Pandora laughs

Danielle de Picciotto

Opening Reception during GALLERY WEEKEND BERLIN
Thursday, 25.04. 18:00-21:00 | 19:00 Official introduction

Special opening hours during GALLERY WEEKEND BERLIN
Friday, 26.04. 14:00-19:00
Saturday, 27.04. 12:00-19:00
Sunday, 28.04. 12:00-17:00

Born in the USA, Danielle de Picciotto moved to Kreuzberg in 1987 and discovered her sympathy for its vibrant club scene and the creative world between nightlife, squats and subversive art in pre-Wall West Berlin. Through actions such as the initiation of the first Berlin Love Parade together with Dr. Motte in 1989 and the founding of the Ocean Club with Gudrun Gut in 1996, she is one of the formative figures of the Berlin club and music scene after the boom of the Neue Deutsche Welle.

The exhibition "Pandora laughs" is dedicated to Danielle de Picciotto as a painter and drawer. Visual art is an independent medium in the interdisciplinary work of the internationally successful musician, performance artist, filmmaker and lyricist, but like the other genres, it can only be fully understood in its overall context. In addition to drawings and paintings from various creative phases, the silent film "Crossroads" (2017) and original sheets from one of her graphic novels, "We are Gypsies Now" (2013), are therefore part of the exhibition. Both provide insights into her life as a nomad from 2010 until the start of the coronavirus pandemic.


Danielle de Picciotto's artistic work is characterised in particular by working out of the process, experimenting with overlapping materials and layers and a love of storytelling. A guiding source of inspiration is her curiosity for the regions between the inner and outer edges of the collective psyche. Who is the individual "I" and who makes it what it is, what I AM: family expectations, cultural rules, social and moral taboos? And: does this question become more explosive when it comes from the mouth of a woman?


Since the 2000s, de Picciotto has increasingly combined her detailed ink drawings in black and white with colourful surrealist painting. Layers become stories and intermediate worlds. On the one hand, the results are reminiscent of the visual culture of Pop Surrealism, which was inspired by psychedelic music, comics and anime, among other things, and emerged beyond the established gallery and museum scene. On the other hand, their subliminal humour, the play with magical ideas, hybrid creatures and animals show similarities to works by surrealists such as Leonora Carrington.


De Picciotto's references to female figures from fairy tales and myths as well as quotations of symbolically erotically charged objects such as crowns, veils, daggers, flowers, birds and cages place her works in the context of debates about female identity and the violence of role models, but retain their independence by focussing on individual themes such as longings, doubts and fantasies. — Pandora laughs and her laughter is rebellion.


About the artist 

Danielle de Picciotto's works are exhibited internationally, including the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, IMOCA Indianapolis Museum of Modern Art, London Museum of Art, ACMI Museum, Melbourne, Film Museum Frankfurt a.M., Institut de Cultura, Barcelona and Centre Pompidou, Malaga. She has produced several films with her animated drawings for the Deutsches Auswärtiges Amt. In 2023, she was honoured with the Poetic Lens Award for her poetic video "Awake" in Eugene, Oregon, USA. In 2019, she toured North America as a spoken word solo artist represented by the Goethe Institute. She has produced three film documentaries: "neubauten.org, Die Tour 2004", "How Long is Now" and "The Art of Lary 7" as well as the silent film "Crossroads". Danielle de Picciotto has been working with Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) on music productions and stage shows since 2001. Since then they have been touring the world with their band hackedepicciotto and have been married since 2006. Since 1990, the artist has recorded a total of 16 albums with Mick Harvey (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), Monika Werkstatt, Gudrun Gut and Crime & The City Solution, among others.