A city still in the midst of a post–Cold War cultural and economic rebirth, since the 1990s Berlin has become a haven for artists from all over the world—a free zone where experimentation, individual expression, and international influences converge. From creating large-scale public projects to intimately personal ones, the artists in this episode demonstrate the diversity of practice and sensibilities in the German capital, expose its complicated history of war and migration, and convey hopes for finding systems that foster a better tomorrow.More information and credits
Executive Producer: Tina Kukielski. Series Producer: Nick Ravich. Directors: Rafael Salazar & Ava Wiland. Producer: Ava Wiland. Editor: Thomas Niles. Director of Photography: Rafael Salazar.
Production Coordinator: Ife Adelona. Curatorial Assistant: Danielle Brock. Advising Producer: Ian Forster.
Title Sequence & Typography: Afternoon Inc. Composer: Joel Pickard. Narration: Carrie Mae Weems. Additional Photography: Rehana Esmail, Christoph Lerch, & Anne Misselwitz. Aerial Camera: Martin Paschkowski. Sound: Jaime Guijarro-Bustamante. Additional Sound: Rasmus Damsgaard, Marc Parisotto, Fokke van Saane, & Ava Wiland. Production Assistant: Flavia Barragan Clavero, Claudia Gülzow, Tim Oppermann, & Manuel Schmit.
Digital Intermediate: Blue Table Post. Post-Production Producer: Oliver Lief. Colorist: Natacha Ikoli. Re-Recording Mixer & Dialogue Editor: Rich Cutler. Additional Animation: Andy Cahill. Assistant Editor: Caroline Berler, Adam Boese, Maya Elany, & Jonah Greenstein. Technical Evaluation: Pillar To Post. Translation: Rehana Esmail & Ridwan Zebari.
Artwork Courtesy: Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Olafur Eliasson, Hiwa K, Susan Philipsz, KOW, Lisson Gallery, & Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. Eliasson Artwork: “Cirkelbroen,” Copenhagen, 2015; “Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger),” ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, 2010; “Ice Watch,” Place du Panthéon, Paris, 2015; “Map for unthought thoughts,” Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, 2014; Rainbow assembly, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, 2016; “Reality projector,” Marciano Foundation, Los Angeles, 2018; “Riverbed,” Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, 2014; “Sphere,” Fünf Höfe, Viscardihof, Munich, 2003; “The weather project,” Tate Modern, London, 2003; “Umschreibung,” KPMG Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft, Munich, 2004; “Vejr i vejret,” Ordrupgaard Kunstpark, Denmark, 2016; “Wirbelwerk,” Lenbachhaus, Munich, 2011; “Your rainbow panorama,” ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark, 2011; “Your split second house,” 12th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2010.
Archival Materials: 47 Film / Andy Cameron; BBC Motion Gallery / Getty Images; Critical Past; Footage of Olafur Eliasson’s “Waterfall, Versailles, 2016 by Barbara Fecchio, Courtesy of Sculpture Nature; Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin; Newsroom GmbH / Max Roehrle; NPR; Olafur Eliasson interview courtesy Public Art Fund; Pond5; SHIMURAbros; Studio Olafur Eliasson; Transit Film; & Walker Art Center / Andy Underwood.
Additional Art21 Staff: Maggie Albert, Lindsey Davis, Lolita Fierro, Joe Fusaro, & Jonathan Munar. Interns: Diane Huerta, Esther Knuth, Sunny Leerasanthanah, & Kristopher Neira. Public Relations: Sutton. Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Barbara T. Hoffman, Esq.
Special Thanks: The Art21 Board of Trustees, Leila Akhmetova, Bakir Ali, Bettina Bärnighausen, Sebastian Behmann, Finn Bergquist, Thomas Blees. Rainer Brennecke, Johanna Chromik, CityQuartier FÜNF HÖFE, De Appel, Ina Dinter, Documenta 14, Joel Draper, Caroline Eggel, Jeremy Eichenbaum , El Otmani Gym, Anna Engberg-Pedersen, Emilie Engbirk, Anna Fedotova, Guillermo F. Florez, Annie Claire Geisinger , Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, Nora Gomez-Strauss, Marina Greiner , Felix Hallwachs, Christine Hauptsummer , Haus der Geschichte Österreich, Lauren Jack, Patricia Kamp, Wanås Konst, KPMG Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft Munich, Camilla Kragelund, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Sharron Lee, Clara Jungman Malmquist, Julia Jungman Malmquist , Marciano Art Foundation, Augustin Maurs , Eoghan McTigue, Alan Miller, Elisabeth Millqvist , Museum Frieder Burda | Salon Berlin, Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Alexander Psavke, Sara Roffino, Schlossmuseum Sondershausen, Emily Skeppner, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Niels Van Tomme , Lucie von Eugen, Jill Vuchetich, Wanås Konst, Sven Weigel, Wolfgang Wenke, Robin Woerlen-Leikam, Michaela Zach, & Katja Zeidler.
Series Created By: Susan Dowling & Susan Sollins.
Major support for Season 9 is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, Lambent Foundation, Agnes Gund, Ford Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis, Nion McEvoy, and The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.
Through the Art21 Translation Project, multilingual audiences from around the globe can contribute translations, making Art21 films more accessible worldwide.
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Olafur Eliasson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1967. Moving seamlessly from his early photographs to sculpture, immersive environments, large-scale public interventions, and architectural projects, Eliasson uses simple natural elements—light, color, water, and movement—to alter viewers’ sensory perceptions. Predicated on the idea that “art does not end where the real world begins,” Eliasson’s work lives in the active exchange between his creations and the viewers.
Nathalie Djurberg was born in Lysekil, Sweden, in 1978. Hans Berg was born in Rättvik, Sweden, in 1978. Mixing sculpture, sound, and filmmaking, the duo has collaborated since 2004 to create absurd and bawdy clay-animation films and installations. Their work exposes an undercurrent of psychologically charged human and animalistic desires with the sweet veneer of a childhood fairytale.
Susan Philipsz was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1965. Philipsz’s work explores the psychological and sculptural dimensions of sound, with recordings of her voice and a variety of reworked musical compositions. Interested in the power of sound to trigger emotion, Philipsz responds to the architecture and history of the spaces in which her pieces are installed; her works prompt introspection and an examination of personal and collective memories, losses, and yearnings.
Hiwa K was born in Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan, Iraq, in 1975. His sculptures, videos, and performances slyly weave together anecdotes from friends and family members with his biography. As a Kurdish Iraqi and immigrant to Germany, Hiwa K draws from personal memories to tell stories of our ongoing global crises: war, migration, and the effects of neoliberalism and colonialism. Documenting with video, the artist inserts himself into his works, which often involve participatory dimensions (such as group cooking classes, musical performances, and political protests) and collaborations with a wide cast of players, from Iraqi philosophers to Venetian metal casters. Largely self-taught, his multidisciplinary approach draws upon his peer-to-peer education in Iraq as well as his musical training under the Flamenco master, Paco Peña.
“Living in Berlin, the history is so raw and you still feel it. I think it’s that it doesn’t want to hide its past.”