3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

February 14 – April 18, 2004

Artistic Director: Ute Meta Bauer


The 3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art directed by Ute Meta Bauer presented 50 contemporary artists at KW Institute for Contemporary Art and, for the first time, also at Martin-Gropius-Bau. In addition 35 film pieces were shown at the cinema Arsenal.


As its central concern the 3rd Berlin Biennale aimed for the creation of a temporal space of discourse by fostering connections between local players of art and knowledge production. Ute Meta Bauer’s selection of writers, filmmakers, cultural producers and artists took place within the context of twenty years of structural changes that the city had experienced since the end of the East/West conflict. For the biennial, Berlin became a frame of reference in which to present a broad international spectrum of visual art, architecture, film, performance, sound art and urban interventions. The exhibition moreover reflected on issues of site-specificity, particularly in terms of comparing Berlin’s idiosyncratic topography to similar conditions in other European metropoles.


Five core themes called “hubs” were mostly developed on-site by establishing direct relations to Berlin as an exhibition space: MIGRATION, URBAN CONDITIONS, SONIC SCAPES, SASHIONS AND SCENES and OTHER CINEMAS.


For the first time the Arsenal cinema at Potsdamer Platz functioned as an additional venue to present an extensive film program three times a week. Besides lectures and discussion events at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, the biennial included cooperation with numerous other local cultural institutions such as the Heinreich Böll Foundation, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, MaerzMusik, Berliner Festspiele and Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz. Other novelties were the institutional partnership with the Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek and the temporary radio project reboot.fm, which did a weekly broadcast on the 3rd Berlin Biennale.


The 3rd Berlin Biennale ended with the three-day event, Performance Jam, featuring sound performances, concerts, readings and fashion shows during the final exhibition weekend.

The Artistic Director of the 3rd Berlin Biennale

Ute Meta Bauer




Hito Steyerl



Jesko Fezer, Axel John Wieder



The Sonic Team: Ute Meta Bauer, Sonja Eismann, Christiane Erharter, Max Freudenschuß, Renate Wagner



Regina Möller



Mark Nash



Graphic Design


Ute Meta Bauer

Ute Meta Bauer, artistic director of the 3rd Berlin Biennale. Photo: Anita Back, 2004

Ute Meta Bauer in the catalogue of the 3rd Berlin Biennale

The frame of reference for the 3rd berlin biennial is Berlin’s heterogeneity, deriving from the myths of its past, from the alternative, subcultural and critical practice of the 1980s and early 1990s and from politically and economically motivated redefinitions and shifts due to the city’s [...]More >

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