April is a jam-packed month for art fanatics: Ai Weiwei's work spread across 3,000 square meters, the Quadriennale festival, Cologne's Art Fair and a play featuring men with Turkish heritage in Germany are on deck.
He may be under surveillance and not allowed to leave China. His artwork, however, is traveling around the world for various exhibitions. At present, there is hardly any other contemporary artist receiving as much attention and acknowledgement as Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei - mainly because, in spite of all the restrictions, he courageously continues to decry the political and social drawbacks of his home country. "Evidence," the largest exhibition solely devoted to his art, will be presented in Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau from April 3 - July 7. Ai Weiwei's installations, photographs and videos will be spread out over 3,000 square meters; quite a few of them have been specifically created for this impressive building in the German capitol. Sadly enough, Ai Weiwei himself is unlikely to attend the event. For political reasons, he is barred from leaving China.
Artists look into the future
The overarching theme of "Quadriennale 2014," the Festival of Visual Arts in Dusseldorf, will be artists' perceptions of the future - both historically and now. Once every four years, museums, exhibition houses and art institutes come together to present a comprehensive art collection on a specific topic. This year's festival, "Beyond Tomorrow," will present art throughout the city from April 5 - August 10.
Even more contemporary art will be on display at Cologne's yearly art fair from April 10-13. Here, the focus is on buying and selling. Approximately 200 international galleries will present their artworks, among them paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, installations, performances, and art videos.
When is a man a man?
Berlin's renowned experimental theater house, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, brings to life the intertwined nature of art and reality in its piece, "Süpermänner" (Supermen). After inspiration from actual support groups in the Berlin district of Neukölln, actress and director Idil Üner delves into the everyday lives of men with Turkish heritage in Germany, representative of three generations. She explores the patriarchal nature of Turkish men and how it clashes with Germany's modern society. Some of the men from the support groups play themselves in the production.
Films from and about Eastern Europe
The 14th annual GoEast-Festival in the city of Wiesbaden (April 9-15) will once again present successful Eastern European films which only rarely make it into German movie theaters. Among them this year is the premiere of the documentary "Ukraine - Voices." This collection of short films captures the mood in the capital Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine during the ongoing political crisis. It features the protests on Maidan Square, as well as current trends in remote parts of the country.
After attending all these cultural events in April, maybe you'd like to sit down in a cozy armchair to read a good book. April 23 would be a good occasion, since it is World Book Day. UNESCO created this commemorative day to "pay a worldwide tribute to books and their authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and to gain a renewed respect for the extraordinary contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity."