Titled STADT / BILD (Image of a City), the project approaches the notion of “The City” as thematic cluster from various perspectives. The institutional structure and work processes of museums will be examined, urban developments will be addressed, as well as social, aesthetic, and cultural aspects relating to “The City”. Moreover, the boundaries between public and private spaces, and urban landscapes will be contemplated, questioning forms of participation and community.
In this context the exhibition Xenopolis at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle will focus on the city as a living organism that does not belong to anyone in particular. The city is understood as a free zone, an urban fabric defined by outsiders moving in. Working under the hypothesis that there is no such thing as one coherent city the curator Simon Njami explores the multiplicity of cities in the exhibition.
The point of departure of the exhibition is the statement that in any big capital city, we are all strangers. Simon Njami, the curator, conceived “Xenopolis” using an idea propounded by Roland Barthes. In “Semiology and Urbanism”, he postulates that city speaks to its residents, that it can be read and has its own distinct language. Together with six international artists, Simon Njami, took up this idea and conceived a “labyrinth of perceptions”, and advanced it such that the residents communicate with their city and thus change its language.
In keeping with these considerations, the “Xenopolis” exhibition poses questions about belonging, home, and the notion of “foreign”. This is reflected based on works by the Berlin-based artists Laurence Bonvin, Loris Cecchini, Mwangi Hutter, Theo Eshetu, Anri Sala, and Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag. An intervention by D. Goncales Bom incorporates the ArtCafé of the KunstHalle.
The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive guided tour offer as well as a children’s and youth program.
STADT/BILD (Image of a City) is a collaboration of Berlinische Galerie, Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Initiated and funded by the Berlin Senate, the joint project also marks the kickoff of Berlin Art Week 2015 .