Franz Ackermann has devised a spatial concept for the Berlinische Galerie that constructs a relationship between a mural, paintings and photographs. He has filled the museum’s entrance hall – which is more than 40 metres long and about ten metres high – with an installation to frame the space. It consists of a mural created especially for the museum, complemented by large scale panel paintings and photographs.
The result is a landscape specific to this setting and yet drawing on a tradition in panoramic landscape painting that began in the 16th century with the Flemish artist Joachim Patinir. Ackermann’s work initially reveals a broad panoramic vista – a hilly microcosm. But when the spectator shifts position, a tremendous wealth of detail emerges. The idealised scenery is punctuated by additions such as photographs from India and Tarlabasi, a neighbourhood of Istanbul awaiting demolition. These represent the doubts in the title. They are an integral part of the mural and yet at the same time challenge it.
Ackermann’s work springs from little drawings, most of them cartographic, which he sketches during his prolific travels. These Mental Maps are in themselves subjective interpretations of spaces and places which he then distills and expands for his larger works. For Ackermann’s installation, sightlines are as important as circulation routes, dimensions and the technical services installed in floors, walls and the ceiling over the exhibition space.
The combination of different media at Berlinische Galerie will only be shown at this location: The panel art will be returned to their owners and the wall painting will be painted over.
The exhibition was realized as part of the cooperation Painting Forever! – a cooperation of Berlinische Galerie, Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Painting Forever! is an initiative of the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Senate Chancellery - Cultural Affairs.