6 Contemporary Art Shows To Not Miss In Berlin | January 2024 - Week 4

January 26, 2024
Shrinky Recipe, 2019 © Laia Abril, Courtesy Les filles du calvaire, Paris
Shrinky Recipe, 2019 © Laia Abril, Courtesy Les filles du calvaire, Paris


Higher State Of Matter - Lorenzo Magistrato 

Opening 26.01.24 until 28.01.24

Higher states of matter is an investigation of space carried out through a change in the subject’s perspective, a revelation in which the artist finds a now transfigured reality, a space in which an apparent collection of evidence opens up to the fantastic. The attempt at reconstruction falls into phantasmatic voids where the element is created, used, buried, excavated, transported and repositioned, the living forms presenting themselves anew to the photographer by changing their appearance and now showing their dark, silent profile. The viewer is invited to enter a world where the real and the unreal intersect. The work is a meditation on the power we have to act on images (and thus memories) simultaneously, as if it were the same movement, on the power images have to change us.The even mental landscape that “Higher states of matter” leaves to us, indeed invites us to explore, is rather a threshold between phenomenon and being - a wasted land, perhaps itself a remnant like an unlit satellite showing only its hidden face. We are then overcome by a shiver of fear or loneliness: this world could be ours, we ourselves its relicts.


Ashes - Group Show

Opening 27.01.24 until 24.02.24

♥︎ Our friend and artist Pietro Sanguineti left us far too soon last year, and we decided to celebrate his work for the first time, surrounded by a number of artists and close friends. His sculptures and word-plays reflect a benevolent energy that reminds us of the spiritual and playful illuminations of our past conversations.


Ashes, Pietro Sanguineti, 2009, Duraclear in Dialeuchtkasten
Ashes, Pietro Sanguineti, 2009, Duraclear in Dialeuchtkasten


ARME SAMMLER - the collections of Peter Funken, Ulla Hahn and Andreas A Koch

until 17.02.24

The title a contradiction in terms - as we constantly hear about "important, large collections" that belong to wealthy people who become famous and increasingly important as a result. It is also rare to read that collecting art has turned the owners into poor people: they are much more likely to enjoy their treasures and indulge their passion for collecting. Accordingly, there are no "poor collectors", but they do exist and so Peter Funken and Andreas A. Koch have been showing their collections, known as "poor collections", in a travelling exhibition at five locations since 2016: first in Bremen (Kubo), then at the "Weltecho" in Chemnitz, the "Kunsthalle Kühlungsborn", the "Kunstverein Ruhr" in Essen and finally in summer 2018 at the "Atelierhof Kreuzberg" in Berlin. And now once again at

the Vincenz Sala Gallery and together with the collector Ulla Hahn, who provided the initial spark for the new edition of "Poor Collectors". She approached Funken/Koch and is taking part this time, as she is showing works from her collection of Belgian art. While previous Poor Collectors exhibitions were a mix of paintings, graphics, objects and photos presented by Funken/Koch in the way that looked "best", this time it is a little different at Vincenz Sala, as the collectors are dividing up the three walls of the gallery so that art from Belgium (Hahn Collection) can be seen together with art by women with women (Funken Collection) and a presentation concept that presents large and small works from the Koch Collection. The three are serious; their collections were created through acquisitions, but above all through exchanges and gifts, so that all the works on display are linked to stories and experiences, i.e. they can tell of affection and friendship, memories and joy. This is probably where the real value of these collections lies, but see for yourself... Text: Peter Funken

📍MOLT & VORSPIEL BERLIN at Kunsthaus Kule

To be reproduced - Group Show

on 26.01.24 h 18

To be reproduced is an event organised by MOLT and framed inside EchoSystem, a project hosted by Ku-Le (Kultur & Leben), promoted by CTM Transmediale Vorspiel. The SUSTAIN theme proposed by the CTM festival for 2024, led the MOLT team to reflect on the theme of the double, the clone, and the couple. Thus, a programme of three performance duets accompanied by Thillaye’s video installation inspired by the theme of reproducibility and the invitation, therefore to be reproduced, is presented


Seeing the Sun through Closed Eyes - Dirk Eicken

Opening 26.01.24 until 30.03-24

In Seeing the Sun through Closed Eyes, Dirk Eicken searches for the possibilities of painting under the condition of its failure.

In doing so, he translates the historical break with referentiality and the image by breaking up the hierarchy of layers in a peculiar way: Derived from three series developed over the last decade, the pictorial surface becomes nonhierarchical, as it is reconceived as an error-prone, deliberate form of mediation that asserts itself as merely one among numerous layers of perception.

The failure of referential representation thus turns the explicit question of correct seeing, as Picasso still had it in mind when he compared painting with the mirror and the camera, into the question of incorrect seeing or of a failed way of seeing: What do we miss when we see?

Text: Lukas Treiber

Dirk Eicken, MENINNOPS , 2009, Oil on canvas, 340 x 400 cm
Dirk Eicken, MENINNOPS , 2009, Oil on canvas, 340 x 400 cm


On Rape – And Institutional Failure

Opening 26.01.24 until 22.05.24

Ala Kachuu (Bride Kidnapping), Kyrgyzstan, 2020 © Laia Abril, Courtesy Les filles du calvaire, Paris
Ala Kachuu (Bride Kidnapping), Kyrgyzstan, 2020 © Laia Abril, Courtesy Les filles du calvaire, Paris

Catalan artist Laia Abril (b. 1986) presents her broad-ranging, research-based work On Rape – And Institutional Failure, which uses an assemblage of found and original photographs, reports, quotations, videos, and artifacts to explore the structures that make rape possible. Working across temporal periods, cultural practices, and media, Abril reveals the normalization of misogynist attitudes and behaviors in society and politics but does not resort to explicit depictions of sexualized violence.

A 2018 case of rape in Spain occasioned Abril's investigation. Occurring at the height of the #MeToo movement, the incident set off country-wide protests. Five men brutally raped a young woman and were later released on bail. When they were ultimately charged, it was not for rape, but merely for sexual harassment, which carries a lighter sentence. Against the backdrop of protests against a flawed system hostile to women, Abril explores why institutional failures on this scale occur, and how traditional assumptions, cultural influences, myths, and laws serve to shield perpetrators by reinforcing power dynamics and dependent relationships. 

On Rape – And Institutional Failure is the second chapter in the artist's long-term project A History of Misogyny, in which she responds to manifold forms of systemic violence against women. Abril succeeds in allowing a deep empathy for victims of sexualized violence while inviting viewers to consider the complex relationship between experience, image, and language, as well as the limits of depicting trauma. The artist uses a moving political narrative to counter the feeling of silencing often experienced around the subject while simultaneously appealing to society’s sense of responsibility.