Launch at 7 pm on December 13th with performances and DJ set, extending into the night. Also, enjoy a dance performance on the 14th.
A group of international artists will share artworks focused on a question.
How can one preserve memories while sharing diverse creative energy?
Under this common umbrella, each artist will showcase a personal answer displaying the diversity of perspectives within the theme.
The Festival offers a fragment of the broader artistic landscape as a point of conversation. Therefore, the audience is welcome to question and debate this snapshot, exploring the artworks and opening a dialogue with the artists.
The Festival revolves around a question. It does not propose a unique narrative or claim completeness. It is an open environment connected to the multilayered reality around us.
DJ set for the opening by DJ Faulty Error.
Since its first edition, the Festival has woven together diverse countries. This year, you can immerse yourself in the works of nine artists from North and South America, Europe, and Asian roots.
With a partnership with IAM 'Intercultural Art Movement' and hosted by Xelor Kesselhaus, the festival aims to cultivate a connection between the international art scene and the local community in Berlin, fostering an enriching dialogue.
In alphabetical order, the artists are:
Brigida Brancale is a lover of visual culture. A linguistics graduate from the University of Florence, she studied in-depth the workings of linguistic structure, literature, and semiotics through her approach to the Italian avant-garde movements of the 1970s, from which she took up the practice of collage. Decisive in her studies were Sartre's 'L'imaginaire' and Roland Barthes' 'La Chambre Claire,' texts that she continues to explore to this day. The analysis of the structures that govern the dictates of our society is an aspect that she attempts to deconstruct through her visual analysis. Today, she pursues her photographic research, trying to find her language that she can combine with the technique of collage.
Festival Featured Artwork: EXERCISE or, the phenomenology of the imagination
Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Oscar Castillo embarked on his artistic journey with a study of fine arts at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (ENAP) at the Universidad Autónoma de México from 1990 to 1997. In 1998, he completed his studies, earning a Licenciatura, the Mexican equivalent of a diploma in Fine Arts. From 1999 to 2000, he expanded his artistic horizons as a guest student at the Braunschweig University of Art in Germany. In 2016, he took the lead in an inspiring mural project in collaboration with children from the Tempelhof refugee camp. Since 2017, Oscar Castillo has been actively serving as the head of the print workshop at the Youth Art School Tempelhof-Schöneberg. Between 2018 and 2021, he spearheaded the "Mural Painting-Graffiti" project at the Hans-Böckler-Schule, a vocational school, leaving a significant mark on the artistic landscape. Additionally, from 2018 to 2020, he organized workshops in collaboration with the Bröhan Museum. In the period from 2021 to 2022, Oscar Castillo continued his creative leadership in the "City Map Project." His impactful role in the art scene is also reflected in his involvement with BBK-WIR KÖNNEN KUNST, where he actively participates in various artistic endeavors.
Festival Featured Artwork: Gespeicherte Energie
Originating from Hennigsdorf, DJ Faulty Error is a Berlin-based DJ. His musical presence has contributed to the atmosphere in venues like Lauschangriff, where he shares his knowledge of electronic music. DJ Faulty Error will curate a diverse selection of Breakbeat, IDM, Electro, Jungle, Italo Disco, and Techno.
Maximilian Glass is a Berlin-based sound artist, improvising musician and experimental composer. His artistic work is based on the physicality of spaces, combined with the focus on resonating frequencies and the complementary relationship between acoustic and electronic sounds. He interprets playback devices as musical instruments, creates feedback systems, manipulates motors and prepares objects. His work often takes the form of site-specific interactions that emerge at the intersection of performance and installation.
Festival Featured Artwork: Varieties
Festival Featured Artwork: Varieties In Rotation
Gudrun Ingratubun is a Berlin based visual artist and literary translator. She translates Indonesian literature into German while critically observing the ongoing colonial and gender injustice, mirrowed in our relationship to all other planetary beings culminating in the climate crisis. She envisions empathy, critical open thinking, sharing and comoning as ways into a more sustainable future. Through the mediums of ecoprint, linocut with plant paints and upcycled planetary dialogue space instalations in the public she visualizes and facilitates conversations between species, with the planet and the inner self, as recently shown at doumenta fifteen in Kassel. Her more recent works focus on colonial history of plants dye plants in partiular.
Festival Featured Artwork: Because of us
Katherine is a dance artist of mixed Scottish, Irish and Hong Kong Chinese descent, born in Glasgow, UK. Previously trained as a ballet and contemporary dancer with a strong background in theatre production. She currently lives in Berlin and continues to find inspiration in collaborations, blending and merging disciplines together to create subterranean worlds exploring the role of the moving body in various forms of performative art. Her most recent independent commissioned dance works include the following titles 'Fate is not your own', 'ROOTS' & 'CODE' which have been shown and premiered in various festivals and venues within Berlin. Including Dock 11, ada studio, Soundance Festival, Localize Potsdam plus many more.
Festival Featured Artwork: The Quiet Heartbreak in Solitude
Vincenzo Fiore Marrese's research led him to the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. Embraced an interdisciplinary approach, he sought guidance from professors in Philosophy and Biology, cultivating interests in critical thinking and science. Marrese's father migrated from southern Italy to Tuscany. Similarly, Marrese forges his artistic profession by travelling, giving special consideration to the artist's social status. His mother worked as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital. Marrese had the opportunity to empathise with her patients, expanding his perspective on relevant societal issues. Travelling, he studied megalithic art at the intersection with magic rituals, a peculiar tradition in his father's region. Later, he mastered technical skills in Information Technologies. Marrese showcased his work in several countries in Europe, Asia and South America.
Festival Featured Artwork: Unclear Inputs
sophia moffa’s practice looks at various social constructs such as borders, gender, race, childhood in relation to the more fluid and queerer natural world. they observe the connections and differences between the plant kingdom and society and attempt to question these constructs. In 2021 moffa also set up the travellers’ tree, a CIC which works with asylum seekers living in hostels across the West Midlands. Co-creating artworks that attempt to change the narrative of having to claim asylum. Merging art, physical activities, and nature together to enable participants to have a safe space to express themselves and connect with the community and their new environment.
Festival Featured Artwork: section 95
Motivated by a profound curiosity about sociocultural processes, Ilona Rijkeboer’s visual communication centers on exploring the meaning and development of a sense of identity in a continuously changing environment, along with the subsequent impact on our interactions and relationships. Similar to the dynamic nature of human connections, her practice balances on the intersection of various media—drawings, sculptures, and installations. The embrace of interaction and collaboration is significant to many of her projects, as well as the use of recycled and local materials when possible. Ultimately, her works are connected by the intention of stimulating reflection and dialogue which transcend spatial boundaries.
Festival Featured Artwork: Pancakes for Peace (2023)
She’s a self-taught artist, with a degree in Naturology, which has shaped her way of making art. Her studies combined fields that look at human interrelations as well as in anatomy and biology. The way she works is by selecting explored topics from different thinkers and immersing herself in research until she sees the final piece. Often has a biology-like aesthetic. As a synesthete, it's the most natural way she finds to expose and share her impressions. Her practice involves a lot of de- and reconstruction, as well as dissecting materials and exploring textures. While the work is being manipulated, she creates an atmosphere of immersion in the subject as background noise.
Festival Featured Artwork: There´s only future, because we resist the past.
The artworks are arranged alphabetically according to the artists' names.
Given the diversity of the creative process, this section offers only a glimpse of the artists' ideas, subject to refinement or alteration. Feel free to revisit this section before the Festival opening for updates.
Contemporary artists often delve into sensitive topics, sparking debates between the art scene and the audience. This dynamic is a fundamental aspect of the challenges in artwork presentation. Therefore, the accompanying texts, written by the artists, embody their personal and independent responses to the Festival's questions, promoting diversity without claiming completeness.
Text by Brigida Brancale
„ Collage as a creative exercise. Collage to create unexpected present times. The important thing is the process, not what appears. Jean-Paul Sartre, in 1940, attempted to theorise a psychological phenomenology of the imaginary. Basically, the philosopher tells us that it is not possible to imagine something of which we have not had prior experience. An example he gives is that of the cube. Looking at a cube in front of us, what we perceive is essentially only its three visible sides, but if we close our eyes, we are able to perceive its six faces. So, how can we create new worlds? By starting precisely from what we have experienced, from our past. The images around the collage are, in fact, the same images used in its creation. They are images found in browsed books, words from seemingly forgotten magazines, and photographs of distant monuments. The idea is to learn to undo in order to reassemble, trying to free ourselves from the conditioning inherent in our being. “
Text by Oscar Castillo
„Das Kunstwerk ist gespeicherte Energie, die der Künstler Konstruiert oder schafft, und diese Energie wird durch einen Gesprächspartner (den aktiven Betrachter) freigesetzt , der sie in aktive Energie umwandelt. So setz der Betrachter Emotionen, Erinnerungen, Gefühle, Ideen, Fragen, Hoffnung usw. frei.“
Text by Maximilian Glass
“A selection of motors and membranes moving for highly specialized purposes when transmitting pieces are touching each. A type of pressure-sensitive tape is helping wires to make everything go to interact with a surface while conducting electricity for a chaotic pattern activated by chance.”
Text by Maximilian Glass
“Sound performance by Maximilian Glass in relation with his installation "Varieties" and in combination with the sonic characteristics of the Kesselhaus itself.”
Text by Gudrun Ingratubun
“Inspired by a poem by Em Berry about the word gauze stemming from Gaza, from their very fine textile culture, drawing the connection how many of our wounds have been dressed because of them and how many of their wounds have been left open especially during the past weeks which we are not able or not willing to prevent from happening...my art installation will consist of peaces of gauze stitched together and becoming lose. Parts dyed with indigo which is traditionally used in Palestine, also stitched, printed with olive and cedar tree leaves as symbols of resilience and ecoprinted with leaves from the exhibition location in Neukölln engaging in a dialogue. This will be arranged around an indigo plant to which an electric device will be attached making the voice ot the plant audible.”
Text by Katherine Leung
“'The Quiet Heartbreak in Solitude' is a solo dance & movement piece, portraying healing grief that takes place behind closed doors. It was shown and premiered as part of the Performing Arts Bergen Festival in 2022, originally choreographed to be performed in an intimate space inside of a hotel room.
The movement piece describes the chaos, uneasiness, anger, moments of optimism, moments of pessimism, the hope that lingers within the process of heartache... Embodying all the different nuances that belong to one's story of recovering out of sight - brought to light.”
Text by Vincenzo Fiore Marrese
“'Unclear Inputs' is the latest chapter in my exploration of Artificial Intelligence. In this work, I explore the concept of a mental time machine. I aim to bridge the gap between memories (past) and imagination (future). I draw inspiration from scholars such as Johannes Mahr and Daniel Schacter1. The work explores empathy enabled by chatbots. It will take the form of objects. These objects will create links with other pieces showcased in the exhibition.”
1. Mahr, J. B., & Schacter, D. L. (2022). Mnemicity versus temporality: Distinguishing between components of episodic representations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 151(10), 2448–2465. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0001215
Text by sophia moffa
“The drawing series delves into the disheartening and routine procedure endured by asylum seekers when applying for government support. The stark reality of a process that unfolds within a 40-minute phone call where a series of questions, often deeply personal and triggering, are posed to those seeking asylum.
In my art practice, I frequently collaborate with asylum seekers, striving to reshape the negative prevailing narrative of what it means to be an asylum seeker. The system's emphasis on numerical metrics at the expense of empathetic engagement. Communication occurs solely through a phone call mediated by an interpreter, creating an impersonal barrier that prevents genuine connection.
The absence of proper safeguards becomes painfully evident: after probing into profoundly sensitive experiences like instances of torture or assault, the conversation abruptly ends. At that moment, the individual, alone in a foreign land, is left to grapple with the acknowledgment of their past traumas, perhaps for the first time.
On the other end, the phone hangs up and the keypad is dialled again searching for a new service user.”
Text by Ilona Rijkeboer
“Throughout my life, the act of making pancakes has served as both a mediator and a source of solace. I reached a yellow belt in judo solely on the promise of pancakes awaiting me after each class. When puberty fueled discussions, pancakes would settle it. Over time, I instinctively smoothed out disagreements within relationships the same way. To this day, making pancakes remains a way for me to approach challenging situations. It’s the meditative rhythm of repetition, the pensive time and patience practice of each side to bake properly; it’s the smell of home, the voice of my mother; it’s the comfort and joy it gives to eat and eat together.
The installed work Pancakes for Peace is based on a small drawing I made in 2021, portraying my response to the incessant flow of bad news. I couldn’t stop the threats, nor the suffering. I cannot stop it, but I can try to facilitate a base for kindness to flourish: I’ll bake you pancakes.”
Text and references by Jacqueline Silva
“The concrete piece is a found object framing a resemblance of a neural activity where memories are stored.
In recent years could be proven that memories are engraved deep in our RNA. That reveals how deep trauma and violence experiences leaves its marks. Violence is usually understood to mean delinquency and criminality.
The stored violent memories here are represented by fragments from bulletproof glass, collected from damaged public space.
Violence is the way in which forms of oppression, domination and exclusion are carried out.
Just as the term violence is political, non-violence would be the political term with the greatest force for resistance, denial of violence and energy to transformation.”
References: Judith Butler, Walter Benjamin, Marilena Chaui, Roland Barthes and Hannah Arendt.
The non-profit organization IAM "Intercultural Art Movement" is a platform for art, culture, inspiration, self-determination and encounter. Founded in Berlin in 2022, IAM unites artists with diverse cultural backgrounds, creating a dynamic space for exchange, collaboration and the birth of new synergies.
XeloR Event Location GmbH is based in an old factory site (boiler house) in the heart of Berlin Neukölln. Xelor Kesselhaus, which consists of five different concepts that are organizationally mixed together, where many different taste cultures have been brought together.