On 5 September 1951, the first Berliner Festwochen, as they were originally called, were launched at Berlin’s Schillertheater. It was the beginning of an unusual festival history between East and West, in the theatre and public spaces, presenting pop and avant-garde, exhibitions of contemporary art, cinema and the cultures of the world. With an essay, a chronicle, an exhibition in the Gropius Bau and the #Festspielgeschichten-series on our blog, we invite you to explore some of the many stories and aspects of the Berliner Festspiele in this anniversary year.
Everything Is Just for a While – 70 years of Berliner Festspiele revisited
Previously little-known video footage from our own, public and private collections are boldly edited together in “Everything Is Just for a While” to mark the Berliner Festspiele’s 70th birthday and offer a new perspective on artistic positions from around the world that continue to amaze us today. The exhibition will be on view in the Gropius Bau from 28 May to 17 October 2021.
At the heart of Hella Jongerius’s artistic practice is the connection between industry and craft as well as traditional knowledge and technology. In spring 2021, the Gropius Bau will present a solo exhibition devoted to the artist and designer that will continue to develop over the course of time.
As In House: Artist in Residence 2020, the artist and theoretician Zheng Bo embarked on the question of how plants practice politics. In 2021, his exhibition Wanwu Council 萬物社 will expand upon themes that Zheng Bo worked on during his one-year residency at the Gropius Bau.
The Musikfest Berlin 2021 will take place from 28 August to 20 September in cooperation with the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s death, the festival will devote a special focus to the composer. It presents his rarely performed late works, surrounded by compositions by Bach, Händel, Gesualdo and Palestrina. The music of our time is represented by composers such as Heiner Goebbels, Ann Cleare, Clara Iannotta, Lisa Streich, Enno Poppe, Wolfgang Rihm, Olga Neuwirth, George Benjamin and Rebecca Saunders. The Berlin orchestras and choirs as well as renowned international orchestras and choirs from the Netherlands, England and France can be heard.
As part of Berlin Art Week, the fourth edition of “The New Infinity” will take place at Zeiss-Großplanetarium from 17 to 19 September 2021 and turn it into a gallery of the future. With works by Actress, Actual Objects, Sun Araw, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Bridget Ferrill, Bendik Giske, Lucas Gutierrez, Bill Ham, Robert Lippok, Emeka Ogboh, David OReilly, Florence To, Theo Triantafyllidis, John Whitney, Thomas Wilfred and others.
Angela Rosenberg about Gerhart von Westerman, art manager and first artistic director of the Berliner Festwochen
General Refurbishment of Haus der Berliner Festspiele
For the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, the penultimate phase of technical and energy-related general refurbishments, which began in 2010, started in June 2020 and is expected to be completed in February 2022.
We have been following EMAS guidelines for sustainable environmental performance since 2013. Find out more about our goals and the measures that we have already taken on the website of our umbrella organisation.
Statement by the “Initiative GG 5.3 Weltoffenheit”
As representatives of public cultural and research institutions in Germany, we share a mandate from the state to promote arts and culture, historical research and democratic education and to make these accessible to the general public. Toward this end, we rely on a public sphere that welcomes controversial debates in accordance with the norms of the German constitution. At the center of our initiative lies a common struggle against antisemitism, racism, right-wing extremism and any form of violent religious fundamentalism.