It’s been around thirty years since Berlin once again became a magnet for artists from all over the world. The newly united city was an unoccupied space – an Eldorado for art. What will the next generation do, what issues will they deal with and how can they become visible in the diverse scene?
These questions occupied the three established artists Willem de Rooij, Simon Denny and Angela Bulloch. In 2016 they founded the mentoring project “Berlin program for artists” – BPA. The starting point is the mutual studio visits of experienced and up-and-coming artists. This exchange of ideas between the generations culminates in an annual exhibition. The program supports one work and one accompanying publication at a time, so that the participants are prepared for the next step in their career. Since 2020, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art has been home to the BPA Exhibition.
The works in the current exhibition deal with history – the local and the global past. The American artist Benjamin Bush has recorded queer clubs in Berlin in the 3D scanner. With the VR glasses you can navigate through the shimmering lights of the nocturnal streets, through groups of excited visitors to the entrances of the clubs. In interviews, the elders talk about the beginnings of the meeting places.
“What’s at home?” the Thai artist wants Orawan Arunrak in their ironically homely work. She painted idyllic landscapes on paper plates. In the corner are camping chairs and a low table with garden gnomes. Consoling poems are collected in a wooden card index box. “Light the Power” or “Garden of Contemplation”. The idyll feigns security, but the home seems strange in this Biedermeier exaggeration.
For the family from Schweinfurth, the Julian Irlinger observed with the camera, the butcher’s shop is the second home. Here the whole family works hand in hand, the company sets the pace of life. Irlinger lets his pictures slide past like a slide show. In the details, the pots, the sausages, the butcher’s hands, he shows the movements of a dying work model – the family business.
The works in the multifaceted exhibition question the images and their meaning. “A house then, a museum now, chapter one: wind of 120 days” is the name of a project by Shirin Mohammed. Films show an abandoned asbestos factory in Baluchistan, Iran. A wind blows here for 120 days. On the screens, the desert sand begins to cover the ruined factories. The sand also erases traces of the people who came here to find work and inhaled the toxic asbestos dust. Nobody knows where they went.
The answers to many questions remain open. The Ghanaian-Nigerian artist Nnenna Onuoha once again shows the photos of the so-called “Biafra Children”, which shocked the world public in 1968. Today these children are grown up, what happened to them, who owns their pictures?
The exhibition gains its excitement by looking at familiar details from a new perspective. The Chinese artist Tang Han discovered the strange smell of ginkgo nuts in the streets of Berlin. In her room “Miss Ginkgo and Her Friends in Nature” she follows the story of the tree that was on earth before the dinosaurs. A guided tour on December 11 invites those interested to get to know the Berlin ginkgo trees. With subsequent tasting of the cooked fruits. They should strengthen the memory – that fits the theme of this background show.
To home page
I have been working in the news industry for over 10 years now and I have worked for some of the biggest news websites in the world. My focus has always been on entertainment news, but I also cover a range of other topics. I am currently an author at Global happenings and I love writing about all things pop-culture related.