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).
Founded in 2015 in London
Fabrizio Ballabio * 1986 in Naples, IT
Alessandro Bava * 1988 in Naples, IT
Luis Ortega Govela * 1988 in Tampico, MX
Octave Perrault * 1988 in Paris
Live and work in London
In the so-called “age of access,” domains once circumscribed as personal are now gray zones of public/private profit-making. Homes are rented out on Airbnb, every car owner is a potential Uber driver, and our bodies are made fit (or unfit) for digital capital through real-time medical tracking and image economies. Founded under the name AIRBNB Pavilion, the collective åyr highlights these contemporary complications of ownership and property, privacy and control, structures and representations in their architecture-based practice.
Cécile B. Evans
* 1983 in Cleveland, US, lives and works in London and Berlin
What the Heart Wants, 2016
Unraveling the value of emotion in contemporary society, the work of Belgian-American artist Cécile B. Evans explores the person-to-machine exchanges that have come to define the contemporary human condition. Her video installation What the Heart Wants (2016) examines what constitutes a person in the digital age and how machines (technical, social, and political) shape how we are “human.
* 1982 in London, lives and works in Berlin
The Happy Museum, 2016
From the performative fabrication of an erotic novel or the exposition of his own collected things, Simon Fujiwara’s installations and performances question the way we conventionally experience artworks, melding fact with fiction to indicate where such distinctions seem no longer relevant. The Happy Museum is a capsule museum within the Berlin Biennale produced by Fujiwara in consultation with his brother Daniel, an economist working in the field of “happiness economics.”
Founded in 2013 in Dubai, AE
Nanu Al-Hamad * 1987 in Kuwait City, lives and works in New York, US
Abdullah Al-Mutairi * 1990 in Kuwait City, lives and works in Kuwait City
Aziz Alqatami * 1979 in Kuwait City, lives and works in Kuwait City
Barrak Alzaid * 1985 in Kuwait City, lives and works in Kuwait City
Khalid al Gharaballi * 1981 in Kuwait City, lives and works in Kuwait City
Amal Khalaf * 1982 in Singapore, lives and works in London
Fatima Al Qadiri * 1981 in Dakar, lives and works in Berlin
Monira Al Qadiri * 1983 in Dakar, lives and works in Amsterdam, NL
طاقةإيجابية/Positive Pathways (+),2016
The ideologies, material culture, and state-corporate paradoxes of the Arab Gulf States are the focus of works produced by the collective GCC, which borrows its name from the intergovernmental organization of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Most recently GCC has looked at how “positive energy” movements, New Age practices, California start-up culture, and corporate philosophies appear in unexpected, hybrid forms in the Gulf.
* 1967 in Alnwick, GB, lives and works in Berlin und and London
The New Media Express, 2014
Hands „Für mich“, 2014–16
How to view an exhibition from a seat on the carriage of a miniature train? The New Media Express (2014) is a five-inch gauge model of a full-size train, complete with graffiti added by artists unknown. The train tracks run parallel to a series of artworks mounted on the wall.
Christopher Kulendran Thomas
* 1979 in London, lives and works in London
New Eelam, 2016
How might citizenship be reconceived in an age of technologically accelerated dislocation? New Eelam introduces a startup founded by the artist to develop a flexible, global housing subscription that is based on collective ownership.
Date and time
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
Admission all venues 26 €
Wed–Mon 11 am–7 pm, Thu 11 am–9 pm