Gropius Bau

ISM Hexadome
29 March to 22 April
Ana Mendieta, Sweating Blood, 1973, Super 8 film, color, silent
Gropius Bau

Ana Mendieta
20 April to 22 July

Gropius Bau

Dear visitors,

I am delighted to address you as the new director of the Gropius Bau, and it is a great pleasure for me to be taking over as director of the exhibition hall. In past years, I have always had the good fortune and opportunity to work together with artists to develop new exhibition formats that invite, inspire, seduce and challenge audiences to actively engage in dialogue with art. I would now like to continue this quest in Berlin and, together with my team, create a collective space for audiences and artists that fosters a desire for discovery.

Given the museum’s eventful history and the variety of institutions located here over the years, we view the Gropius Bau as an open framework for engaging with a wide range of artistic ways of thinking and their social implications. Now, over the next few months, we would like to undertake several architectural interventions to allow additional light into the building and, in accordance with heritage protection laws, open it up spatially. In addition to the exhibition spaces, the restaurant and bookstore will also be updated. In 1981, the Gropius Bau was reopened to the public in the form of a raw building shell. We would like to tap into this unconventional tradition and, aside from a brief period during which the museum will be closed in March and April, keep the building open for you during renovations and invite you to visit us and enjoy the programme.

The Gropius Bau, today named after its architect, opened its doors to the public for the first time in 1881. Designed in Renaissance style, the building housed various institutions and collections, such as the Museum of Decorative Arts and the School of Decorative Arts with its numerous artist studios and workshops. Following the maxim of “Walking in the Artist’s Mind,” we will bring studios back into the building and make artists a central part of the programme as contributors. I am particularly pleased that Wu Tsang will be joining us here during our first year at the Gropius Bau and will help influence the development of the museum and its programme.

In addition to the studios, we will continue the tradition of presenting archaeological exhibitions and linking these to current issues and discourses. The Gropius Bau is an institution with a unique history whose prominent location right next to the former Berlin Wall has predestined it to pick up and reflect on the essential themes of our age through current as well as historical artistic positions.

With this in mind, we will host a comprehensive exhibition of Lee Bul in autumn of this year. As a South Korean artist, Lee Bul shares the experience of living in a divided country, and we are certain that her equally inventive, provocative, and influential work will link together for viewers’ numerous ideas on walls and boundary lines of all kinds.

But to start with, I would like to invite you in April to visit our first exhibition on Ana Mendieta. We will present extracts of her multi-layered film work, which has been restored and digitised, the result of several years of research work. The common element is the recurrent use of her own body in dialogue with nature – not least in order to question the demarcation between her and the surrounding land and soil.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the other wonderful exhibitions that will be shown at the Gropius Bau this year, and I am very excited about what awaits us here. The project series Immersion produces at the Gropius Bau an exhibition by Philippe Parreno conceived as a Gesamtkunstwerk, and, under the title “Welt ohne Außen”, Tino Sehgal and Thomas Oberender will bring together artistic positions on immersive spaces since the 1960s. The guest exhibition “Restless Times. Archaeology in Germany” demonstrates that communication and interconnectedness beyond regional borders, with all of its implications, has always been an integral part of society and has fundamentally influenced various facets of life since prehistory. Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Gereon Sievernich for his extraordinary and remarkable work as director of this museum. My gratitude also goes to the team at the Gropius Bau and the Berliner Festspiele, who immeasurably shape and have shaped the direction of this exhibition hall. I am looking forward to our shared journey.

Stephanie Rosenthal

Visitor information

This spring the Gropius Bau is undergoing extensive refurbishment and renovation work. We appreciate your understanding for the fact that during this period, modified opening hours will apply. From 5 March to 19 April 2018 the building will be closed.

The Gropius Bau will be open for MaerzMusik and ISM Hexadome events. Admission begins 60 minutes before the start of events on these days.
The complete list of dates can be found here.


ISM Hexadome
Immersive Sound and 360° Visual Exhibition

29 March to 22 April 2018

The ISM Hexadome is a new format and at the same time a completely new tool. Nine performances and installations have been especially conceived for the project by international sound and visual artists. More information

Jonathan & Brigitte Meese
Mutter und Sohn = Realität trifft Kunst (Z.U.K.U.N.F.T. der Unendlichkeit)

360° film / Installation
21 to 29 April 2018

The first virtual reality production by Jonathan Meese and his mother Brigitte Meese is a journey into the heart of the dictatorship of art. In the artist’s virtual studio, the spectators witness the emergence of a 360°-Gesamtkunstwerk of the future. More information

Covered in Time and History: The Films of Ana Mendieta

20 April to 22 July 2018

Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) is one of the outstanding artistic positions of the 1970s and 1980s. From 20 April to 22 July 2018 the exhibition “Covered in Time and History: The Films of Ana Mendieta” at Gropius Bau will show 23 of Mendieta's multi-layered film works, which after several years of research have been restored and digitised. More information

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