A Monthly Digital Diary
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Letter from Berlin

Willkommen: Hier finden Sie die deutsche Fassung des Briefes aus Berlin

Welcome to our first Letter from Berlin of 2022

We want to look ahead to the first half of this new year, introducing briefly our upcoming exhibitions in Berlin, art fair presentations and share with you a selection of exciting upcoming exhibitions by our artists.

Then join us for a visit to the Whoniverse: Simon Fujiwara's solo exhibition Once Upon a Who? takes a deep dive into the world of Who the Bær, the artist's original, jeans-clad cartoon figure with the giant lolling pink tongue and a voracious appetite for images! Discover their world in our video introduction and the dedicated OVR. Read Fujiwara's interview with artnet. And stay tuned for a live zoom tour with the artist on February 12!

We hope you enjoy our Letter from Berlin!

Upcoming at Esther Schipper

Jac Leirner, Us Horizon, 1985–2022 (detail). Photo: Edouard Fraipont
We are delighted to announce solo exhibitions by Jac Leirner, David Claerbout and Karin Sander this spring!

Beginning on March 12, Jac Leirner, who joined the gallery in 2019, will present Us Horizon. The exhibition will include a new work from Leirner's acclaimed series constructed from ensembles of shopping plastic bags and a new installation. Leirner is best known for her series of works employing specific everyday materials, such as banknotes, cigarette packaging, airline paraphernalia, business cards, and more recently items purchased in hardware stores.
And on the occasion of this year's Gallery Weekend Berlin, returning to its time-honored spot, the weekend of May 1st, David Claerbout will present his first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will include two video projections: The Close, 2022, and Aircraft (F.A.L.), 2015-21. The Close brings together a reconstruction of amateur footage made around 1920 and a digital 3D rendering of that footage, while the hangar scene depicted in Aircraft (F.A.L.) is a hybrid representation that creates the illusion of a photographic reality.
Still: David Claerbout, The Close, 2022. © the artist
In June, coinciding with the opening of the 12th Berlin Biennale, we are delighted to present Karin Sander’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.
Karin Sander, Glass Piece 38, 2017, glass, 29 x 20 x 10 cm. Photo © Studio Karin Sander

Simon Fujiwara Exhibition Video and OVR

Photos © Andrea Rossetti
A large-scale immersive exhibition, Once Upon a Who? is staged within an exhibition design resembling a museum with different rooms devoted to different chapters of their development, in which visitors encounter Who the Bær: a bear that seemingly has no race, gender, sexuality or nationality.

Constantly encountering and performing different identities, we watch Who the Bær as they try, fail, and try again to enact, perform or embody the various lifestyles and identity choices on offer, mostly online. Seen through the distorted lens of a cartoon character, Who the Bær offers a tender but at times disturbing, dada-esque response to a contemporary society possessed with spectacle and identity performance. Nostalgia, anxiety, an inability to commit and a longing for authenticity mark the journey of Who the Bær, a story that seemingly oscillates between the extremes of joy, hedonism and melancholy and loneliness.

Register here to join a Zoom tour with Simon Fujiwara, Saturday, February 12, 2 pm CET

Explore the works in our Online Viewing Room

Simon Fujiwara Recent Press

In his interview with artnet's Katie White, Simon speaks about the notion of nostalgia and Who's hunger for images.

The music and narration have a nostalgic quality.

The effect is one of hyper-nostalgia, which is very important to this work in general. There is a melancholy and nostalgia to all of the works and to the very concept of Who. Who is just an image, a vessel to accommodate other images, and all of those images as they pass through Who become effects, styles, and moods.

Read the entire interview here.
Read articles on Simon Fujiwara's exhibition: Der Tagesspiegel, Berliner Zeitung, artnet, and Culture Now Greece

Upcoming Art Fairs

<b>ARCO 2022</b>

ARCO 2022

Booth 9B09
Recinto Ferial, Av. Partenón 5
28042 Madrid

with works by Rosa Barba, Matti Braun, Sarah Buckner, Angela Bulloch, Etienne Chambaud, Thomas Demand, Simon Fujiwara, General Idea, Ann Veronica Janssens, Ugo Rondinone, Anri Sala, Karin Sander and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané.

February 23 – 27, 2022
<b>BAMA 2022</b>

BAMA 2022


Hall 2 & 3, Exhibition Hall 1
55 APEC-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan

April 7 – 10, 2022

<b>Frieze New York 2022</b>

Frieze New York 2022

The Shed
545 W 30th St, New York
New York 10001

A solo presentation by Simon Fujiwara
May 18 – 22, 2022
<b>Art Basel Hong Kong 2022</b>

Art Basel Hong Kong 2022

Booth 1B14

Hong Kong Convention And Exhibition Centre
1 Harbour Rd
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

May 27 – 29, 2022
<b>Taipei Dangdai</b>

Taipei Dangdai

Taipei World Trade Center
No. 5, Section 5, Xinyi Rd
Xinyi District, Taipei City

May 20 – 22, 2022
<b>Art Basel, Basel</b>

Art Basel, Basel

Messe Basel

Messeplatz 10
4058 Basel

June 16 – 19, 2022


There are many exciting exhibitions opening this year! Here are highlights from the first half of 2022.

I Will Survive, Hito Steyerl's major solo presentation, opened on January 28 at Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum. The exhibition brings together a group of significant works from each phase of Hito Steyerl’s artistic practice, including early works from the Stedelijk collection.
Exhibition views, Hito Steyerl. I Will Survive, 2022, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Photos: Peter Tijhuis. © Hito Steyerl


In February, Rosa Barba will present a selection of sculptural and filmic works at Cukrarna in Ljubljana. Under the title, Exhibition Notes, the contemporary art space in the Slovenian capital which opened its doors to the public in September 2021, will exhibit an installation that fills the gallery space, turning it into a coherent visual ensemble. It includes Blind Volumes (2016/2022), a work that uses steel frames as a support, a kind of stage on which films and kinetic sculptures are displayed.
Exhibition view: Rosa Barba, From Source to Poem, CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, 2016–2017. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2022. Photo: Arthur Pequin © Rosa Barba
Two films by Hito Steyerl, The Empty Centre and Normality 1-X, will be screened as part of Berlin's Internationalen Filmfestspiele, in the Berlinale's Forum program, a section for experimental cinema, put together by curators Enoka Ayemba and Biene Pilavci, supported by Karina Griffith, Jacqueline Nsiah, Can Sungu and the Forum selection committee.
Hito Steyerl, Die leere Mitte (The Empty Center),1998, 16 mm film transferred to digital video (color, sound), duration: 62 min. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2022. Film still © Hito Steyerl
For her solo exhibition Planet Greyhound at Kunsthalle Gießen, Julia Scher will transform the exhibition space into a temporary bus station for humanoid and extraterrestrial life forms.
Upon entering the exhibition space, lined with watchful greyhound sculptures, visitors find themselves in an intergalactic bus station – a transit space in which a seating area invites you to closely observe the traffic of people between the planets via video recordings and display panels.
Julia Scher, Info screen at bus station somewhere near Planet Greyhound, 2022 (still). © the artist
On February 20, David Claerbout presents his newest film, The Close, at the Concertgebouw in Bruges for one day only. The screening is accompanied by a live performance of Arvo Pärt’s composition for choir, Da pacem Domine, by the Flemish Radio Choir. (For tickets please check their website.)

The Close will be part of David Claerbout's solo exhibition at the gallery this spring!
Still: David Claerbout, The Close, 2022. © the artist


In March Isa Melsheimer opens her solo exhibition at the Centre International d’art et du paysage on Vassivière Island, located in a nature preserve about an hour east of Limoges, France. A focus of the exhibition which will include new ceramic, concrete and textile works is the architecture of Italian architect Aldo Rossi (1931-1997) and the Welwitschia mirabilis, an ancient plant that grows in the desert of Namibia and may in some form have existed on Earth for over 112 million years.
Isa Melsheimer, Metabolit 13, 2020, ceramic, glaze, 42 x 44 x 37 cm. Photo: © Isa Melsheimer
From the Limoges Region to the French capital: in Paris, Ann Veronica Janssens and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané are participating in Fata Morgana at the Jeu de Paume. Steegmann Mangrané will exhibit sculptures and works from his new series of Holograms (some of which you can preview at our booth at ARCO Madrid).
Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Systemic Grid 124 (Window), 2019, security glass, ornamental glass, mounts, concrete and wood pedestal, glass panel, 261 x 126 x 1,5 cm (glass panel), 40 x 40 x 40 cm (concrete base), 278.2 x 126 x 40 cm approx. (overall). Photo © Andrea Rossetti
In Philadelphia, Ari Benjamin Meyers' program of city-wide performances launches March 25 and runs through April 10. Part of the artist's 2-year grant from the Pew Center for the Arts, this large-scale public project, created by Benjamin Meyers and jointly produced and presented by the Curtis Institute of Music and Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, explores how we can come together as a city through musical rehearsal.

Rehearsing Philadelphia encompasses four overarching modules: Solo, Duet, Ensemble, Orchestra. Each structure will involve a live in-person audience encounter, as well as experiences in the virtual space designed by digital creator Vanessa Newman. The modules also will feature local and international artists and institutional partners and include new commissions especially created for Rehearsing Philadelphia.


A large-scale touring exhibition of works by Thomas Demand opens in April at the UCCA Shanghai, before continuing to Taipei and Paris. Curated and produced by the American non-profit organization the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography (FEP), the exhibition will encompass approximately 60 photographs, films, and wallpapers that span the arc of Demand's career. Thomas Demand: The Stutter of History is the artist's first comprehensive survey in China.
Thomas Demand, Sprungturm, 1994, C-print, 150 x 118 cm. © the artist
April sees multiple projects by Liam Gillick. The artist is contributing works to Project Palace, the centenary celebration of Brussel's BOZAR, and Gillick co-curated and produced the exhibition architecture for Color as Program, a group exhibition at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn which also includes works by Rosa Barba, Angela Bulloch, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Hito Steyerl.
Architecture model of Bundeskunsthalle, by Gustav Peichl. Photo: Peter Oszvald © Gustav Peichl / Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn
In mid-April, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's solo exhibition with all new works opens at the Serpentine Galleries in London. Creating an immersive, supernatural and sensory environment, the artist will imagine a Sensodrome.

At this point, questions lead the way: Will it be speculative and visual fiction? What if an astrobleme became a Sensodrome in the middle of Hyde Park in 2022? Is a Sensodrome a place to stimulate our somatosensory system – a maison de rendez-vous? – a meeting point? Is it a mutant place contributing to the invention of new technologies of consciousness? What if aliens were in love with us? Would it change our relation to our planet and its lifeforms?
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Martian Dreams Ensemble, 2018. © the artist and GFZK Leipzig
Coinciding with the Venice Biennale, Ugo Rondinone's burn shine fly will be presented at the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista in Venice.
© Studio Rondinone
At the end of April, a large-scale survey of Hito Steyerl's work, the artist's first in Korea, opens at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul.
Hito Steyerl, This is the Future, 2019, video installation (single channel HD video, color, sound), environment
Duration: 16 min. © the artist


May sees the start of Angela Bulloch's solo exhibition Perpendicular Paradigm at the Musée d’arts in Nantes which will include Firmamental Square, 2021, a monumental square Night Sky based on the summer solstice of 2021 that fills the entire ceiling of the museum's Atrium. The exhibition includes a wide range of free-standing sculptures, each with a corresponding wall painting, and a new 3D animation with sound, titled Cardinal Geo Helio, presented in two parts within the Arcade.
Angela Bulloch, Anima Helen, 2015, Corian Cameo White (opaque) and Ice White (translucent), International LED DMX module with printed aluminum panel, DMX controller, assorted screws, assorted black cable, 203,5 x 89 x 49,5 cm. Exhibition views: Art Summit, Okayama, 2016. Photos © Yasushi Ichikawa.
Also in May, Julia Scher's 1998 multimedia environment Wonderland will be reenacted at the Maison populaire de Montreuil. The presentation is curated by Elsa Vettier, the Maison populaire's curator-in-residence for 2022. The immersive environment with bright pink and purple theatrical lights was last reenacted at the gallery in Berlin on occasion of Scher's solo exhibition in 2018.
Exhibition view: Julia Scher, Wonderland, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2018. Photo Andrea Rossetti


A highlight of the season comes in early June, as The National Gallery of Canada will open the most comprehensive retrospective on the work of General Idea ever produced. Presenting major installations as well as publications, videos, drawings, paintings, sculptures and archival material, the exhibition brings together over 200 works exploring General Idea’s career. A comprehensive catalogue will accompany this exhibition.
General Idea, Self-Portrait with Objects, 1981/82. © The Estate of General Idea
This summer Second Law, Pierre Huyghe's new site-specific commission, will be on view at Kistefos, Norway. For Second Law, the entire site has been scanned, down to its details, and digitalized. In the simulated environment, unbound from physical limitations, algorithmic and biological agents intelligences cooperate. A fiction based set of rules is played out by learning machines that continually generate mutations of existing features, such as trees, trash, animals or humans.
Pierre Huyghe, Second Law, 2021, 3D Scanning, pointcloud visualisation and pointcloud engine by ScanLAB Projects. © the artist
In Berlin, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané will take part in the Hamburger Bahnhof's exhibition Under Construction: New Acquisitions for the Nationalgalerie’s Collection, presenting a large-scale curtain work acquired by the collection.
Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, , 2020, Kriska aluminium curtains and laser-cut, powder-coated steel frames, dimensions variable. Photo © Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Ugo Rondinone's vocabulary of solitude begins at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, while later in June the artist's two-part retrospective opens at Frankfurt's Schirn Kunsthalle and Städel Museum.
Ugo Rondinone, vocabulary of solitude, 2014, polystyrene foam, epoxy resin, fabric. Exhibition view: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, 2021. Photo © Jennifer French
Ugo Rondinone, life time, 2019 (Rendering), neon, acrylic glass, translucent foil, aluminium, 248 x 752 cm.
© the artist and Studio Rondinone
Esther Schipper GmbH, Potsdamer Stra├če 87, 10785 Berlin