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Berlin North
Contemporary Artists from the Nordic Countries in Berlin

31.01.2004 to 12.04.2004

Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart
Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart

The exhibition has been made possible by the Embassies of the Nordic Countries in Berlin, Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and by the generous support of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Danish Arts, FRAME, IASPIS, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Iceland, Moderna Museet International Programme, Stockholm, the Nordic Cultural Fund, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Ministry of Education.

Since the fall of the wall in November 1989 Berlin has witnessed a growing number of artists moving to the city from both within Germany and abroad. In a continuous state of transition, the city has proved to be an attractive location for artists who either stop by temporarily or actually settle down. Among the many artists who have lived and worked in Berlin in the past years, there is a huge amount of artists from the Nordic countries - from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. They come to Berlin as students, as DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholars and the International Artist in Residence Programme of Künstlerhaus Bethanien or as regular visitors, and they become, to a greater or lesser degree, part of the city´s artists community.

For the exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof, 26 positions were chosen from a multitude of interesting artists from the Nordic countries who have spent time in Berlin within the past fifteen years. These 26 positions shaped the imaginary platform "Berlin North" in various ways. Choosing from the many artists who are in different ways connected to the city was difficult, and not all those invited accepted the invitation to take part in the exhibition. These days, the assignment to a regional scene, even in the form of an imaginary platform in a foreign place, is viewed sceptically by many artists - the more successful this kind of branding becomes, the greater the scepticism.

In light of this problem, the exhibition focuses on the phenomenon of Berlin's attractivity as a production site for artists from the North. In order to avoid a "Nordic best of" show, four main themes of global interest were conceived for the exhibition: "Transformation of Space", "Reconstruction of Nature", "Social Situations" and "Narratives". In all four parts of the exhibition, the focus is on the diversity of artistic approaches within a thematic field - from painting to photography and video installations, from sculpture and sound installations to spatial mises en scène. Many of the presented works will be publicly shown for the first time, with the pieces by GrönlundNisunen, Henrik Håkansson, Knut Henrik Henriksen, Lars Ø. Ramberg, Egill Sæbjörnsson & Sigurður Guðjónsson / Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir / Elín Hansdóttir / Sara Riel and Jan Svenungsson conceived for specific spaces of the museum. Sparwasser HQ / Lise Nellemann will present eight artistic projects - by Heman Chong, Karl Holmqvist, Dellbrügge & de Moll, Michael Stevenson, Lasse Lau / Kenneth A. Balfelt, Big Hope, Reinigungsgesellschaft and Susan Philipsz - as well as the archives "Old Habits Die Hard" and "Consequences of Summer".

An exhibition catalogue in the form of a slipcase containing a textbook and 26 artist booklets will be published. Price in the exhibition: approx. 23 Euro

Artists in the exhibition:
Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Bigert & Bergström, A K Dolven, Dag Erik Elgin, Annika Eriksson, GrönlundNisunen, Jens Haaning, Henrik Håkansson, Annika von Hausswolff, Knut Henrik Henriksen, Laura Horelli, The Icelandic Love Corporation, Frans Jacobi, Robert Lucander, Lars Nilsson, Lars Bent Petersen, Lars Ø. Ramberg, Egill Sæbjörnsson & Sigurður Guðjónsson / Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir / Elín Hansdóttir / Sara Riel, Ann-Sofi Sidén, Sparwasser HQ / Lise Nellemann, Jan Svenungsson, Sissel Tolaas, Mette Tronvoll, Ósk Vilhjálmsdóttir, Gitte Villesen, Johan Zetterquist

Admission: 8 Euros, reduced 4 Euros