During hibernation, the Berlin city bears were rarely seen in their outdoor enclosures. They mostly slept, were fed only inside the bear pit out of public view, and freed from their representative role. Periods of rest in which physiological processes shut down, mental tension subsides and where consciousness shifts between vague perception and purposeless actions, are disharmonious with neoliberal performance orientation. “Hibernation” presents artistic positions which examine those conditions and effects of temporary withdrawal.
In her previous works, Linda Kuhn has addressed the withdrawal from goal-orientated action. In the outdoor enclosures of the bear pit, which align physical distance with comprehensive visibility, the Berlin-based artist obstructs the visitors’ views. With protective cladding for sculptures, she creates retreats for the elements found within the enclosures, and in the process, ascribes to them new plastic qualities.
By means of architectural interventions that circumvent habitual perceptual patterns, Alvaro Urbano deconstructs relations between inside and outside, dream and reality. Considering hibernation, he suspends the bear cages from their intended use and focuses on the imaginary potential of their immured and barred architecture. The question then of what bears dream about ultimately reflects hibernation itself as a space of the imaginary.
Curated by Julia Heunemann and Nadia Pilchowski
More information about the exhibition and the artists you find here:
The two-year Bärenzwinger exhibition program thematizes three core areas: The first, entitled “Traces of the Animalic” (Spuren des Animalischen), addresses the perceptible absence / presence of the bears. The second key aspect “Architectures of Segregation” (Architekturen der Segregation), sweeps through both the internal and external grounds of the bear pit. The third curatorial program entitled “Projections of Indistinguishably” (Projektionen der Ununterscheidbarkeit), ultimately develops ideas for perspectives and future scenarios of the bear pit.
With kind support from the interdisciplinary funding and exhibition funds (Ausstellungsvergütung) of the Senate Administration for Culture and Europe.