URBAN NATION Biennale 2019

In the middle of September, Bülowstraße turned into major attraction for fans of Urban Art: around 12,000 visitors came to see the 100-meter-long outdoor installation of the URBAN NATION Biennale 2019. The URBAN NATION museum, which was open at the same time and was a real eye-catcher with its huge purple octopus arms, also counted around 12,000 visitors on the three festival days. This is overwhelming and exceeds all our expectations. The Biennale was curated by Yasha Young.


A gorilla trudges through an abandoned city, a desert, and lands in an utopian environment and enchanted vegetation. Flickering screens, robots – relics of human life are strewn along his path, until nature reclaims them. If not for the rattle of the U-Bahn overhead, the reality of Berlin might escape us altogether. But we are underneath the high line on Bülowstraße at the first URBAN NATION Biennale. Entitled “ROBOTS AND RELICS: UN-MANNED,” it created a time capsule that raises the question of the future of urban life. The focus was on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals formulated by the United Nations. The works by the 27 participating artist are reactions to these goals. Images, sculptures, interactive elements and performances such as the seemingly real gorilla by the award-winning Studio Millennium FX from England activate all of our senses as well as our critical thinking about our interaction with nature and each other.

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A unique neighborhood festival

The URBAN NATION Biennale was presented by Gewobag in the context of their 100th anniversary, which was held under the motto “Future has Space.” Social as well as cultural commitment has been a hallmark of the municipal housing company’s philosophy from the beginning. Creating neighborly encounters while drawing attention to issues such as urban living, urban development, technology and sustainability through art—all this has been achieved with the URBAN NATION Biennale.

Participating artists

Nomad Clan | Ekow Nimako | Gehard Demetz | NeSpoon | Coderch & Malavia | Theater Anu | Sandra Chevrier | Rune Guneriussen | Vermibus | Millennium FX | Inti | Herakut | Julien de Casabianca | Louis Masai | Dan Rawlings | Dima Rebus | Filthy Luker & Pedro Estrellas | Frédérique Morrel | Cryptik | Quintessenz | Vegan Flava | Plotbot Ken | Rocco and his Brothers | Pappas Pärlor | Urs Koller | Goin | Beeple Crap | Ståle Gerhardsen | Mimic Productions

Photos: Nika Kramer