and, since 2017, is part of the management team of MiK Jugendkunstschule Mitte.
hugo rex tibiriçá (prefer no pronouns) is a queer artist born and raised in brazil. as far as hugo knows, hugo descends from the ones who colonized as much as from the ones who have been colonized – from european people as well as middle-eastern, amerindian and african people. therefore, hugo carries within hugo’s-self the heritage of the ones who brutalized as well as the ones who have been brutalized - by the processes of colonization, catechization and the legacies of it -, and tries to embody all the contradictions of such heritage within the self through doing art, practicing somatic work and reading books as well as through loving and feeling loved, living life and quarantining.
Screenshots from videoproject „Intimacies and Isolation“
What does lockdown mean for queer identities, which even before had to to be expressed secluded from mainstream society? At what point does longing for closeness turn into a competition for attention? How infectious is the webcam’s gaze?
In his performances and media-installations Torben Jost addresses discursive entanglements of media- and everyday-objects. Using context-shifts and pop his works uncover hidden meanings and power structures. In this he is especially interested in questions of identity and intimacy. „Intimacies and Isolation” was made in cooperation with The Queer Archive Athens.
Artist and art educator
Khansa Humeidan is an artist and art educator. In her work she focuses on art eductation or artistic work in groups in different institutions. Exemplary of that is her development of art eductation formats like peformative audio guides for the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
Mariana Nobre Vieira (*1989 in Coimbra, Portugal) is a former economic scientist, who started practicing contemporary dance in 2013. She is founding member of the artist collective „The Rabbit Hole”, in which she intensely influenced the club- and art-scene of Lissabon. She visited the masters course SODA (Solo, Dance, Authorship) at HTZ/UDK Berlin and recently graduated. Now she’s working as a performer, teacher and choreographer. Since 2019 Mariana is member of the Berlin-based queer-feminist collective for interventions in rave-culture and gender disorientation „Lecken”. https://mariananobrev.cargo.site
Between April and June the Berliner Kunstverein Experimentelles Zukunftslabor experimented with different forms of creative and peaceful protest in in times of constantly changing social-distancing rules. How do we manage these new challenges as a society? How can we, despite restrictions, interact in public?
The artists and activists of the Verein staged three peaceful actions in public space in Berlin, in which they, while observing current health regulations, artistically expressed their sorrows and wishes for a (post-)pandemic reality.
More infos on the actions: http://experimentelles-zukunftslabor.de/present
Diversity Arts Culture is the concept- and advisory body for diversity-development in the arts.
Commissioned by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, Diversity Arts Culture works on a sustainable diversity-oriented opening of the Berlin art-scene since 2017.
Diana Bach works in the Fachbereich Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte des Bezirksamts Mitte.
There she is advising and supervising cultural workers in their work on funded projects. Due to the pandemic every project is now getting reviewed and if possible adapted to the new situation. This time is characterized by an oscillating between different emotional states.
This is how impossible pictures and texts work on the possibility of the struggles.
Hanau was not an Einzelfall (isolated case).
Çiğdem Inan (sociologist) and Katja Diefenbach (cultural studies) are part of the bookstore- and publishing-collective b_books.
b_books is a collective consisting of theorists, activists, artists and filmmakers. Founded in 1996 in Berlin Kreuzberg as a bookstore and venue (montagsPraxis) it later also started publishing and producing films. http://www.b-books.de
dis[ ]tanz podcast
a podcast on the future of dance and performance
Berlin-based performance artist and dance writer Beatrix Joyce explores how digitalisation changes the way we create, experience and engage with dance and performance. Together with invited guests, she delves into the new utopian possibilities that the performing arts may have gained with increased virtual inter-connectivity while also looking at what live art forms may have to lose.
The guest speaker in the first episode, of which this clip is taken from, is Martina Ruhsam.
Encoded Earth Lover is a visual artist, musician and immigrant from Belarus. The objective of her art practises lies in her own interest in trance states that cultivate healing in one's body, mind and spirit. Her visual and musical explorations are textural journeys that try to achieve illusory timelessness while relaying messages of ascended futures.
Watch Pirate Cinema Berlin Burn 50 Euros brutto Live on Twitch, followed by Serge Gainsbourg brûle un billet de 500 francs à la télévision and Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid
A: Because we're cheap.
Q: Making of? Deleted scenes? Commentary track? Director's cut? English subs?
A: Yes, eventually.
Mall of Berlin in Ruins
Oh, these beautiful, sublime ruins! What effect! What greatness! What nobleness! […] With which wonder, which surprise I gaze at these broken vaults […] the people, who built these monuments, where are they? What became of them? In what vast, deep and silent depth does my eye lose itself? […] Time stands still to those who admire. How little I have experienced! how briefly my youth lasted.”
from Denis Diderot, Ruines et paysages. Salon de 1767
about Hubert Roberts Bilder der Grande Galérie des Louvre als Ruine
Since March Florian Zeyfang is waiting to start shooting the film „La Escuela Nueva” in Kuba, which he planned together with Lisa Schmidt-Colinet and Alexander Schmoeger. Until then he works on the postproduction of „Pavilion-In-Parts”, on the program for the next semester in Aarhus/Denmark - who knows if he can travel there - and converses over the usual video- and audiochannels.
In absence of studio and away from the loom weaving didn’t stop. New restraints, of format and time, where formed. Sketches and doodles. A memo, a problem, a solution and a praise.
A sort of diary. Wordless thoughts visualised in the poetry of the thread.
For a digital documentation, needed especially in covid-times, I choose to scan my pieces. Something happens in the action of scanning versus taking a photo of my woven work. When scanning the objects the information is read and transformed, line by line. Like a text. Like woven cloth.
I descend further and further
Far beyond the borders
Escape or Access?
The sky and the south are below
I plant myself in the basement
Because everything that grows, comes from below
Carolina Redondo is artist and head of production at Klosterruine Berlin and Bärenzwinger. In her works she translates existential conditions into photographic images, videos and installations.
Video 3'29 min
Heike Nowotnik is a freelancing Berlin based artist and works with video, installation and drawing. She is co-founder of KU+R Kunst und Raum and is teaching young adults in the Werkstatt für bildende Kunst in ExRotaprint Gelände Berlin Wedding.
'see'in see’nothing' shows a row of windows in Berlin Mitte, that for the artist took on exhibition character in times of lockdown. Her view always focuses on the same windows in a specific part of the street and repeatedly tries to gain a deeper insight through the windows into the space.
First with the bare eye and then assisted by a camera. Different times of day and incidences of light allowed for different „stagings”, that played on the window, became visible and stayed opaque. The curiosity for what might happen behind the windowpane and for what the window shows and hides, creates an intense tension while viewing - especially while looking at the resulting photos that are the base for this video.
Architectures of Amnesia, Architectures of Domination
Marco Clausen is a trained historian, he co-founded Prinzessinnengarten in 2009. He’s working towards socio-economic change on a local and global level, works on self-organized political education programs, among others with the project „kollektives lernen“, and is active against gentrification and privatization.
Social Distancing, 2020
A globally shared situation where proximity is a threat, distance is safety. Obsessive hand washing and incessantly monitoring one's own gestures - "Have I touched my face, nose or mouth?", "What have I touched before that?”.
Under such circumstances, performance artist Michela Filzi and dancer/choreographer Lea Pischke defy current mobility hardship and move together into a flat in April 2020. They start sharing not only the household, but also their concern about the lack of physical contact: its removal from social dealings on the one hand, and its absence as a performative act on the other.
What has happened to dance during the lockdown? How is dancing being re-defined by having both its place of action and its bodies taken away from it? How does the body react to fear, to re-framing the other as an intruder in one's own physical integrity? Where are we?
The online world has become the new sanctuary of social togetherness, the virtual condom for potentially infectious liaisons.
The videos here are excerpts of movement improvisations on the theme of social distancing and fear of contagion.
T Shirt print editions, 3 copies designed by Esra Nagel 2020
This work has a short story… We talk a lot with no expectations. Friendships rely on an ongoing interest in wishing the best for the other. In 2018 we first worked together on the exhibition “conlang”; it was part of the Seen by... exhibition series by UdK, Berlin. We installed Esra’s work together for that show at the Museum für Fotografie in Berlin as mission impossible is still an unforgettable memory. We became friends later and caught up from time to time. This work has also arrived to us on the basis of our friendship and ongoing conversations. Both of us sometimes feel like we are part of an ongoing fiction that we share with others. Feeling in and out of the social categorization of things.Misal has been feeling like a fictive character with ‘Fiktionsbescheinigung’ provided by the German state as an earlier promise for a forthcoming visa extension. It is still not a clear document that grants one a visa extension or a residence permit. You are neither a guest nor a resident. Your status is pending in limbo.Through his experience of living this reality, Misal has been trying to understand the precarious lives of the undocumented citizens, refugees, exiles, migrants among others who have to live with the pressure of policing, status quo and state control. This summer, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Auslanderbehörde has achieved a Kafkaesque cinematic quality and Misal says: “I am fiction, and I have Fiktionsbescheinigung” reflecting the kaleidoscopic patterns Esra designed through the file anyone can access on Wikipedia. We suggest you google this word ‘Fiktionsbescheinigung’! if you live in Germany. Your search might tell you how the state invents its own language in the case of ordering, controlling, including by excluding, and excluding by including… transitionally yours…/
Dienstag – Sonntag
U8 Heinrich-Heine Straße
U2 Märkisches Museum
Bus 165, 265, 248