June 9, 2021 - KW Institute for Contemporary Art - Summer 2021 exhibitions and programs
June 9, 2021

KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Michael Stevenson, (sketch for a wall drawing), 2021. Courtesy the artist.

Summer 2021 exhibitions and programs

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69
10117 Berlin

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KW Institute for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce its program for summer 2021. This season explores the organizational structures that shape our lived realities through a solo exhibition by Michael Stevenson, the simultaneous group exhibition Zeros and Ones, curated with the artist Ghislaine Leung, and a showing of works by stanley brouwn. All three of these exhibitions view the world through the lens of scripts and scores—revealing the formulas that condition us, both within the parameters for art and beyond, in the face of the driving ideological, political, and economic forces of our lives. 

Along with these exhibitions, KW launches Open Secret in mid July as part of its digital program. This six-month program investigates the hidden dimensions of technology and the role these play in our apparently “open society.” Furthermore, we will exhibit the final presentation of this year’s participants of the BPA// Berlin Program for Artists by the end of August.

Michael Stevenson
Disproof Does Not Equal Disbelief
July 3–September 19, 2021
Curator: Anna Gritz
Assistant Curator: Léon Kruijswijk

The exhibition Disproof Does Not Equal Disbelief by the Berlin-based artist Michael Stevenson (born in 1964, New Zealand) is an unconventional invocation of his practice over the past 35 years. Since the 1980s Stevenson has developed an artistic language that operates at the juncture of economy, technology, education, and faith, exploring the infrastructural systems that condition these disciplines and their entanglement. The exhibition marks Stevenson’s first institutional solo exhibition in Berlin and presents a focused revision of his work, in which early paintings are brought into dialogue with more recent, expansive installations.

Fragmentation is the logic of display for Stevenson’s older bodies of work, which together suggest that our lives take place in the boneyards of industry. Navigation through the galleries is based on an analogy—that of a great fish or a whale’s digestive tract. In this way, the architecture becomes a corpus and, by extension, the contents therein, on the floor, on the wall, studies in its entrails. With this exhibition, Stevenson provides insights from the belly of our constructed world, thereby raising the awareness that challenging rational theories does not automatically and irrevocably equal disbelief.

Disproof Does Not Equal Disbelief is being presented in partnership with the institution formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Kunstinstituut Melly) in Rotterdam, where a previous iteration was presented from September 20, 2020–February 14, 2021. 

Zeros and Ones
July 3–September 19, 2021
Curators: Kathrin Bentele, Anna Gritz, Ghislaine Leung

The group exhibition Zeros and Ones investigates the ways that artists operate within their surrounding institutional structures. Taking the algorithmic paradigm in scripting, scoring, instructing, or commanding, the works selected systematically complicate these procedures through lived experience. Tools and tasks are mobilized without being geared towards a measurable outcome but always return to the material conditions of their labor. Through subtle redistributions, infrastructure and the body are both intimately and violently engaged with each other. The practices of artists such as Lutz Bacher, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, Hanne Darboven, Jana Euler, Jef Geys, Tishan Hsu, Ilmari Kalkkinen, Silvia Kolbowski, Pope L., Louise Lawler, Carolyn Lazard, Lee Lozano, Henrik Olesen, Sarah Rapson, Margaret Raspé, readymades belong to everyone®, Ketty La Rocca, Otto Wagner, and Martin Wong, prompt us to question the metrics and hierarchies that are being reproduced in the field of art and beyond. The exhibition Zeros and Ones is made possible through support from the Capital Cultural Fund.

stanley brouwn 
July 3–August 8, 2021
Curators: Kathrin Bentele, Anna Gritz, Ghislaine Leung

KW Digital: Open Secret
Featuring Nora Al-Badri, Erick Beltran, Tara Isabella Burton, Caroline Busta, Jennifer Chan, Wendy Chun, Joshua Citarella, Andres Cséfalvay, Inland (Ed Davenport), Constant Dullaart, Orit Halpern, Vladan Joler, Kateřina Krtilová, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Lukáš Likavčan, Jen Liu, Eva and Franco Mattes, Tom McCarthy, Lisa Messeri, New Models, Lisa Rave, Rachel Rossin, Caroline Sinders, and Charles Stankievech.
Curators: Nadim Samman, curator digital sphere, in collaboration with Katja Zeidler, head of education & mediation 
July 16–January 9

Open Secret is a six-month long online program exploring the role of the hidden in our apparently open society. Information technologies are supposed to increase our access to knowledge, making the world more legible, while undermining ignorance and superstition. But sometimes the feeling prevails that we have entered a new dark age of black boxes, projections, and paranoia. Techno-culture is obsessed with the unseen, the inaccessible, the known-unknown. Open Secret pursues things that are obscured–through artistic commissions, a suite of essays by leading thinkers, and an intensive public program dedicated to critical reappraisal of the digital infrastructures that organize civic life. With new contributions released on a monthly basis, the Open Secret website will bring together art, technology, politics, and new patterns of exchange.

Open Secret is developed as part of dive in. Programme for Digital Interactions of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) with funding by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) through the NEUSTART KULTUR programme.

BPA// Berlin program for artists
Featuring Kévin Blinderman, Sofia Defino Leiby, Mooni Perry, Shirin Sabahi, Jana Schulz, Joshua Schwebel, Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw, and Xiaopeng Zhou
August 21–September 19, 2021
Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen

KW and BPA// Berlin program for artists founded their partnership in 2020. BPA// Berlin program for artists is a mentoring program that fosters exchange between emerging and established Berlin artists. Founded in 2016 by Angela Bulloch, Simon Denny, and Willem de Rooij, BPA organizes studio visits, public lectures, and group exhibitions. For the first time KW serves as a venue for the BPA exhibition, an annual exhibition of work produced over the course of the current BPA program. 

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
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