Fancy some new scenery for your daily walk? Why not turn your next stroll into a scavenger hunt, with works of art as your prizes. Your guide is Jörg Johnen, who presents more than 100 outdoor artworks in his charming book Marmor für Alle that we featured back in 2019. The tour begins in Mitte and heads towards Tiergarten, stopping off at familiar works as well as some new additions. Our starting point is the Kolonnadenhof on the Museum Island, where a work by conceptual artist Jenny Holzer has been newly installed. Her aluminium plaque featuring the inscription “Men don’t protect you anymore” is easy to miss, but the message is all the more forceful for it. Feminist art is also notable in Austrian artist Valie Export’s work Doppelgängerin, a four-meter-tall sculpture made of intertwined scissors that stands menacingly in front of Unter den Linden’s PalaisPopulaire. Walk a few steps further onto Bebelplatz and you come across Micha Ullman’s memorial to the burning of books: a window set into the ground reveals a view down into a vault full of empty bookshelves. The work does not impose itself, but impressively highlights what has been taken, commemorating the more than 20,000 banned books that were thrown into the fire by the Nazis in this very place in 1933.
When you visit Ólafur Elíasson’s Windspiegelwand, at the back of the GIZ (German Corporation for International Cooperation) building near Potsdamer Platz, it’s best to choose a sunny day. In sunlight the countless stainless steel plates of the structure reflect the shimmering water of the neighboring Pianosee. Heading on over the Potsdamer Brücke, you come across Norbert Radermacher’s heavy bronze model of a lifebuoy attached to the railings. Further on, in front of the PSM gallery on Schöneberger Ufer, artist Ariel Reichman presents an interactive work that questions our sense of security: using a QR code you can make the neon installation in the garden illuminate. Finally, around the corner at Haunt on Kluckstraße are works by the Frontviews art collective. The space is due to reopen 23.03.2021; in the meantime you can view their outdoor show in the overgrown courtyard. The works demonstrate just how effective contemporary sculpture in urban nature can be.
Text: Laura Storfner / Credit: Ariel Reichman & PSM, Berlin, 2020; Philipp Modersohn; Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit, Berlin, 2001 & Studio Ólafur Elíassons / Photos: Marjorie Brunet Plaza, Stephan Klee & Jens Ziehe
Jenny Holzer – Men don’t protect you anymore, Kolonnadenhof at Museum Island, 10178 Berlin–Mitte; map
Valie Export – Die Doppelgängerin, in front of PalaisPopulaire, Unter den Linden 5, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map
Micha Ullman – Empty Library memorial, Bebelplatz, Unter den Linden, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map
Olafur Eliasson – Windspiegelwand, behind the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Reichpietschufer 20, 10785 Berlin–Tiergarten; map
Ariel Reichman – This is Worse, I AM (NOT) SAFE neon installation, until 10.04.2021. PSM, Schöneberger Ufer 61, 10785 Berlin–Tiergarten; map
Outdoor exhibition for Concrete #1: RESPIRATION, until 27.03.2021 in the courtyard of Frontviews at HAUNT, Kluckstr.23A, 10785 Berlin–Tiergarten; map