Archive for April, 2012

Photos from the “Draftsmen’s Congress”

Posted on: April 29th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Draftsmen's Congress in the ST. Elisabeth-Church

Let's draw together!

Photos by Rafał Żwirek

“Draftsmen’s Congress” initiated by Paweł Althamer

The “Draftsmen’s Congress” is a continuous meeting of people who talk using images instead of words. Everyone is invited to join the discussion through paint, charcoal, collage, and other traditional materials and techniques, and react to issues like current politics, symbols of power, religion, economic disasters [...]More >



Posted on: April 28th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Solidarity Action #7: Visual Culture Research Center




On Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 6 pm the Visual Culture Research Center will open in the new premises at “Zhovten” (“October”) Cinema. The space for the combination of art, knowledge and politics will now be located at one of the oldest cinemas in Kyiv, whose name and history embody the idea of visual culture as education and emancipation. The format for the presentation of the VCRC will be the action of solidarity of the 7th Berlin Biennale, which will open on the same day at KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin).


"Forget Fear" is the slogan of the 7th Berlin Biennale, curated by Artur Żmijewski, Polish artist and art director of the Political Critique magazine. "Forget Fear" is also the name for a discussion on political engagement of intellectuals and artists with the participation of VCRC activists and colleagues that will take place during the VCRC opening event. The action will also include screening of films from the Biennale Breaking the Newsspecial project.


Visual Culture Research Center was founded in 2008 at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy with the aim of creating an interdisciplinary environment for the analysis of the post-Soviet situation of Ukraine on the intersection of art, knowledge and politics. The Center since has conducted 120 scientific events and discussions with the participation of scientists from Ukraine and abroad, and 20 art exhibitions. In March 2012, VCRC was turned out of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, which was the result of the university administration's ideological censorship.


The 7th Berlin Biennale curators team:


"The main issue in question at the 7th Berlin Biennale is the profound results produced by art. Artistic imagination is not always ready for creating such effects. As it is in politics, in art it is better to work as a collective than alone. That is why we decided to propose to art institutions that deal with similar questions to make their own research and present them within the Berlin Biennale. We name these actions and their results “the solidarity actions”. Instead of thinking of the competition we focus on the collaboration within a common horizon. There is a lack of solidarity in the art world, therefore, we take a step to change it."


Breaking the News is a special project at the 7th Berlin Biennale, which is aimed at combining the means of art and journalism. Artists and activists from different countries create a common media platform for the production and spreading of films dedicated to current social protests in their countries. Films by media collectives Mosireen (Egypt) and Filmpiraten (Germany), as well as by Zafeiris Haiditis (Greece), Lukasz Konopa (UK),Thomas Rafa (Slovakia/USA), Oleksiy Radynski (Ukraine), David Reeb (Palestine), David Rych (Germany) will be screened at the VCRC opening event. "It is not enough to make political films, films must also be made politically."


Please vistit also


Participants: Yevgenia Belorusets, Andriy Bondar, Olga Bryukhovetska, Denys Gorbach, Dmytro Gorbachov, Lyudmyla Gordeladze, Pavlo Gudimov, Olga Zhuk, Nikita Kadan, Yevhen Karas, Serhiy Kutniy, Oleksandr Ivashyna, Alisa Lozhkina, Roksolana Mashkova, Andriy Mokrousov, Nadiya Parfan, Oleksandr Roytburd, Anastasiya Riabchuk, Mykhaylo Sobutsky, Oleksandr Soloviov, Volodymyr Chemerys, Vasyl Cherepanyn.


Breaking the News

Over the past couple of years, what was one dominant media language is being enriched by reports from civic initiatives, social media, and other platforms where non-official pieces of information also have their place. Artists are contributing to different media coverage with political and activist expression, constructing parallel narratives [...]More >


Breaking the News: Ukrainian Body

On February 10, 2012, the rector of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Serhij Kwit went to an art exhibition Ukrainian Body, organized by the Visual Culture Research Center at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. After visiting the exhibition, he took a key and locked it. [...]More >


Collegium Hungaricum Berlin

Posted on: April 26th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Collegium Hungaricum, Berlin

Collegium Hungaricum Berlin

Dorotheenstrasse 12

D–10117 Berlin


Event venue of the 7th Berlin Biennale




Posted on: April 26th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Auditorium in Charité, Berlin

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Hörsaal der Inneren Medizin

Sauerbruchweg 2

D–10117 Berlin


Event venue of the 7th Berlin Biennale

Remembering Piece by Piece. First objects for the future exhibition

Posted on: April 26th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Winter coat, wool, fur trim; 1941; Gift from Dorette Poland


Family´s Weißhuhn from Gloß-Glockersdorf by Troppau guestbook; machine-made paper, calf, 1922–1946; purchase

Remembering Piece by Piece. First objects for the future exhibition

Project in collaboration with Stiftung Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung (SFVV) (Foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation)


During and after the Second World War, millions of Germans fled from the territories occupied by German forces in Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe as well as from formerly ethnic-German areas and zones of mixed population. Also affected were territories in which Nazi Germany expelled the local populations and resettled Germans. Some escaped from these areas, and some were forced to move. In the German politics of history this displacement is called "Flucht und Vertreibung" (flight and expulsion) and the people are "Vertriebene" (expellees).


The topic has been very sensitive in the European context since Germany introduced it. The idea of building a center in Berlin commemorating these displacements has stirred up a heated debate about historical revisionism, the danger of decontextualizing the past, and questions of cultivating national narratives. After many historical and political discussions, on a resolution of the German Bundestag, the Stiftung Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung (SFVV) (Foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation) was established in 2008. In 2016 a center for exhibitions, documentation, and information will open in Berlin.


The site of this center will be the completely rebuilt Deutschlandhaus. It is located near the former Anhalter Bahnhof and a number of memorials such as the Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror), as well as fragments of the Berlin Wall. Questions of the politics of history, strategies of commemoration, constructing the future through interpretations of the past, and attempts to introduce counter-narrations are important issues within the 7th Berlin Biennale. Therefore we invited the curatorial team of the Foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation to present a project. They are displaying items from their collection of belongings donated by Germans who left the land where they were living (or by their descendants).


The "use" of history is able to shape the future and influence the discourse on German identity. We do not want to observe this process from a safe distance; we prefer to be close to it.


by Artur Żmijewski, Joanna Warsza and Zofia Waślicka



The building today known as Deutschlandhaus was built in 1926 as the eastern wing of the adjacent Europahaus. More >



Stresemannstrasse 90, D-10963 BerlinMore >


“Rebranding European Muslims” by Public Movement

Posted on: April 26th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Rebranding European Muslims

By Public Movement


Rebranding European Muslims is an international public relations campaign by performance and research group Public Movement, which aims to change the image of the European Muslim population. It takes the declaration by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that "multiculturalism has failed, completely failed" as a chance to begin a

new chapter in European / Muslim relations. The strategy of the project is to understand Merkel’s statement in a positive light, using this as an opportunity to end the reliance on "multiculti" and to consider that all people are responsible for the failure.


Rebranding European Muslims uses the tools of political branding campaigns to reimagine a new entity empowered by using mass communication tactics. In order to fulfill its own dream, Europe, as a post war progressive construction, must confront the challenge of accepting its historical enemy as part of it. The campaign proposes a new European Muslim entity, which is not exclusive to Muslims but symbolizes a new era where the conversation about European/Muslim shifts beyond the exhausted concept of liberal tolerance. It accepts mutations and new acculturation, and ultimately extends the scope of political imagination. Hopefully for the better.


by Daniel Miller and Dana Yahalomi


Rebranding European Muslims is a collaboration in solidarity with the 7th Berlin Biennale by steirischer herbst. The upcoming campaign is announced by a billboard presenting a portrait of the anonymous Muslim, which is on view during the Berlin Biennale, and launches in Graz on September 28, 2012 with a grand gala. It will subsequently spread to other European countries.

Solidarity Action #6: steirischer herbst

“Rebranding European Muslims” is a transnational public relations project by the Israel-based performance and research group Public Movement, and a collaboration in solidarity with the 7th Berlin Biennale by steirischer herbst. The campaign is announced by a billboard in Berlin and launches in Graz [...]More >


“Blood ties” by Antanas Mockus

Posted on: April 26th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Video by Lidia Rossner

Call for blood donation

Blood ties

by Antanas Mockus

The 7th Berlin Biennale invited the former mayor of Bogotá, Antanas Mockus, to comment on one of the projects. Mockus, a political thinker and now, an artist, chose to refer to Teresa Margolles’s work on the current drug war in Mexico, where gangs and paramilitary groups kill each other, murdering many other unrelated civilians in the process. Gangs fight for incredible profits made on the black market for drugs in the United States and Europe. Mockus asks Biennale visitors to commit to not using drugs anymore or to reducing their consumption. You can sign a declaration, and if you want to go deeper, you can also contribute one drop of blood. A large number of such promises could in fact lead to a reduction in the number of murders in Mexico. Mockus’s installation aims at changing the Mexican reality and asks people to take responsibility for how much drug consumption in Europe relates to the number of deaths in the narco-trafficking wars in Central America.


Who is Antanas Mockus? A former mayor of Bogotá, who employed what he called "sub-art" in his political practice. In Colombia in the mid-1990s—a period of hostility, bloodshed, and narco-trafficking—he created a nonviolent, performative politics of images and gestures. Inspired by his mother Nijole Sivickas, a Lithuanian sculptor, he later employed subversiveness, irony, and unpredictability as tools for direct politics. His program of citizen culture (Cultura ciudadana), a form of civic self-education based on games and staged situations, led to a significant drop in the homicide rate during his two terms as mayor. With this approach he effectively suspended politics as usual, destabilizing rational discourse, disarming hate speech, and subverting bureaucratic rule. Mockus has promised that if the homicide rate in Mexico does not drop during the exhibition, he will declare himself a failed artist and art a pretentious concept.


by Artur Żmijewski and Joanna Warsza


Antanas Mockus is a philosopher and politician whose approach to politics is based on artistic strategies. In the framework of the 7th Berlin Biennale he also presents a lecture-performance about political suicide based on his own experience in the last political campaign in Colombia.



“PM 2010″ by Teresa Margolles

Artist Teresa Margolles collects, as a yearbook, the front pages of the Mexican daily tabloid PM, published in Ciudad Juárez, one of the most dangerous border cities in Mexico. The newspaper is not available on the Internet and is only on sale in the city from Monday to Saturday at 1 pm. [...]More >


“Am I a good artist?” by Antanas Mockus

Antanas Mockus, former mayor of Bogotá, examines the result of his art installation in the Berlin Biennale and talks about using art strategies in his political practice. [...]More >


Filtered by Eisenhüttenstadt

Posted on: April 26th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Eisenhüttenstadt, Photo: Sandra Teigte

Filtered by Eisenhüttenstadt


It’s easy to offer culture to people in Berlin, where there are always some visitors who will come to see the show—even if it is extremely difficult, or extremely strange. But what about "forgotten" cities like Eisenhüttenstadt? Will people there also come to see art?


Eisenhüttenstadt is a small city, 120 kilometers away from Berlin, in eastern Brandenburg. It came into existence in 1950 as "Stalinstadt," a socialist model city in the GDR, and many of its inhabitants were employed at the nearby steel mill (which today belongs to ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steel company). Since West Germany absorbed the GDR, the city has been shrinking—after reunification about 20,000 people left. Eisenhüttenstadt doesn’t seem to be a beneficiary of the German transformation. The center of the city is spectacular—with its restored Socialist Realist buildings, open and sunny public squares, and broad avenues—albeit a little deserted. And cultural offerings are limited.


The idea of the project is to open a space in the center of Eisenhüttenstadt and conduct cultural activities there. The program is developed by two Berlin-based art spaces—Artists-in-Berlin-Program/DAAD and me Collectors Room Berlin/Olbricht Foundation—who are challenged to be "filtered," questioned, and present in Eisenhüttenstadt through organizing programming in the city. The idea is to act and try to understand the citizens, their real needs, and the situation in the city. What might this bring, if anything, to the residents? And how will it force the Berlin institutions to re-evaluate their own institutional positions?

by Artur Żmijewski


Draftsmen’s Congress in Eisenhüttenstadt

After the closure of the St. Elisabeth-Church, the “Draftsmen’s Congress” moved to Eisenhüttenstadt, in the Strasse der Republik 37. More >


Change of Perspective

me Collectors Room Berlin/Olbricht Foundation


Some fifth graders from the Gustav Falke School in Berlin exchange views with students of the same age from Schönfliesser School in Eisenhüttenstadt on remarkable places and noteworthy pieces of art in their respective cities.


The Berlin students send an object from me Collectors Room’s Wunderkammer in Berlin to Eisenhüttenstadt, and in exchange they receive a cultural artifact from Eisenhüttenstadt. How will these "uprooted" curiosities get adapted to their new surroundings?


Thus begins the search for new settings, an ingenious story, and an exciting analogy of form and materials, which is documented photographically by Jana Ebert (Berlin) and Ben Kaden (Eisenhüttenstadt). The project offers the students the unique opportunity to share their experiences, discoveries, knowledge, and thoughts about art and culture in a creative and thought-provoking context. In the end, they compile their newly acquired "change of perspective" in a photo-text-book and present it to the public.


by Charlotte Esser


The Gustav Falke School has been a partner school of the me Collectors Room Berlin/Olbricht Foundation since 2010.


Satellite Residency in Eisenhüttenstadt


From May to July 2012 the Artists-in-Berlin-Program establishes a Satellite Residency in Eisenhüttenstadt—consisting of an apartment and a studio which can also be used as an event space. International guests currently participating in the Artists-in-Berlin-Program as well as former guests are invited to spend a few days or weeks in Eisenhüttenstadt and work there. There are no requirements connected to this stay. The artists are free to use the city as a retreat, to engage with the architecture of this socialist planned city or, for example, to explore the Lubusz "Voivodeship" (district) beyond the river Oder in Poland. In the course of the project, a common public event takes place in Eisenhüttenstadt. Furthermore, the artists can develop their own methods to approach the local public (with the support of local partners). Meetings are planned with interested people from Eisenhüttenstadt, i.e. historians, politicians, teachers, journalists, people engaged in the cultural sector, or employees of the steel factory that still strongly affects the city.


by Ariane Beyn





“Final Fantasies” by Joanna Rajkowska

Posted on: April 26th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Photo: Anna Eckold

Final Fantasies


There is an important question for everyone whose life is about to end: "How would you like to die?" This question embraces a condition of the body, a location, and a presence / absence of other people. People in hospices are not always given the chance to die as they wish. Despite the very best efforts, often there is no "machinery," no logistics, and no skills to provide them with the desirable surroundings of death. But it could happen—via art and artists. I would like to work with people who are about to die, trying to create an environment which they imagine as ideal for their deaths. I suppose the work might range from travelling to places wellremembered by the dying people in order to film the locations, to making it possible for people to die in water, in a forest, or in a particular town in Germany, to painting a designated room in a particular color.


The social energy cumulating in activities of art institutions and galleries, flowing through nonprofit or artist-run organizations, is addressed, naturally, to the living. The sick and the dying are separated from the mainstream of life due to their disease, weakness, and a psychological barrier. We don’t know how to behave knowing that the person we face will die within a certain time and knowing that she/he knows it as well. There is no social script for such a situation. So the exclusion is double—caused by the natural need of daily, intensive care and by society’s fear of death that these people inevitably represent. The basic aim of the community and therefore society, however, is to take care of those who are invisible. This is where politics comes down to its major and irreducible duty. Still, dividing lines separate sick and disabled bodies from the healthy population. So goes the mental segregation. So goes art and artists.


The project Final Fantasies proposes, on one hand, to focus artists on this invisible part of society, and on the other, at an inclusion of the sick and dying into the spectrum of the audience. And this is the best audience indeed, as in the face of an upcoming end, huge areas of life seem to lose their value. What remains is a need to embrace and to express the most important matters. Art that floods the galleries and museums can, with careful and intelligent insight, serve as a passage and existential instrument for the last, or at least a difficult, chapter of life.

by Joanna Rajkowska

Joanna Rajkowska is an artist and member of Krytyka Polityczna (Political Critique). She lives and works in Warsaw, London, and now Berlin.

“Born in Berlin” by Joanna Rajkowska

I decided to give birth to my daughter Rosa in the Charité hospital in Berlin. The city was her first location for contact with the world. For the rest of her life, when asked: “Where were you born?”, she will answer: “In Berlin”. [...]More >


Akademie der Künste

Pariser Platz 4, D-10117 BerlinMore >


“Born in Berlin” by Joanna Rajkowska

Posted on: April 26th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

A scene from the movie “Born in Berlin“ by Joanna Rajkowska


"Born in Berlin - Red Rage“; 2012; © Joanna Rajkowska

Born in Berlin

By Joanna Rajkowska


I decided to give birth to my daughter Rosa in the Charité hospital in Berlin. The city was her first location for contact with the world. For the rest of her life, when asked: “Where were you born?", she will answer: “In Berlin."


I believe that the place of birth has a significant influence over each human being’s fate and their attitude toward it. You return to it like an animal; you think about it in a special way. Rosa will associate Berlin with a life-giving beginning, even though she is not going to remember it. The first breath she drew, the first sounds she produced, her first struggle to overcome an infection—they will always and forever be tied to the city, and nothing will ever change that fact.


Berlin is a special state of mind. It is a city which cannot bear its history, which does all it can to live exclusively in the present, to delight in itself in the incomparable Berlin air and style.


Berlin refuses to be naked, to expose its wounds or its painful side after the years of war, post-war trauma, and the division of the city. It desires to be an important cultural capital, elegant, cold, and modern. To achieve that it uses architecture, art, and sophisticated designs. It is becoming overgrown with fantastic buildings; it displays outstanding artists and presents remarkably attractive designs. Simultaneously, alternative art scenes are continually appearing, which is only a counterpoint to its smooth surface.


If this was the only face of Berlin, it would not be the place for Rosa. However, all my senses tell me that Berlin is unable to deal with itself. Like a middle-aged man, good-looking, well-dressed, but at the same time worn out after years of suffering from a chronic disease that climaxed years back. Exhausted not only by what it has been through, but also with the attempts to verbalize it, the lack of language, the following complications, and the amount of painkillers it needs to take daily. The disease has left wrinkles and bumps. Some parts of its body are totally dead.


Here begins my strong, tough, and unambiguous relationship with the city. I want to see those dead places, I want to touch them. I want Rosa to appear there. Rosa is my response to Berlin. And a gift.

by Joanna Rajkowska

“Final Fantasies” by Joanna Rajkowska

There is an important question for everyone whose life is about to end: “How would you like to die?” More >


Akademie der Künste

Pariser Platz 4, D-10117 BerlinMore >

10th Berlin Biennale