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6th Berlin Biennale

Photo: Berlin Biennale

The KW Institute for Contemporary Art is hosting its KW Institute for Contemporary Art is hosting its 6th Berlin Biennale with their opening on 10th of June. Berlin is one of the most attractive cities for art, with the highest concentration of galleries in the world after New York City and London. The official opening for the public is displayed from Friday, 11th June. It will run until the 8th of August in a variety of galleries and exhibiting spaces across the city. The title of the 2010 edition, What is waiting out there, aims to describe how art deals with the reality out there, underlining the contradictory and complex relation between reality and art. In multiple ways, the artists try to grab the attention of the public through their work, with strongly social and political content. All the works have in common their consistent rejection of any and all attempt at impersonal neutralization, which they replace with images of a very personal acquisition of reality. The exhibited artists seek an artistic form, which enables its viewers to mirror their everyday experience, and maybe to revise their own ideas and images of the aesthetic, social and political realities that surround them.
This years Biennale curator is well-travelled and experienced art observer, Austrian Kathrin Rhomberg. Born 1963 in Bludenz, she studied History of Art, Classical Archeology and Journalism in Salzburg. Most recently, in 2009, she curated the exhibitions Ion Grigorescu - In the Body of the Victim 1969–2009, at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, and Roman Ondák - Loop - at the Czech and Slovak pavillion of the 53rd Biennale di Venezia. She has been the director of the Art Association of Cologne for five years and also the co-curator of Manifesta 3, the European Biennial for Contemporary Art in Ljubljana. Since 2002 she’s the director of Tranzit, an international project that aims at supporting contemporary art and theory in Central Europe.

This years Berlin Biennale has a budget of around 3 million Euros. Most of this sum is allocated by the German Federal Culture Foundation. They have been funding the Biennale since it’s inception in 2004, and have recently extended the collaboration until 2012. The exhibition will center in Kreuzbergs Oranienplatz, Dresdener Strasse, Kohlfurter Strasse and Mehringdamm. Twentyfour year old artist Petrit Halilaj, the youngest artist of the Berlin Biennale, is exhibited at th KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin-Mitte, amongst others. Works of Adolf Menzel, one of the greatest realists of the nineteenth century, are shown at the Alte Nationalgalerie, on the Museumsinsel. The intention of this choice is not to compare different artistic languages of different periods, but to draw attention to the common artistic interest of Menzel and the artists of this years Biennale: reality. Menzel left behind a large number of sketchbooks documenting his approach to reality and on his point of view on this. It’s important to remember that he has been living in the second half of the nineteenth century, a time of crisis, agitation and fear, such as ours.

Text: Clarissa Tempestini


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