Navigating Berlin: Perspectives on Cartography. A three-part exhibition series in collaboration with CLB Berlin.
The exhibition series presents a never-before-seen, private collection of Berlin maps dating from the 18th Century to the present day. Each chapter of the 3-part series offers unique perspectives through which to challenge our understanding of the city via its cartographic representation – showcasing a changing selection of maps, books and photographs from the collection. In conjunction, contemporary artists present new works which reflect the themes and narratives of each show, creating energetic dialogues with the newly-revealed archive.
Chapter 1: Snapshots & Transitions 30.11.2019 – 05.01.2020
The series begins with a closer look at Berlin’s history and offers an introduction to the enigmatic world of cartography. Taking the visitor on a journey through the mapped city, the selected maps, objects and accompanying text allow for an exploratory experience. Visitors can uncover some of the hidden stories and fragmented histories scattered around the city, whilst observing Berlin’s transformation through the years.
Featuring artwork by DISSS and Olaf Kühnemann
Chapter 2: Design & Cognition 10.01 – 02.02.2020
Maps use their own distinct system of symbols, scales and measurements as a way of interpreting and articulating the world around us. But how straightforward is the interchange between maker and user? The exhibition considers the Berlin maps beyond their function as rhetorical, navigational tools and opens up their potential as creative artefacts with dialogic power. Viewers are invited to immerse themselves in the compelling language of legends, scales, cardinal points, grids, networks, cartouches and vignettes.
Featuring artwork by Elizabeth McTernan and Simon Faithfull
Chapter 3: Representation & Absence 07.02 – 01.03.2020
The final exhibition of the series reveals some of the political motivations which have influenced the publication of the Berlin maps. Going beyond the realm of reduction and simplification, many of the cartographic examples demonstrate editorial inaccuracies, deliberate falsifications, artistic exaggerations or even depictions of fantasy! Missing portrayals of Berlin are considered, alongside the exclusion of particular demographics from the map-making process.
Featuring artwork by Birgit Szepanski and Hadas Tapouchi
All Photographs by Vietze & Fels
A project by Lisa Gordon in collaboration with CLB Berlin
Funded by the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa
Have you seen this bird? an exhibition about the dodo – 19 February – 26 March 2017
Opening: Saturday, 18 February 2017, 7pm
National Mauritius Day – curator’s tour & live painting by Jono Gooley: Sunday, 12 March, 1-7pm
Finissage with Mauritian buffet: Sunday, 26 March 2017, 2-5pm
curated by Lisa Gordon
Was the Dodo a real or a mythical creature? Representing much more than just ornithological interest, even dodologists continue to debate its true appearance and character today. The obscurity surrounding this famous bird has been both an age-old and a contemporary enigma. Introduced through its native home, Mauritius, this exhibition of Dodo-related artworks, documents, books, souvenirs, products and ephemera goes on to recount and revive some diverse and contradictory narratives depicting the Dodo. Delivered back to us largely through colonialist practices, the tangible evidence we have concerning the bird and much of its iconic imagery often illustrates ideas to do with expansionism and obsolescence. Curiously, it was these same imperialist measures which gave rise to portrayals of the bird as being comical, dumb, slow and lazy.
Have you seen this bird? aims to bypass traditional value judgements normally associated with collections. Be it souvenir, painting or game, all objects on display bear a metaphorical relationship to one another as they all reside within an active, sociocultural context. The connections they form will be illuminated, allowing them to continue to interact through their own material language. Visitors will experience objects delivering scientific, artistic, poetic and consumerist associations.
The collection belongs to Rainer Dombrowsky, proprietor of the former ‘Dodohaus’ (International Dodo Society, Berlin). Having grown up on Mauritius, he developed a fascination with the national symbol of the island and has been collecting for about 15 years. The Dodohaus served as a storage and display solution whilst also providing an intercultural meet-up point for artists, allowing them to exhibit, perform music and give talks – more often than not, Dodo-themed! Due to commercial development in the area the organisation was forced to close and the collection which once hung in the venue is now in archive. Curator, Lisa Gordon, reinterprets some of these unique objects in a temporary exhibition at Centrum.