Thomas Ravens

„City upon two Hills“
paper on canvas on stretcher frame, 2020
„Konzentrisches Gelände | Concentric Terrain
ink on cardboard, collage framed, 2021
„Letzte Reise | Last Journey“
ink on cardboard, collage framed, 2020
„Die Flucht | The Escape“
ink on cardboard, 2021


The eternally double Berlin forms itself in "City upon two hills" around two hills with utopian inflow. One is assigned the downed façade of the Humboldt Forum, the other the sinking Palace of the Republic. In between, the investors' dotted houses grow; the city as a sociotope has to look for its places. This image speaks the language of dystopia to tell of the city's ideological matrix.

In "Concentric Terrain", the former disorganisation or even destruction of a landscape has found a new form or a still existing structure has been taken up again. A temporary order or pacification has been established, there is now a way through and nothing that could collapse on anyone. The utopian form of concentric circles has been chosen or resumed. The terrain stretches out on a round disc on a white background, with a hole in the middle. One could walk here one day, or even settle here. It looks like a disc, one could also fall off. The elements that form the debris go back to a motif by Beuys.

The "Last Journey" is a small drawing based on a newspaper photograph in which a statue of Lenin, tied to a freighter, is being transported from right to left through a waterscape structured only by sparsely overgrown, narrow embankments, against the direction of reading, thus possibly against the time axis. His gaze is directed in the direction of his movement. He is bound to the ship, but he has retained the rhetorical gesture. It is not a "wind from paradise" that moves him, but a chugging diesel engine.

"The Flight" takes as its starting point a newspaper photograph from the time of the Balkan War in the 1990s. It was mirrored symmetrically. The almost ornamental shape of the landscape is in tension with the dramatic content of the flight.


Thomas Ravens was born in Moers and lives and works in Berlin. Before graduating in 1995 as a master student in fine arts at the UdK Berlin, he studied linguistics, philosophy and German studies. From 1993 to 2006 he ran two project spaces in Berlin. A research scholarship took him to London. His works have been exhibited at the Humboldtforum Berlin, in Madrid, Vienna, NYC and Paris, among others.