December 8, 2017 - KW Institute for Contemporary Art - Annual program 2018
December 8, 2017

KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Lynn Hershman Leeson, Dante Hotel (detail), 1972/73. Site-specific hotel room installation. Courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue Gallery.

Annual program 2018

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69
10117 Berlin
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Following the program of 2017, which investigated language materialized in objects and images, KW Institute for Contemporary Art turns its attention towards the body and its relationships to politics, technology, and architecture, while continuing to think through artistic practices. The artists Judith Hopf, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Beatriz González spearhead the program in 2018, and form the basis for a constellation of exhibitions, talks, events, and new commissions.

To launch the first exhibition season, KW presents the installation Super-8 Trilogy (1978–81) by the experimental filmmaker and artist Ericka Beckman as part of its ongoing series Pause. Pause focuses on individual works, which thematically connect and supplement the program's main focuses. The three films from the Super-8 Trilogy explore the possibilities of play using surreal, dreamlike sequences while also trying to negotiate various mental processes.

The solo exhibition by Berlin-based artist Judith Hopf features a wide selection of her recent work and emphasizes her fascination with everyday materials like brick, concrete, glass, packaging, and easily understood manufacturing processes. For her exhibition at KW, Hopf continues her series of sculptural brick works and produces a new version of her laptop sculptures. A series of human and machine hybrids provides a humorous take on the way we interact with computers and our growing tendency to perceive them as part of our bodies. Alongside these sculptural works, the exhibition also includes a new film, a permanent commission for the KW facade, and a comprehensive publication. The exhibition is coproduced with SMK (National Gallery of Denmark).

At the same time, KW presents the first significant survey exhibition of the Swiss architect and designer duo Trix & Robert Haussmann within a scenography conceptualized by the curators Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen. Trix & Robert Haussmann have been pioneers in breaking with the canonical premises of modernist design, playfully reinterpreting the linguistic dogmas of its architectural theories. The exhibition will then travel to Notthingham Contemporary.

The second edition of Pause is devoted to a constellation of works by Canadian artist AA Bronson and will only be on view during Gallery Weekend Berlin. The presentation surveys Bronson’s cabin-like structures, which he has produced over the past years. The artist is known for his collaborative work in which he wove together elements from various religions, from Tibetan Buddhism and Shamanism to Ceremonial Magic and Santeria.

During the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, KW will vacate its premises and shift its program into public space, with various events and exhibitions taking place across the city of Berlin. American artist Lynn Hershman Leeson will revisit and reimagine her iconic Dante Hotel installation—one of her site-specific works from the late 1960s that marked the beginning of her work around the character Roberta Breitmore. The artist developed this alter ego over many years in private and public performances, ultimately leading her to produce her visionary works that investigate the relationships between humans and technology, identity and surveillance.

In collaboration with the Berliner Ensemble, KW will present Hier wird heute Abend ein Mensch wie ein Auto ummontiert / Ohne dass er irgendetwas dabei verliert. Brecht in der Auto-Werkstatt by artist Olaf Nicolai. This learning play, which is centered around a Mercedes-Benz Ponton originally owned by Helene Weigel, the wife of Bertolt Brecht and former director of the Berliner Ensemble, not only poses questions about the character of performance or theater, but also about the meaning of work in relation to economics.

In the fall, KW will resume the exhibition program on its premises with a major survey of the Colombian artist Beatriz González. The exhibition marks the first presentation of this scale outside of Colombia and is produced in collaboration with the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. In the late 1950s, González established an artistic practice strongly influenced by icon painting, art-historical motifs, and local styles. Since then, González's work has been concerned with everyday scenes and public protest rituals in her home country, Colombia. Alongside González’s exhibition, three monographic exhibitions by the artists Tamara Henderson, Steve Bishop, and Sidsel Meineche Hansen will be presented. These three presentations will reveal subtle connections between the artists invited and González's own work.

Tamara Henderson’s process of creation develops its own mythology out of an ongoing practice of writing, drawing, and making notations of everyday objects. She registers the movement patterns of these objects and protocols their appearance in dreams. Henderson works through an instinctive approach. Here, inanimate objects often become implicated in the act of storytelling as they shape-shift their way across different bodies of work, time zones, and spaces. Steve Bishop focuses on creating complex, surreal spatial structures. He is invested in questions of memory, the possibility of preservation, and how architectural spaces can reflect interior states. The conjuring of subtle emotional worlds through more or less abstract, biographic, dream-like, and parallel worlds is a leitmotiv throughout Bishop’s artistic practice. At KW, these aspects of Bishop's work will unfold through an engagement with an abandoned modern town in northern British Columbia. Sidsel Meineche Hansen’s work focuses on the process of subjectivity formation and its relationship to capitalism. Through an intensive focus on the micro-political mechanisms of this industrial complex, she pursues an investigation of the body as a site for institutional critique. To these ends, she examines the body's appearance in digital space as a parallel psychological world while scrutinizing how questions of patriarchy and technology play out in it.

From January onwards, designer, writer, and educator Prem Krishnamurthy will follow on the heels of Will Holder’s 2017 residency—Prospectus: A Year with Will Holder—by opening a space called K, (“K-Komma”). Located outside of KW in Berlin-Schöneberg, this “exhibition-making workshop” proposes a space between “studio and cube.” Framed by the work of the East-German graphic designer Klaus Wittkugel (1910–85), K, will invite local and international artists, designers, and curators to actively consider the exhibition form anew through installations, talks, and pedagogical interventions.

Click here for further details on the program.

Press contact: Katja Zeidler, T +49 30 243459 41 / press [​at​]

The exhibition by Beatriz González is generously funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation). The exhibition of Judith Hopf is supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds and Stiftung Kunstfonds. Trix & Robert Haussmann’s exhibition is supported by Pro Helvetia.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art is institutionally supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
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