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wOrte zwischen Sinn, Kunst und Wahnsinn: reading series on Hugo va der Goes with Bibiana Beglau, Sina Martens and Samuel Finzi -Gemäldegalerie | 19.05.-16.06.2023

Editors’ Choice

The actors Bibiana Beglau, Samuel Finzi and Sina Martens read texts on art and madness in the exhibition “Hugo van der Goes. Between Pain and Bliss” in the Berlin Gemäldegalerie. The reading series will take place on three evening dates: 19 May, 2 June and 16 June 2023.

Fig. above: Gemäldegalerie, Eingang Sigismundstraße, Kulturforum, Berlin-Tiergarten, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker

Mental delusions have been observed in artists for centuries. Hugo van der Goes (c. 1440-1482/83) also fell into a state of mental confusion at the end of his life. Even in ancient literature it can be read that there is no great genius without a touch of madness. From the Renaissance through Romanticism to Vincent van Gogh, who compared himself to Hugo van der Goes, and beyond, this idea has persisted. To this day, the question of the connection between art and madness fascinates and is posed anew again and again. The actors Bibiana Beglau, Samuel Finzi and Sina Martens also explore this question in their readings and sound out different levels of reality and meaning between art and madness.

Friday, 19. May 2023, 7:30 pm

Sina Martens, Friday, 19 May 2023, 7.30 pm: “It’s Britney, Bitch!” by Lena Brasch and Sina Martens, © Rafaela Pröll

Sina Martens

“It’s Britney, Bitch!” by Lena Brasch and Sina Martens

(Berliner Ensemble)

“To understand this world, we need to know how to love, because when we know how to love, we understand how to save this world.” “It’s Britney, Bitch!” is about unhappy love and addiction, about truth and truthfulness, about fathers from daughters and daughters from fathers. A young, surprising play about a combative, strong and at the same time vulnerable Britney Spears in the throes of psychic states of emergency.

Sina Martens studied acting at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Academy of Music and Theatre in Leipzig. Oliver Reese brought her to Schauspiel Frankfurt and then to the Berliner Ensemble, where she took on leading roles in productions by Alexander Eisenach, Bernadette Sonnenbichler, Frank Castorf, Michael Thalheimer and Robert Borgmann. She has been honoured several times for her acting achievements, among others with the Förderpreis of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research or the Daphne Award for outstanding acting achievements. She was voted Young Actress of the Year by the trade journal Theater. Directors appreciate the credibility and ambiguity of her acting. Sina Martens lives in Berlin.

Friday, 2. June 2023, 7:30 pm

Bibiana Beglau, Friday, 2 June 2023, 7.30 pm: “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg, © Rafaela Pröll

Bibiana Beglau

„Howl“ from Allen Ginsberg

(Dramaturgy: Angela Obst with Bibiana Beglau)

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, hungry hysterical naked…”. With these words begins one of the most famous texts of the 20th century, which describes the American dream in its promise and its abysmalness in an incomparable way. Bibiana Beglau journeys into the American (nightmare) dream that still shapes Western society today. Bibiana Beglau has performed under the direction of Christoph Schlingensief, Dimiter Gotscheff, Einar Schleef, Frank Castorf, Luk Perceval, Martin Kušej, Sebastian Nübling and Thomas Ostermeier, among others. She achieved fame with her leading role in Volker Schlöndorff’s feature film “Die Stille nach dem Schuss”. In addition to her theatre engagements at all major German-language theatres, Bibiana Beglau has appeared in many major film and television productions. She has received several awards and recognition as an actress for her outstanding performances, including the Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Actress, the Ulrich Wildgruber Award and the Adolf Grimme Award. Beglau is a member of the Academy of Arts and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. She lives in Berlin and Vienna.

Friday, 16. June 2023, 7:30 pm

Samuel Finzi, Friday, 16 June 2023, 7.30 pm: “Diary of a Madman” by Nikolai Gogol, © Rafaela Pröll

Samuel Finzi

„Tagebuch eines Wahnsinnigen“ (Diary of a Madman) by Nikolai Gogol

(Deutsches Theater Berlin)

In “Diary of a Madman”, Nikolai Gogol describes the situation of a man who no longer has a chance for a career and advancement in society, but refuses to accept this. Instead, he takes refuge in an illusory world and tries to cope with his feelings of inferiority by cultivating a sense of omnipotence that has escalated to the point of megalomania.

Samuel Finzi already played his first theatre and cinema roles during his studies. In film, it is the collaboration with Kamen Kalev, Lola Randl, Marie Noëlle, Oliver Hirschbiegel, Oskar Roehler, Peter Popzlatev, Robert Schwentke, Sönke Wortmann and Til Schweiger, among others, that made him known to a wider audience. He was convincing in sophisticated crime series and audience successes such as “The Miracle of Bern”, but also in independent films such as “The Invention of Love” or “Marie Curie”. For his witty performances, he has been awarded the Gertrud Eysoldt Ring for brilliant acting, the Golden Chest Award and the Berlin Theatre Prize, among others. Samuel Finzi is one of the most sought-after actors for film and theatre in the German-speaking world. He lives in Berlin.

The series of events takes place in cooperation with the Kaiser Friedrich Museumsverein and Jozo PR, and with the support of the Berliner Ensemble, the Deutsches Theater Berlin, Angela Obst and Sabine Buss (Agentur Maria Hilft).


10785 Berlin – Tiergarten


Ticket per event: 22 €

The ticket entitles the holder to visit the exhibition on the respective reading day from 7 – 9.30 pm.

Tickets are now available at all museum box offices of the National Museums in Berlin and online (box office from 7 pm):


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