When things cast no shadow, the 5th berlin biennial for contemporary art, curated by Adam Szymczyk and Elena Filipovic, brings together artists from different generations and nationalities in an exhibition by day and night that aims to trace the diversity of art practices today.
Eschewing a singular theme, form, or temporality, and determined instead by a critical engagement with artists’ processes, When things cast no shadow could be said to take the form of an open structure in five movements without a plot.
The day part of the 5th berlin biennial will be on view at four distinct venues and include mostly newly commissioned works by 50 artists, while the night part of the show will feature still more artists and cultural producers in 63 nightly events taking place in locations spread across the once-divided city.
The exhibition spaces of KW Institute for Contemporary Art, founded in 1991 in Berlin-Mitte will hold, among other projects, films by Babette Mangolte, Michel Auder, and Patricia Esquivias as well as an intervention by Ahmet Ögüt that comments on state power and its means of control. The attic will be turned into a studio/installation activated by Tris Vonna-Michell’s storytelling.
The iconic glass hall of Mies van der Rohe’s ultra-modernist Neue Nationalgalerie in former West Berlin has inspired various responses from artists. Among them, a film installation by Susanne M. Winterling explores the water condensation that flaws van der Rohe’s masterpiece, while Gabriel Kuri builds up a participatory sculpture that reorganizes one of the building’s regular service operations. Cyprien Gaillard brings an unpretentious public sculpture from a housing project in Paris to the terrace of the museum where it is displayed next to the masterpieces of Henry Moore and Alexander Calder.
The outdoor exhibition site of the Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum, in the area formerly adjoining the Berlin Wall, presents, among other works, a new community-based project by Katerina Sedá, who goes over the fences that separate neighbors in her home village of Lisen in the Czech Republic. Lars Laumann screens a film about a woman who married the Berlin Wall, while Ania Molska installs a sculpture used as a prop in her new film.
The first of five alternating, artist-curated solo shows at the Schinkel Pavillon will feature works of Paris-based Swiss-born designer Janette Laverrière, presented by Nairy Baghramian. It will open on March 20, 2008, preceding the official opening of the 5th berlin biennial on April 5 and upsetting the demand for a single, spectacular biennial beginning.
The night part of the biennial, entitled Mes nuits sont plus belles que vos jours (My nights are more beautiful than your days), comprises 63 nocturnal acts involving artists and other thinkers and takes place throughout the city. Neuro-scientist Olaf Blanke demonstrates an out-of-body experiment, at the encouragement of artist Melvin Moti. The curatorial collective WHW holds a lecture on Modernism in the former Yugoslavia, and Augusto Boal, founder of the Theater of the Oppressed and this year’s Nobel Peace Prize candidate, runs a workshop according to his context-sensitive teaching method. Cameron Jamie screens his recent film JO at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz with a live score by Japanese noise artist Keiji Haino, and more, night after night.
A comprehensive publication has been conceived as an interpretative tool in parallel with the 5th berlin biennial. It includes a visual and textual anthology of source material submitted by participating artists.
The visitors guided tours program Secret Service offers diverse formats of made-to-measure exhibition tours that enable the visitors to investigate the biennial from different angles.
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Potsdamer Straße 50
Kommandantenstraße / Neue Grünstraße
Mes nuits sont plus belles que vos jours
Every night except Mondays at various places in Berlin.
Curators: Adam Szymczyk and Elena Filipovic
Director: Gabriele Horn
The presence of the 5th Berlin biennial for contemporary art at its various venues is made possible by a co-operation between Kunst-Werke Berlin e. V. and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (for the Neue Nationalgalerie), KUNSTrePUBLIK e. V. (for the Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum), and the organizers of the Schinkel Pavillon (for the Schinkel Pavillon).
The 5th berlin biennial for contemporary art is organized by KW Institute for Contemporary Art and is funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes/German Federal Cultural Foundation.
The publications accompanying the 5th berlin biennial for contemporary art are generously supported by the LUMA Foundation.
Mes nuits sont plus belles que vos jours, the night part of the 5th berlin biennial for contemporary art, is kindly supported by the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA).
The 5th berlin biennial for contemporary art is supported by Peter Marino Architect.