Marking 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, which once cut off the Gropius Bau’s own front steps, this exhibition includes works by 28 international artists. Tackling the effects of real and metaphorical walls, direct references are found in Sibylle Bergemann’s photographs of the Berlin Wall and Dara Friedman’s brutally calm video of the artist repeatedly whipping a wall until the wallpaper tears. The accessories of borders are found in Melvin Edward’s subversively innocent watercolours of barbed wire, Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s shadow of a watchtower painted onto the gallery walls and floor and Tagreed Darghouth’s dauby paintings of surveillance cameras hung at the height such cameras are often placed. More nuanced works such as Mona Hatoum’s “Orbital” take wrought iron and rough concrete to make something delicate and decorative, concentrating our eyes on the horror of what they are usually used for. A standout has to be Gustav Metzger’s cardboard version of Berlin’s own “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe”. A magnificent, provocative exhibition with too many great works to mention.
Walking Through Walls | Martin-Gropius-Bau, Mitte. Through Jan 19.