Fur Agency


Tobias Willmann [Photography]

11/10/2017, 7pm

Duration of the exhibition 

11/11/2017 – 01/05/2018

Dr. Ute Müller-Tischler, Head of Department Arts and Culture

About the exhibition
Anne Hölck and Sebastian Häger

Accompanying program

Sat 12/02/2017 at 2pm
Exhibition Tour with curator Anne Hölck

Sun 12/10/2017 11am-2pm
Workshop ›How bears are living‹ with Anne Hölck, Marcela Moraga and Sebastian Häger

Fr 01/05/2017, 6pm
Finissage with Sound-Performance by Native Instrument

After the first exhibition project “Ursus Olfaciens” visited the traces left behind by the Berlin bears at the Bärenzwinger, follows a critical inquiry into how humans view animals.

The starting point for the exhibition “Fur Agency” focuses on animal fur as an effective actor, in how it provokes reactions in its viewers. Fur evokes a feeling of warmth and comfort, the desire to look at it or touch it. The “incumbent” Berlin city bears were also subjected to this romanticized view.

“In principle, each cage is a framework around the animal”, writes John Berger in 1980 in “Why Look at Animals?”. The animal becomes an image in the zoo which we can view. We feel close to it, but at the same time it is alien to us. It is its otherness that particularly fascinates us. Nowhere else is that so apparent than in the zoo, where humans – despite also being mammals that are part of nature – exhibit and view animals as museum objects.

“Fur Agency” not only thematizes this way of keeping animals, but attempts to challenge established habits through an artistic lens. On these grounds, the female artist collective NEOZOON develops the three-part, multimedia installation “Bearly Legal” for the Bärenzwinger.

Curated by Sebastian Häger and Anne Hölck


NEOZOON is a female artist collective that was founded in Berlin and Paris in 2009. The group focuses on human-animal relationships and examines the treatment of living and dead animals in modern societies. NEOZOON’s art actions take place in public space – on city streets, in public institutions and on the Internet. Their artistic medium encompasses collages, installations and videos.

In their films they address contradictions in language and action that exist in the daily handling of animals, as well as the medialization of these practices.

Current exhibitions and screenings 2016 (selection): SITUATIONS/Filter, FotomuseumWinterthur; Unter Waffen. Fire and Forget 2, MAK, Frankfurt; Anthology Film Archives, New York; Crashed Net Aesthetics, HeK, Basel; Animal Lovers, nGbK Berlin. 2017: The Hobbyist, Fotomuseum Winterthur (CH); Goethe Institut Toronto, Emerging Artists (CAN); HMKV Dortmund, Video of the Month (D); Filmwinter, Stuttgart (D).

Exhibition Tour

Saturday, 12/02/2017, 2-3pm

The guest curator Anne Hölck will guide through the exhibition and i.a. discuss questions about the display of animals in captivity and the architecture of enclosures along the work of NEOZOON.

The free guided tour is offered in German. The meeting point for the tour is the entrance area of the Bärenzwinger.

Please register briefly:

Anne Hölck, *1970 in Kiel, Germany, is a scenographer and lives in Berlin. Besides her theater work she realizes exhibition projects, project seminars and lectures in the field of Human-Animal Studies with an emphasis on spatial and artistic research. Since 2014 she curates the exhibition series »we, animals. artistic positions on human-animal relations« at Meinblau project space Berlin.


Sunday, 12/10/2017

›How bears are living‹
with Anne Hölck, Marcela Moraga and Sebastian Häger

The admission free workshop is limited to 10-15 participants and is offered in German. Participants should be at least 14 years old. 

Please register briefly:

The workshop deals with the “living situation” of bears at zoos. After a guided tour through the exhibition of NEOZOON which reflects the human’s view of (zoo) bears, as well as an introduction to the “living” of zoo animals according to the zoologist Heini Hediger, we investigate the living conditions at Bärenzwinger.

In distributed roles, we take different perspectives in order to open up to ethical issues through this experiment and to explore new perspectives on human-animal relations.


Friday, 01/05/2017, 6-9pm

Finissage with Sound-Performance by Native Instrument [Stine Janvin und Felicity Mangan]

Native Instrument is a Berlin based sound collaboration bringing together the field-recordings archive of Felicity Mangan and the abstract vocabulary of Stine Janvin Motland. Stine Janvin explores and challenges the physical features of the voice, the acoustics of her surroundings and new performance strategies.

Often referred to as insect techno, Native Instrument’s music is constructed using electronic and vocal adaptations of wildlife audio recordings originating mainly from the Australian and North European fauna; mixing the natural rhythms of animal calls with digital effects and vocal imitations, Native Instrument enlightens a sonic ambiguity between rural nature, electronics, and the human voice.

Native Instrument performed at festivals and venues such as Atonal Berlin; Ope3ra Festival, Mexico City; CTM, Berlin; Rokolectiv Festival, Bucharest; Praha, Brno; Stadtgalerie Bern, Bern; Cave 12, Geneva.