4th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

Of Mice and Men

25 March –5 June 2006

curated by Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick


The exhibition Of Mice and Men unfolded like a novel: a story with various characters and personalities disclosing their private fates and universal fears. In order to capture and present these kind of tensions the curators of the 4th Berlin Biennale chose a series of unconventional venues and exhibition space—all located along the same street in the heart of Berlin: Auguststraße of Berlin-Mitte. Of Mice and Men was neither a thematic exhibition nor an exhibition that followed a certain thesis but rather posed larger questions about Birth and Loss, Death and Surrender, Sorrow and Nostalgia. The exhibition showed artworks by more than 60 artists of four generations.


Six months prior to the opening of the exhibition, an eight-part exhibition series was launched at Gagosian Gallery, a small gallery space on Auguststraße, that the curators had opened for this very purpose. In cooperation with project spaces and independent curators from Berlin, the focus of the exhibitions here was on local art production and far from large-scale exhibitions. In addition, the team of three curators toured through several German academies, artist run centers and galleries, in cities such as Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Munich and Stuttgart to present a format called “The Wrong Gallery”. The curatorial research was archived in the publication Checkpoint Charley featuring images by more than 700 artists encountered in numerous studio visits and through recommendations by friends and colleagues, etc. Another activity in the run-up to the exhibition was a regular column in the Berlin city magazine Zitty featuring interviews with participating artists conducted by the curators.


A major influence to the working conditions of the curators was the decision of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) in December 2003 to support the Berlin Biennale as a “cultural beacon” and thus to secure the funding of the 4th and 5th edition of the Berlin Biennale.



The Curatorial Team of the 4th Berlin Biennale

Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick



Gagosian Gallery

Berlin Beauties

curated by Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni, Ali Subotnick and Martin Germann


The Addiction

curated by Anna-Catharina Gebbers


The Gone Wait

curated by Tobias Buche and Martin Germann


Friends and Enemies

curated by Autocenter (Joep van Liefland and Maik Schierloh), Starship (Martin Ebner, Ariane Müller and Hans-Christian Dany) and Tilman Wendland


YBA – Young Bavarian Art

curated by Olaf Metzel



curated by Martin Germann



curated by Zdravka Bajovic, Anna Hermann, Anne Kayser, Sylvia Lysko, Katia Reich, Stephanie von Spreter, Roberta Tenconi and Renate Wagner



Graphic design

Kerstin Riedel and Philipp Arnold


Maurizio Cattelan, Ali Subotnick, Massimiliano Gioni, Curatorial Team of the 4th Berlin Biennale. Photo: Jason Nocito, 2006

Interview with Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick by Nancy Spector

Nancy Spector: I want to go back to what you just said about spaces, as this seems to be a crucial element for your biennial. You decided to set the whole exhibition on one street, using different spaces, some of them quite unusual, like [...]More >

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