“YOYI” – health, healing and heritage

The next must-see exhibitions at the Martin-Gropius Bau offers you perspectives on health, vanity and the capability to connect. Starting on 16 September 2022.

Titled after the name of a ceremonial song, dance and coming together that is central to Tiwi culture in northern Australia, ‘YOYI’ is the culmination of a long-term research project by a polyphonic team of artists, scholars and curators addressing issues entangled with care, repair and healing. Virtues which have been successfully or at least were leading to new insights.

Kader Attia, On Silence, 2021. CR: the artist, Galerie Nagel Draxler and Lehmann Maupin, Commissioned by Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, photo: Markus Elbaus

The Members of this extraordinary Exhibition

The exhibition features works by 26 artists whose perspectives span continents and epochs: Pierre Adler, Brook Andrew, Kader Attia (who is both artist and a co-curator), Tosh Basco, Mohamed Bourouissa, Andrea Büttner, Lavkant Chaudhary, Lygia Clark, André Eugène, Guyodo, Artemisia Gentileschi, Johanna Hedva, Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association, Anne Duk Hee Jordan, Eva Kot’átková, Betty Muffler & Maringka Burton, Grace Ndiritu, People’s Archive of Rural India, Outi Pieski, Paula Rego, Tabita Rezaire & Amakaba, Georgia Sagri, Yhonnie Scarce, Réginald Sénatus, SERAFINE1369 and Wu Tsang.

Outi Pieski, Rematriation of a Ládjogahpir – Return to Máttaráhkká, Installation view, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, 2022. CR: Outi Pieski, photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger

Care & Repair what’s has been proven to last

‘YOYI’ is Director Stephanie Rosenthal’s last exhibition at the Gropius Bau and continues her programme focused on care and repair that has especial resonance for this building sited directly on the former Berlin Wall and physically bearing the scars of Germany’s tumultuous C20th. Under her leadership, the exhibition has been co-curated by a team of experts based in Europe, Asia and Australia. Explaining her methodology for such an experimentally democratic approach Rosenthal states:

“For this exhibition, I have invited artists and curators to work as a team, each of whom brings in a unique interest and perspective. We decided to work together because it was important for us to look at this subject from a wide variety of angles, and that means not only through a Western lens. This is only feasible if we actually represent different perspectives. I am excited to culminate an important trajectory of the Gropius Bau’s programming with this exhibition, undertaken with a world-class group of co-curators and artists.”

Working across video, installation, painting and performance, these artists create a spectrum of voices to consider issues such as the politics of health, the resilience of Indigenous knowledge systems, forms of kinship, fair land use and its distribution, decoloniality and the rights of the non-human, all of which have become more palpable due to the acceleration of the climate emergency, global pandemics, political instabilities and the rise of authoritarian and populist regimes.

Kader Attia

is both curator and artist in the show. His long term research and artistic practices revolve around the idea of repair, exploring the wide-ranging effects of Western cultural hegemony and colonialism. He is the curator of the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art 2022.

“If modernity has claimed to erase injury forever, pre-modernity, which includes cultures from all continents, has always left a space for injuries after the repairing process. In pre-modern times, repaired objects have always incarnated the new life of the object, but as a continuity of what was the state before the accident. The denial produced by the modern certainty of the wound’s erasure is not innocent. It has a purpose, which is metaphorically present in the erasure of colonial crime.”

Kader Attia, Co-curator and artist
A colourful photograph depicting women sitting in a circle and using a grindmill. CR: People’s Archive of Rural India, The Grindmill Songs Project, 2020–ongoing Installation view (detail). People’s Archive of Rural India

Brook Andrew,

another of the exhibition’s curators, is an Australian Wiradjuri artist, curator and scholar whose work re-centres Indigenous ways of being by imagining alternative futures and challenging ongoing colonial actions.

“In an increasingly global world, where colonial reparations and ‘decoloniality’ motivates a movement towards a ‘better’ world of care and reciprocity, the exhibition is an experiment to see how ‘we’ can possibly heal and create a balanced position.”

Brook Andrew, Co-curator and artist

Natasha Ginwala

is Associate Curator at Large at the Gropius Bau and has been involved in the research for this exhibition from its early stages. Her co-curatorship of the Gwangju Biennale in 2021 focused on an active turn toward matriarchal approaches for restitution of ancestral knowledge.

“This exhibition brings forward how history is carried in the body and what it means to be living with wounds, social vulnerability and sickness. Stemming from rural and Indigenous contexts, the positions I have invited engage with processes of recovery, conserving of community experiences through songs, land rights and forming kinship beyond human life.”

Natasha Ginwala, Associate Curator at Large at the Gropius Bau

Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz

is another Co-curator of the exhibition. She is Director of exhibitions and the collection at Centro Botín, Santander; Guest Editor of the Documents of Contemporary Art: Health (2020, Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press), a topic which has been the focus of her research during her tenure as curator at the Wellcome Collection, London.

“I am interested in the politics of health and care, and the intersection between social and environmental justice. The artists I have invited are activating historical collections dealing with health, the body, astrology, botany and witchcraft; exposing colonial collecting practices; or tracing the way Indigenous, scientific and spiritual knowledge is transmitted through generations.”

Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz, Co-curator
SERAFINE1369, 2020
Jamila Johnson-Small, Photo: Katarzyna Perlak


the Gropius Bau’s In House: Artist in Residence 2021, is a body-focused practitioner and researcher. Their work circles around the integrity of structures, multiplicity, sensuality and relation. They conceived visions, a multi-format live programme with an acupuncture clinic, performances and listening sessions.

‘YOYI! Care, Repair, Heal’ runs from 16 September until 15 January next year, celebrating its opening week with performances by Brook Andrew, Tosh Basco and Eva Kot’átková. text via Berliner Festspiele