Berlin Biennale

4th Berlin Biennale 2006

25 Mar - 28 May 2006

4th berlin biennial for contemporary art
Of Mice and Men
25 March - 28 May 2006

Maurizio Cattelan
Massimiliano Gioni
Ali Subotnick

Abts, Tomma
Alimpiev, Viktor
Althamer, Pawel
Althoff, Kai and Braun, Lutz
Aminde, Ulf
Assaël, Micol
Ballen, Roger
Bayrle, Thomas
Beutler, Michael
Borremans, Michaël
Buche, Tobias
Burdin, Anthony
Cantor, Mircea
Conner, Bruce
Cottam, Benjamin
Creed, Martin
Croy, Oliver with Elser, Oliver
Cuoghi, Roberto
Dean, Tacita
Deller, Jeremy
De Bruyckere, Berlinde
De Dominicis, Gino
Djurberg, Nathalie
Donnelly, Trisha
van Eeden, Marcel
Fletcher, Saul
Flexner, Roland
Gmelin, Felix
Grzeszykowska, Aneta
Hammwöhner, Sebastian / Jakob, Dani / Vormstein, Gabriel
Harrison, Rachel
Ivanov, Pravdoliub
Jensen, Sergej
Jurczak, Dorota
Kantor, Tadeusz
Kiaer, Ian
Knowles, Christopher
Kusmirowski, Robert
van Lieshout, Erik
Liden, Klara
Mancuska, Ján
Mandel, Mike & Sultan, Larry
Manders, Mark
Martin, Kris
McCarthy, Paul
McCorkle, Corey
Meise, Michaela
Monahan, Matthew
Mühl, Otto
Nauman, Bruce
Ortega, Damián
Perrone, Diego
Philipsz, Susan
Queiroz, Jorge
Reynolds, Reynold with Jolley, Patrick
Roggan, Ricarda
Ruilova, Aïda
Sala, Anri
Schinwald, Markus
Schmidt, Michael
Schütte, Thomas
Schwontkowski, Norbert
Sehgal, Tino
Shahbazi, Shirana
Shearer, Steven
Slotawa, Florian
Soulou, Christiana
Toomik, Jaan
Varga Weisz, Paloma
Wearing, Gillian
von Wedemeyer, Clemens with Schweizer, Maya
Wekua, Andro
Wilkes, Cathy
Woodman, Francesca
Zipp, Thomas

The exhibition Of Mice and Men unravels as a novel, a story involving different characters and individualities, dissecting their private destinies and universal fears.

In order to capture and amplify these tensions, the curators of the 4th berlin biennial have selected an array of unusual venues and exhibition sites, all concentrated along one street, Auguststrasse in the Mitte district, in the heart of Berlin.

Choosing one street as both an example and an archetype, Of Mice and Men leads its viewers across a variety of environments and experiences, opening doors onto forgotten buildings and hidden sites, dispersing art in the spaces where we usually work, eat, pray and play. The artists in “Of Mice and Men” were asked to intervene or present their works in places that represent the every day that is our common ground: private apartments, offices, schools, galleries, trailers, and former factories.

For the show, the curators aspire to put together a story that follows different plotlines and open-ended narrative passages. Not a theme show nor an exhibition with a thesis, "Of Mice and Men" poses questions about birth and loss, death and surrender, grief and nostalgia.

Taking its title from a poem by 18th century Scottish writer Robert Burns – who also inspired John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel of the same name – Of Mice and Men stages a theater of the absurd, in which animals, humans and ghosts all play their tragic parts. But it is also a day in life of the inhabitants of a street and a stroll along the spaces that punctuate our existence.

The exhibition, Of Mice and Men will include more than 60 artists spanning four generations and working in a variety of media and techniques from etching to woodcut, animation to still photography, role-playing to team building. Unlike the prevailing biennial tendency to debut the latest talents and movements, this show draws connections across time and throughout the past and present, rather than just concentration on the fleeting trend or tastes. And the context within the heart of the city of Berlin brings with it the undeniable weight of countless histories and manifestations, triumphs and failures.

Berlin has a long tradition of co-opting and transforming existing buildings and structures into venues for temporary art shows. Every day in Berlin an artist turns his or her apartment into a gallery or opens an independent exhibition space. Learning from this experience, the curators recognize the specificity of Berlin’s art scene and the vast quantities of unoccupied space. That space is both a blessing and a curse: it offers up exciting and fresh venues for presenting art, however it also symbolizes the failures and consequences of the city’s powerful and persistent memory and history.

The berlin biennial is the only biennial in the world that changes locations and venues according to the exigencies of the exhibition. Of Mice And Men will thus become a strange carnival or street fair, following a jagged descent into the spirals of time.