Words and Places Amid Meaning, Art and Madness: Readings with Bibiana Beglau, Sina Martens and Samuel Finzi, 19 May–16 June 2023


Actors Bibiana Beglau, Samuel Finzi and Sina Martens read texts about art and madness in the exhibition Hugo van der Goes: Between Pain and Bliss at the Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie (Old Master Paintings). The series of readings (in German) takes place on three evenings: 19 May, 2 June and 16 June 2023.

Delusional states have been observed in artists for centuries. Hugo van der Goes (c. 1440–1482/83) also lapsed into a state of mental confusion at the end of his life. Claims can even be found in classical literature that no great genius can exist without a touch of madness. This notion persisted from the Renaissance through Romanticism and beyond. It reached a highpoint with the Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh, who actually compared himself to Hugo van der Goes.

The question concerning the connection between art and madness continues to fascinate and be posed anew. Actors Bibiana Beglau, Samuel Finzi and Sina Martens also delve into this subject in their readings during the event series wOrte zwischen Sinn, Kunst und Wahnsinn (Words and Places amid Meaning, Art and Madness), sounding out diffent levels of reality and meaning between art and madness.


Ticket per event: 22 €. The ticket entitles the holder to view the exhibition on the day of the respective reading from 7 to 9:30 pm.

  • Reading with Sina Martens: “It’s Britney, Bitch!” by Lena Brasch and Sina Martens on 19 May 2023, tickets online
  • Reading with Bibiana Beglau: “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg on 2 June 2023, tickets online
  • Reading with Samuel Finzi: “Tagebuch eines Wahnsinnigen” (Diary of a Madman) by Nikolai Gogol on16 June 2023, tickets online

Tickets are now available at all Staatliche Museen zu Berlin ticket counters and online; box office sales begin at 7 pm.

The event series takes place in collaboration with the Kaiser Friedrich Museumsverein and Jozo PR, with support from the Berliner Ensemble, the Deutsches Theater Berlin, and Angela Obst and Sabine Buss (Agentur Maria Hilft).