In What Century Will the Earth’s North and South Poles Change Polarities?

Exhibition – On, Of, For, With Benjamin Patterson

As the first comprehensive retrospective in Berlin, this exhibition – jointly presented by SAVVY Contemporary and MaerzMusik in collaboration with the Estate of Benjamin Patterson and Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden – reflects on the life’s work of Fluxus co-founder Benjamin Patterson, who passed away in 2016.

Fluxus artist Benjamin Patterson cuts strips of paper with scissors.

Benjamin Patterson, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden

© Christian Lauer

Opening Hours after MaerzMusik:
31 March to 17 April 2022, Thursday to Sunday, 14:00–19:00

Amidst the uncertainties, clamancies and nebulosity of our times, we must still find space to intro- and retrospect. Or is it to intro-audite and retro-audite? Indeed, we must find space and time to listen in and listen back. This project is a deliberation on and celebration of the seminal work of African-American artist Benjamin Patterson (1934–2016). It is an attempt to unsilence, re-enact and re-interpret the extensive body of work of one of the founding members of the Fluxus movement. It is a possibility to listen at ear level.

Six years after he transitioned to the greater beyond, it is time to take stock and time to commemorate Benjamin Patterson with a first comprehensive solo exhibition in Berlin. This exhibition will bring together original scores, texts, artworks, objects, videos, compositions and other archival material. The public programme will take the form of an invocation by contemporary artists of performances, concerts, lectures and film screenings On, Of, For, With Ben Patterson.

SAVVY Contemporary, together with the Patterson Estate and MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues, invites artists, curators, scholars and co-travellers to reflect and revive Patterson’s work of five decades. While being based on a multi-disciplinary curatorial approach that stems from Patterson’s worlds, this project wants to move beyond Fluxus, historically and artistically – a play on and with time, an archive in action.

This is a long term research by SAVVY Contemporary, which brings together works from five decades by Benjamin Patterson, including “When Elephants Fight, It Is the Frogs That Suffer (2016–17)”, commissioned for documenta14 (Athens and Kassel, 2017).

In collaboration with Barbro Patterson (Estate of Benjamin Patterson) and Elke Gruhn (Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden). This project is the sixth collaboration between SAVVY Contemporary and MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues, with works commissioned by Deutschlandfunk Kultur.


Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung artistic direction
Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Kamila Metwaly,
Berno Odo Polzer curation
Billy Fowo, Nancy Naser Al Deen curatorial & production team exhibition
Lili Somogyi, Manuela Garcia Aldana
and Sonia Lescène curatorial & production team Invocations
Lema Sikod general management
Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock project management
Anna Jäger communications
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