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KW Institute for Contemporary Art
2016.06.04 Sat - 2016.09.09 Fri
Opening Exhibition
Auguststraße 69, D-10117, Berlin
T +49 30 2434 590
Opening Hours
Wed – Mon 12 – 19 h, Thu 12–21 h
Tuesdays closed

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“The Present in Drag” 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
[Press Release]

The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art seeks to materialize the digital condition and the paradoxes that increasingly make up the world in 2016: the virtual as the real, nations as brands, people as data, culture as capital, wellness as politics, happiness as GDP, and so on. With its selection of exhibition venues it aims to shape-shift across multiple sites, each one releasing a whiff of contemporary “paradessence” (paradox + essence).

Curatorial Team
Lauren Boyle
Solomon Chase
Marco Roso
David Toro
Gabriele Horn

Akademie der Künste
Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

ESMT European School of Management and Technology
Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin

The Feuerle Collection
Hallesches Ufer 70, 10963 Berlin

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin

Blue-Star sightseeing boat of Reederei Riedel
Two-hour boat trip departing from Märkisches Ufer 34, 10179 Berlin

DIS, curatorial team of the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Photo: Julia Burlingham

DIS, curatorial team of the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Photo: Julia Burlingham

Opening Hours
Wed–Mon 11 am–7 pm, Thu 11 am–9 pm

Blue-Star sightseeing boat of Reederei Riedel:
Departures Wed–Mon at dock Märkisches Ufer 34: 11 am, 1:30 pm, 4 pm
All venues are closed on Tuesdays.
No boat trips on Tuesdays.
Please note the following exceptions:
6.–7.7.2016: ESMT European School of Management and Technology will be closed.
7.9.2016: Akademie der Künste will be closed.

All venues (except sightseeing boat): 16 €
Reduced: 10 €
Groups of 10 or more, per person: 14 €
Reduced: 8 €
The boat trip is not included in the Berlin Biennale ticket.
Boat trip: 10 €
Reduced: 5 €

Tickets for the boat may be purchased simultaneously with a ticket for the Berlin Biennale at the
Akademie der Künste, The Feuerle Collection, and KW Institute for Contemporary Art. Individual tickets
for the boat trip may be purchased at the locations named above and at the Reederei Riedel dock at
Jannowitzbrücke, Märkisches Ufer 48, 10179 Berlin, upon the presentation of an entry ticket for the
Berlin Biennale.

Exhibition Venues

Berlin is a site of projection and fantasy. It is the city of Berlin whose history, like its bullet-ridden façades,
exists in the limbo of the now. Pariser Platz is the nexus, where floods of tourists and flows of capital
converge. The Brandenburg Gate, the face of the nation and the last standing structure on the site after
WWII, is now flanked by loitering secret service agents, snipers looming above Starbucks, newlyweds
posed in front of reconstructed pre-war buildings, hidden glass atriums, and networked power

The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art is not in a position to occupy abandoned spaces, acting as
a would-be primer for private acquisition, yet it is also unable to wash over the city with the cultural force
of a new product release. Recasting a relationship in which the city makes the biennial but the biennial
also returns to refresh the cultural capital in its image, the 9th Berlin Biennale aims to shape-shift across
multiple sites, each one releasing a whiff of contemporary “paradessence” (paradox + essence): the
Akademie der Künste, the ESMT European School of Management and Technology, The Feuerle
Collection, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and the Blue-Star sightseeing boat of Reederei Riedel.

Akademie der Künste
The Akademie der Künste on Pariser Platz is a historical site that has been sheathed in a large glass
building. In immediate proximity to the government district, it exemplifies the contemporary visual codes
of the state: a national legacy with a sheen of transparency. The Berlin Biennale occupies the Akademie’s
transitory spaces, event spaces, and passageways.

ESMT European School of Management and Technology
The ESMT European School of Management and Technology, a private business school, is housed in the
former building of the Staatsrat (State Council) of the GDR. The building’s socialist past is overlaid with
the contemporary codes of global business; state socialist aesthetics preside over live feeds of the
German stock market and state-of-the-art business education facilities for future executives.

The Feuerle Collection
On the Landwehr Canal in Kreuzberg, a former telecommunications bunker has been refurbished and
renewed as the extensive complex of The Feuerle Collection. A private collection of museum scale open
to the public, the space marks the steady influx of collectors to Berlin—and the kinds of public-private
partnerships driving its cultural economy.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
The site of KW Institute for Contemporary Art functions as a point of continuity within the historical
legacy of the Berlin Biennale. Its neighborhood is the publicized image of Berlin’s domestic sphere. Its
once dilapidated buildings with luxury interiors and permalancers in boutique cafés are counterposed
with the public stage of Pariser Platz.

Blue-Star sightseeing boat of Reederei Riedel
The Blue-Star sightseeing boat of Reederei Riedel doubles as an exhibition venue and location for events
and performances. Its course will follow the main route frequented by tour boats on the Spree, passing
Museum Island and the city’s government district and casting the viewer as tourist, the signature
collector and purveyor of contemporary experience.

Additional Platforms


What if you couldn’t get a biennial out of your head? One of several popular formats (the lightbox, the
juice bar, the gym, the advertising campaign) recast for the exhibition is a series of original tracks in
which artists and musicians have been brought together, offering a collaborative and multi-tonal
counterpoint to the often hermetic modes of visual production: music as environment and testimony to
collaboration and sharing.

Anthem is the soundtrack of the 9th Berlin Biennale. Artist and musician Ashland Mines (Total Freedom)
is the executive producer of the series, cultivating and fostering sets of unlikely collaborations. Anthem is
produced in partnership with The Vinyl Factory and The Store and will be released throughout the
summer of 2016 as an eight part series. The series comes as limited edition 12″ vinyl records and will be
celebrated with various live shows at the end of the summer. Anthem is available to listen to and
purchase at the Akademie der Künste, The Store Berlin, Phonica in London, and also at The Vinyl Factory
website and the Berlin Biennale online shop.

Fear of Content

An overflowing inbox. Unsolicited subscriptions. A 24-hour news cycle. But you still find yourself
constantly refreshing your notifications. The intoxication driven by the steady flow of must-read content
is a condition that has come to define our daily lives. Stolen from a seminal essay by Rob Horning of
2015, Fear of Content is the title co-opted by the 9th Berlin Biennale for its digital platform: a continuous
feed of essays, interviews, digital projects, content, and more content.


This is a format that works for everything: the ubiquitous commercial interface of large-scale lightboxes.
They are luminous, opaque, superficial in their flatness, and democratic in their insistence on
reproducibility, standardization, and the multiplication of desire. As a “show within a show,” the lightboxes
form a discrete platform within the 9th Berlin Biennale, adopting the visual codes of a duty free shop and
the psyche of a Pinterest Pin Board. They comprise a single aesthetic flux, mirroring the hyperlinked
landscape of our incomprehensible present—the smooth surface of a “communicative” capitalism.

Open Workout

Nik Kosmas’ gym equipment at Akademie der Künste is not a statement, installation, or performance.
These three simple structures are nothing more than foundational pieces of gym equipment: a power
rack, a squat rack, and a rig that hold free weights. Join us at one of the weekly guided workouts, every
Saturday at 2 pm!