Berlin Biennale

5th Berlin Biennale 2008

05 Apr - 15 Jun 2008

5th berlin biennial for contemporary art
When things cast no shadow
5 April - 15 June 2008

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 thus positioning a symbol for one failed social-architectural ideal on the grounds representing an opposed, triumphant architectural ideal.

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 Šedá, who goes over the fences that separate neighbors in her home village of Líšen 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 Parisbased 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.


Caner Aslan, Michel Auder, Nairy Baghramian, Pedro Barateiro, Cezary Bodzianowski, Manon de Boer, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Thea Djordjadze, Jos De Gruyter & Harald Thys, Aleana Egan, Haris Epaminonda, Patricia Esquivias, Cyprien Gaillard, Masist Gül, Daniel Guzmán, Susan Hiller, Sung Hwan Kim, Daniel Knorr, Susanne Kriemann, Gabriel Kuri, Luciana Lamothe, Lars Laumann, Janette Laverrière, Goshka Macuga, David Maljković, Babette Mangolte, Jacob Mishori, Ulrike Mohr, Ania Molska, Melvin Moti, Nashashibi / Skaer, Ahmet Öğüt, Paulina Olowska, Giulia Piscitelli, Paola Pivi, Pushwagner, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Pamela Rosenkranz, Kilian Rüthemann, Kateřina Šedá, Paul Sietsema, Ettore Sottsass, Zofia Stryjeńska, Stefan Thater, Piotr Uklański, Mona Vătămanu / Florin Tudor, Tris Vonna-Michell, Susanne M. Winterling, Kohei Yoshiyuki, Zhao Liang

Danai Anesiadou, Alexandra Bachzetsis, Balázs Béla Studio, Ludovic Balland, Ursula Block, Augusto Boal, Manon De Boer, Oksana Bulgakowa, Banu Cennetoğlu & Philippine Hoegen, Dorit Chrysler, Holk Cruse + Luc Steels, Aleana Egan, Maria Eichhorn + Seth Siegelaub, Matthias Einhoff + Philip Horst + Markus Lohmann + Harry Sachs + Dan Seiple, Chris Evans, James McFarland, Cyprien Gaillard + Koudlam, Goodiepal, Dieter Hacker, Emma Hedditch, Susan Hiller, IDEA Arts + Society, Cameron Jamie + Keiji Haino, Tellervo Kalleinen & Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen + Miss Le Bomb, Joachim Koester, Susanne Kriemann + Philipp Gutbrod + Urs Stäheli + Alexander Tull, Thomas Macho, Goshka Macuga + Johansson/Schlippenbach Quartett, Babette Mangolte, Kobe Matthys (Agency) + Lina Lindheimer + Björn Frank, Melvin Moti + Olaf Blanke, Rabih Mroué, Nikakoi, Kristina Norman + Paul Davies, Ahmet Öğüt, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Falke Pisano, The Production Unit, Claus-Dieter Rath, Rebond Pour La Commune + Arbeiter- und Veteranenchor Neukölln, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Jimmy Robert, Dieter Roelstraete + Renate Flagmeier, Wilhelm Sasnal, Aaron Schuster, Superflex, Pilvi Takala, Harald Thys & Erik Thys, Roi Vaara, Annie Vigier & Franck Apertet, Vinyl-Terror & -Horror & Dr. Nexus, Bettina Vismann, WHW – What, How & For Whom, Susanne M. Winterling, Dolores Zinny & Juan Maidagan, Artur Žmijewski + Slawomir Sierakowski, Andrzej Žuławski

Tags: Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Sung Hwan Kim, Ahmet Ögüt, Paulina Olowska