STAGELESS | Sven Marquardt | Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin | 02.10.-29.11.2020

In cooperation with C/O Berlin, the Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin is presenting the photo exhibition STAGELESS . SVEN MARQUARDT. 70 portraits of 26 dancers* of the ballet ensemble, deprived of their stage by the pandemic, will be staged by Felix Hoffmann, Chief Curator of C/O Berlin, in the foyer of the palace. The exhibition takes place as part of EMOP – European Month of Photography.

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Marcello | Photo: Sven Marquardt

Sven Marquardt, photographic chronicler of identities and dance audience curator of the Berlin techno scene, portrayed members of the Palast ballet ensemble immediately after a performance last October. Using his own pictorial language, Marquardt has succeeded in capturing the transition from dramatic mask-like stage roles to the exhausted faces of the dancers after the end of the performance. The result is a haunting portrait of the performers as they metamorphose from their professional to their private selves. Authentic and timeless, the photographs show a different facet of the company and provide a glimpse behind the glittering façade of the world’s largest theatre stage.

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Théa | Photo: Sven Marquardt

Normally, half a million guests a year are thrilled by the Grand Shows. But on 11 March the plug was pulled on the colour frenzy. The portrayed artists* lacked a stage, as all performances had to be cancelled until December due to the pandemic and subsequent ventilation renovation. The cooperation between Palast and C/O Berlin shows, however, that a house that currently has no programme of its own due to the Corona crisis can very well invite its guests to an extraordinary guest performance – by transforming itself into an exhibition space to give its guests a photographic glimpse behind the scenes. Gifts can be taken literally, admission is free, daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Beatrice | Photo: Sven Marquardt

“Despite the different programs offered by Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin and C/O Berlin, we have joined forces, united in our desire to send a signal of solidarity and finally let Berlin shine again as a Capital of Culture,” said Dr. Berndt Schmidt, Director Friedrichstadt-Palast, and Stephan Erfurt, CEO of C/O Berlin, in a joint statement: “We are united by the belief that in a crisis no art is not an answer, but rather that new creative paths can be taken.

Marquardt, who was unable to foresee the current situation when the photographs were taken, describes his thoughts on the impressive series of pictures in this way: “Consider the end at the beginning … After the visit to the VIVID Grand Show, I stood with my team in front of the palace for quite a while and looked up at this huge illuminated advertising sign. And how the dancers must be feeling now, full of adrenaline, yet exhausted and busy wiping away the last traces of the flawless make-up.
Metamorphosis!
Arriving at home, I watched the wonderful Annie Lennox 100 times, in her music video WHY, backstage, melancholically preparing for her big performance and shining like a diva with every brush stroke. The idea for StageLess was born.”

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Hanna | Photo: Sven Marquardt

The series was created in collaboration with Klaus Stockhausen, Fashion Director at ZEITmagazin, and was curated by Felix Hoffmann of C/O Berlin in collaboration with Sven Marquardt. The exhibition includes approximately 70 portraits on large-format canvases and projections. A publication will accompany the exhibition.

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Christine | Photo: Sven Marquardt

The palace will restart regular operations on 2 January 2021, as the Berlin Senate has decided to bring forward a ventilation renovation measure to bridge the corona crisis.

WHERE? Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin (Foyer), Friedrichstraße 107, 10117 Berlin-Mitte

WHEN? daily, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm

COSTS? admission free (see below)


The Friedrichstadt-Palast provides information about the visit:

“Due to current regulations, only a limited number of guests can be in the exhibition at the same time. Book yourself here your desired time tickets free of charge. This guarantees you admission within your time window. For spontaneous guests, 50 admissions per time window are available. Simply go to the main entrance. You must leave your contact details before entering the foyer. The purpose of recording the data is to enable health authorities to trace chains of infection in the event of any infections. In the foyer you are obliged to wear a mouth and nose protector, except when sitting in the gastro area. Guests who are in wheelchairs or who cannot climb stairs should contact us by telephone at 030-2326 2326. Our service staff will then enable you to enter the building via the wheelchair access around the corner on Johannisstraße.
Definition of time window: You can enter the exhibition at any time within the booked time period, even shortly before the end of the time window and you can still stay in the exhibition after the end of the time window. The ticket entitles you to a single admission and is personal (due to tracking requirements). Please state the correct names of all guests when booking”.

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