Julius von Bismarck’s work forces a perceptual adjustment, like going to see a mental chiropractor. His ultimate subject, in objects, images, performances, and the movement of land, is how we see the world, and in turn construct reality.


2005: Visual Communication, Berlin University of the Arts, Germany

2006: Visual Communication, Digital Class, under professor Joachim Sauter, Berlin University of the Arts, Germany

2007: MFA-Program, Hunter College New York, NY, USA

2009: Institute for Spacial Experiments, under professor Olafur Eliasson, Berlin University of the Arts, Germany

2012-13: Meisterschüler (master student) under professor Olafur Eliasson, Berlin University of the Arts, Germany

Grants, Awards and Residencies

2018: Award of the Shifting Foundation, Beverly Hills, CA, USA

2017: Junge Stadt sieht Junge Kunst, Prize of the City of Wolfsburg, Germany

2013: IBB Photography Award, IBB Atrium, Berlin, Germany

2011: Prix Ars Collide@CERN, Linz, Austria, CERN, Switzerland

2010: Beep Electronic Art Award, Madrid, Spain

2009: Prix Ars Electronica Award with the Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus, Linz, Austria
Selection of the Jury – Japan Media Arts Festival 09, Tokyo, Japan

2008: Golden Nica Award with the Image Fulgurator at Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria



Landscapes of Memory, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Conference Center, Paris

When the Wind Blows, Kunsthaus Wien, Vienna, Austria

Breathless, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada

Boros Collection, Berlin, Germany


Lichtsicht 7 Projektions-Triennale, Bad Rothenfelde, Germany

K60, Wilhelm Hallen, Berlin, Germany

Studio Berlin, Berghain, Berlin, Germany

Als wir verschwanden. Vier Videoarbeiten, Bündner Kunstverein, Chur, Switzerland

NEUSTADT, Emscherkunstweg, Oberhausen, Germany

Féstival Images Vevey, Switzerland

Amish Quilts meet Modern Art. Staatliches Textil- und Industriemuseum Augsburg, Germany

Seestücke – Von der Romantik bis zur klassischen Moderne, Museum Kunst der Westküste, Alkersum/Föhr, Germany


Nowness Experiments: The Mesh, K11 Art Foundation, Shanghai, China

Just a bowl of cherries, 7th Thessaloniki Biennale, Experimental Center for the Arts, Thessaloniki, Greece

Festival GAMERZ 15e Édition, Aix-en-Provence, France

The Third Bank, Anozero ’19 – Bienal de Coimbra, Portugal

Das Tier in der Kunst, Wurlitzer PTC, Berlin, Germany

No mould. Sculpture in the MUSAC Collection, Museo de La Rioja, Spain

Symposium at the 58th Venice Biennale – SPACE IS THE PLACE, Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli, Venice, Italy

Elementarteile. Grundbausteine des Sprengel Museum Hannover und seiner Kunst, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Hanover, Germany

Ré-flexions. Autour des nouvelles acquisitions, FRAC Alsace, Sélestat, France

MASK. THE ART OF TRANSFORMATION, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany

Post-Water, Museo Nazionale della Montagna CAI Torino, Italy

Nature in Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Krakow (MOCAK), Poland



Whole Earth Archive, alexander levy, Berlin, Germany


NEUSTADT, with Marta Dyachenko, Emscherkunstweg, Bochum, Germany

Landscape Painting, Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf, Germany


Feuer mit Feuer, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany


I Am Afraid, with Julian Charrière, Sies + Höke, Dusseldorf, Germany
Die Mimik der Tethys, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France


Immer noch der Lauf der Dinge, alexander levy, Berlin, Germany
I’m afraid I must ask you to leave, with Julian Charrière, Kunstpalais Erlangen, Germany

Public Face, with Benjamin Maus and Richard Wilhelmer, Hamburg, Germany


Gewaltenteilung, Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Germany
Talking to Thunder, Sies + Höke, Dusseldorf, Germany
Good Weather, Marlborough Contemporary, New York, NY, USA


Approximately Three Dimensions, alexander levy, Berlin, Germany

Desert Now, with Julian Charrière and Felix Kiessling, Steve Turner, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Objects in mirror might be closer than they appear, with Julian Charrière, Villa Bernasconi, Grand-Lancy, Geneva, Switzerland


Landscape Painting, Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY, USA

Tiere sind dumm und Pflanzen noch viel dümmer, Kunstverein Göttingen, Germany


History Apparatus, Kunstverein Arnsberg, Germany


Arken Museum, Ishøj, Denmark, Colección BEEP de Arte Electrónico, Spain, FRAC Alsace, Sélestat, France, Fundación Televisa, Mexico City, Mexico, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germany, Musac – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, France, Sammlung Philara, Dusseldorf, Germany, Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Hanover, Germany, Stadtgalerie Wolfsburg, Germany




Julius von Bismarck is a Berlin-based artist who spent his youth in the desert landscape of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Through photography and sculpture, he investigates how nature is depicted and perceived. In a recent solo show at Marlborough Contemporary in New York, he exhibited a photograph he took in Venezuela of a lightning bolt striking a palm tree in a straight line that seems too fantastical to be real. In this first edition of Catalyst, von Bismarck, speaking via Skype from Berlin, narrates what led up to that pivotal moment and describes lightning’s place in his practice.

Purple Magazine


MAURIZIO CATTELAN — If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? JULIUS VON BISMARCK — Something that would make more sense in a post-apocalyptic world. Imagine the only thing you can do is art, but there are no white cubes, no collectors, and no one at all interested in art. Maybe some pavilions would still be used for shelter and some sculptures as weapons, but most of the art would be completely useless when it comes to surviving. I think engineer or drug dealer are jobs that are fun and will generate a solid income in both the pre and the post apocalyptic world.



Last December, news outlets including Fox, ABC, and the Salt Lake Tribune reported on mysterious YouTube videos that showed two exploding rock formations in Utah’s Arches National Park. Some speculated about the scenarios’ authenticity, but the footage looked real enough that the Utah Department of Natural Resources sent staff to assess any possible damage to the landscape. When they found no resources were destroyed, however, authorities concluded that the videos were fake—answering a question posed by a local news report broadcast by Utah’s ABC 4: “Is it real vandalism or a very realistic looking hoax?” The confounding videos proved to be part of a conceptual artwork through which two Berlin-based artists—Julius von Bismarck and Julian Charrière, who previously collaborated on a site-specific performance for the 2012 Venice Biennale of Architecture—set out to learn how the public would react if protected natural monuments and ancient geological forms were destroyed. The idea for the project—titled I Am Afraid, I Must Ask You to Leave—was inspired in part by recent instances of cultural destruction such as the attacks against ruins in the Syrian city of Palmyra and the monumental Buddha statues of Bamiyan in Afghanistan.