Maximilian Arnold & Ørjan Einarsønn Døsen
Isabella Fürnkäs
Fabian Knecht
Keto Logua

[Foto] Fernando Gutiérrez Juárez

05/16/2019, 7pm

Dr. Ute Müller-Tischler
Head of Department Art and Culture, Bezirksamt Mitte von Berlin

About the exhibition
Evelyn Gregel and Jan Tappe

What is nature? How is it perceived and understood? Which actions result from a particular perspective on nature, and how could they differ?

While the philosophy of idealism postulated »wild« nature as the binary opposite of (human) culture, Alexander von Humboldt developed a holistic understanding of nature during his research travels in the 19th century. He conceived of the earth as a complex organism whose countless elements are all interlinked – and conceived of humans as part of these elements.

At that time, European societies had long since begun harnessing their environment through massive interventions: an ongoing process that has put the planet’s ecological balance in a state of permanent crisis and at the same time opens up various future narratives.

As part of the program »Fictional Odyssey« at Bärenzwinger, the exhibition »Fictional Nature« shows four artistic positions that reflect on human conceptions of nature and the related narratives.

Exhibition & events curated by
Evelyn Gregel, Jan Tappe
Tanja Paskalew, Ulrike Riebel

Graphic Design: Viktor Schmidt
Translation: Saskia Köbschall, Andrea Scrima
Production: Carolina Redondo
Production Assistance: Juan Saez

Download Concept

maximilian arnold & ørjan einarsønn døsen

Over the course of the past year, the two artists, in addition to their respective independent practice as painters, have dared to work together, combining their two approaches and connecting them on different levels. The »Forecast« is a series of over 25 large-format prints depicting weather reports in studio situations and weather maps. The first stage of the printing process is carried out using inkjet printing on stone paper, which partially blurs information on the original screenshot and creates blanks.

Maximilian Arnold studied in Karlsruhe and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main (with Willem de Rooij). His works were last shown at the Museum für Neue Kunst in Nuremberg, the Spazio Buonasera in Turin, the Max Liebermann Haus (Berlin), the Kunsthaus Baselland.

Ørjan Einarsønn Døsen studied in Oslo, Amsterdam and Düsseldorf, where he graduated in 2016. His works were shown a.o. at Fiebach Mieniger (Cologne), Chez Malik (Hamburg), W139 (Amsterdam) and Pantaleons Mühlengasse (Cologne).

Both artists live and work in Berlin. Their joint work is currently also on display at Tor Art Space in Frankfurt am Main.

isabella fürnkäs

In her installations, drawings, sound and video works as well as performances Isabella Fürnkäs discusses topics like isolation, corporeality and communication structures. She combines digital and archaic media, questioning identity, self-awareness and memory. Desire, lust and emotional vulnerability are the main motives of her work.

Isabella Fürnkäs lives in Düsseldorf and Berlin. She studied in Zurich, Vienna, Berlin and Düsseldorf, where she graduated in 2018 as Andreas Gurskys’ master student. Her performances and works have been shown at the Kölnischer Kunstverein, the Kunsthalle Wien, the PS120, the Akademie der Künste der Welt in Cologne and the Pogobar of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin. She is currently completing the Bronner Residency in Tel Aviv.

fabian knecht

With his works, which often appear unexpectedly in public space, Fabian Knecht breaks out of the exhibition context and into everyday life. He changes patterns of perception and action, transgresses art concepts and power structures, and questions social relations and norms by countering them with strong and provocative images.

Fabian Knecht studied at the Universität der Künste Berlin and at the California Institute of the Arts. In 2014 he completed his master’s degree with Olafur Eliasson, at whose Institut für Raumexperimente he studied from 2009 to 2014. In 2012 he assisted in the studio of Matthew Barney in New York. Fabian Knecht’s works have been shown in national and international institutions and exhibitions, among them the MSU Museum for Contemporary Art (Zagreb), the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, the Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin), Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), the Imperial War Museum (London), and the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. He is represented by Alexander Levy, Berlin and Christophe Gaillard, Paris.

keto logua

Keto Logua’s sculptures and films often refer to natural phenomena and socio-cultural issues. The artist takes a critical and conceptual approach to found and constructed objects, submitting them to processes of compression and transformation. Examples of this include a 3D print of the world’s first flower, which was reconstructed by a team of scientists last year, or a large sculpture made from elements of a beehive.

Keto Logua studied Painting at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts and Berlin University of the Arts. In 2017 she was a fellow of the Berlin Program for Artists. Her works have been shown at such venues as KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation (Düsseldorf), Between Bridges Berlin (Berlin), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), and the goEast Open Frame Award competition at Museum Wiesbaden. In 2018 she was awarded the ars viva Prize for Visual Arts.

sound performance

06/05/2019, 7 – 10 pm

Víctor Mazón Gardoqui

»Subcutáneo. Towards a meta-natural realism.«

As part of the exhibition »Fictional Nature« at Bärenzwinger, Víctor Mazón Gardoqui presents a specific action for the space, amplifying the invisible by the use of sound as a material capable of sculpting the perceptual space.

Through a series of custom sensors and antennas, the action generates a physical ecosystem of the enormous mass of oscillations and vibrating matter which we inhabit, although we are not able to perceive it, yet which exerts an effect on our bodies. Wavelengths distant to those perceived by our senses, mechanical and electromagnetic oscillations from nature as opposed to those generated by humans (GPS, GSM, WiFi, BT, radar, etc.), indicators of the abrupt transition we are immersed in the exact moment of the performance.

»Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized.«
Graham Harman (2005)

Inhabiting a world in constant oscillation, surrounded by natural phenomena, tectonic changes, drastic fluctuations in pressure, temperature, humidity, periodic alterations by gravitational attraction forces; but also inhabiting a world constantly mutated by the impact of human activity, extraction of raw materials, seascapes soaked in burning oil, floating plastic islands, and an exponential increase of portable wireless interconnected devices.

Our ability to understand the world we inhabit and of which we are part as the reality that surrounds us has become increasingly complex, while we consume doses of reality through digital environments surrounded by information and counter-information in a post-truth era.

The nature that we imagine, that we think we feel or idolize, is a distorted version of the real, transformed by complex cognitive and perceptual processes that make us lose a deeper and perhaps more satisfying form of realism. To reach a deeper realism requires moving away from what we call nature in order to perceive it towards the real, where through its expression it evokes a supernatural state, opposed to the natural or a state beyond it.

Víctor Mazón Gardoqui,
May 2019


06/29 + 30/2019, 3 – 5pm

Indoor and Outdoor Survival Workshop with Heath Bunting

»Whether you are imprisoned by the empire, avoiding external contaminants, or a desperate parent of multiple babies, you will need to learn survival skills. This workshop can prepare you for emergency situations or just extend your ability to remain indoors and outdoors for long periods.« – Heath Bunting

The British artist Heath Bunting is known for works and projects that break down the separation between art and everyday life, reality and fiction. In the context of the exhibition »Fictional Nature« at Bärenzwinger he gives an Indoor & Outdoor Survival Workshop, which encourages us to reflect the environment, systems and structures in which we live. The aim is to train techniques in order to survive organized life. The workshop will cover topics and elements such as fire, water, food, shelter, sleep, personal hygiene and improvised tools as well as group dynamics and mental health.

Your tutor for this workshop has not only spent the last 2 years in a bedroom with another adult and twin babies for an average 23 hours per day but has also lived in the outdoors for months at a time.

theorie mittwoch

07/10/2019, 7 – 10pm

Klara Hobza
Georg Dickmann
Leif Randt

Stephan Porombka

Nature isn’t what it used to be. On the one hand, it seems to exist as nothing more than a colonized, altered, aestheticized, economized, transformed, mistreated thing. At the same time, more and more often and increasingly clearly, it shows us a side that is enigmatic, alien, puzzling, ineluctable, and self-determined that operates according to its own laws and wards off any intervention. Impassively, it seems to absorb the traces culture leaves behind and to incorporate these in order to make, in the long term, its own thing out of them.

What appears along the interfaces are the planned and unplanned phenomena of the wondrous hybrids which repeatedly put culture and nature at risk. In the framework of the exhibition program »Fictional Odyssey,« we ask knowledgeable scouts and expedition leaders to tell us where we wind up if we travel along these interfaces and penetrate into the new spatial depths. What do we have to know? How should we prepare? What should we take along? What is there to discover?

Stephan Porombka, professor at the University of the Arts in Berlin, questions artist Klara Hobza, scientist Georg Dickmann, and writer Leif Randt.


07/16–18/2019, 10am – 1pm

Summer Workshop for Schoolchildren with Heather Purcell and Tuna Arkun

Tuna Arkun, born 1968 in Istanbul, studied painting and drawing at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe and the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (Slovakia). He has been working with children, youths, and adults in art and cultural projects since 2005.

Heather Purcell, born 1986 in Glasgow, studied fine arts there (BA) and is currently doing her masters in Art in Context at the University of Fine Arts Berlin. She works as a freelance art educator and runs workshops in film, theater, and media in museums, schools, and at the MiK Jugendkunstschule in Berlin Mitte. She has also realized numerous projects as a performance artist on the independent art scene.

We explore the world of bears and, in the process, create our own book. For over 75 years, bears lived in the Bärenzwinger, a bear pit in which they watched Berlin’s history unfold around them. As they paced back and forth in their small domain, they observed the humans with curiosity. How does the world look to a bear? Lotta the Bear tells us her story and invites us to see Berlin from a bear’s eyes.

In the three-day workshop, we will create our own topofiction. We begin with a visit to the current exhibition “Fictional Nature” and from there discover Lotta’s environment.

Each day begins with a game to warm up our senses before we begin drawing, printing, and researching what we see and can imagine. In the process, we create our own stories and make a picture book out of them. Then we end each day with another game.