in Artistic Works and Projects

On an artistic level, projects and artists reflecting on and creating new ideas about sustainability are an established part of our programme. This also includes initiatives for networking and exchange with other stakeholders.

A woman with a flowerpot on her head is surrounded by plants.

© Eike Walkenhorst

Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre / Green Ambassadors

Since 2021, the Forum Ecological Sustainability in the Theatre has been held each year as part of the Theatertreffen. The project’s aim is the active development of a long-term network for themes of sustainability in the theatre that also links up with existing initiatives. Up to two representatives from each of the theatres and production houses responsible for the festival’s ten selected productions take part as Green Ambassadors in meetings and workshops where they discuss approaches to and challenges of sustainable theatre work and devise common strategies and projects for producing culture in an ecologically sustainable way.
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A group of people are discussing in a circle.

Theatertreffen 2021 - Workshop Green Ambassadors

© Piero Chiussi

Down to Earth

Inspired by Bruno Latour’s essay on climate change, “Down to Earth” at the Gropius Bau in 2020 invited everyone to rethink their relationship with this planet of ours. At the same time this summer project in the Immersion series examined its own impact on the climate and asked the question: what would it actually look like if we organised an exhibition according to the principles in Latour’s book? The result was a four-week unplugged programme of objects, installations and performances – without electricity, loudspeakers, videos, screens, air travel or spotlights.
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Jared Gradinger & Angela Schubot: The Opposite of a Shadowland

Jared Gradinger & Angela Schubot: The Opposite of a Shadowland

© Berliner Festspiele / Eike Walkenhorst

Zheng Bo

During his term as Artist in Residence at the Gropius Bau, the artist and theoretician Zheng Bo was concerned with the political life of plants and what we humans might be able to learn from them. His exhibition “Wanwu Council 萬物社” in the summer of 2021 picked up on this and developed strategies for a conscious and empathetic interaction between life forms. Among the exhibits were a series of drawings of supposed weeds and trees from Hong Kong and Berlin which Zheng Bo produced regularly over the course of one year as a way of becoming more familiar with these plants. There was also a series of public “Ecosensibility Exercises” which were intended to help visitors increase their sensitivity to their ecological environment.
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A man sits on the floor and draws plants.

Zheng Bo: Wanwu Council 萬物社, Ecosensibility Exercises 生態感悟練習, 2021, Gropius Bau

© Foto: Laura Fiorio

More Artistic Works

Otobong Nkanga, Solid Maneuvers, Gropius Bau (2020)

Otobong Nkanga: There’s No Such Thing as Solid Ground

Otobong Nkanga’s interest focuses on the complex relationship between human beings and land, which she examines in her works through the tension between exploitative processes of extraction and structures of repair and care. Her solo exhibition “There’s No Such Thing as Solid Ground” was presented at the Gropius Bau in 2020.
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A woman stands in front of plants in the Gropius Bau.

Garden of Earthly Delights

In the exhibition “Garden of Earthly Delights” at the Gropius Bau in 2019, more than 20 international artists interpreted the image of the garden as a metaphor for the state of the world, in order to explore the complex circumstances of our chaotic and increasingly precarious present.
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Arne Vogelgesang sits on a stage and looks into a tablet. In the background is a screen showing a young man with a face mask.

internil (Arne Vogelgesang & Marina Dessau): Es ist zu spät

In a live re-enactment in 2021 of the lecture performance he had created some years previously, Arne Vogelgesang questioned the effectiveness of theatre in the face of the climate emergency. The event took place within the framework of the Theatertreffen.
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