Program 2023


Martin Wong, Tell My Troubles to the Eight Ball (Eureka), 1978–81. Courtesy of the Martin Wong Foundation and P.P.O.W, New York © Martin Wong Foundation



KW Institute for Contemporary Art announces its program for 2023, including exhibitions by Martin Wong, Enrico David, Coco Fusco, Win McCarthy, Karen Lamassonne, Emily Wardill, Hervé Guibert, and Kameelah Janan Rasheed amongst others as well as projects by Alexis Blake, The Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group, and the Metabolic Museum-University

Pause: Alexis Blake
Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve


27–29 January 2023

Curator: Léon Kruijswijk

Curatorial Assistant: Lara Scherrieble


KW Institute for Contemporary Art is pleased to present the performance Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve by the artist Alexis Blake (b. 1981, US, based in NL). Her multidisciplinary practice brings together visual art, dance, and performance. Blake perceives the body as an archive of embodied knowledge and investigates how women’s bodies are represented, which she critically examines, questions, disrupts, and renegotiates.


Blake conceived Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve in 2019 and will further develop the piece for this first presentation of her work in Germany. In it, Blake focuses on notions of transparency, resistance, resonance, and breaking in relation to norms, constraints and oppression. The meaning and act of breaking are explored using sound, the voice, and the body in an installation made of glass and steel. Glass as a material becomes a performer as well as a metaphor for the individual and collective body as both inherently fragile and strong, depending on the way it is handled or treated. It is constantly in an in-between state, shifting between visibility and invisibility, clarity and opaqueness.


The locally rooted crew consists of a percussionist, two sound artists and six performers from a variety of dance backgrounds—breakdance, hip hop, house, waving, Afro-fusion, contemporary, and ballet. They aim not to appropriate each other’s sonic and body language. Rather they use the glass as a tool to communicate, break patterns, and collectively give rise to a new vocabulary of sound and movement, albeit without losing their subjectivity.


Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve is part of the CTM 2023 opening weekend. Its sonic part is produced in collaboration with CTM. The performance is made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Fonds, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Germany, and Callie’s.

Martin Wong
Malicious Mischief


25 February – 14 May 2023

Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen, Agustín Pérez Rubio

Assistant Curator: Sofie Krogh Christensen


KW Institute for Contemporary Art is proud to present the first extensive European exhibition of the work of the US-Chinese artist Martin Wong (b. 1946, Portland, US, d. 1999, San Francisco, US).


Martin Wong is recognized for his depictions of social, sexual, and political scenographies from the US in the 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. Heavily influenced by his immediate surroundings, the artist’s practice merges the visual languages of Chinese iconography, urban poetry, graffiti, carceral aesthetics, and sign language. His work offers rare insight into decisive periods of recent US American history as told through its changing urban landscapes, unfolding hidden desires, and complexities.


Martin Wong – Malicious Mischief presents a selection of over 100 of Wong’s works. It encompasses early paintings and sculptures made in the euphoric environments of San Francisco and Eureka, California, in the late 1960s and early 1970s; Wong’s iconic 1980s and 1990s paintings from his time as a citizen of a dilapidated New York City; lastly, his reminiscences on the imagery of Chinatowns on the East and West Coast, made prior to his premature death from an HIV/AIDS-related illness.


Martin Wong – Malicious Mischief is initiated by KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, curated by Krist Gruijthuijsen and Agustín Pérez Rubio, and produced in collaboration with Museo Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M), Móstoles, Madrid; Camden Art Centre, London; and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.


The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive publication, co-published with Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König.


Martin Wong – Malicious Mischief is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art. The publication and the exhibition at KW are funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation). Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) is funded by the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (German Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media). With the generous support of The Martin Wong Foundation, P.P.O.W, New York, KAWS, and Galerie Buchholz.

Win McCarthy


25 February – 14 May 2023

Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen

Assistant Curator: Léon Kruijswijk


With Innenportrait, KW Institute for Contemporary Art presents the first institutional solo exhibition of Win McCarthy. In his work, McCarthy (b. 1986, US) explores the dialectical relationships between subjects like city and citizen, friend and the stranger, and present and past. McCarthy’s work often testifies to the paradoxical emptiness experienced in a metropolis. Taking the city’s map as a metaphysical topography, the confluence of real estate, architecture, and urban planning become vocabulary for the construction of a self. 


Besides working with photography and text, McCarthy makes associative installations. His works appear to be images from memories, meeting viewers with a torrent of different emotions, ranging from amusement and admiration to aversion and fear. Innenportrait focuses on a collision between opticality and intellect. If subjectivity has been pivotal in McCarthy’s previous work, its main juncture has been at how the self struggles to find reconciliation with the phenomenological and ontological: where the ‘I’ ends, is where the world begins.


McCarthy’s first publication Common Ruin, which reflects on his work through personal writings, accompanies the exhibition and is co-published with Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König.

Karen Lamassonne
Ruido / Noise


25 February – 14 May 2023

Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen

Assistant Curator: Léon Kruijswijk


Ruido / Noise is the first solo exhibition by the Colombian-American artist Karen Lamassonne (b. 1954, US) in Europe and is collaboratively presented with Swiss Institute, New York, and Medellín Museum of Modern Art –MAMM. The exhibition brings together paintings, drawings, collages as well as videos that Lamassonne created between 1974 and today.


The works of Lamassonne are often situated in domestic spaces like bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and hallways. As a woman, she playfully questions notions of self-portraiture and self-representation by concealing and revealing the self. In later works, she would move towards depicting the tension between the intimacy of sensual and sexual bodies in public urban spaces.


Lamassonne became closely connected to the Grupo de Cali (Cali Group), a group of filmmakers who heralded the New Latin American Cinema in the 1960s and 1970s and had a lasting influence on cinema production. Among many other capacities, Lamassonne was responsible for the art direction for Pura Sangre (1982), directed by Luis Ospina, and the German-Colombian production Kalt in Kolumbien (1985), directed by Dieter Schidor. From then on, the cinematic remained essential to her practice.


Lamassonne has been living and working in Colombia, the US, France, Germany, and Italy, and would also frequently travel between these and other countries. With her most recent works, she revisited old personal documents, letters, and postcards, to which she responds poetically, reworking them and turning them into collages. By doing so, Lamassonne has placed the exchange across borders and the nature of change as time passes at the center of her work, evoking a sense of timeless intimacy.


The travelling exhibition is supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Enrico David
Destroyed Men Come and Go


10 June – 20 August 2023

Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen

Assistant Curator: Sofie Krogh Christensen


The exhibition Destroyed Men Come and Go by Enrico David (b.1966, IT) at KW Institute for Contemporary Art will mark David’s first institutional solo exhibition in Germany and will be devoted solely to his sculptural practice.


David works with sculpture, painting, textiles, and installation, while drawing is also central to his exploration of form. Mining a space between figuration and abstraction, he consistently returns to the body as a point of departure, exploring the human figure as a metaphor for transformation. Conveying the struggle of adaptation of the self and the image, Enrico David’s sculptures critically elaborate on the body’s autonomy through its different stages of non-being and becoming.


In KW’s main hall and on the ground floor, the sculptures will be exhibited in a spatial arrangement without walls, touching upon the concept of nothingness, and setting the scene for a silent non-space; a time without a present, a space of waiting and suspense. Having fallen out of being and caught in a constant mode of performative transformation, the artists anthropomorphic sculptures are punctual confrontations between themselves and their onlooker, caught in a struggle to appear as absolutes.


The exhibition Enrico David – Destroyed Men Come and Go is generously supported by the Henry Moore Foundation, KW Freunde, and Galerie Michael Werner.

KW Production Series:
Emily Wardill


10 June – 20 August 2023

Curator: Mason Leaver-Yap

Curatorial Assistant: Linda Franken


For the 2023 KW Production Series, artist Emily Wardill (b. 1977, GB) presents Identical, an immersive moving image installation. This new commission deepens the artist’s ongoing enquiry into the ‘imagined image’—what it is, what it has been used for, and what traces it leaves behind. Wardill’s practice insistently approaches such questions, from her earliest work that looked at stained glass as an early device to communicate with the illiterate, to her recent work that reverses the cinematic technique of ‘day for night’ simulation in order to reflect upon technological vision, performed gender and utopias.


Wardill’s new installation draws aesthetic inspiration from ‘expanded cinema’—a multimedia form developed by artists in the 1960s and 1970s—while also engaging with the imaginary of ‘expansion’ as it relates to individual consciousness, and to territorial economic growth and domination.


Identical splits the audience’s attention across two video screens whose images loop, split and fold into one another. With reference to iconic cinematic moments of sexual pleasure and physical violence, Identical reflects on the manufactured nature of these moments of abandon, lensing their reconstruction through children and inflatable automata. The accompanying soundtrack runs up and down a central channel in the gallery, weaving an eight-piece choir (whose chorus builds in a Fibonacci pattern) together with sampled tracks, cover songs, and ruminations on ‘splitting’ both as duplicitous and the genesis of life on a cellular level.


In its switching and merging, Identical asks the audience to consider who wove pleasure into domination and why, where does rhyme become reason, and what is the shifting relationship between comedy and tragedy. Amid such binaries, Identical begins to articulate a different space: a polyphonic experience that refuses to become one thing or the other.


KW Production Series is an annual commissioning project dedicated to artists’ moving image works. The project takes inspiration from KW’s founding principles as a place for production, critical exchange, and thoughtful collaboration. Within this ongoing series, KW seeks to identify and serve artists who are at a pivotal moment in their work and career—those who will benefit not only from the financial support and institutional visibility this opportunity provides but also those who will be able to use KW Production Series to significantly contribute towards the depth and rigor of their artistic practice.

Hervé Guibert
This and More


10 June – 20 August 2023

Curator: Anthony Huberman

Assistant Curator: Sofie Krogh Christensen


KW Institute for Contemporary Art announces Hervé Guibert – This and More, a solo exhibition featuring a selection of photographs by the late French artist, writer, and activist Hervé Guibert (b. 1955, FR, d. 1991, FR). Curated by Anthony Huberman, director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, the exhibition explores what lies beyond the grasp of photography.


Better known for his portraits, Guibert also photographed interiors, inanimate objects, and empty rooms—an important body of work that remains relatively unknown. Laconic and reserved, these photographs offer an approach to portraiture where what is missing from the image is what counts. Charged with love as well as with trauma, these interior spaces invite imaginative readings of the people who belong or once belonged there. His photographs lay open the artist’s most intimate spaces while also maintaining the secrecy of private moments, with the protagonists kept safely (or tragically) out of the frame or at a distance.


Instead of providing a sense of objectivity or ‘truth’, this exhibition points to all that is invisible in a photograph: memories, anecdotes, absences, and richly layered subjectivities. Guibert’s photographs of objects and domestic spaces are replete with the ghostly absence of those who once inhabited them and left them behind. In that sense, this exhibition considers the ‘truths’ that lie dormant within a photograph, invisible to the eye and yet central to the image. It proposes images about what is absent from images.


The exhibition Hervé Guibert – This and More is organized by CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco. Special thanks to Christine Guibert and Françoise Morin at Les Douches la Galerie as well as Photios Giovanis at Callicoon Fine Arts. It was shown at CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco (June–July, 2022) and will travel to the MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (March–May, 2023) before being on view at KW Institute for Contemporary Art (June–August, 2023).

Pause: The Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group


25 – 27 August 2023

Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen

Curatorial Assistant: Nikolas Brummer


The Chamber Dance Group—originally named ‘The Chamber Dance Quartet’—was founded by Noa Eshkol (b. 1924, PS, d. 2007, IL) in 1954 for performing her compositions, developed through Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation (EWMN). Eshkol danced with the group until the late 1950s, when she became increasingly focused on developing EWMN, composing, and teaching her dances. After she died in 2007, the group was refounded as ‘The Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group’, featuring veteran dancer, Rachaeli Nul-Kahana, as well as the new members, Mor Bashan, Noga Goral, and Dror Shoval, who have joined the group since.


Dance performances by The Chamber Dance Group are made up of the basic material of all dance styles, namely, the movement of the human body. For Eshkol, dance was a pure art form, in and for itself, to be practiced without scenery, costumes, or music. She treated the parts of the human body as separate instruments, not unlike the musical instruments of an orchestra, each with its own rules of movement. Her compositions rely on seriality as well as on the polyphonic forms of canon, fugue, and so on. She used these forms to create polyphony between various parts of each dancer’s body and between the dancers as a group. Her profound understanding of the body, commitment to the compositional method, and inexhaustible creativity resulted in unique, complex, and dazzling masterpieces.

Coco Fusco
Tomorrow, I Will Become an Island


14 September 2023 – 7 January 2024

Co-Curators: Anna Gritz and Léon Kruijswijk

Curatorial Assistant: Linda Franken


Coco Fusco – Tomorrow, I Will Become an Island is the first major retrospective of Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco (b. 1960, US) in Germany. For more than three decades, she has been a key voice in discourses on racial representation, feminism, postcolonial theory, and institutional critique. The exhibition seeks to trace the profound influence that Fusco’s work has had on the contemporary art discourse in Germany and the world. To do so, it features a broad selection of the artist’s videos, photography, texts, installations, and live performances from the 1990s to the present day.


With her work, Fusco questions institutional infrastructures that condition the presentation, circulation, and value production of art as well as the visual culture at large. She further examines the ongoing effects of colonial power and imperial forces, which makes a large survey of her work highly relevant in light of timely political and cultural debates in Germany. KW Institute for Contemporary Art has commissioned Fusco to create a new performance monologue and will collaborate with ICI Berlin on a lecture series, honoring the complexity and multidisciplinarity of her writing, activism, and performative work.


Parallel to the exhibition at KW, an extensive, eponymous monograph of Fusco’s work will be published by Thames & Hudson with contributions by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Anna Gritz, Jill Lane, Antonio José Ponte, and the artist herself.

Schering Stiftung Award for Artistic Research 2022:
Kameelah Janan Rasheed


14 September 2023 – 7 January 2024

Curator: Sofie Krogh Christensen

Curatorial Assistant: Linda Franken


Kameelah Janan Rasheed (b. 1985, US) is the 2022 recipient of the Schering Stiftung Award for Artistic Research.


In her work, Rasheed focuses on the materiality and legibility of text, writing, and language as well as the potential of intermedial translation. She searches for methods that allow us to grasp meanings anew and explores the question of how we read and how we ourselves want to be read and understood. To this end, she deconstructs and reconstructs the meaning of literary and scientific texts by experimenting, for example, with factors such as syntax and punctuation, but also with the connotation and size of individual words. By constantly reworking text, Rasheed bridges the gap between politics and poetry to explore inherent complexities and shifts in meaning in language and reveal its scope of possibility. The presentation of Rasheed’s artistic work at KW Institute for Contemporary Art is her first institutional solo exhibition in Berlin. As part of this, both a publication and the production of a new work are planned.


The Award for Artistic Research has grown out of the Schering Stiftung Art Award, which was awarded biannually to international artists between 2005 and 2018. In 2019, the award was redesigned together with the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The 2022 edition of the Award for Artistic Research is the seventh time that Schering Stiftung has collaborated with KW.

Metabolic Museum-University


14 September 2023 – 7 January 2024

Curator: Clémentine Deliss

Curatorial Assistant: Nikolas Brummer


SKIN IN THE GAME presents seminal works from the personal archives of internationally acclaimed women artists, dating back to the 1970s and early 1980s. Exhibits shall include experiments that were never previously shown and generative elements such as recordings, storyboards, maquettes, and concept notes. These ‘prototype’ works embody moments of emancipatory transgression in each artist’s individual career. They may segment, break down and change, but, as prototypes, are likely to be repeated and reassessed over time. They become the organs of an artist’s corpus, or body of work, in a metabolic sense. The exhibition offers insights into the inner workings of artistic practice ahead of the final production and presentation of a work of art. With SKIN IN THE GAME, the artists’ personal research collections act as triggers for seminars convened by younger generation artists and curators, opening up a study environment, or Bureau d’Esprit, at KW for members of the public. The final list of participating artists will be announced in early 2023.


Through an extensive public program and mediation plan, SKIN IN THE GAME implements the exercises and methods of the Metabolic Museum-University (MM-U) developed in different locations by Clémentine Deliss since 2015 (“The Metabolic Museum”, Hatje Cantz/KW, 2020). It is an art-led curatorial platform that experiments with collections as prototypes for open-ended inquiry and transdisciplinary exercises.


Documentation of earlier manifestations, including the MM-U Debating Chamber held at KW in 2021, will be mediated through the forthcoming website to be launched in February 2023.

BPA// Berlin program for artists Exhibition 2023


25 November 2023 – 7 January 2024

Curator: Sofie Krogh Christensen

Assistant Curator: Anna-Lisa Scherfose (BPA//)


KW Institute for Contemporary Art and BPA// Berlin program for artists founded their partnership in 2020. BPA// Berlin program for artists is a two-year independent mentoring program that fosters exchange between emerging and established Berlin-based artists. Founded in 2016 by Angela Bulloch, Simon Denny, and Willem de Rooij, BPA// organizes studio visits, public talks, and presentations. The BPA// Exhibition at KW will show works by the artists of the final year produced over the course of their participation in BPA//.

Press contact


Marie Kube

Tel. +49 30 243459-41

Anna Falck-Ytter

Tel. +49 30 243459-134


KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69
10117 Berlin



KW Institute for Contemporary Art is institutionally supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin.


The exhibitions and projects within the program of 2023 are in collaboration with and/or supported by:


Titles and exhibition dates are subject to change

as of 23 November 2022