Contemporary Art - Science - Urbanism - Digital Culture

The three-part exhibition series Navigating Berlin. Perspectives on Cartography presents for the first time a private collection of historical maps and plans of the city of Berlin that have never before been on public display, ranging from the 18th century to the present.

Each exhibition chapter will feature a selection of over 30 city maps, photographs and books from the collection. The focus in each case is on a different aspect of cartographic representation, so that the view of Berlin is constantly changing – from both historical and thematic points of view.

In addition, contemporary artists will present new works. These take up individual themes of the exhibition and thus create a present-day dialogue with the archive.

Chapter 1: Snapshots & Transitions
At the beginning of the series, visitors are given an insight into the history of Berlin and are immersed in the world of cartography, which remains mysterious and adventurous to this day. Visitors are taken on a cartographic journey through the city, while selected maps, exhibits, and accompanying texts round out the discovery tour. Embark on the trail of hidden narratives, discover fragments of history that can be found throughout the city, and experience how Berlin has changed over the years.
Featuring artwork by DISSS and Olaf Kühnemann.

Chapter 2: Design & Cognition
Maps are shaped by their own system of symbols, scales, and dimensions, which we use to interpret and express the world around us. But how simple is the exchange between the designer of the maps and their user? In this exhibition, the focus is not on the function of Berlin maps as such, but on them as rhetorical aids and navigational tools – thus emphasizing the potential of maps as creative artifacts with dialogic power. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the fascinating world of legends, scales, compass points, networks, cartouches, and vignettes.
Featuring artwork by Elizabeth McTernan and Simon Faithfull.

Chapter 3: Representation & Absence
The final section of the exhibition uncovers different political motivations that have shaped the publication of maps of Berlin over time. Many of the cartographic examples go beyond a reduction and simplification of the city’s representation and feature editorial inaccuracies, intentional misrepresentations, artistic exaggerations, and even fantastical depictions! In addition to missing representations of Berlin, certain demographic features that were simply left out of the process of creating the maps also play a role in this part of the exhibition.
With artwork by Birgit Szepanski and Hadas Tapouchi.

The collection:
Michael Müller, born in 1955, has been collecting city maps of Berlin for almost 20 years. Born in Berlin-Wedding, he experienced the times of the Cold War and the building of the Wall, West Berlin’s insular existence and reunification from West Berlin’s perspective. His city maps reflect geographical, historical and political realities of their respective times. He sees his city maps as cultural assets that deserve to be made generally accessible. That is why he puts some of them online on his website. Increasingly, he supports study and research, teaching and learning in this way.

Curatorial direction: Lisa Gordon
Project management: Jaike Herrmann, CLB
Exhibition architecture: NOa.Berlin
Exhibition graphics: Wolfgang Hückel
Communication: Lone Bech, HEJ PR

Navigating Berlin. Perspectives on Cartography
An exhibition project in three chapters
by Lisa Gordon
in collaboration with CLB Berlin.

Funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

Urban Design Arts, Science & Culture

Chapter 1: Snapshots & Transitions

opening: 30.11.2019, 7.00 pm
01.12.2019 – 05.01.2020

Chapter 2: Design & Cognition

opening: 10.01.2020, 7.00 pm
11.01.2020 – 02.02.2020

Chapter 3: Representation & Absence

opening: 07.02.2020, 7.00 pm
08.02.2020 – 01.03.2020