As the city revives itself after a long winter, Berlin’s contemporary art spaces are preparing for an exciting period of shows and events. We have compiled a shortlist of five must-see exhibitions that capture the city’s cutting-edge approach to programming. Over the next few months, Berlin will be host to a number of exciting contemporary exhibitions, examining everything from protest sounds to post-human ethics, land-art pioneers to large-scale retrospectives. Whether you’re a seasoned critic or a curious newcomer, the city’s contemporary art scene has a lot to offer this Spring.
What: Human Is
Where: Schinkel Pavillon
When: March 19 – July 23, 2023
In the face of continuous technological and ecological shifts, Human Is seeks to investigate the idea of being human as a contestable category. This group exhibition uses science fiction as a lens through which to reconfigure political imaginations and establish post-human ethics. Human Is features new work from Sandra Mujinga, Diane Severin Nguyen, and Ivana Bašić among others, alongside historic work from Mary Shelley, Laika, and others.
What: LAKBAYAN. VOICES OF RESISTANCE FROM THE PHILIPPINES
Where: Savvy Contemporary
When: March 18 – April 9, 2023
This collaboration between Savvy Contemporary and MaerzMusik, curated by Dang A Dang Radio, invites audiences to look into the archives, practices, and potentials of protest music and sonic dissent from the Philippines. LAKBAYAN aims to broaden contemporary understandings of protest through the vibration, frequency, and tonality of voice, sound, and music. Songbooks, liner notes, posters, and photographs from Dang A Dang Radio’s collection will accompany sounds from the First Quarter Storm Movement in the 1970s, up to the current generation of activists. Alongside audio, Joey Clemente and Nil Buan’s documentary film Daluyong (1984) will be featured as well as works by visual artist and musician Federico “boyD” Dominguez.
What: Malicious Mischief
Where: KW Institute
When: February 25 – May 14, 2023
Malicious Mischief is the first extensive international display of Martin Wong’s work outside of the United States. Wong’s painting practice investigated social and political atmospheres in the US from the 1970s to 1990s, merging the visual languages of Chinese iconography, portraiture, landscape, urbanity, graffiti, carceral aesthetics, and sign language. Through his paintings, poems, and sculptures, Wong illuminates the multiplicity of identity.
What: IBMSWR: I Build My Skin With Rocks
Where: Hamburger Bahnhof
When: December 9, 2022 – May 1, 2023
Sandra Mujinga, Preis der Nationalgalerie winner in 2021, presents a new video installation entitled I Build My Skin With Rocks (2023) installed in Hamburger Bahnhof’s historic hall. Alongside the video work, there will be an extensive publication created with publishing house Distanz Verlag, containing contributions from academics of various disciplines offering readings of Mujinga’s practice informed by their respective research.
What: The Material Revolution
Where: E-WERK Luckenwalde
When: April 29 – July 16 2023
Featuring sculptural, film, and sonic work from artists Kira Freije, FM Einheit, and Agnes Denes, The Material Revolution is committed to honoring practices that reclaim meaning through a refusal to bow to assumed materialistic laws. This exhibition falls under E-WERK’s new year-long programme, which will be staged in conjunction with an ambitious residency programme.