press release

In the spring of 2005, Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, focused on Berlin as an international melting pot of visual art when it presented a number of artists, never before presented in Copenhagen, in an ambitious exhibition project that provided insight into important facets of art life in one of Europe’s most dynamic artistic centres, located surprisingly close to Copenhagen.

Out of a wish to focus on Berlin as a centre for international art as well as an extensive bridge system, connecting the West and the East, Scandinavia and Central Europe, the artists were invited to express their conceptions of the city as a construction and the way in which we approach it. The exhibition focused on travel routes, i.e. the different backgrounds we take with us and the roads we follow to the city, and the tension between subjective, lived experience and the city’s more general narratives.

The participating artists were: Maria Thereza Alves (US), Monica Bonvicini (BR), Candice Breitz (ZA), Matthew Buckingham (US), Minerva Cuevas (MX), Tacita Dean (UK), Jimmie Durham (US), Maria Eichhorn (DE), Annika Eriksson (SE), Katja Eydel (DE), Jesko Fezer/Axel John Wieder (DE), Natascha Sadr Haghighian (DE), Lise Harlev (DK), Laura Horelli (FI), Thomas Locher (DE), Boris Mikhailov (RU), Katya Sander (DK), Shimabuku (JP), Hito Steyerl (AT) og Florian Wust (DE).

CIRCA BERLIN furthermore demonstrated how Berlin’s cultural policy, with its practice of considerable support to foreign artists, in actual fact contributes to an internationalisation and an intensification of the local art scene.

Comprehensive public and private “artist in residence” programmes see to it that (primarily) younger, important artists are invited to spend some time working in Berlin and are given the possibility to engage in a dialogue with the Berlin art public. In many cases, this results in the artists taking up residence in Berlin, thus making their contribution to the city’s art potential.

The exhibition was co-curated by Elisabeth Delin Hansen, director of Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, and art critic Simon Sheikh who is partly a resident in Berlin and partly the head of the section for “Critical Studies” at the Malmö Art Academy. CIRCA BERLIN has taken place in co-operation with the Neue Berliner Kunstverein and Malmö Art Academy.

A special section of the exhibition was an extensive video programme in two parts, arranged by curator Kathrin Becker of the Neue Berliner Kunstverein and visual artist Florian Wüst respectively:

The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue with essays by Marius Babias, art critic and curator, lives in Berlin, Jennifer Allen, art critic, lives in Berlin, correspondent for Artforum, and Hito Steyerl, artist and critic, lives in Berlin and London.

The exhibition received support from the Danish Arts Council’s The Committee for International Visual Arts and Montana.

The exhibition was part of the project Urban Art Stories. Urban Art Stories tied together Copenhagen, Berlin and Malmö in a joint cultural manifestation comprising a total of 29 participating projects. Urban Art Stories futhermore generated a crossnational working relationship between young artists within stage art, visual art, music, film and design. Urban Art Stories took shape through the joint efforts of various partners in Copenhagen, Berlin and Malmö


Circa Berlin / Walled City
video program, selections from Neue Berliner Kunstverein
Kuratoren: Kathrin Becker, Florian Wüst

mit Maria Thereza Alves, Monica Bonvicini, Candice Breitz, Matthew Buckingham, Minerva Cuevas, Tacita Dean, Jimmie Durham, Maria Eichhorn, Shahram Entekhabi, Annika Eriksson, Katja Eydel, Jesko Fezer / Axel John Wieder, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Lise Harlev, Laura Horelli, Thomas Locher, Boris Mikhailov, Katya Sander, Shimabuku , Hito Steyerl, Florian Wüst ...