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11th Berlin Biennale

Press release


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The 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art is curated by María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado, and Agustín Pérez Rubio. The members of this intergenerational, female identified team of South-American curators envision the forthcoming edition of the Berlin Biennale as a series of lived experiences that evolve as a process. It begins with three sequential moments, exp. 1, exp. 2, and exp. 3, unfolding from September 2019 to July 2020, which attempt to learn from and build sustainable relations, not only with participating artists and projects, but as importantly with the city and people of Berlin.

The epilogue of the 11th Berlin Biennale will bring forth these experiences at four venues throughout the city: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, daadgalerie, Gropius Bau, and 11th Berlin Biennale c/o ExRotaprint

The Antichurch

Can patriarchal violence be purged from our collective bodies? The white father, the priest and the statesman, preaching from their nationalist pulpits continue to be celebrated by the masses. Within this barefaced crowd of worshippers bodies press up against one another. The sexual politics of fascism can be felt in a communion of ecstatic repression that lashes out at all heretics. The religion of colonial capitalism, in its many mutations, continues its criminal rampage against a rising majority of non-believers. They, in turn, are defacing the old pale gods and their fundamentalism, vandalizing their cathedrals, proclaiming that their statues will also die. The clergymen warn that this pagan enemy is powerful, invisible, and everywhere, and fortunately they are. Confronting the new theocrats and their followers, their murderous histories, stand those who fight back by simply living their lives. Their very existence is an exercise of survival, manifested in the everyday struggles occurring at this very moment all over the planet: Lullabies sung by elders, insurgencies woven by Indigenous women, children torn from their mothers finding new kinships. Emancipatory cosmologies and sexualities create personal and collective antichurches, queer and transfeminist temples, which confront the tactics of fear and fanaticism spread by the autocrats and their macabre processions. They say, “We are the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn.” They perform rituals of feminist solidarities. They invent matriarchal alliances of rebellious mourning. They share their vulnerability and their stories. They are spiritual healers. And, they are always many, never just one.

With works and contributions by:
Marwa Arsanios; Shuvinai Ashoona; Paula Baeza Pailamilla; Virginia Borges, Gil DuOdé, and Virginia de Medeiros; Cansu Çakar; Edgar Calel (in collaboration with Fernando Pereira dos Santos); Flávio de Carvalho; Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide); Kiri Dalena; Zehra Doğan; El Palomar, Brenda V. Fajardo; Galli; Christine Meisner; Małgorzata Mirga-Tas; Pedro Moraleida Bernardes; Óscar Fernando Morales Martínez; Carlos Motta; Florencia Rodriguez Giles; Mariela Scafati; Young-jun Tak; Teatro da Vertigem; Elena Tejada-Herrera; The Black Mamba – Natasha Mendonca & Suman Sridhar; and Azucena Vieites

About the venue:
Since its inception in the early 1990s, KW Institute for Contemporary Art has devoted itself to the central questions of our times through the production, presentation, and dissemination of contemporary art. The Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, which was launched soon after, emerged from a pressing desire for an extensive dialogue with the international discourse around contemporary art. In addition to other venues across the city the Berlin Biennale has been working with KW’s exhibition space since it’s inauguration. Numerous outstanding artists and internationally renowned curators have since realized important new works and exhibition projects there, establishing the two institutions located under the roof of KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V. as vibrant venues for progressive artistic practices, both within the Berlin art scene and internationally.