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KW Institute announces spring programme 2022

Editors’ Choice

KW Institute for Contemporary Art has announced its spring 2022 programme. It reflects on the construction of history and reality by introducing new models of narration. Peter Friedl, Rabih Mroué and Oraib Toukan use theatrical and cinematic methods to create a critical intimacy that questions the mechanisms of our seeing and speaking. The exhibitions span the period February, March, April and end on Sunday, 1 May 2022, so they can also be visited as part of this year’s Gallery Weekend, which takes place in Berlin from 29 April to 1 May 2022.

Image above: Rabih Mroué, Self Portrait as a Fountain, 2006. Courtesy the artist

Peter Friedl
Report 1964 – 2022

19 February – 1 May 2022
Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen
Assistant curator: Léon Kruijswijk

ART at Berlin - KW Institute for Contemporary Art - Peter Friedl - Snjokarl 1999 Detail - Courtesy artist
Peter Friedl, Snjókarl, 1999 (detail). Colour slides. Courtesy the artist

Report 1964-2022 is Peter Friedl’s (*1960) most comprehensive institutional show of work in Germany to date. Friedl works with a variety of genres, media and forms of presentation within which his works address the construction of history and the concepts of our political and aesthetic consciousness. His artistic practice is about creating new narrative forms in which time, permanent change of place and genre, and critical intimacy play a central role. Friedl often uses the representational modes and poetics of theatre (scale models, tableaux vivants, props, puppet theatre, restaging, etc.) to point to hidden or overlooked mechanisms at work in historiography, language and cultural identities. Archival precision is the defining organisational strategy in some of his long-term projects, in which other organising principles are used alongside a strict chronology to challenge our notions of visibility and context. Drawing, which comments on and historically documents private as well as socio-political history(s) as a lyrical voice, also plays an important role in Friedl’s oeuvre. Report 1964-2022 is a monographic show that brings together works from five decades. Its title is borrowed from the video installation of the same name that Friedl created for documenta 14, a work that traces the permeability of language and the boundaries of identity. Accompanying the exhibition is a publication with previously published texts from the last twenty years as well as newly commissioned essays on the artist’s work.

Preis für künstlerische Forschung der Schering Stiftung 2020:
Rabih Mroué
Under the Carpet

19 February – 1 May 2022
Curator: Nadim Samman
Assistant curator: Sofie Krogh Christensen

DEEDS NEWS - KW Institute - Rabih Mroue - Self Portrait as a Fountain - 2006
Rabih Mroué, Self Portrait as a Fountain, 2006. Courtesy the artist

Rabih Mroué (*1967, LB) received the Ernst Schering Foundation Prize for Artistic Research in 2020. Mroué’s internationally awarded work encompasses theatre, visual arts and literature. Working at the intersection of private and political history, media critique and concepts of authorship, his artistic practice interrogates our ways of seeing and speaking. Under the Carpet features eight newly commissioned works in a constellation with older works from the past twenty years.

The Prize for Artistic Research emerged from the Ernst Schering Foundation Art Prize, which was awarded every two years to international artist:ing from 2005 to 2018. In 2019, the prize was redesigned in cooperation with the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin. In 2020, the prize was awarded for the sixth time in cooperation with KW Institute for Contemporary Art.

Oraib Toukan
What Then

19 February – 1 May 2022
Co-curators: Krist Gruijthuijsen and Léon Kruijswijk

DEEDS NEWS - KW Institute - Oraib-Toukan-Via-Dolorosa
Oraib Toukan, Via Dolorosa, 2021. Image study in a single-channel video (color, sound). Courtesy the artist

KW Institute for Contemporary Art invites the American artist and scholar Oraib Toukan (*1977, US) to present two new films made as part of her long-term study on “cruel images”. In her artistic research practice, Toukan deals with how we deal with mediatised images of violence and, in particular, with the fine line between looking towards and looking away.

Working with photography, film, text and language, Toukan uses post-production as a means to explore the complexities of representing encounters with violence. By juxtaposing images of cruelty with gentle and everyday images in one work, or re-editing found and restored archival images of violence, she raises the question of what lies beyond the suffering captured in the image.

The exhibition title refers to a verse by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra – What Then, What do we do with our Love (1974) – and acknowledges the state of temporal and spatial distance from disaster and catastrophe. Toukan’s work turns away from the oft-cited dichotomy of outrage and indifference and returns to the function of viewing. In this way, she enables a more relational reading, an observation of violence from a different situatedness.


KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69
10117 Berlin-Mitte


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