Martin-Gropius-Bau
Rotunda Martin-Gropius-Bau. Photo: Mathias Völzke
Rotunda Martin-Gropius-Bau

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Dear visitors,

I am delighted to address you as the new director of the Martin-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 MGB 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 MGB 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 Martin-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 MGB 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 MGB 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 MGB this year, and I am very excited about what awaits us here. The project series Immersion produces at the MGB 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 Martin-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

From 1 February 2018, the bookstore and restaurant will be closed for refurbishment. A temporary booth is available on the second floor.

Please note that the entrance of the Martin-Gropius-Bau will be located at the south side from 5 February to 9 March 2018. Please make sure to follow the signage.

From 15 to 23 February 2018 there will be limited access to the exhibition “Jews, Christians and Muslims. Scientific Discourse in the Middle Ages 500-1500”. There might be waiting times at the entrance, we apologize for any inconvenience.

Current exhibition

Two astronomers with instrument (Quadrant)
© Austrian National Library

Jews, Christians and Muslims
Scientific Discourse in the Middle Ages 500-1500

Until 4 March 2018

Today’s scientific world rests upon the shoulders of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars who translated ancient scriptures in the Middle Ages; first in the Middle East into Arabic, and then in Europe – starting in southern Italy and Spain – from Arabic into Latin. The significance of this transfer of knowledge cannot be overstated, even if it wasn’t the only strand of transmission. The arrival of Aristotle’s writings in medieval Europe, for example, was possible largely thanks to this translation activity.
To the exhibition

Upcoming

Hexadome
© Pfadfinderei

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

Ana Mendieta, Sweating Blood, 1973, Super 8 film, color, silent
Photo: The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC.,Courtesy: Galerie Lelong & Co.

Ana Mendieta

20 April to 22 July 2018

Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) represents one of the most outstanding artistic positions of the 1970s and 1980s. From 20 April to 22 July 2018, the Martin-Gropius-Bau will present her multi-layered film work, which has been recently restored and digitised, the result of several years of research work. More information

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