Hervé Guibert
Queer Reading Night

Recordings of the Queer Reading Night at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 19 July 23.
With Andrew Durbin, Nat Marcus, Bassem Saad and an introduction by Nikolas Brummer.

31 August 23

Hervé Guibert, Lecture (livre ouvert/fenêtre), 1979; © Christine Guibert/Courtesy Les Douches la Galerie, Paris.

In addition to his portraiture and his photographic work, the French artist Hervé Guibert was widely known as an acclaimed critic and writer, among others for the influential volumes L’image fantome (Ghost Image) (1981) and À l’ami qui ne m’a pas sauvé la vie (To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life) (1990). Probing different genres through an extensive body of novels, essays, and autobiographical writings, Guibert explored the permeating lines between photography and text while also expanding them.


To coincide with the Berlin CSD celebration, KW devoted a night to Guibert’s written work as seen through the eyes of contemporary writers, artists, and thinkers. The participants, Andrew Durbin, Nat Marcus, and Bassem Saad, approached Guibert’s writing while also opening it by relating it to their own practice and interpretation.


–Sofie Krogh Christensen, Assistant Curator

More information here.

Artist talk:

Enrico David

Destroyed Men Come and Go

Video documentation

3 July 23

Enrico David in conversation at KW, Camera & Editing: Frank Sperling

As part of his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, Enrico David speaks about Destroyed Men Come and Go and how the show came to be – elaborating on its multiplicities, his sculptural, introspective (self-)portraits, and the intricate interplay between the themes, motifs, and techniques that form his artistic language.


Enrico David (b. 1966, Italy) works in sculpture, painting, textiles, and installation, with drawing being key to his exploration of form. Mining a space between figuration and abstraction, David returns to the body as a point of departure, exploring the human figure as a metaphor for transformation.


– Sofie Krogh Christensen, Assistant Curator, Enrico David – Destroyed Men Come and Go 


On the Languages of Martin Wong

Video documentation

26 April 23

Martin at his solo exhibition at Exit Art, 1988.
Photo by Florence Wong Fie. Courtesy of the Martin Wong Foundation

On the Languages of Martin Wong was a two-day conference that accompanied the exhibition Martin Wong – Malicious Mischief at KW Institute for Contemporary Art (25 February – 14 May 23). The conference aimed to shed new light on the linguistic and symbolic systems applied in Wong’s paintings by creating new points of departure through current artistic and academic practices from Berlin and elsewhere.


Click here for the video documentation of the program.

Sewer Goddess

A Martin Wong Fairytale

10 April 23

Martin Wong
Everything Must Go, 1983
Acrylic on canvas
121,9 x 152,4 cm
Courtesy of the Martin Wong Foundation and P.P.O.W, New York
© Martin Wong Foundation

Martin Wong (1946, Portland, Oregon – 1999, San Francisco, California) is recognized for his depictions of social, sexual, and political scenographies from the North American 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Poetically weaving together narratives of queer existence, marginal communities, and urban gentrification, Wong stands out as an important countercultural voice at odds with the art establishment’s reactionary discourse at the time.


In 1967, Wong completed one of his first scroll poems Sewer Goddess (A Martin Wong Fairytale); a tale of a teenager’s lazy afternoon who’s while skipping school literary goes down the drain, to the sewer goddess wrapping him in shimmering seaweed, enthralling him with her voice, and entrapping him under water until it is too late.  


The transcript of Sewer Goddess (A Martin Wong Fairytale) was made by the Martin Wong Foundation. 


Complete Trancript


– Sofie Krogh Christensen, Assistant Curator, Martin Wong – Malicious Mischief

Martin Wong: San Francisco Art Institute Spring Lecture Series 1991

21 March 23

Martin Wong gave a free public lecture about his work at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) on February 20, 1991, a part of the school’s ongoing artist lecture series. He is introduced on this recording by Mark Dean Johnson, then SFAI Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. SFAI was founded in 1871, the first art school west of the Mississippi, and has had a celebrated and storied history. Wong returned to SFAI in 1993 for a solo exhibition of his work, ‘Chinatown U.S.A.’, and was concurrently engaged as a visiting artist working directly with students.


Accompanying the current exhibition Martin Wong – Malicious Mischief, on view at KW through May 14, Wong’s lecture series can be listened to online here.


–Sofie Krogh Christensen, Assistant Curator, Martin Wong: Malicious Mischief

Martin Wong: Angels of Light Free Theater performing Peking On Acid

At the Kaliflower Inter-Communal Free Carnival

Douglass Playground, San Francisco

May 20, 1972

Video by Jilala Jet von Jalopy

Produced by The Digger Archives

Video and further information here

The Angles of Light Free Theater, Peking on Acid, Intercommunal Free Carnival, May 20, 1972, Upper Douglass Playground, San Francisco. Photographs by Martin Wong. Courtesy the Martin Wong Foundation and P.P.O.W., New York

1970 was when Martin Wong first came into contact with the performance group The Cockettes and later joined the commune of its breakout ensemble Angels of Light Free Theater, translating their all-consuming cosmos, sitting between myth and psychedelia, into stage designs, props, and flyers.

In 1972, the Angels of Light Free Theater staged their new production Peking On Acid—a glorious extravaganza of on- and off-stage costumed drama that took Chinese Opera on an acid-drenched journey through the gender-bending theater of communal fantasy with props and costumes attributed to Wong.


The documentation of the performance was done by Jilala Jet von Jalopy and digitalized by the Diggers Archives.


–Sofie Krogh Christensen, Assistant Curator, Martin Wong: Malicious Mischief

Metabolic Museum-University: Debating Chamber on Prototypes and Ominous Objects

Filmic reportage of the Debating Chamber on Prototypes and Ominous Objects held on November 16th 2021 at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin and curated by Clémentine Deliss.

  1. Thais Nepomuceno, Brazilian independent documentary filmmaker based in Berlin.
  1. Jakob Karpus, artist recently graduated from the University of the Arts, Hamburg.

Two films of 30 minutes in length each shot by two different filmmakers during a three-hour Debating Chamber. The films capture the tensions and thought lines that develop when a group of 35 artists and intellectuals meet behind closed doors to debate a set of enigmatic objects that have been placed on a special table. The table, which reproduces a diagram of the oracular liver of Piacenza (400 BC), triggers contradictory references ranging from a gambling table in a casino, to the analytical parameters of the Berlin conference on Africa in 1884. An assemblage of prototypes ranging from BLESS Fur Wig 1996 to a plastic Madonna used in an Italian TV program, a pair of wooden lasts, and a bowl of sheep’s liver become agents within this “contingent exhibition”.


– Clémentine Deliss, Associate Curator, Metabolic Museum-University

Transcript of Martin Wong: Firefly Evening (1968)

Wong Firefly 1
Wong Firefly 2
Wong Firefly 3

Martin Wong, Firefly Evening, 1968, Ink on paper scroll, 210,8 x 38,4cm, Courtesy of the Martin Wong Foundation and P.P.O.W., New York and Galerie Buchholz

Martin Wong (1946, Portland, Oregon – 1999, San Francisco, California) is recognized for his depictions of social, sexual, and political scenographies from the North American 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Poetically weaving together narratives of queer existence, marginal communities, and urban gentrification, Wong stands out as an important countercultural voice at odds with the art establishment’s reactionary discourse at the time.


In 1968, at the age of twenty-two and a student of ceramics and printmaking at Humboldt State University in San Francisco, Wong self-published his first book of poetry, Footprints + Leaves, and completed his pivotal poem Firefly Evening, inked on a two-meter-long paper scroll.


The transcript of Firefly Evening was made by the Martin Wong Foundation and can also be found in the accompanying publication Martin Wong: Malicious Mischief, co-published with Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König.


Complete Transcript 


–Sofie Krogh Christensen, Assistant Curator, Martin Wong: Malicious Mischief

The Martin Wong Catalogue Raisonné

The Martin Wong Catalogue Raisonné is a collaboration between Stanford Libraries, the Asian American Art Initiative (AAAI), and the Martin Wong Foundation and is a free online resource featuring the paintings, drawings, poetry, and ceramics of artist Martin Wong (1946–1999).

In addition to detailed records of over 800 works of art, the project features new essays by scholars and curators, a comprehensive illustrated chronology, and a wealth of primary source material including revealing interviews, a 1991 recording of Wong speaking about his work, and a film portrait from the last decade of his life.


Catalogue Raisonné


–Sofie Krogh Christensen, Assistant Curator, Martin Wong: Malicious Mischief


12 January 22

Philth Hause Pogo Bar Release


Listen here: PHILTH HAUS & Chelsea: PROSXL


As a collaboration between PHILTH HAUS and Chelsea, PROSXL is the lead single to PHILTH HAUS’ first LP entitled REPSXL, released via KW Digital and AQNB in January 2023. REPSXL explores the categorization, packaging and marketing of queer identity, with specific attention to the nature of who dictates the taxonomy of those identities. The release takes place in the framework of the exhibition Michel Majerus – Early Works, as the art collective PHILTH HAUS navigates the crossovers between the online and offline sphere, and delves into the full potential of its intertwinement.

As an extension to the online release, an accompanying performance and listening session will take place at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in spring 2023. In the form of an NFT marketplace, each song of the REPSXL LP, titled after a different type of sexuality, has an associated NFT for listeners to bid upon in an auction setting.


Mixed by CHELSEA
Mastered by Shivani Desai


–- Nikolas Brummer, Public Program & Outreach Coordinator, and Léon Kruijswijk, Curator

Film: Flockenpüree

by Susa Reinhardt

13 December 22

In 1992, together with his fellow students from Stuttgart Nader (Ahriman), Stephan Jung, Susa Reinhardt and Wawa (Wawrzyniec) Tokarski, Michel Majerus co-founded the artist group 3K-NH for which they used the initials of their nicknames to form a cryptic code name. During its two-year lifespan, the members worked collectively and created works individually and as duos. 3K-NH held exhibitions both in Stuttgart and Berlin. The film Flockenpüree (2012) was produced by Reinhardt, with which she shows through archival photo and film materials the 3K-NH members and their context, also after the group ceased to exist. 


— Léon Kruijswijk, Assistant Curator

Michel Majerus

Early Works


22 November 22

Imprint, Michel Majerus: Notizen Notes 1995, ed. Michel Majerus Estate & Brigitte Franzen (Köln, 2018: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König).


Imprint, Michel Majerus: Notizen Notes 1995, ed. Michel Majerus Estate & Brigitte Franzen (Köln, 2018: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König).


Imprint, Michel Majerus: Notizen Notes 1995, ed. Michel Majerus Estate & Brigitte Franzen (Köln, 2018: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König).


Imprint, Michel Majerus: Notizen Notes 1995, ed. Michel Majerus Estate & Brigitte Franzen (Köln, 2018: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König).


Imprint, Michel Majerus: Notizen Notes 1995, ed. Michel Majerus Estate & Brigitte Franzen (Köln, 2018: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König).


Imprint, Michel Majerus: Notizen Notes 1995, ed. Michel Majerus Estate & Brigitte Franzen (Köln, 2018: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König).

The exhibition Michel Majerus – Early Works at KW Institute for Contemporary Art will focus on works from 1994 and earlier from Michel Majerus’s oeuvre. The publication 1995 Notizen (notebooks), published with a bilingual transcription and edited by the Michel Majerus Estate, provides insight into the artist’s working process and the lines of thought that accompanied his early output. Reproduced for KW Digital are four spreads from these notebooks that combine quick sketches, annotated diagrams, and notes-to-self, and which foreground the artist’s reflections on the history of painting, compositional form, and pop culture. In particular, this short excerpt on KW Digital highlights notebook segments that indicate the influence of techno music on the artist’s artistic process. For example, on 162/163, Majerus relates his use of seriality to “rhythmic production” of works; on pages 174/175, he describes painting with the tropes of “techno’s visual aesthetic.” In these pages, Majerus positions techno as both a formal model for painterly constructions and as a cultural force of the early 1990s.


During the exhibition Michel Majerus – Early Works, on view from 22 October 22–15 January 23, the accompanying public program will further explore how Majerus’s work developed in relation to the atmosphere and sensibility of the early Berlin house and techno scene.


Michel Majerus: Notizen Notes 1995 is published by the Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, and edited by the Michel Majerus & Brigitte Franzen.


— Katherine Adams, CCS Bard Curatorial Fellow

KW on location: 

Rachel Rossin


22 August 22

The video clips introduce the avatar from Rachel Rossin’s THE MAW OF, a project that highlights the brain-computer interface and images subjectivity as a fusion of anatomy, technology, and digital reality. Both short scenes come from one layer of Rossin’s multifaceted, augmented reality installation KW on location: Rachel Rossin THE MAW OF at the Tieranatomisches Theater (15–18 Sept 22), where visitors will seek out this character and experience its hybrid corporeality. With a glowing interior, and a physical extension that appears like a sort of machine hardware, the avatar’s movements and materiality reflect how it becomes intertwined with both organic and technical components. THE MAW OF project includes a web component co-commissioned by KW Institute for Contemporary Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.


— Katherine Adams, CCS Bard Curatorial Fellow

Handling Images and Relational Meaning

By Irmgard Emmelhainz

25 April 22

KW Institute for Contemporary Art invited artist and scholar Oraib Toukan (b. 1977, USA) to present two new films stemming from her long-standing research on “Cruel Images”. Her research-practice has been committed to exploring the line between looking at and looking away from mediated images of violence. The films are on view at KW until 1 May 22 as part of the exhibition Oraib Toukan: What Then.


Read an in-depth discussion of Toukan’s practice by Mexico City-based translator, theorist and scholar Irmgard Emmelhainz here.


– Léon Kruijswijk, co-curator of Oraib Toukan: What Then

Book presentation:

F.R.DAVID “Take, Eat”

Presentation of Andrea di Serego Alighieri

The Source is Rock, the Tongue is Served:

Word Spacing and the Alphabetisation of Silence

1–30 April 22

Berichte about


Black Swan: The Communes

23 February 2022

KW Digital: Open Secret

16 July – 31 December 21

15 January 22


The Berlin Sessions: Conversation between Renée Green, Iman Issa and Mason Leaver-Yap about the exhibitions Renée Green: Inevitable Distances and Understudies: I, Myself Will Exhibit Nothing

15 November 21

Camera and Cut: Frank Sperling

Renée Green

Inevitable Distances

Code: Survey

10 November 21

Renée Green’s Code: Survey is a work that spans multiple forms and locations: a monumental public art commission by California’s Department of Transportation that continues to be mounted on the cafeteria walls of its headquarters building designed by Thom Mayne/Morphosis in downtown Los Angeles; a series of schematic drawings, photographic prints, and a sculptural prototype comprised of glass, film, and steel, currently mounted in KW’s main exhibition hall in Berlin; and the original website component that has been re-coded and uploaded onto KW’s website and will remain online for the period of exhibition.


In its manifold forms, Code: Survey examines historical and current perceptions of transportation via 168 maps, diagrams, and photographs. Just as the provenance of the images in this tessellated work varies, so too do the views that shaped the rapid growth of California with its utopian dreams, varied consequences and historical conditionings. Allowing remote access to the work’s contents beyond its physical Los Angeles site, Code: Survey provides a thorough, albeit subjective, repository for the images that constitute the physical work, enriched with additional text, audio and video.

Go to Code: Survey, hosted by kw-berlin.de

Read Gloria Sutton’s essay on Code: Survey [PDF via Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts]


— Mason Leaver-Yap, KW Associate Curator

Renée Green

Inevitable Distances

5 October 21

Pogo Bar Podcast: 

Phung-Tien Phan

The Podcast City

20 September 21

The Podcast City follows a script which could also be a template for one of Phung-Tien Phan’s films, in which the artist explores contemporary lifestyles, the performativity of daily life and our different roles between labor and leisure time. As her own roles move fluidly between author of the script, artist, and actor, her practice is situated in a close network of relationships and the social and material conditions of her own creative labor, while addressing questions of creativity, social privileges, and neoliberal logics of consumption and self-marketing. More

Clémentine Deliss
The Metabolic Museum

29 July 21

KW presents an audio serialisation of The Metabolic Museum (2020, Hatje Cantz/KW) written and read by Clémentine Deliss, Associate Curator of KW. Coco Fusco writes in the New York Review of Books, “In ‘The Metabolic Museum’, Deliss outlines her radical curatorial vision and chronicles her attempts to transform the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt am Main from a moribund storehouse of artifacts into a laboratory and educational center for critical engagement with the material cultures of non-European societies.” Regularly, a new chapter will be read by the author and added to the website.

Pogo Bar Podcast

Taylor Le Melle: 

Orion J. Facey’s The Virosexuals

28 July 21

A science-fantasy novel set in Manchester, UK in 2080, Orion J. Facey’s The Virosexuals portraits a subculture that shares a desire to escape the broad algorithmization of our lives, bodies, and minds. Experimenting with virosexuality—the sexual attraction to transmitting and receiving STI’s—, the group around the main character Amygdala negotiates their bodies and desires while being faced with a virus sweeping the scene and the dangers and vulnerabilities of going off-grid. More

Unlearning Archives

Onyeka Igwe and Ariella Aïsha 

Azoulay talking with Mason Leaver-Yap

28 July 21

In conjunction with Onyeka Igwe’s film commission A So-Called Archive, the KW Production Series hosts a discussion with Igwe and historian Ariella Aïsha Azoulay. The conversation interrogates the role of cultural production and its relation to imperial foundations of knowledge: the document, the archive, and the museum.


A crucial text that informed Igwe’s own research as she made her new film, Azoulay’s book Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (Verso, 2019) seeks to expose the violent apparatus of the museum and the archive—institutions that order (and thereby have the power to narrate) time, space, and politics. This event looks to Azoulay’s writing and Igwe’s film as mutually resonant discourses that might inform not only how we look at the past, but how we might rehearse its unlearning.


Ariella Aïsha Azoulay teaches political thought and visual culture at Brown University. She is the author of Potential History and the director of Un-documented: Unlearning Imperial Plunder (2019). More

Note from Sarah Rapson

21 July 21

Courtesy Sarah Rapson

Pogo Bar Podcast
Nour Mobarak:
Memory Talk

13 July 21

Pogo Bar Podcast
Alexander Iezzi:
Heehaw Angel Hunting—Lesson in Companionshit

13 July 21

You’re not muted. 

8 July 21

Diogo de Moraes, from the series Testes vocais, 2020–2021

Cyberfeminist Index

8 July 21

Lee Lozano, A Boring Drawing, 1963 – 1969; Courtesy The Estate of Lee Lozano and Hauser & Wirth; Photo: Jon Etter

Pogo Bar Podcast
Beth Collar:
Scatter Cushion

With a melancholic anticipation of absent bodies permeating her thoughts after a day-trip to the Etruscan site of the Necropolis Banditaccia, she counters the epic fabric of history and ideology-serving, gendered notions of the chronicler or bard with too-personal comment, fragmented memory, incidental noises, alcohol and urine. More

Open Secret

6 July 21

Vladan Joler, Preview from the video work The News Extractivism, 2021


Open Secret (16 July – 31 December 21) is a six-month long online program that explores the image of the ‘technological hidden’ in our apparently ‘open’ society. With new contributions released on a monthly basis, the Open Secret website opensecret.kw-berlin.de will bring together art, automation, politics, and new patterns of exchange. The website is designed by Sometimes Always and will be made available from 16 July 2021 onwards.

Web-site-specific Sculpture: Juliana Cerqueira Leite im Gespräch mit Nadim Samman

16 June 21

Open Secret

6 July 21

Vladan Joler, Vorschau der Videoarbeit The News Extractivism, 2021


Das sechsmonatige Online-Programm Open Secret (16. Juli – 31. Dezember 21) untersucht die Rolle des Verborgenen in unserer scheinbar ‚offenen‘ Gesellschaft. Monatlich werden neue Beiträge auf der Website opensecret.kw-berlin.de veröffentlicht, die Kunst, Automatisierung, Politik und neue Formen des Austauschs zusammenbringt. Das Webdesign wurde von Sometimes Always entworfen und wird ab dem 16. Juli 2021 verfügbar sein.

The Last Museum

16 June 21

The Last Museum wird vom 14. September bis 16. Oktober 2021 als Pop-up-Ausstellung auf der Webseite der Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative (PCAI), Athen, zu sehen sein.

A Letter for Leo,
Krist Gruijthuijsen

16 April 20

Amelie von Wulffen
Pedigree, 1996/1999

Image: Courtesy the artist

Pogo Bar Podcast
Simnikiwe Buhlungu:
Anecdotal Through-isms

Pogo Bar Podcast
Nadja Abt:
Mutiny on the Bivalvia –
Interview with a Seafarer

Courtesy the artist

Mutiny on the Bivalvia is a radio play about power and relationships. In an interview, a seafarer and previously successful artist delineates her motives for wanting to become a member of the female crew on board of the „Bivalvia“ and her daily life as a seafarer. The interviewer has but one question on her mind: What has lead the all-women crew to shipwreck and mutiny? More info

Pogo Bar Podcast

Thea Reifler and Philipp Bergmann: 
Truth is a Matter of the Imagination

Image: Courtesy the artists; Photo: Rasmus Bell

Thea Reifler and Philipp Bergmann invited Lou Drago, Isabel Lewis, Ann Mbuti and Omsk Social Club for exchanges of thoughts departing from science fiction quotes. They sat down to talk about how the genre has influenced their ways of thinking, relating, creating art and programming institutions. Within the conversations, they discuss how it changed their perceptions of truth and fiction, dreamtime and world-time, structures and processes as well as change and collaboration. More info