Fassbinder: Berlin Alexanderplatz’ at KW Institute

for those people who’ve kept up with my eclectic postings know this i some of my all time fav films. it’s a long one for sure 16 hours. i first saw it on PBS when they were a public educational television station, now they are just a tape playing house showing safe nature films and raising money to line the executives pockets. i’ve been there done that. has anyone who’s seen the replacement of Bill Moyers and Now know


Berlin– The monumental film Berlin Alexanderplatz that Rainer Werner Fassbinder made for television is based on Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel. The film consists of thirteen episodes and an epilogue. It runs to fifteen hours and thirty-nine minutes. When it was first screened in Germany in 1980, it triggered heated debates and gained international recognition as one of the cinematic masterpieces of the past decades. A meticulously restored 35-mm version of Berlin Alexanderplatz Remastered  has been successfully presented to the public at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival in February.  On exhibition 18 March until 13 My, 2007.


On March 17, 2007, KW Institute for Contemporary Art will open Fassbinder: Berlin Alexanderplatz – An Exhibition. The show will present this unusual and fascinating work in a way that enables visitors to choose their own mode of approach. In fourteen separate rooms, the episodes and the epilogue of Berlin Alexanderplatz will be screened in permanent loop. In addition, all the episodes will be shown in chronological order and full length on a central big screen. Visitors can thus decide how they approach Berlin Alexanderplatz: they can divide its unusual length up into pieces, watch episodes several times, or return to the exhibition whenever they like, as the entrance ticket entitles holders to repeated visits. The parallel screening of all the episodes in one place will highlight Fassbinder’s impressive visual idiom and his artistically challenging, free and innovative use of images.

The epilogue to Berlin Alexanderplatz marks a high point in Fassbinder’s creative work, combining visual and narrative planes in a complex collage that anticipates contemporary artistic positions. The exhibition also presents stills from the film’s 224 scenes. Moreover sketches from Fassbinders storyboard will be on view for the first time ever. A further, highly personal document are the tapes on which Fassbinder himself recorded his script for the film and which have never previously been made accessible to the public.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue (in German; approx. 600 pages), edited by Klaus Biesenbach, with essays by Susan Sontag and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The catalogue includes extensive illustrations. Furthermore the publication contains the complete screenplay as well as the biography, blbliography and filmography. Curator: Klaus Biesenbach.


KW Institute for Contemporary Art is regularly listed among Germany’s foremost modern art institutions and attracts international media coverage. KW has no collection of its own but instead views itself as a laboratory for communicating and advancing contemporary cultural developments in Germany and abroad by means of exhibitions, workshops and resident artists’ studios, as well as by collaborating with artists or other institutions and by commissioning works.

Founded in the early 1990s by Klaus Biesenbach and a group of young art enthusiasts, the institution is located on the site of a abandoned margarine factory in Berlin’s Mitte district. It symbolizes, perhaps more than any other institution, the city’s development into a center of contemporary art in the decade after the fall of the Wall.  As well as presenting the first solo shows or major new projects of outstanding international artists such as Doug Aitken, Dinos & Jake Chapman, Paul Pfeiffer, Santiago Sierra and Jane & Louise Wilson, KW also introduced emerging new artists from Berlin and elsewhere in Germany to a wider public.

Visit KW Institute for Contemporary Art at: www.kw-berlin.de


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