Current exhibition

Nie wieder und jetzt

Laura Fiorio
Jakob Ganslmeier

Graphic: Viktor Schmidt/Nora Keilig


9/5 - 21/7/2024

Curated by Julius Kaftan and Lina Kröger

"Nie wieder und jetzt" is the second part of the annual exhibition programme KANTEN UND KNOTEN


8/5/2024 6 pm

1/6/2024 at 3 pm
Workshop with Laura Fiorio

19/7/2024 7 pm
„The untold story of Mohammad Peter“ (Theatre performance) Kollektiv Scheherazade

21/7/2024 4 pm


“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” (Morticia Addams)

In four exhibitions under the title “Edges and Knots”, the Bärenzwinger explores lines as a fundamental element of networks in which knots stand for people or places and edges represent the relationships between them.

The negotiation of lines is particularly relevant in the context of Bärenzwinger. As a former kennel, it was created with its cage bars and moats to separate bears and visitors, animal enclosures and the city. At the same time, it functioned as a place of encounter between animals and humans, nature and culture. The Bärenzwinger thus exemplifies the duality of lines as boundaries and connections.

The thematic focus of the winter exhibition, the fourth exhibition of the Bärenzwinger‘s annual programme, is dedicated to the phenomenon of taboos. The concept of the taboo is deeply rooted in human societies and refers to behaviour, actions or topics that are considered strictly inappropriate, forbidden or sacred. The understanding of taboos and what is considered morally right or wrong is strongly influenced by cultural, social and historical contexts. In general, taboos manifest themselves as structuring norms and values that determine what a community considers part of its identity – and what is deliberately and unconsciously excluded and hidden. These invisible lines appear as metaphysical laws, but their significance goes far beyond that; they act as perceptual grids that shape our view of the world. They are often so deeply inscribed in our collective consciousness that little attention is paid to their existence. The result is a perception of taboos as given norms that are rarely questioned. Yet it is precisely these taboos that define the parameters for norms and abnormalities. In this process, taboos shape our collective and individual identity.

The winter exhibition aims to create a dialogical space that revolves around the invisible contours that wrap around individuals and communities by making existing social taboos transparent. The hidden frames that shape our perception are to be made apparent by inviting a change of perspective.

As the Bärenzwinger is not a typical white cube, but a former animal enclosure, it is crucial to interpret the project in the context of the unique symbolism and spatial characteristics of the site. The Bärenzwinger provides a small indoor area and an outdoor area that also serves as an exhibition space, which requires the works to be winterproof. Winter conditions must also be taken into account in the interior.

Artists are encouraged to submit concrete project proposals! From these submissions, six artistic positions will be selected to enter a dialogue together.

The Bärenzwinger is a monument therefore it is subject to monument protection regulations. Please take note of the following restrictions:

  • Drilling is only permitted in the joints in the interior
  • The cages are not barrier-free
  • Fire is not permitted
  • The view of the building from the outside must not be obstructed

Practical information

  1. Schedule:
    • Open Call 22/4 – 30/5/2024
    • Review of the submissions: 31/5 – 30/6/2024
    • Jury meeting: 01/07/2024
    • Announcement of the selection: Beginning of July
    • Kick-off: 8/7/2024
    • Exhibition: 24/10/2024 – 5/1/2025
  2. Who can apply?
    • Professional artists (completed training) with a focus on work in Berlin, designers, collectives.
    • While a primary residence in Berlin is not mandatory, please note that the Bärenzwinger is unable to provide coverage for travel or accommodation expenses.
    • The Bärenzwinger encourages and welcomes applicants from all backgrounds. We are against any form of discrimination. Unfortunately, structural accessibility is only partially guaranteed due to the infrastructure of the heritage-listed building.
  3. Working materials and support for production:
    • The work production is financed with up to 183 euros per artistic position. Our team also supports the projects with transport, installation team, press work and visitor service.
  4. Exhibition space:
    • The interior and exterior of the Bärenzwinger
    • First impressions of the space can be found under the following links:
  5. Honorarium
    • Artist or collective fee of 800 euros brutto (per artistic position)
  6. Curation:
    • Vanessa Göppner and Janine Pauleck
  7. Jury:
    • Artistic direction team Bärenzwinger
  8. Website:https://baerenzwinger.berlin/en/news/
  9. How to submit the application:
    • Please submit the applications in landscape format in one PDF document (max. 10 MB).
    • Document name: Name_Firstname_BZ_OpenCall_2024
    • All application documents can be submitted in German or English.
    • Page 1: Project proposal (300-500 words, with picture max. one A4 page)
    • Page 2: Technical requirements (max. one A4 page)
    • Page 3-5: Portfolio with max. 3 pages incl. pictures, 5 pages for collectives
    • Page 6: Curriculum vitae (max. one DIN A4 page)
    • Applications can be submitted via this link:
      Deadline: 30.5.2024
      Incomplete applications and applications received after 30.5.2024 will not be considered.
  10. If you have any questions or technical problems, please contact opencall@baerenzwinger.berlin



Since September 2017 the former bear pit of the heraldic animals of the city of Berlin has re-opened as a cultural venue for site-specific contemporary art in Berlin-Mitte.

A refurbishment is soon to expand its potential uses.

Exhibition Program