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PREPARED PIANOS AT THE KW: OPENING THE LID ON A NEW MUSICAL WORLD

PREPARED PIANOS AT THE KW: OPENING THE LID ON A NEW MUSICAL WORLD

When musicians modify their pianos, they open up a whole world of musical possibilities. With a five-day program of piano-based explorations, the KW gallery is celebrating just this. The highlight: 24 “prepared pianos” taken from Italian patron Francesco Conz’s (1935-2010) Archivio Conz collection of avant-garde artworks. The instruments are “prepared” by placing objects between or on the strings, and the exhibition is a testament to the musicians who have experimented with their keys and strings through the ages. These visual displays challenge the idea of the piano as the tool of the privileged virtuoso, and bring together works from major avant-garde artists including Ay-O, Dorothy Iannone, Carolee Schneemann, Nam June Paik, as well as Ben Patterson, whose piano – that most staid of instruments – is turned into a tropical wonder with a whole array of exotic plants. Alongside the exhibited pianos is a series of music and visual performances. Our tip: grab a ticket for Charlemagne Palestine’s show, featuring his minimalist synth and organ sounds. (Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Courtesy of Archivio Conz)

KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Auguststr.69, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map
Pause: Broken Sound/Remote Music. Prepared pianos from the Archivio Conz collection. 16.–19.01.2020
Concert from Charlemagne Palestine, 17.01.2020, 20h30. Tickets at the KW box office.
@kwinstitutefcontemporaryart

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READING & BROWSING IN MIDCENTURY AMBIENCE — THE HANSABIBLIOTHEK IN TIERGARTEN

READING & BROWSING IN MIDCENTURY AMBIENCE — THE HANSABIBLIOTHEK IN TIERGARTEN

Looking for a library to browse and relax in during those dark January days? We heartily recommend the newly renovated Hansabibliothek, nestled at the southern end of Hansaplatz. As you get out of the U-bahn you are greeted by the exterior of the 1957 library, an architectural jewel characterized by its many seating areas and the open, light-flooded rooms. The reading garden, adorned by a sculpture by Bernhard Heiliger, is one of many special features of this heritage-listed complex of reading rooms. As for the books, the selection of art and architecture volumes will make any culture-buff swoon. Equally enticing is the “Architecture and People” event series held at the library, featuring engaging presentations and panel discussions. All in all a great place to immerse yourself completely in a book and escape the dreary January for a few hours. (Text & Photos: Sophie Döring)

Hansabibliothek, Altonaer Str.15, 10557 Berlin–Tiergarten; map
Mon & Fri 13–19h30, Tue–Thu 12–18h

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THE POLITICS OF SPEECH AND SOUND — LAWRENCE ABU HAMDAN AT HAMBURGER BAHNHOF

THE POLITICS OF SPEECH AND SOUND — LAWRENCE ABU HAMDAN AT HAMBURGER BAHNHOF

Can the way we speak have a direct impact on our lives? According to Lawrence Abu Hamdan, the answer is yes: in his multilayered audiovisual installations, the British-Lebanese artist visualizes not only sound and the structural elements of language, but its political potential. His solo exhibition “The Voice Before the Law” at Hamburger Bahnhof shows how language is central to prejudice and discrimination. Language itself becomes evidence in the photo series “Disputed Utterance”: the term refers to criminal cases in which the accused are convicted solely on the basis of sound recordings that are hard to understand or ambiguous. The video work “This whole time there were no landmines” uses mobile phone footage of a 2011 confrontation between the Israeli military and Palestinian demonstrators in the Golan Heights. Eight monitors mounted along a narrow corridor reconstruct the acoustic phenomena of the site, ultimately rendering emotionality through immersiveness and the visualization of unheard voices – an exceptional approach that must be seen if not heard. (Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: Maureen Paley & Staatliche Museen zu Berlin & Lawrence Abu Hamdan)

Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Invalidenstr. 50–51, 10557 Berlin–Moabit; map
Lawrence Abu Hamdan: The Voice Before the Law: 26.10.2019–09.02.2020
Tue–Fri 10–18h (Thu until 20h), Sat–Sun 11–18h
@lawrenceabuhamdan

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PUSHING THEATRICAL BOUNDARIES — A CELEBRATION OF RIMINI PROTOKOLL AT HAU

PUSHING THEATRICAL BOUNDARIES — A CELEBRATION OF RIMINI PROTOKOLL AT HAU

For 20 years Rimini Protokoll – a proliferous collective led by Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel – has been shaking up the local theater scene, systematically breaking with conventions. Their stage-works, interventions, performative installations and audio plays focus on the themes of social order and world politics, actively involving the viewer such as in “Situation Rooms“, where the audience becomes an integral part of interactive video sequences. On their 20th anniversary, a number of Berlin venues will dedicate themselves to the work of the trio – HAU will be the first, running shows from December to mid-January 2020. Included is Rimini classic “100% Berlin Reloaded“, shown in over 40 cities across the globe and featuring 100 statistically-selected Berliners from all walks of life. The piece represents the city in all its complexity and heterogeneity and offers an exciting update after 12 years. The series “Jetzt feiern – 20 Years of Rimini Protokoll” is the perfect piece for the darkest season of the year and we’re giving away a pair of tickets for the Reloaded performance on 10.01.2020. Just write us an email at win@ceecee.cc! (Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: Jürgen Fehrmann, Jo Exelmans & Dirk Pauweis)

Jetzt feiern – 20 Years of Rimini Protokoll
21.12.2019–12.01.2020, Programme available online
At various Hebbel am Ufer venues – see website for locations
@hauberlin
@rimini_protokoll

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FEAR AND LONGING IN MODERN CHINA — REN HANG’S PHOTO RETROSPECTIVE AT C/O BERLIN

FEAR AND LONGING IN MODERN CHINA — REN HANG’S PHOTO RETROSPECTIVE AT C/O BERLIN

They are oddly still, the fleeting moments captured by Chinese photographer Ren Hang. Arranged like strange props, naked bodies of young men and women emanate a fragility surpassed only by the poetry of their visual language. Dramatic use of flash and strong contrasts – black, white, dark blue-green, bright red – create unbearable melancholy, while the presence of animals and yoga-like poses adds a playful note. In 2017, at the age of 29, the artist took his own life. Now, C/O Berlin is dedicating the first big retrospective in Germany to Hang, showing over 150 recent photographs. Although Hang’s oeuvre is strongly rooted in China, where he is one of the most important contemporary photographers, his portrayal of a lost young generation goes beyond time and place. At the close of the year, the C/O brings us yet another exceptional exhibition that will reverberate into 2020. (Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: © 2012, 2015, 2016 Ren Hang. Courtesy Estate of Ren Hang and Stieglitz 19, Antwerpen)

C/O Berlin, Hardenbergstr.22–24, 10623 Berlin–Charlottenburg; map
Love, Ren Hang: 07.12.2019–29.02.2020
Daily 11–20h
Opening: Friday 06.12.2019, 19h
@coberlin

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