Philipp Lachenmann: DELPHI Rationale


Cécile B. Evans as part of the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

03.06.2016, Berlin | The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, curated by DIS, opens on June 3, 2016. As part of the Biennale, the Ernst Schering Foundation supports the new work, What the Heart Wants, by the Belgian-American artist Cécile B. Evans. Evans’ work unravels the value of emotions in contemporary society, the increasing influence of new technologies on how we feel and act, and the ways in which they circulate and influence the economy.

© Cécile B. Evans

Born 1983 in Cleveland, USA, the London- and Berlin-based artist Cécile B. Evans employs installation, video, sculpture, performance, and online platforms to address how person-to-machine exchanges reflect the contemporary human condition. Evans' recent video works, AGNES and Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen (both 2014), examine the lives of digital beings—via an interactive spambot and the digital resurrection of a Hollywood actor—by asking what they want for their “selves,” and how their desires relate to us.

Evans’ new work, What the Heart Wants (2016), is an exploration of the future of what it could mean to be human. Start-ups, politicians, and megacorporations all strive to get to the “real you,” often by wringing users through an experience of content described by a start-up spokesperson as an “emotional roller coaster.” Presented in an immersive installation which includes a room flooded with water, Evans’ work takes a look at the attempt to pass as a person in the digital age—juxtaposing this with the corporate, technological, institutional, social, and political machines that seem set to define the entity of the “self.” If “corporations are people too,” to quote the notion of corporate personhood, then HYPER, an ambiguous power and the narrator of What the Heart Wants, has achieved this ultimate goal. Appearing in female form, she demonstrates her labor and very best intentions.

The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art seeks to materialize the digital condition and the paradoxes that increasingly make up the world in 2016: the virtual as the real, nations as brands, people as data, culture as capital, wellness as politics, happiness as GDP, and so on.

9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art – Contribution by Cécile B. Evans

Opening: June 3, 2016, 7–10 pm, all venues (open to the public)

Duration of the exhibition: June 4 – September 18, 2016

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststr. 69, 10117 Berlin

Further venues of the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

Akademie der Künste
Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

ESMT European School of Management and Technology
Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin

The Feuerle Collection
Hallesches Ufer 70, 10963 Berlin

Fahrgastschiff Blue-Star der Reederei Riedel
Blue-Star sightseeing boat of Reederei Riedel
Two-hour boat trip departing from Märkisches Ufer 34, 10179 Berlin

For the opening (3.6.2016, 7–10 pm) only the boat will be docked at: Paul-Löbe-Haus, Platz der Republik, 11011 Berlin. The boat will not make trips but will be accessible for viewing during these times.

Curatorial Team

Lauren Boyle
Solomon Chase
Marco Roso
David Toro

Opening Hours

Wed–Mon 11 am–7 pm, Thu 11 am–9 pm

Blue-Star sightseeing boat of Reederei Riedel:
Departures Wed–Mon at dock Märkisches Ufer 34: 11 am, 1:30 pm, 4 pm

All venues are closed on Tuesdays.
No boat trips on Tuesdays.


All venues: 16 €, Reduced: 10 €
Groups of 10 or more, per person: 14 €, Reduced: 8 €

The boat trip is not included in the Berlin Biennale ticket.
Boat trip: 10 €, Reduced: 5 €

The Berlin Biennale is organized by KW Institute for Contemporary Art and funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation).

Further information:

Image: Cécile B. Evans, What the Heart Wants, 2016, Video installation,

Courtesy Cécile B. Evans/Andres Parody; Barbara Seiler, Zurich; Galerie Emanuel Layr,Vienna


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