Titled We don’t need another hero, the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art “is a conversation with artists and contributors who think and act beyond art as they confront the incessant anxieties perpetuated by a wilful disregard for complex subjectivities”.
Starting from the position of Europe, Germany, and Berlin as a city in dialogue with the world, the 10th Berlin Biennale confronts the current widespread states of collective psychosis. By referencing Tina Turner’s song from 1985, We Don’t Need Another Hero.
Venue: ZK/U (Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik)
You must enter the room with 14 works by US artist Tony Cokes. Using the basement of the ZK/U, club, the install consist of series of videos projected on TV screens includes a dozen pieces that go against what he calls the “representational regime of image and sound” used in mainstream filmmaking. Cokes pairs music by artist like Morrissey and Gang of Four with texts culled from political speeches and critical theory. A question raised by the works of Tony Cokes is how our modes of political and civic articulation are guided and shaped by media image circulation as defining the horizon of emancipatory struggles. Image credit: Curatorial team of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, f. l. t. r.: Thiago de Paula Souza, Gabi Ngcobo, Nomaduma Rosa Masilela, Yvette Mutumba, Moses Serubiri, photo: F. Anthea Schaap
Her films and installations examines differing worldviews in the wake of colonialism in east Africa. Her ongoing work excavates structures of coercion and power, collecting material and ephemeral traces of the region’s cultural, political, and aesthetic engagement with Europe.
In the video installation Promised Lands (2015), Wolukau-Wanambwa addresses the migratory flows of bodies throughout Uganda and Kenya at various points in history. Set in the vicinity of Lake Victoria, the installation’s narrative arc shuttles between historical facts and critical reflection.
For the artist painting is a very demanding and even a threatening experience. He starts his painting as a clinch with the canvas, as a body-on-surface relationship. This experience of violence cannot be dissociated from the inherent solitude of the act of painting. Mbamba is painting for himself, not fulfilling the expectations of academics and art experts, who generally want artists from Africa to embody the identity of the whole continent. Being Herman Mbamba and being an artist are enough. This enables him to situate his realm of imagination both within a small town in Norway, where he now lives, and within a larger experience in southern Africa.
OPENING HOURS Wed–Mon 11 am–7 pm Thu 11 am–9 pm Tue closed. City: Berlin Germany runs until 9th September 2018. Check Easyjet for flights. Suggested Hotel: https://www.hotel-alexander-plaza.de/en