A significant highlight of this year is the presence of interdisciplinary successful French artist Cyprien Gaillard, who debuts in the festival with his new video Ocean II Ocean
accompanied for the occasion by instrumental music played live. The film was premiered previously this year at the famous Venice Biennale
and shows footage from metro stations in the former Soviet Union and New York subway cars being dumped in the ocean aligning ideas of cyclical time and the present ecological-geological condition. Another interesting piece is Kistvaen
, a new major cinematic and performative work from long-time collaborators Roly Porter and Marcel Weber (MFO), which travels from folk instrumentation to digital sound-processing, abstract theatre, and scenic corporeality.
This year Berlin Atonal’s focus on art is further developed, with artists being invited to present works that uniquely interact with the building and the audience across many disciplines and drawing on many different traditions. Sculptural installations are the pieces Totemism by Folkert de Jong, a group of free-standing, polyurethane sculptures depicting various figures of Western imperialism that address themes of war, greed and power. And Roger Hiorns’ four life-size figures hanging from ropes which often are released, provoking the bodies to fall to the floor, before being heaved back into place for the next inevitable drop.
Ho Tzu Nyen’s No Man II
multimedia installation projects a film on a two-way mirror glass, drawing the spectator into a designed world that brings together fifty different figures, all digitally created from online sources. They range from animals to human-animal hybrids, cyborgs and anatomical figures. On another side, the site-specific installation-performance Nervous System 2020
is a work that merges dance, sound and holographic artworks. The piece shows three dancers performing minimalist motion, mundane gestures, and postures of contemporary lifestyle – a lifestyle dominated by technological devices and guided by algorithms, an immaterial omnipresence, invisibly captivating the modern world; a society where physical and virtual realities are more and more intertwined. The piece is a reflection on the complex relationship and the transformative processes of our technologically-mediated culture through an abstract interpretation of the nerve cells of an invisible network that encompasses everything.