Soon - two new exhibitions at Schloss Biesdorf

"... und des Menschen Größe /... and the greatness of man"

Graphics and photographs of poems by Johannes R. Becher.
Presentation of the Beeskow Art Archive - Archived Art from the GDR

Falko Behrendt, Christian Brachwitz, Helmut Brade, Manfred Butzmann, Michael Diller, Andreas Dress, Hubertus Giebe, Konstanze Göbel, Dieter Goltzsche, Ulrich Hachulla, Joachim John, Barbara Köppe, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Manfred Paul, Christine Perthen, Wolfgang Petrovsky, Uwe Pfeifer, Helfried Strauß, Ursula Strozynski, Dieter Tucholke, Werner Wittig

Exhibition from November 18th, 2018 until February 25th, 2019

Opening on Sunday, November 18th, 2018, 11:00 a.m.

Graphic folders are exhibitions on a small scale. The potential to capture a theme, an idea deeply and multi-facettedly in pictures floats between the folder lid and the folder floor. In the course of their 40 years, mass organizations and political institutions in the GDR have commissioned numerous graphic folders. The Beeskow Art Archive holds a significant collection of such portfolios, with examples from all four decades. This illustrates the development of the thematic production of GDR cultural policy, but also how differently artists dealt with these settings, where the limits of what can be said ran, where leeway was granted. Especially towards the end of the 1980s, the compilations appear increasingly ambiguous: gloom and ambivalence dominate many motifs that allow more than one interpretation.

Also the portfolio " ... und des Menschen Größe / ... and the greatness of man. Graphics and photographs of poems by Johannes R. Becher" (1988) can be seen in this context. "Schritt der Jahrhundertmitte / step of the middle of the century" (1958), the last volume of poetry that Becher created before his death, served 20 artists as the starting point for their work. It is the pondering of a poet like a socialist loyal to the line, disillusioned and doubtful at the end, about potentials and abysses of human existence in the context of society and history. The images that the artists derive from this text show people marked by dissension, sometimes in oppressive loneliness, sometimes in the whirlpool of social processes of which they themselves are the creators. While there are a few colored sheets among the 16 prints, the 20 photographs appear in grainy black and white. These photographs bear the melancholy for which East German author photography would become famous only a few years later.

The Beeskow Art Archive regularly shows excerpts from its holdings at Schloss Biesdorf. From Berlin, the presentations refer to the more than 20,000 works of art from the time of the GDR that have been preserved and made accessible in Beeskow in Brandenburg since the early 1990s.


"life spot"

Participatory project of people with cognitive impairment
Artistic Direction: Carola Rümper

Exhibition from November 18th, 2018 until February 8th, 2019

Opening Sunday, November 18th, 2018, 6 p.m.

The project focuses on the voluntary work of people with cognitive impairments. The commitment of these people is hardly noticed in society. As a rule, they are only perceived as recipients of help. The project breaks with this one-sided perception.

In an accompanied artistic process under the direction of the artist Carola Rümper, the participants developed photographs that represent their own honorary office. The photographic results are summarized in the memo game life spot.
In the exhibition, all the photographs taken can be seen lying on the floor as a giant memo. The expansive installation is at the same time a walk-in playing surface, each individual playing card measuring 45x45cm. As in the smaller model, the visitors are invited to find the same pairs of images.

The memory game is a socially known and popular medium to bring people together.  A play form, which introduces visually into a topic. In life spot, idiosyncratic motifs are chosen for a special theme. Inclusion or participation of all humans in the society moves as topic into the foreground. Through the memo game form, the theme is brought "playfully" into society.  

Parallel to both exhibitions we show the exhibition "Soft City - City & Art // Japan & Berlin".


Current Exhibitions

Soft City – City & Art // Japan & Berlin

© all photos: Schloss Biesdorf

Exhibition from Sep 7th 2018 to Jan 25th 2019

The exhibition "Soft City" at Schloss Biesdorf shows works by artists from Japan and Germany who deal with urban developments in Japan and Europe.

In the exhibition "Soft City" they carry these experiences into the Berlin district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf in order to enter into a dialogue with the place and, of course, with the people against the background of the different cultural contexts. In recent weeks, some of the artists have been on the road in the district, and site-specific works developed in the process have been incorporated into the exhibition.

The exhibition's artistic works repeatedly focus on the human scale, which is much more present in Japanese urban space with its small-scale wooden architecture than in the West. The various workshops, performances, city explorations and other accompanying events also deal with possible strategies and visions for urban communities that are not determined by master plans, but by human perception and lively dialogue in urban space.


Works by:

Florian Baron/Jenny Fadranski
David Bauer, Linda Havenstein
Masaru Iwai
Titus Spree
Yukihiro Taguchi/Chiara Ciccarello
Katsuhito Nakazato/Sugano Matsusaki
Yuji Ueno

Concept and curation:

Titus Spree, Linda Havenstein, Karin Scheel


The exhibition:

Florian Baron/Jenny Fadranski
"Marzahn 2017"

At the 8th Congress of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) in 1971 it was decided to solve the housing problem as a social problem by 1990. The utopian settlement in Berlin-Marzahn was to be part of this solution.
In 1972, two researchers from the GDR Ministry of Cybernetics and Urban Planning were sent 45 years into the future to document how the settlement had developed and whether the social problem had been solved. This is a SciFi Mockumentary that takes up the urban utopias of the GDR using the East Berlin district of Marzahn as an example. Baron and Fadranski created a documentary snapshot of Marzahn's life in 2017 using the then innovative Super 8 film technique, which stages a journey through time as if scientists from the GDR's cybernetic research department in the 1970s were looking at the former utopian Marzahn of our present day.
The film is accompanied by music by sound artist Jana Irmert from her album FLOOD, released 2018 on Fabrique Records, digitally on Bandcamp.

Linda Havenstein
"Street joke"

For the installation, window facades were filmed in the Marzahn-Hellersdorf district, in which the light of the television sets is reflected inside the rooms.
The flickering television light is amplified on further monitors, suggesting the image of a Morse code, a kind of communication between the houses and their inhabitants.
The installation suggests a relationship and an internal communication in the community that exists despite the clearly separated houses and spaces between the residents and creates a public sphere. "Straßenwitz" ultimately proves to be a humorous caricature of the stereotypical and categorizing view of Marzahn-Hellersdorf.

Linda Havenstein
"Me ne frego"

Standard household door curtains are combined to form a room-filling installation. Coloured patterns are worked into the monochrome curtains, which at first glance appear to be purely decorative elements. On closer inspection, however, these patterns turn out to be binary codes that reveal political slogans when decoded.
The door curtains, which also serve as room dividers, stand for the space between "door and hinge", the ambivalent space that lies between the private and the public. The slogans incorporated in the work go back to real slogans that had a concrete political demand, but have undergone a change through processing in digital space. The political slogans are just as ambivalent in their meaning as the public political discussion has shifted into an ambivalent space between the street and digital space.

Masaru Iwai
"Martian Tooth Stratigraphy"

Masaru Iwai has approached the district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf in many artistic research tours. His experiences, his encounters with people and the traces of their actions are layered in moving images over the original structure of an existing urban planning.

Katsuhito Nakazato/Sugano Matsusaki

When people leave their homes, they naturally pass through corners of houses. The contrast between the corners and the urban landscape that appears behind them disappears from individual consciousness as part of everyday life and yet is an archetypal part of their own living environment.
The corners, which the inhabitants of the district Marzahns - Hellersdorf see, were depicted in pairs on screens. The original landscape, hidden from the everyday landscape, was uncovered.

Katsuhito Nakazato/Sugano Matsusaki
"Gento" (street cinema)

During the exploration tours in the district, the artists collected trash and found objects. Their image was projected onto walls with the Gentoki, an analog Japanese projector. The resulting images were photographed and form a series of human traces in public space in the exhibition.

Titus Spree
"MMO" (Moving micro office)

Titus Spree's multi-layered work dealt with various aspects of public space in the Marzahn-Hellersdorf district.
DasMoving micro office (MMO) is a small space on wheels. With a footprint of 1 x 2 meters and a height of 2.4 meters, it can be walked through the city without much effort. In the course of the Soft City exhibition, MMO will move through the district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf as a temporary space for dialogue and communication.  The MMO will also be used by the artist as a working space, it is of course also an experiment and - if you like - a food for thought on wheels. Creative freedom and the possible introduction of the individual into society in the often highly regulated urban space is an important aspect of this project.

Titus Spree
"Dormitory City"

The work "Schlafstadt" is a play with the term "Schlafstadt", which is often used in connection with "peripheral suburbs" such as the district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
A bamboo ball rolled through the district in the run-up to the exhibition and was fixed at various locations at short notice. Also pulled up, it could serve as a sleeping dwelling and open up a new level in the urban space. During the exhibition, the bamboo ball will be suspended in the airspace of the octagon in Biesdorf Castle.

Titus Spree
"Tokyo at Portikus"

A fabric replica of a small house from Tokyo in the portico of Biesdorf Castle shows the way to the exhibition in the castle and visualises the different architectural dimensions in different cultures.

Yukihiro Taguchi/Chiara Ciccarello

For the exhibition Yukihiro Taguchi and Chiara Ciccarello create an animation project realized directly on the streets of Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
This cooperative project combines the real urban landscape of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, which Taguchi captured in stop-motion clips, with Ciccarello's imaginary figures, whose stories were inspired by their surroundings. Both hiked the district, filmed and drew directly on site and noted down the cartoon characters in the real landscape with the help of a transparent drawing surface. The animation is shown together with an installation of painted, transparent panels and drawings on the windows of the exhibition space.

Yuji Ueno

The Japanese artist Ueno, who is also a practicing Ikebana master, works with the natural environment in the district and especially in Biesdorf Castle Park. He uses finds and materials from nature for his highly-present performances. His work provides visitors with a surprisingly intense view of the world around us.