It’s hard to believe that we are only one month into 2018. Hopefully, you are now well and truly on your way to becoming that shiny “new you”, as devised on January 1. However, if you’re anything like us, that “new you” has died, and been replaced by the pasty and despairing version of yourself that somehow trudges through winter each year. Have no fear, though: our monthly cultural calendar is here to brighten up the grey February skies. From art openings to theatre and the Berlinale, the shortest month of the year is about to get a whole lot busier!
WHAT: Karma LTD Extended
WHEN: 2 February, 18:00
WHERE: ACUD Galerie
WHY: This is the first in a series of seven exhibitions by the curatorial collective Karma LTD. The first chapter in this experimental, poetic and political programme features a variety of artists working across mediums, including the occasion artist Isabel Lewis and multimedia artist Anouk De Clercq.
WHAT: James Ferraro presents: Plague
WHEN: 3 February, 21:00–22:00
WHERE: Haus der Kulturen der Welt
WHY: In partnership with transmediale and CTM Festival, this is set to be a mind-blowing collaboration between musician James Ferraro and visual artist Nate Boyce, PHØNIX16, and the actor Christoph Schüchner. In this audio-visual stage production, Ferraro describes our hyper-networked reality through modern classical composition fused with post-digital aesthetics.
WHAT: Daughters and Sons of Gastarbeiter — A multimedia reading
WHERE: Heimatkunde — Migration Policy Portal of the Heinrich Böll Foundation
WHEN: 7 February
WHY: Daughters and Sons of Gastarbeiter is an open literature platform that invites authors from diverse backgrounds to perform readings, addressing their experiences as members of immigrant families in German society. Each of the readings are highly personal and artistic journeys into the authors’ rich self-histories.
WHAT: Eduardo Paolozzi
WHERE: Berlinische Galerie
WHEN: 9 February onwards
WHY: Regarded as one of the founding figures of British Pop Art, Paolozzi is famous for his ingenious collages and surrealist sculptures. Bursting with eye-popping colours and entertaining graphics, this retrospective will be a feast for the eyes.
WHAT: Judith Hopf “Stepping Stairs”
WHERE: KW Institute for Contemporary Art
WHEN: 9 February onwards
WHY: Hopf’s work engages with the complexity of our modern lives in her trademark humorous style, which cuts through the rigidity of the everyday. This exhibition sees her continue her experiments with brick, through witty architectural forms as well reworking her laptop sculptures.
WHAT: “Women in Trouble”
WHEN: 10 February
WHERE: Volksbühne Berlin
WHY: If you’re looking for a theatre experience unlike anything you’ve seen before, Susanne Kennedy’s multilayered “Women in Trouble” might be just what you’re after. Composed of fragments of texts found on the internet, and with no fewer than five actresses playing the lead character, “Women in Trouble” looks set to be a bizarre and provocative yet timely exploration into a woman’s mind.
WHAT: “Arthur Jafa: A Series of Utterly Improbably, Yet Extraordinary Renditions”
WHERE: Julia Stoschek Collection
WHEN: 11 February onwards
WHY: Curated by Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Amira Gad, and featuring work by Ming Smith, Frida Orupabo and Missylanyus, this is the first exhibition of the acclaimed US filmmaker’s work in Germany, whose films examine whether black visual aesthetics can be revered to the same extent as black music is in US culture. As Jafa interrogates black identity in the West, this is art at its most powerful, unflinching and important.
WHAT: Berlinale: 68th Berlin International Film Festival
WHERE: Various locations
WHEN: 15-25 February
WHY: A must in every film buff’s calendar, this year’s Berlinale is shaping up to be as exciting as ever. Highlights include the opening film Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs”, Gus van Sant’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot”, and Benoit Jacquot’s “Eve” with Isabelle Huppert.
WHAT: Carolin Eidner
WHEN: 23 February onwards
WHERE: Aurel Scheibler
WHY: Fresh from winning the Miami Beach NADA Artadia Award in December, Eidner brings her playful objects consisting of bold cutouts, sorbet shades and luminous doodles to Berlin. By applying pastel pigment to plaster, she creates bafflingly original works that exist as both sculpture and painting.