Gropius Bau Friends
The Gropius Bau Friends are people specialising in art education. They are present in our exhibitions several days a week, and are always available to help visitors with any questions. The Friends are recognisable by black long-sleeved T-shirts with the print “Gropius Bau”.
Recommended by the Friends
The Gropius Bau Friends spend many hours in the exhibition rooms, entrance areas, corridors and many other places in the Gropius Bau. There they talk to visitors about their questions and impressions and give useful tips about visiting the building. What do they experience during this work? What do they remember? What are they particularly looking forward to? The column Recommend by the Friends gives insight into the personal highlights of a Gropius Bau Friend about once a month.
Zorica “Lola” Radivojevic-Llalloshi
on “Yayoi Kusama: A Bouquet of Love I Saw in the Universe”
Recently, I much enjoyed building a snowman with my granddaughter. And it’s always so nice to gaze out the window and watch the seasons change. Often, my thoughts then turn to the immersive spaces of Yayoi Kusama. To me, her “Polka Dots” bear a strong resemblance to snowflakes, but also to flowers in bloom. I’m in great excitement because hopefully her exhibition now opens at the Gropius Bau in April.
Zorica “Lola” Radivojevic-Llalloshi, Gropius Bau Friend and museum guard at the Gropius Bau
on “Masculinities: Liberation through Photography”
January, sleet and lockdown: fairly enticing to get all cozy on the couch. To break up the monotony, you may take a short walk with curator Alona Pardo through the exhibition Masculinities: Liberation through Photography. While strolling digitally through the Gropius Bau, past various images of masculinities over the course of time, you’re not only getting an impression of the exhibition, but also a desire to wander through the spacious galleries yourself soon again.
Rosa-Lena Bösl, Gropius Bau Friend and independent museologist
on the outside facade of the Gropius Bau
I am always amazed to see the Gropius Bau from the outside – one of the most impressive museum buildings! And a real “showcase” of handicrafts from the time of its construction in 1881. The fact that serial production was gaining traction then was seen as a threat to the continued survival of manual skills and artistic acumen. The large-scale terracotta depictions on the first and second floors, which surround the entire building, show master craftsmen at work in a lifelike manner (here basket weavers and printers). A walk around the building is a powerful reminder that the Gropius Bau was founded as a school for arts and crafts – and that it continues to pose questions about the relationship between arts and crafts today.
Petra Petrick, Gropius Bau Friend and photographer
Hans Youssuf Kiesler
on Otobong Nkanga’s “Carved to Flow”
Otobong Nkanga’s exhibition is entitled There’s No Such Thing as Solid Ground – and that’s exactly what it’s all about: ground, i.e. earth. In the Carved to Flow (2017–2020) project workspace, Nuno Vasconcelos, architect and researcher, works with different types of soil (coarse, pebbly, stony, fine, ...) to create the right mixture for building a solid wall. The highlight, however, is Nuno himself. You start a conversation, experience earth in a new way, share views, discover ideas and can always get your hands dirty, too.
Hans Youssuf Kiesler, Gropius Bau Friend and actor
on Lee Mingwei: “Guernica in Sand”
Nothing is permanent, everything is changeable and limited in relation to time. I particularly like the installation Guernica in Sand (2006/2020) by Lee Mingwei because it addresses the possibility of transforming trauma. Sand can be washed away by ocean waves, the wind or a ritual. Lee Mingwei transformed his sand painting through the performance of such a ritual, with people walking through the sand to turn an image based on Picasso's famous painting Guernica (1937) into an abstract form. Although the traces of the past can still be seen and memorised, we encounter a completely new image. For me it’s a metaphor for time and hope.
Sehnaz Layikel, Gropius Bau Friend and PhD candidate at the Berlin University of the Arts
on Otobong Nkanga: “Manifest of Strains”
Air, water, fire – I particularly like the work Manifest of Strains (2017), because it combines these natural elements with emotional, social and political conditions and also makes these tangible: just as water evaporates into air through heat, other conditions merge into each other and create tension, which discharges itself in the installation’s circuit with a loud hiss – it always gives me a little goose bumps.
Lindi B., Gropius Bau Friend and student of cultural studies
on Akinbode Akinbiyi: “Six Songs, Swirling Gracefully in the Taut Air”
In the exhibition of Akinbode Akinbiyi, Six Songs, Swirling Gracefully in the Taut Air, I am particularly intrigued by the large unframed photograph, which hangs on the right-hand side of the door in the last room titled Lagos: All Roads. I would like to ask viewers to embark upon an imaginary journey through the rough metropolis that is depicted: just what is it that marks the haunting gaze of the young man in the photograph?
Petra Petrick, Gropius Bau Friend and photographer
The Gropius Bau Friends currently include:
Rosa-Lena Bösl, Lindi B., Amelie Hornung, Hans Youssuf Kiesler, Sehnaz Layikel, Petra Petrick, Zorica Radivojevic-Llalloshi
Nataša Jagdhuhn, Ralph-Jürgen Lischke and Paul Maragnoli
At the beginning, the project was consulted by Julia Moritz and supported by an interdisciplinary advisory board, formed by Jens Dierkes, Kolja Kohlhoff, Necati Öziri, Carlos Rodriguez and Stephanie Rosenthal.
During winter semester 2019/20 at Leuphana University Lüneburg, a seminar led by Prof. Dr. Söntgen and Alia Rayyan examined the project with students of cultural studies.