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Berlin Art Week 2023: Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart: Nadia Kaabi-Linke. Seeing Without Light | 08.09.2023-24.03.2024

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In her solo exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin-based artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke explores hidden traces of violence that shape history and the present unnoticed. The exhibition confronts historical erasures and examines the role of censorship and violence in the history of art and politics in Central Europe. At the centre is the project “Blind Current Extracts” (2023), which refers to a collection of paintings censored and confiscated by the Soviet secret service in the 1930s. Today, the collection is housed in the National Art Museum of Ukraine. In addition, the new production “Bud’mo”, a video-sound project produced in Ukraine in spring 2023, will be shown for the first time at Hamburger Bahnhof.

Fig. above: Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Blindstrom-Extrakte, 2023, Isaac Brodsky, Portrait of Unknown; Efim Cheptsov, Erntebesichtigung, 1937, © Nadia Kaabi-Linke / 2023 VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Foto: Timo Kaabi-Linke

Nadia Kaabi-Linke, born 1978 in Tunis with Ukrainian and Tunisian background, presents the project “Blindstrom-Extrakte” (2023) at Hamburger Bahnhof. Adapted for Berlin, the version of the work originally conceived for the National Art Museum of Ukraine engages with the so-called “Spezfond” collection of the National Art Museum of Ukraine. The collection comprises works from the 1920s and 1930s, including the painting “Erntebesichtigung” (1937), which will be shown in Berlin.

DEEDS NEWS - Nadia Kaabi-Linke © Seeing Without Light - Sashcko Roshin
Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Bud’mo, 2023 © Nadia Kaabi-Linke / 2023 VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Foto: Sashcko Roshin

Because of the events depicted or the formalism represented in Ukraine at the time, these works were confiscated by the Soviet central government in Moscow. Some of the artists were persecuted, imprisoned and executed, but the planned destruction of the paintings failed due to the invasion of the German Wehrmacht. In addition to works from two decades of artistic creation, the specially created video and sound installation “Bud’mo” (2023) will be shown. The multi-channel projection transports visitors to the so-called “partisan forest” Chronyi Lis (engl. black leaves) and the Bronetskyi Forest in Galicia. It tells of historical connections and forgotten or faded intersections of Ukrainian, German and Russian history.

DEEDS NEWS - Nadia Kaabi-Linke © Seeing Without Light - Inner Circle - Timo Kaabi-Linke
Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Inner Circle, 2021, © Nadia Kaabi-Linke / 2023 VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Foto: Timo Kaabi-Linke

Accompanying the exhibition is the third edition of the Hamburger Bahnhof catalogue series, published by Silvana Editoriale Milano.

The exhibition is curated by Sam Bardaouil, Director Hamburger Bahnhof, and Daria Prydybailo, Curator Hamburger Bahnhof.

The exhibition is made possible by the Friends of the National Gallery and the Burger Collection Hong Kong.


Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart
Invalidenstraße 50/51
10557 Berlin-Mitte


8 September 2023 – 24 March 2024
Tue, Wed, Fri 10am – 6pm, Thu 10am – 8pm, Sat + Sun 11am – 6pm

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