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Sept 2021

Publication: KW, a history

“It was quiet on Auguststraße, and in the rest of Berlin-Mitte, this area of the former metropolis whose buildings with their bullet-pocked facades had been left to decay for more than four decades since the war. The West had not yet moved eastwards: too dilapidated, too dirty, too dark, poor infrastructure, no telephones, pre-digital, unresolved ownership, the acrid smell of brown coal in the air. Few of the local residents remained. Even before the Wall fell, this neighborhood had been sparsely populated and now many had hurriedly relocated to the West, often leaving all their belongings behind. One sunny afternoon in spring, the five of us stood for the first time in the courtyard of the former margarine factory, most recently home to VEB Elektromontage: 2400 square meters of floor space, ruinous, contaminated, listed, and state-owned. We signed up.”

Alexandra Binswanger in: KW, a History

KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V., the supporting association of KW Institute for Contemporary Art and the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021. Released on occasion of the anniversary, the first comprehensive publication about KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V. is the fruit of KW fellow Jenny Dirksen’s extensive research into the organization’s history. It presents selections from the sizable archive of KW and the Berlin Biennale and unfurls a polyphonic institutional history on 496 pages, with essays by Klaus Biesenbach, Jenny Dirksen, Susanne von Falkenhausen, and Jan Verwoert, and a detailed timeline with short texts by Eva Scharrer, an exhibition list, photographs, posters, invitation cards, press responses, and recollections of contemporary observers, friends, and associates from three decades.

Edited by Klaus Biesenbach, Jenny Dirksen, Krist Gruijthuijsen, Gabriele Horn / KW Institute for Contemporary Art
20 × 27 cm, 496 pages, numerous color and b/w images, softcover with dust jacket
ISBN 978-3-95476-372-6
September 2021

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Mar 2021

Kader Attia, photo: F. Anthea Schaap

Kader Attia appointed as curator of the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

The Berlin Biennale is pleased to begin preparations for the 12th edition with the curatorship announcement. The 12th Berlin Biennale will take place in 2022.

For over two decades, Kader Attia has worked with the concept of “repair” in his artistic practice. It allows him to investigate the dialectic between destruction and repair, in which repair is understood as a way of cultural resistance as well as a means for a society or a subject to reappropriate their history and identity. Raised in Paris and Algeria, Kader Attia studied philosophy and art in Paris and Barcelona; today he lives and works in Berlin and Paris. In 2016, Kader Attia founded La Colonie in Paris’ 10th arrondissement as a space for the exchange of ideas and discussions focusing on decolonization, not only of people but also of knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Driven by the urgency of social and cultural reparation, it aims to reunite what has drifted apart or been broken. Since March 2020, La Colonie has been closed to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In July 2021, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin hosts the fourth part of a conference series initiated by Kader Attia, Ana Teixeira Pinto, and Giovanna Zapperi entitled The White West.

Gabriele Horn, director of the Berlin Biennale, and the team warmly welcome Kader Attia.

The international selection committee for the curatorship of the upcoming Berlin Biennale included: Yael Bartana (artist, Amsterdam, NL, and Berlin, DE), Beatrice von Bismarck (professor of art history and visual culture at Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst / Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig, DE), Anita Dube (artist and independent curator, Greater Noida, IN), Krist Gruijthuijsen (director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin), Sohrab Mohebbi (Kathe and Jim Patrinos Curator of the 58th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, US), Gabi Ngcobo (artist, educator, and independent curator, Johannesburg, ZA), and Gabriela Rangel (writer and director at Fundación Malba – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, AR).