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4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art
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BERLIN, GERMANY.-The 4th berlin biennial for contemporary art is not only a singular exhibition: It is a series of events, incursions and gestures. The first incursion, begun in March 2005, takes the form of a column in the fortnightly magazine Zitty, in which the curators of the 4th berlin biennial have been interviewing artists living or working in Berlin. In September 2005, the 4th berlin biennial opened Gagosian Gallery, Berlin, a knock-off franchise that presents a new exhibition every four weeks, offering different perspectives on art in Berlin, Germany and beyond. Around the same time, the curators contributed a diary detailing their experiences as newcomers in Berlin, to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

The latest effort of the 4th berlin biennial takes the form of a publication, Checkpoint Charley, which includes images and materials from over 700 artists encountered by the curators during their research. Checkpoint Charley is the memory stick of the 4th berlin biennial: it is an excessive information tool and an attempt to capture the ever-expanding output of today’s art scene.

With Zitty, Gagosian Gallery, Berlin, and Checkpoint Charley, the 4th berlin biennial configures itself as an octopus-like creature, each tentacle reaching out in a different direction. One exhibition, in fact, is no longer enough to describe a moment in time, that’s why the 4th berlin biennial operates as a series of satellites, all equally important, completely independent and yet complementary.

In expanding the timeline and activities, the curators re-examine the role of a contemporary biennial and its exchange with a participatory public. With this all inclusive, insatiable attitude, the 4th berlin biennial aims to reflect the exciting diversity of the art scene in Berlin, while also trying to grasp the radical variety of contemporary art on an international scale.

Seen in this context, the exhibition of the 4th berlin biennial – which opens on March 24, 2006 – follows suit as another endeavor, complete unto itself, but gathering its energy from all the preceding events. Titled “Of Mice and Men”, the exhibition aims to bring together art works that deal with a looming sense of loss, a threatening atmosphere of personal insecurity and collective anxiety.

In order to reflect these fractured and fragile atmospheres, “Of Mice and Men” will not only take place in museum settings and white cubes. Instead, the exhibition will unravel along one street, Auguststrasse, in Berlin’s historic Mitte district, presenting art in unconventional spaces and charged environments. Besides the institutional setting of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, in fact, the venues for the 4th berlin biennial will vary from private apartments to deserted buildings, bringing together several other sites that symbolically reflect the places where we live our everyday lives and consume our daily defeats.

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