8 Must See Art Events in Berlin I MAY #1 WE

May 5, 2023
Sissy Marino
Loretta Fahrenholz: Trash The Musical (2023)
Loretta Fahrenholz: Trash The Musical (2023)

When I think of Berlin's art scene, I can't help but picture a totally chic and artsy space right around the corner from my flat. It's accessible, it's alluring, and everyone is buzzing about it. But let's face it, Berlin can be a little overwhelming. Fear not, art lovers! I'm here to guide you on a journey of intellectual and emotional discovery, so you can stay connected to our local scene's depth, coolness, and of course, glamour. Trust me, you won't want to miss out on these must-see art events - they're totally lit! So grab your squad and get ready for the weekend art adventure of a lifetime.

Installation views Loretta Fahrenholz: Trash The Musical © Stefan Korte.
Installation views Loretta Fahrenholz: Trash The Musical © Stefan Korte.



WHEN: UNTIL 29.07.23

“Fluentum is pleased to present Trash The Musical, a solo exhibition by Loretta Fahrenholz and the last in the program series In Medias Res: Media, (Still) Moving (…) Trash The Musical is the most extensive new work Fahrenholz has been commissioned to make for an exhibition and her largest exhibition to date in Berlin.

The 37-minute film Trash The Musical (2023), from which the exhibition also takes its name, emerged over the last two years in collaboration with performance artist Alicia McDaid (…) Assembled into a wild post-cinematic collage by Fahrenholz, McDaid's performances are a radical exploration of personal anxieties and questions of aging, unfulfilled dreams, ghosting, and the difference between art and trash.

The works Once Upon a Time in Enemy-Occupied France (2023) and I need to make mistakes just to learn who I am (2023) are a continuation of Fahrenholz's interest in the processes of digital imagery. Once Upon a Time in Enemy-Occupied France (2023) is a series of 30 AI-generated photographs retelling the five chapters of Quentin Tarantino's Hollywood blockbuster Inglourious Basterds…

On the exhibition’s upper floor, mushroom-shaped lamps and wood carvings from German living rooms of various generations sprout from the floor. The digital prints displayed on the walls depict people from different decades picnicking together in the woods. Fed with our shared historical archives, the motifs these algorithms generate point back to the concrete places and times in our shared historical archives and yet as composites flicker from somewhere on the border between the painterly and the real… 

Trash The Musical by Loretta Fahrenholz is the third and final exhibition to take place as part of the program series In Medias Res: Media, (Still) Moving. Comprising newly commissioned works, group and solo exhibitions, and a series of publications, In Medias Res: Media, (Still) Moving highlights the methods and processes of remembering and storytelling within moving images. The starting point for this investigation is provided by the historic, political, and discursive levels of the building where Fluentum now operates.

The exhibition series is curated by Dennis Brzek and Junia Thiede. An accompanying catalog will be published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König in the summer of 2023, with contributions by Felix Bernstein and Magnus Schaefer.”

Exhibition view: Adib Fricke, How to look at words, Vincenz Sala
Exhibition view: Adib Fricke, How to look at words, Vincenz Sala



WHEN: UNTIL 19.05.23

Writing as something to look at has its place in the gallery’s program. So far exclusively in the section ‘handwritten’, that is drawing. Adib Fricke’s work is not at all about handwritten drawings but about words set in block letters. A work on written language that engages in a multiply varied breach of word, a lite-

ral breaking, crossing through and at the same time untwisting of the word. 

Fricke’s ‘HOW TO LOOK AT WORDS’ approaches the word this side of its communicative context and signification.

His skimming of the depths of various databases, but also the direct delegation to the random generator, which writes small talk about the art world, is to the point. To be noted, written small talk, this random generator doesn’t speak. Fricke’s work with block-lettered words has no voice. If it speaks it is simulation

of speech by a machine-generated voice entirely and audibly missing the meaning of what is being read as in ‘Die Reise—Ein Gedicht in 42 Strophen’ (The Journey—A Poem in 42 Stanzas) a work of 1988, which we showed in the group exhibition ‘books’ end last year.

Above all, Fricke has created a magnificent world of words. The stripped-back, minimalist typography he developed remains grounded in the common aesthetics of the world of type and letters that surrounds us, but carefully composed and in bold color. Even the plain black and white he uses in his work insists on a luminosity that wants nothing to do with the truth value of the proverbial „black on white.“ Fricke’s words have no exchange value. They do not want to be spoken to a counterpart, they want to be read. A rea-ding, however, that cannot help but engage in the „literal“ power of color—it’s always not just reading but a ‘LOOKING AT WORDS’.

The textuality in Fricke‘s work is about playing with the legibility of the word. A play with the early learned cultural technique of reading and this inescapable conditioning that has to turn any sequence of letters, no matter how colorful, into some word. Even if the word, as in the case of Fricke’s protonyms, developed some years ago in his ‘The Word Company’, lacks any meaning and can at best be used as a personal or brand name. This almost compulsory reading puts up with just about any odd sequence of letters. We are pleased, probably also relieved, to find that Fricke’s conscious, often unpronounceable lapses of pen, his moving of vowels and consonants within a word, almost immediately reveal their meaning. It’s a tho-

roughly learned and astonishingly prompt deciphering providing a kind of quiet happiness when encounte-ring the friction between the colorfully defaced signifier and the signified showing through.

Fricke’s words have their extravagant life of their own, which, in their materiality and physicality, they share with us readers. Whether panel painting, large-format poster, or installation work iN space, the set words remain unspoken and present themselves to our reading in their colorful appearance. Even in his works with orthographically and grammatically correct sentences, one encounters this quiet self-referentiality of admittedly bold presence. Thus, our looking at Fricke’s treasury of words is immediately followed by a re-verberation, a lingering monologue that even has an approximate voice: one’s own.”

Text by: Helmut Bauer.

Franziska Reinbothe - “ Untitled (033)”, 2018 – 2021
Franziska Reinbothe - “ Untitled (033)”, 2018 – 2021



WHEN: UNTIL 27.05.23

“We have found a new temporary space on the occasion of the Berlin Gallery Weekend at Strausberger Platz 19, located within one of the historic neoclassical Hermann Henselmann towers, also known as "Haus des Kindes", and holds significant historical and architectural value. The title of the first exhibition takes inspiration from the renowned essay by architectural theorist Adolf Loos, who asserted that ornament was a sign of decadence and violence in modern society. 

The selected artworks by FRANZISKA REINBOTHE and BEN GREBER reinforce the connection between aesthetics and violence whilst offering unique perspectives on processes of transformation, modification, and the relationship between aesthetics and history.

FRANZISKA REINBOTHE's paintings become sculptures in their own right by challenging the edges of the canvas. She stretches, folds, breaks, cuts and/or sews her paintings after the painting process is complete. Through these unconventional techniques, the artist experiments with control and chance, using deconstruction as a form of creation. In the case of Reinbothe destruction doesn’t necessarily mean erasing, it means the reinvention of a new sculptural form. 

The works of BEN GREBER portray stories about our ever changing environment in a sculptural language. Thereby he focuses on de-objectification and the increasing invisibility of essential processes and contexts that sustain life and society in modern times. By combining materials such as acrylic glass, cardboard, and stainless steel, GREBER reflects on themes like architectural remnants of human intervention in the utilitarian landscape.

 Placed side by side, the works of REINBOTHE and GREBER both open perspectives on sculptural and architectural processes that visually and poetically depict and freeze moments of change. In doing so, they visualize these movements not only as remnants but also as an element of invention, where actions are transformed into something new.”

Exhibition view: Lúcia Koch, Light Falls, carlier | gebauer
Exhibition view: Lúcia Koch, Light Falls, carlier | gebauer

Lúcia Koch’s immersive sculptural, photographic, and installative works shift and reimagine the spaces they inhabit by proposing new relations of scale, occupation, and materiality. Her practice has developed through a careful attention to the physical and social aspects of urban life and architecture, beginning with her early site-responsive interventions with the collective project Arte Construtora in the 1990s and extending to more recent installations that transform public spaces and exhibition venues through the use of large-scale images, translucent materials, perforated surfaces, fabrics, and color-correction filters.

Light is one of the central materials in Lúcia Koch’s practice, which she often modulates through interventions on ceilings, windows, and other architectural openings.
Koch describes that when she installs a filter, or any surface with some degree of transparency, more than separating inside from outside, it operates as a communication device connecting two spaces and people standing next to it. For her first exhibition with carlier I gebauer, Koch has created articulated pieces that replicate the shape of the gallery’s windows into falling sculptures that unfold from the ceiling. She will also exhibit works from her "Fundos" series: luminous photographs of the interiors of empty boxes that she prints in outsized dimensions and adapts to a particular context or architecture, giving the impression of extending the spaces in which they are installed. Koch’s subtle, ephemeral interventions create altered states of the places themselves, and the works in Light Falls can be understood as a set of differences rather than a collection of materials or objects.

Exhibition view: Sun Yitian, Portrait, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2023. Photo © Andrea Rossetti - From left to right: Sun Yitian, Kevin, 2023; Sun Yitian, Jason, 2023; Sun Yitian, Alger, 2023
Exhibition view: Sun Yitian, Portrait, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2023. Photo © Andrea Rossetti - From left to right: Sun Yitian, Kevin, 2023; Sun Yitian, Jason, 2023; Sun Yitian, Alger, 2023



WHEN: UNTIL 25.05.23

"Sun Yitian is best known for her paintings of monumentally enlarged mass-produced objects, generally based on staged photographs taken by the artist herself. Lovingly rendered in colorful acrylic paint, the surfaces of the inflatable toys or the heads of dolls—both frequent motifs—shine brightly, often with flecks of reflecting camera lights visible. Sun Yitian’s use of scale further draws attention to the inherent tension between pathos and banality on which the works draw: vastly enlarged the objects gaze at us from their huge eyes as if in puzzlement of their newfound sumptuous grandeur.
At the gallery three works from Sun Yitian’s series of doll heads will be on view. Depicted in gigantic scale, the three male heads look out unconcerned at the world around them with a friendly smile. Each painting portrays a head with distinct skin tone and hair color against a near monochromatic background and floor. The bearded Alger has dark brown hair and honey-colored skin; Kevin is dark-haired and Black; Jason is blond-haired and fair-skinned. The heads are set in a deeply compressed space, yet the viewer nonetheless infers a three-dimensional area from the dark shadow they cast. With their depictions of gracefully curved lips and perfectly placed cheekbones, the paintings capture the generalized beauty of dolls. Small details—among them a section where Alger’s beard rubbed off, Kevin’s impossibly smooth hairline or the way Jason’s strands of blond hair are inserted into the doll’s head—draw attention to the paradoxical state in which the dolls’ life-like yet vacuous presence hovers.
Iconography and Sun Yitian’s manner of execution are perfectly paired: the plastic shells of the represented toys, their photographic representation, and the flatness of the painted canvas fuse, tenderly capturing mass-produced objects in a traditional medium associated with individual expression and unique creation. Seen up close, the impression of the paintings’ photographic precision dissipates, as the painterly and coloristic effects created by the artist’s expert application of paint become apparent. Carefully placed to seduce our gaze—to “remove all resistance to perception” in Sun Yitian’s words—the subtlety of this effect allows the works to exist in a continuously contested realm between representation and abstraction.”

Exhibition view: Alice Morey & Dietrich Meyer, Gr_und
Exhibition view: Alice Morey & Dietrich Meyer, Gr_und



WHEN: UNTIL 10.05.23

"For this duo show under the title ‘The tie that Binds’ artist colleagues and good friends, Alice Morey & Dietrich Meyer, reflect, transition and hold together an otherworldly gateway to a realm ‘beyond’, one they invite you to be part of, hand in hand, soul in soul, moment for moment. As they mix together their own self taught belief systems the exhibition forms into two architectural ornamental gates, with a communal fountain in the centre. Each gate holds ceramic tiles with motifs that the artists made together. Inside the gates, Alice's large abstract landscapes echo the walls, joined by the weaved ropes, dried flowers and hanging sculptures by Dietrich. 

The installation functions as a ritual site for the sun and moon. It is a site in a post-climate crisis world where humans have realized their fraught relationship with the earth, viewing her as an-other and something to be conquered or utilized, has been at the core of the problem. Humans have now moved past this position, and a culture of care is the norm. The focus of the sun and the moon takes more of a mystical approach to our relationship with the earth and the cosmos. The sun as the provider of light, life, and warmth; the moon as ever-present, but not always in view, and the arbiter of the tides.

Alice Morey (b.1986) and Dietrich Meyer (b.1987) both live and work in Berlin, Germany where they met and formed a close friendship. Morey uses the passage of time and decay to navigate her working methods, contrasting it with pain and rejuvenation. She mixes elements of drawing, painting, sculpture and performance that evolve into complex site specific installations through ritualising materials and traditional crafts. Connectivity and precarity, between human and nature, is at the core of Meyer’s artistic practice. Through mixing sculpture and photography within site-specific installations, he highlights these interwoven stories while also advocating for a more ecocentric mode of thinking and acting.

Their shared interests in plant life, and the stories of Gaia, inform their separate and collaborative practices. Through bringing aspects of their studio practices together, they create ephemeral sculptural interventions highlighting the intimacy, delicacy, and precarity of the work and the environment they are working in. Alice and Dietrich met during Countdown Grabowsee, a collaboration residency and community that Alice co founded nearly 10 years ago. Through the specific nature of this residency, they became interested in developing a dialogue together finding a pathway to ritualise a practice that coincides with daily life. 

The exhibition will be on view until 10th May 2023, with a reading on the 27th April, during Berlin Gallery weekend, where Alice will read a poem and both artists will hand out ceramic amulets. 

The exhibition is accompanied by the text ‘STONE WAVES’ written by Cristina Ramos. During the opening & the Reading (27th) guests are invited to break open a ceramic amulet after throwing a coin into the pool. A limited ceramic edition is available for sale at the gallery, ‘Sun & Moon’ Reliefs (please ask one of the team at gr_und or one of the artists).”



WHEN: UNTIL 01.07.23

“Sophie Reinhold thematises questions around dreams and lies, simulation and real life in her first solo exhibition with Galerie Nordenhake in Berlin. The exhibition juxtaposes a site-specific installation with new paintings made specifically for the show, executed on surfaces prepared with bitumen, ground marble and graphite powder. The installation comprises four identical sculptures made from 16 aluminum pipes arranged in a hollow circle, which traverse the ceiling height and disrupt the line of sight. Resuming the architecture, they constrain or widen the perspective of the paintings dependent on the room. As the viewer climbs the once opulently decorated staircase to the gallery, they encounter the first sculpture, placed in front of the entrance. The clash between the sculpture as a symbol of architectural representation of power and its yet seemingly out of place industrial aesthetic, anticipates the interpretation of the paintings within the gallery space.

The artist's imagery often speaks to classical iconography and mythology, which is underlined by the sculptural quality of the paintings that breaks with a satirical depiction of ubiquitous images. This break allows the viewer to become aware of the technical process in which the artist stretches jute over a panel and then applies layers of marble or graphite powder - at times dyed with pigments. The result is sanded down to a fetishist smoothness, parts of which are carved to create figurative reliefs. Bare textile revealed in the process irritates the seductive illusion of perfection. The appearance of an image and what stands behind it, is a recurring question in the artists' practice. Her technique, aided by her painting skills, and a twisted sense of humour, open room for discourse.

Reinhold critically processes her every day, questioning what roles conflict, illusion and lies play. Guided by preposterous contradictions, such as the depiction of wrestlers (1) against an almost psychedelic, ornamental background with celestial motifs, the artist investigates the performativity of a conflict as something productive rather than aggressive. The main gallery room holds two sculptures, that widen the space and reveal three more large paintings through the view of them. A relief depicts two levitated, embracing figures, that seem to be entangled into the canvas built from pigmented marble. It is framed by two paintings similar in their ornamental background, however their smoothness obscures the depiction of watching eyes on one side and a falling body on the other. The moment just before awakening perhaps. In the smaller gallery room, a fourth sculpture enclosed by three larger paintings, creates a sense of density. Once passed, the viewer's reflection is captured in a void of two paintings made of bitumen and graphite. It allures into a doomed fantasy of the third painting: a relief prepared with ground marble, which pictures an idyllic landscape framed by a colourful frieze with skulls. Upon leaving this room an aftertaste of the exhibition title lingers in the back of the mind: träum weiter, dream on.

Spiked with symbols from the past, Reinhold's motifs come together heterogeneously, which speaks to their very nature that facilitates a humorous rethinking of representative strategies.

The insistence on inconsistency, almost as a form of protest, makes way for a process of dissociation when viewing the work. It unfetters questions to new possibilities instead of simulating pre-existing thoughts. The past is not negotiated as something static, instead, it grows nurtured by discourse in an uncontrollable way. Images lie but stripped leave truth.”

'WHEN THE SILENT SONG RISES' Exhibition opening view. Credits by @regardsyeux
'WHEN THE SILENT SONG RISES' Exhibition opening view. Credits by @regardsyeux



WHEN: UNTIL 10.06.23

'When the silent song rises' is a group exhibition presenting works by Beverly D. Renekouzou, Exocé Kasongo, Melody Howse, Thomias Radin, Selassie and Elihu Ashong. The six participating artists - all living and working in Berlin - aim to reconnect to ancestral knowledge on the African continent (or the Caribbean).

"Building up on their shared history in music and dance, the collaborating artists release their energy in both individual artworks and a collaborative performance that push the limits of human awakening. An interdisciplinary demonstration of ‚contemporary ancestry‘ and an opportunity to witness the unfolding of a transformative experience."