Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 8 pm
Die Inszenierung des Urbanen (The Staging of the Urban Element)

Screening of works from the n.b.k. Video-Forum collection, selected by Kristina Paustian (n.b.k. Video- Forum), with a commentary by Sophia Gräfe (media and cultural scientist, Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin)

Films by Denis Beaubois, in the event of Amnesia the city will recall… (1997); Arno Brandlhuber / Christopher Roth, Are You Happy? (2012); KP Brehmer, Walkings Nr. 1–6 (1969–1970); Niklas Goldbach, Habitat C3B (2008); Allan Kaprow, Sweet Wall (1970); Holly Zausner, The Beginning (2003)


The exhibition
1989–2019: Politics of Space in the New Berlin outlines the urbanistic and architectural development from the point of view of the supposed “end of history”: How did Berlin become what it is today? A screening of selected works from the collection of the n.b.k. Video-Forum present several artistic approaches to the subject of urbanity. They address strategies of dealing with the city and they depict the city as scenery and also as a protagonist:

In his experimental film series Walkings (1969-1970, 15:18 min), K. P. Brehmer (b. 1938 in Berlin; d. 1997 in Hamburg) examines in six sequences significant objects and structures within the urban landscape of Berlin and the changes resulting from their representation in media.

The action
Sweet Wall (1970, 10:01 min) by Allan Kaprow (b. 1927 in Atlantic City; d. 2006 in Encinitas, USA) took place on November 9, 1970 in Berlin. Running parallel to the Berlin border wall, Kaprow erected a second wall from 500 hollow blocks, slices of toast and fruit jam, which he destroyed shortly afterwards.

in the event of Amnesia the city will recall… (1997, 9:59 min) by Denis Beaubois (b. 1970 in Moka, Mauritius, living in Sydney) satirizes the security efforts of a control society, as the artist enters into a dialogue with a surveillance apparatus by using lettered cardboard signs.

Habitat C3B (2008, 7:36 min) by Berlin media artist Niklas Goldbach (b. 1973 in Witten, living in Berlin) was created in a building complex built in 1970 in the 15th arrondissement in Paris. A cloned protagonist runs through the intricate building. Dressed in a white shirt and black suit trousers, he looks like a representative of the modern urban dweller who is on the prowl for himself.

In the found footage video work
Are You Happy? (2012, 5:35 min, n.b.k. co-production) by Arno Brandlhuber (b. 1964 in Wasserlos, living in Berlin) and Christopher Roth (b. 1964 in Munich, living in Berlin) advertising films, with which major investors present their developments, allow a look behind the façade of Berlin’s luxury architecture.

The beginning … (2003, 7:17 min) records a performance by Holly Zausner (b. 1951 in New Jersey, living in New York and Berlin) on the rooftops of Berlin – including the Taut building designed by the same-named modernist, the Neue Nationalgalerie designed by Mies van der Rohe, the building of the Berliner Zeitung, and the Jewish Museum. The artist is moving, carrying, or throwing highly colored silicone figures designed by her. They are swirling in the air, twisting and obscuring the view of historically important places in Berlin. The locations point out both particular aesthetic features and significant historical developments of the city.

In German and English
Free admission


Sophia Gräfe is a media scholar and cultural scientist and lives in Marburg and Berlin. She has worked as assistant curator and freelance author for the Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the transmediale, the Werkleitz Festival as well as for various gallery projects and artist studios. Currently, she is a research fellow at the Philipps-Universität Marburg and the Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin.

Kristina Paustian
(b. 1985 in Omsk, living in Berlin) works as an assistant at the Video-Forum of Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and also as a video artist. She studied art and media at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). Her work has been funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation, the DAAD, the Elsa Neumann scholarship of the Federal State of Berlin and the UdK’s Commission for Artistic and Scientific Projects (KKWV). For her first documentary ZAPLYV – Die Schwimmer (The Swimmers, 2015), she won the ARTE Documentary Award. She is a co-founder of the media art association Medienkunstverein mkv, Berlin.