For the first time, Amnesty International awarded their annual Ambassador of Conscience Award to a visual artist.
Ai Weiwei received the international honor, which was presented at an award ceremony Thursday night at the Berliner Festspiele in Berlin, in absentia. The artist can’t leave China, being under government surveillance and having his passport revoked.
In place, he designated London’s Tate Modern curator Chris Dercon to accept the award on his behalf. The award is devoted to... [more]
Truth is complicated. We live in a world bombarded by coded messages that urge us to perk up, pay attention, take sides, and weed out those that are trustworthy from those that are less so. In film, television, print, and online we are in a constant state of self-definition: this is us, that is them. We define ourselves against a backdrop of trusted leaders, voices, guides, and influencers. But ultimately, how can you tell the truth? How can you tell the truth?
As part of this year’s Gallery... [more]
You know who I'm talking about: sipping the dregs of an hour-cold flat white, hidden amidst a fortress of MacBooks and Moleskines, using a public cafe as their own personal workspace. Yeah, you've see them—you may even be one of them. And I confess to you: I too am one of those people.
It wasn't always like this. I used to rent a studio space. It was cold, smelled of fish (from the market below) and the WiFi was more selective than the bouncers at Berghain. More and more often, I found myself... [more]
It’s laid out like an obstacle course of sensory imagination—works mindfully scattered throughout the space, hung on walls, towering like disembodied limbs amidst the void, protruding from their designated places threatening to shape shift.
In conjunction with the German premiere of British filmmaker Emily Wardill’s When You Fall into a Trance at carlier | gebauer, the artist has curated an adjacent group show in conversation with curator Jesi Khadivi, who joined carlier | ge... [more]
“There is a lot of freedom to being a freelancer,” once said journalist Don Gibb. “You get to work any 13 hours of the day you like.”
The same can be said for any self-employed entrepreneur—including artists. Much is to be learned from this year’s “Capture All" edition of Transmediale, the annual digital art festival famous for its screenings, performances, exhibitions, and conference that hash out media art every year in Berlin. This year the festival's ma... [more]
Dedicating its programming to the work of seven noted filmmakers, KOW in Berlin gives its exhibition space over to the moving image in 2015. The year’s roster includes Germany representatives for this year’s Venice Biennale, Tobias Zielony and Hito Steyerl, pioneering feminist and experimental cinematographer Barbara Hammer, Russian activist collective Chto Delat?, Mario Pfeifer, Renzo Martens, and Clemens von Wedemeyer.
Why is it so important to show and engage with film and video work?
Hung salon style and packed to the brim for the opening, You’re Just Too Good To Be True is Contemporary Fine Art’s most attended show to date. Outside in the cold, a long queue snakes around the block, steam rising. Inside, in a sea of tortoiseshell glasses, camel hair coats, and variations-of-rouge lipstick, Berlin’s art world glitterati coerce their way through the crowds and around the baby strollers that block the exits, entries, and quiet solitary corners of the rooms.
The moving image has a long-standing relationship with trickery: deceiving the eye, suspending disbelief, displaying the impossible. In fact, it's devilishly good at it.
Everybody's heard about the audience who ran screaming from the oncoming train at the premiere of the Lumiere Brothers’ L'Arrivée d'un train... (1895). I recently read a suggestion that they ran partly to avoid being crushed by a steam train and partly because they knew doing so offered them bit parts in an anecdo... [more]
Right on the heels of Berlin’s 1.5 million euro celebration marking 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, a collection of iconic memorials—erected for those who perished during the Wall’s oppressive existence—have been stolen.
For the last decade, white crosses have stood at various locations on the former border in remembrance of those who died trying to escape East Berlin into the West. As of last weekend only empty metal frames remained where seven of the crosses h... [more]
Seventy thousand citizens gathered on the streets of the East German city of Leipzig on October 9th, 1989, after churches opened to accommodate protesters disillusioned with the oppressive East German regime, the Cold War, and the structural and geographical scar the Berlin Wall had represented for the past 28 years. This massive confluence was the culmination of weekly prayer meetings organized by Christian Führer, the pastor of St. Nicholas Church. Some might call it a stretch to conclude tha... [more]
When the world thinks of Africa at the moment, the conversation seems to stop on the deadly West African virus, Ebola. For a less alarmist and fear-stoked impression of a massive continent, Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art (1997-2002), on view at Berlin’s Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle until November 16, is currently offering insights through the eyes of one money-minded artist from Benin.
Funny coincidence this show is hosted by a Deutsche Bank-sponsored gallery, as Germany has... [more]
Five days into his public performance art piece, Wanna Play? Love in Times of Grindr, the Berlin performance center Hebbel am Ufer (HAU) announced yesterday it’s pulling the plug on Dries Verhoeven, whose project has drawn widespread criticism for violating gay men’s privacy and exploiting users on the gay dating app, Grindr.
For Wanna Play?, which was partially funded by the Dutch embassy, the Dutch performance artist committed to live in a glass trailer erected in one of Kreuzbe... [more]
The rent is too damn high—but the art's pretty damn good
Jesi Khadivi on a changing Berlin and which shows to make time for during a packed week of openings and events citywide.
A green banner spans a cream-colored Altbau adjacent to my local organic grocery store in Schöneberg: APARTMENTS FOR SALE. Above the banner, tenants have hung green signs in their windows, enacting a checkerboard of protest that mines the graphic identity of the brokerage fi... [more]
Kristian Jarmuschek takes a shallow breath and almost disappointedly utters, “That is the second time I’m asked about the market today. What is with everyone wanting to talk about the market?” The POSITIONS team and I are seated in the center of one of the gallery rooms of Jarmuschek+Partner on the Potsdamer Strasse discussing the upcoming launch of Berlin's newest art fair incarnation, POSITIONS Berlin. The room is lined with neat bundles of VIP invite cards and press material stacked in boxes on the floo... [more]
A green banner spans a cream-colored Altbau adjacent my local organic grocery store in Schöneberg: APARTMENTS FOR SALE. Above the banner, tenants have hung green signs in their windows, enacting a checkerboard of protest that mines the graphic identity of the brokerage firm presumably trying to sell them out.
I stop to read them.
Rented—we have lived here 3 years! Rented—we have lived here 45 years! Rented—we have lived here 78 years! The last sign makes me feel slightly i... [more]