Watch Now! Curating Under Lockdown: Die Balkone

Curating under Lockdown: Die Balkone, Streets, Lines, Walks, Drips, and Drops
Övül Ö. Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza in conversation with Elena Sorokina, and Tiago de Abreu Pinto

Watch now! A conversation between Curatorial Intensive alumna Övül Ö. Durmusoglu, Joanna Warsza, Elena Sorokina, and Curatorial Intensive alumnus Tiago de Abreu Pinto, about three interrelated public art projects held in Berlin (Die Balkone), Paris (No Straight Line), and across Chile (Al Aire, Libre), in April and May of this year. The curators presented the scope of each project and discuss how they activated their communities during quarantine, claimed public space for art, and structured their responsive approaches on values of solidarity, generosity, and mutual support.


Die Balkone was a public art exhibition involving artists living in the Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg, during Easter weekend in April 2020. The project brought life to the neighborhood during quarantine and utilized the artists’ balconies as an extension of their domestic spaces into the public realm to display work and activate the streets. It was an example of a responsive, independent curatorial project taking place even at a time when art spaces and museums had to remain closed opening other possibilities and raising questions about public art as a social glue overcoming the isolation.

This program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


July 21, 2020


Övül Ö. Durmusoglu

Övül Ö. Durmusoglu is a curator, writer, and educator living in Berlin. As a curator, she acts between exhibition-making and public programming, singular languages and collective energies, worldly immersion, and political cosmologies. Currently, Övül is a guest professor and program co-leader in the Graduate School at the University of the Arts in Berlin and a visiting professor in Hochschule für Bildende Kunst Braunschweig. She has co-initiated “Die Balkone: Life, Art, Pandemic and Proximity” in Berlin with Joanna Warsza in April 2020. Her recent curatorial project ‘Stars Are Closer and Clouds Are Nutritious Under Golden Trees’ took place in the MMAG Foundation, Amman in 2019. In the past, Övül was curator for steirischer herbst festival in Graz; curator/director for YAMA public screen in Istanbul; curatorial advisor for Gülsün Karamustafa’s ‘Chronographia’at Hamburger Bahnhof, artistic director for the festival Sofia Contemporary 2013 titled as ‘Near, Closer, Together: Exercises for a Common Ground’. She curated programs within 10th, 13th, and 14th Istanbul Biennials; coordinated and organized different programs and events at Maybe Education and Public Programs for dOCUMENTA (13).

Tiago de Abreu Pinto

Tiago de Abreu Pinto (born 1984, Salvador, Brazil) is an independent curator, Ph.D. in Art History from Complutense University of Madrid (Madrid, Spain), based between Madrid and São Paulo, whose practice is shaped by an ongoing dialogue with literature and philosophy. Previously gallery manager and director at NoguerasBlanchard, he is also the co-founder of the art magazine Revista Claves de Arte (Madrid), focused on contemporary art galleries. Nominated Special Correspondent of The Future Generation Art Prize Pinchuk Foundation (Ukraine), he is the recipient of the Gwangju Art Biennale scholarship (2012) and Art Curatorial Award Se Busca Comisario (2014) awarded by the Spanish Government. Tiago has curated exhibitions in museums, commercial galleries, biennials etc. in Spain, France, Morocco, Netherlands and Brazil.

Elena Sorokina

Elena Sorokina is a curator and art historian, she was a curator of the HISK (High Institute for Fine Arts, Belgium) 2017-2018. Between 2015-2017 she was a curatorial advisor of Documenta 14 in Athens/Kassel. Her upcoming project Crystal Clear will take place at the Pera Museum Istanbul in December 2020. She is the co-founder of the Initiative for Practices and Visions of Radical Care, launched in the midsts of confinement of COVID 19 in collaboration with Natasa Peresin-Bachelez. This initiative is dedicated to research and support artistic practices that enact care and use care strategies, especially in situations when institutions disengage, fail, or neglect.

Sorokina is an alumna of the Whitney Museum of American Art ISP in New York, previously obtaining her degree in art history from the Friedrich Wilhelm’s University in Bonn, Germany. Her recent projects include: “Variations on Vulnerability (Slow Compositions Between Six and Midnight)” at BOZAR, Brussels; “Mystic Properties” at Hotel de la Poste, (Art Brussel)s; Psycho-Vertical at Kunsthalle Bratislava, Museum (Science) Fictions at Centre Pompidou, Paris; “Forms of Togetherness (and Separation)” at WIELS, Brussels, and the Academy of the Arts of the World, Cologne; “Spaces of Exception” and “Petroliana”, special projects for the Moscow Biennial; “Agnes Varda. Temps Trituré”, at LVMH Brussels; and others. She published in numerous catalogs and has been writing for Artforum, Flash Art, Cabinet Magazine, Manifesta Journal, Moscow Art Magazine, and other publications. Sorokina is a frequent speaker at international conferences and has been invited as a lecturer to Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée Picasso, Paris; Paris Photo; ISCP, New York; Garage CCC, Moscow; and other institutions.

Joanna Warsza

Joanna Warsza is a Program Director of CuratorLab at Konstfack University of Arts in Stockholm, and an interdependent curator interested in how art functions politically and socially outside the white cubes. She was the Artistic Director of Public Art Munich 2018, curator of the Georgian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale and associate curator of the 7th Berlin Biennale among other projects. She is an editor of several publications, such as Red Love. A Reader on Alexandra Kollontai (with Michele Masucci and Maria Lind, 2020), The City Curating Reader (2018) I Can’t Work Like This: A Reader on Recent Boycotts and Contemporary Art (2017) among others. In Spring 2020 together with Övül Ö. Durmusoglu she co-initiated Die Balkone. Life, art, pandemic, and proximity in windows and balconies of Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, where they both live.

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