Berlin Biennale 2020 | Contemporary Art

Published on
November 9, 2020
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The 11th Berlin Biennale is taking place from the 5.9. till the 1.11.2020. This years event is curated by María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado, Agustín Pérez Rubio. Discover more --->



berlin biennale, 2020
11th Berlin Biennale: Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (MSSA), Installation View, Gropius Bau, 5.9.¬–1.11.2020 Foto: Mathias Völzke

gropius bau, berlin biennale, 2020
Berlin Biennale: Aykan Safoğlu, Zero Deficit (in Refusal), 2020 | Digital print on strips of wallpaper, powder-coated steel structures | Dimensions variable | Installation view, 11th Berlin Biennale, Gropius Bau, 5.9.-1.11.2020 | Prints by Lamarts, Istanbul | All works Courtesy Aykan Safoğlu | Commissioned and produced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art In collaboration with Lamarts, Istanbul | With the support of SAHA Association | With thanks to Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, PhD in Practice, doc.fundsPhoto: Mathias Völzke BERLIN BIENNALE | CONTEMPORARY ART | 2020


kw institute for contemporary art, berlin biennale,
11th Berlin Biennale istallation view: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 5.9.-1.11.2020Mariela Scafati, Movilización [Mobilization], 2020 | 65 Paintings | Courtesy Mariela Scafati; Galería Isla Flotante, Buenos Aires; PSM, Berlin
Photo: Silke Briel


Since September 2019, the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art has been unfolding as a process through a series of lived experiences with exp. 1, exp. 2, and exp. 3. In fall 2020, in a fourth step conceived as an epilogue, the 11th Berlin Biennale will bring these experiences together with artistic participation from around the world.

In their diverse modes of articulating solidarity, vulnerability, and resistance, the contributions rise up to materialize the complicated beauty of life amidst the turbulent times we inhabit.

mirja reuter und florian gass, stories in motion, installation, berlin biennale
11th Berlin Biennale c/o ExRotaprint: Mirja Reuter und Florian Gass, Stories in Motion, 2019/20 | Documentation wall drawings, collage on black cardboards, models, wooden and shadow puppets, theater background, scenic elements, transcript of the Der Zauberfuchs [Magic Fox] and Die verlorene Welt [The Lost World], photographs and video documentation of the puppet theatre workshops realized on 30.10.2019 and 22./23./24.6.2020 Installation view, 5.9.-1.11.2020
Photo: Mathias Völzke


Since its founding, the Berlin Biennale art event has become one of the most important international forums for contemporary art. Each edition brings together the most influential current positions of artists, theorists, and practitioners from a variety offields in one of the most culturally progressive cities in Europe.

sinthujan varatharajah, installation view, munchies art club
exp. 3: Affect Archives. Sinthujan Varatharajah - Osías Yanov, 11th Berlin Biennale c/o ExRotaprint, 22.2.-2.5.2020, extended until 25.7.2020 | Installation view
Photo: Mathias Völzke

The Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art takes place every two years at varying locations in Berlin and is defined by the differing concepts of its renowned curators. It promotes experimental formats and provides the appointed curators the space and freedom to present the latest relevant and challenging positions independent of the art market and collection interests. Participation in the exhibition has contributed to numerous young artists achieving international status.

The 1st Berlin Biennale took place in 1998. It was founded on the initiative of Eberhard Mayntz and Klaus Biesenbach-founding director of Kunst-Werke Berlin-in order to promote a representative and international forum forcontemporary art in Berlin. The significance of the biennial within the cultural landscape is reflected by the continuous funding provided by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) since 2004. In 2017, thefunding was committed again and additionally increased to 3 million Euro per edition for the 11th and 12th Berlin Biennale (2020/2022) respectively.

The Berlin Biennale is organized by KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V.

pacita abad, marcos and his cronies, curated statement, berlin biennale
Pacita Abad, Marcos and His Cronies, 1985-95 | Acrylic, oil, textile collage, mirrors, shells, buttons, glass beads, gold thread, and padded fabric on stitched and padded fabric


The Crack Begins Within

The slow opening of the 11th Berlin Biennale began a year ago, and since then it has been exploring the many cracks we carry, the fissures that keep us apart and those that bring us together. Many of the invited artists and participants in theBiennale have been exploring and practicing this, each in their own artistic terms, in their own contexts and temporalities.

Making space to share these experiences demanded that we slow down the unsustainable pace of biennials and forgo theexpectation of a singular concept, a novel idea to once again fix things into place. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the European fortress several months ago, it felt for a moment that the earth wanted to stand still.

The virus exposed the cruelty of everyday life and the inequality endured by the vast majority of people imprisoned by patriarchal capitalism. As we write, many of those whose works are present in the exhibition are in the South and continue living under lockdown, in places where professional healthcare is a luxury, safeguarding only the privileged.

pélagie gbaguidi, zone de troc, berlin, detail of the artwork
Pélagie Gbaguidi, Zone de troc [Barter Zone], 2020 | 98 drawings from a new series, colored pencils, dry pastel and wool on paper; embroidery on tarpaulin from Congo and flour sack from Morocco (Residency Ifitry, Morocco / artist's studio, Belgium); taxidermied hyena Crocuta crocuta; taxidermied Barbary sheep Ammotragus lervia; shipping wooden crates "Mandeville. Poste de pêche Kingabwa" and "Musée Ethnographie", Taxidermied animals and shipping crates | Installation view (detail), 11th Berlin Biennale, Gropius Bau, 5.9.-1.11.2020 | Courtesy Pélagie Gbaguidi
Photo: Mathias Völzke

'The crack begins within' are words borrowed from poet Iman Mersal. She explores the many ghosts of motherhood, tearing apart its contemporary morals. She begins with the refusal to become the sacrificed, the 'egg that the newbornbreaks en route to life.' She rummages in the crevices of this dissent, exploring the many ways that within all the brokenness the mother and child carry, there is pain and beauty, mourning and living.

As the epilogue of the Biennale The Crack Begins Within calls out the fallacy of claiming for oneself the destruction of the old and the birthing of the new, refloated so many times by the white fathers as a new scaffolding to secure the continuity of their decaying structures. This is the violence that surrounds us, and that we are a part of.

virginia de medeiros - feminist health care research group
exp. 2: Virginia de Medeiros - Feminist Health Care Research Group, 30.11.2019-8.2.2020, 11th Berlin Biennale c/o ExRotaprint | Installation view
Photo: Mathias Völzke

The Crack Begins Within comprises the overlapping experiences of the artworks gathered here, breathing together, touching and moving one another. It is a testament to the powerful collective stories they tell, the work they do, and thethings they shatter. The epilogue is an exercise of mutual recognition, an acknowledgement of the cracks in the system, of those broken by it and their struggles.

As the carceral politics of compartmentalization are cracked open, art will not disappear into nothingness, but flow into everything. The Crack Begins Within is a nod to the solidarity in vulnerability of the healers and carers, the fighters, their fractures, and their power."

María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado, Agustín Pérez Rubio, Curators of the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

curator portrait, berlin biennale, 2020
Curators of the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, f. l. t. r.: Renata Cervetto, Agustín Pérez Rubio, María Berríos, Lisette LagnadoPhoto: F. Anthea Schaap


Daadgalerie :

Oranienstraße 161, 10969 Berlin
Opening hours Wed-Mon 11 am-7 pm, Tue closed

daad gallery, berlin
daadgalerie (Oranienstraße), Berlin, 5.9.-1.11.2020
Photo: Silke Briel

KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin
Opening hours Wed-Mon 11 am-7 pm, Thu 11 am-9 pm, Tue closed

kw institute, auguststrasse, berlin
KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Auguststraße), Berlin, 5.9.-1.11.2020
Photo: Silke Briel

Gropius Bau

Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin
Opening hours Wed-Mon 10 am-7 pm, Thu 10 am-9 pm, Tue closed

gropius bau, berlin
Exterior view, Martin-Gropius-Bau, photo: Christian Riis Ruggaber


Bornemannstraße 9, 13357 Berlin
Opening hours Wed-Mon 11 am-7 pm, Tue closed

Wi-Fi acess points (no password needed)

KW Institute for Contemporary Art: KW FREE Gropius Bau: kbb.public

ex rota print, berlin
View corner tower, ExRotaprint (Gottschedstraße/Bornemannstraße) | Berlin, 2019
Photo: Eberle & Eisfeld


Pacita Abad; Noor Abuarafeh; Marwa Arsanios; Shuvinai Ashoona; Paula Baeza Pailamilla; Aline Baiana; Virginia Borges, Gil DuOdé and Virginia de Medeiros (and guests: Pêdra Costa, Marie Monteiro, Bárbara Richter); Deanna Bowen; Felix Brüggemann; Cansu Çakar; Edgar Calel (in collaboration with Fernando Pereira dos Santos); Flávio de Carvalho (in collaboration with Raymond Frajmund); Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide);

delaine le bas, berlin biennale
Delaine Le Bas, St Sara Kali George, 2020 | Mixed media | Installation view (detail), 11th Berlin Biennale, daadgalerie, 5.9.-1.11.2020 | Courtesy Delaine Le Bas; Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix, London
Photo: Silke Briel

Colectivo de SerigrafíaInstantánea; Francisco Copello; Léo Corrêa; Kiri Dalena; Cian Dayrit; Die Remise (Ali Akyol, Jacqueline Aslan, Stefan Bast, Muriel Biedrzycki, Julia Brunner, Fatma Cakmak, Stefan Endewardt, Tobi Euler, Melina Gerstemann, Ayşe Güleç, Juanita Kellner, Angelika Levi, Carmen Mörsch, Shanti Suki Osman, Ayse Preissing, Markus Schega, Miriam Schickler, Aylin Turgay and pupils from the Nürtingen and Heinrich-Zille elementary schools and guests: Çiçek Bacık, Aïcha Diallo, Saraya Gomis, Kotti-Shop, Annika Niemann, Tuğba Tanyılmaz); Zehra Doğan; El Palomar; Brenda V. Fajardo; FCNN - Feminist Collective With No Name (Dina El Kaisy Friemuth/Anita Beikpour) with Neda Sanai; Feminist Health Care Research Group (Inga Zimprich/Julia Bonn) (and guest: Sickness Affinity Group);

małgorzata mirga-tas, artist, lost memory, artwork, installation view
Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, Lost Memory, 2018 Wax Installation view, 11th Berlin Biennale, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 5.9.-1.11.2020 | Courtesy Małgorzata Mirga-Tas
Photo: Silke Briel

Andrés Fernández; Galli; Sandra Gamarra Heshiki; Till Gathmann; Mauricio Gatti and Grupo Experimental de Cine (Alfredo Echániz, Gabriel Peluffo, Walter Tournier); Pélagie Gbaguidi; Eiko Grimberg; Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe; Emma Howes and Justin Kennedy incollaboration with Balz Isler; Francisco Huichaqueo; Âlut Kangermio; Käthe Kollwitz; La rara troupe; Delaine Le Bas; Mapa Teatro - Laboratorio de Artistas; Christine Meisner;

cian dayrit, artist, installation view, artwork , carpet, wall piece , stitching
Cian Dayrit, Installation view, 11th Berlin Biennale, Gropius Bau, 5.9.–1.11.2020
Photo: Mathias Völzke

Meyer-Grohbrügge; Dana Michel and Tracy Maurice;Małgorzata Mirga-Tas; Dorine Mokha; Pedro Moraleida Bernardes; Óscar Fernando Morales Martínez; Marcelo Moreschi; Carlos Motta; Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (MSSA), CL; Museu de Arte Osório Cesar,Franco da Rocha, BR; Museu de Imagens do Inconsciente, Rio de Janeiro, BR; Andrés Pereira Paz; Antonio Pichillá; Mirja Reuter and Florian Gass; Naomi Rincón Gallardo; Florencia Rodriguez Giles; Aykan Safoğlu; Mariela Scafati; Solvognen (The Sun Chariot) Theater Group; Young-jun Tak; Teatro da Vertigem; Elena Tejada-Herrera; Teo; The Black Mamba - Natasha Mendonca & Suman Sridhar; Sinthujan Varatharajah; Cecilia Vicuña; Azucena Vieites; Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro; Bartolina Xixa; Osías Yanov and Sirenes Errantes; Katarina Zdjelar; and more.

pedro moraleida bernardes, artist, installation view,
Pedro Moraleida Bernardes, Young-jun Tak, Florencia Rodriguez Giles, Installation view, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 5.9.-1.11.2020 Photo: Silke Briel


The 11th Berlin Biennale for contemporary art takes place:

5th September to 1st of November 2020.

Admission KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Gropius Bau each 7 € Reduced admission each venue 5 €**

Free admission to daadgalerie and 11th Berlin Biennale c/o ExRotaprint for all visitors.
Please note that you must book a separate time slot for each venue, even for those free of charge.

Because the total number of visitors in the exhibition is limited, it is only possible to book tickets with a time slot on our website.

** Reduction is valid for students, those in community service, BBK members, unemployed, and disabled persons (at least 50 % "GdB") upon presentation of relevant identification.

Free admission to all venues for 18 and under, berlinpass-holders, and members of KW Friends and Berlin Biennale (KW Freunde e. V.).

OCTOBER 6, 2020