Axel Wieder appointed as New Director of the Berlin Biennale

Thursday, May 30, 2024
Axel Wieder appointed as New Director of the Berlin Biennale

Axel Wieder, former director of Bergen Kunsthall, will become the new director of the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

The selection committee chaired by Katharina Grosse unanimously decided for Wieder as the successor of Gabriele Horn on April 22, 2024. Wieder will take office on August 1, 2024, and from then on manage operations in preparation for the 13th Berlin Biennale, which will be curated by Zasha Colah and take place in summer of 2025.

Axel Wieder, new Director of the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art:  “The Berlin Biennale is one of the most outstanding experimental platforms for contemporary art in the world—it makes new curatorial approaches and artistic positions accessible to a broad public while consistently maintaining its critical vantage point. I am very much looking forward to continuing these traditions as well as Gabriele Horn’s visionary work, including her astuteness regarding cultural policy, together with a fantastic team. It is important to me to continue to open the Berlin Biennale up to urban society, develop collaborations, and redefine its relationship to Berlin as an art hub. In doing so, I view the long-term project process of the biennale model as an important quality, one that facilitates investing into substantive debates and dialog.”

Axel Wieder studied art history and cultural studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the University of Cologne. He has been director of Bergen Kunsthall since 2018, where he produced a widely acclaimed, interdisciplinary program with an international focus and local roots together with his team, which encompassed exhibitions, live projects, and a broad event and outreach program. Previously, Wieder was the director of Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation in Stockholm (2014-2018) as well as director of Programs at Arnolfini in Bristol (2012-2014). He was responsible for the program of Ludlow 38 – Goethe Institute in New York from 2010 to 2011 after being responsible as artistic director of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart from 2007 to 2010. In 1999, he founded Pro qm, a bookshop and discourse platform, together with Katja Reichard and Jesko Fezer in Berlin. Wieder has held teaching appointments at various universities and art academies, including Bauhaus Universität Weimar and Zurich University of the Arts; he publishes in magazines and anthologies.

In his work, Wieder focuses on the history and theory of exhibitions, architecture, and the social space as well as on questions of political representation. His activities successfully expand the scope of work of art institutions towards becoming open spaces, in which art can be shown in its connection to adjacent areas of society and with attention to different practices and discourses. Under his leadership, the program of Bergen Kunsthall succeeded in attracting new audiences through collaborations and an ambitious program. The most-visited exhibitions in the history of the institution were shown under Axel Wieder’s direction. Joar Nango’s exhibition there was named the best exhibition of the year in Norway in 2020.

Main Image :Axel Wieder and Gabriele Horn, photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Stephanie Cime

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Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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