The problem of presence
Presence wracks the contemporary artist’s existence. Take, for instance, Marina Abramovic’s 2010 retrospective, The Artist Is Present, during which the artist famously sat in the gallery for the entirety of her exhibition’s run at MoMA. In her essay “‘The Artist is Present’: Artistic Re-enactments and the Impossibility of Presence,” critic Amelia Jones argues that the very fact that Abramovic was there, in the live act, “dest... [more]
The very notion is deeply romantic. A location of perfect tension, where the weather is honest and the sounds are cyclical. The Beach is that point in space where time and energy laps onto a surface, reworking it; constructing and deconstructing; giving and taking away. No less romantic is the notion that a “beach” surrounds us all under the tiles, asphalt, and paving stones of the city, beneath the constructs of our society. That it is always there, ever present, pushing up against th... [more]
Playing for Justice: contesting/contexting SPORT by Andrea Alessi Pascal Anson, Aquahomo, Imtiaz Ashraf, Queerfitness Berlin, Zeljko Blace, Berlin Bruisers, Cassils, Pirate Cinema, Zsuzsi Flohr/The Jewish Renaissance Boxing Club, MAnuElA cOvInI, David Crespo, Les Dégommeuses, Tristan Deschamps, Estelle Fenech, Caitlin D. Fisher, Discover Football, Open Games, Antoni Hervas Cortes & Panteres Grogues, Barbara Gruhl, Jason Hall, Tabea Huth, Justin Jorgensen, Brian Kenny, Lola Lasurt, Julia Lazarus, Albert Markert, Marthe’Oh, Tara Mateik, Marisa Maza, Dayna McLeod, Stuart Meyers, David Miguel, Frank J. Miles, Maximilian Moll, Marc Ohrem-Leclef, Tanja Ostojic´, Max Pelgrims, Llobet & Pons, Guerreiras Project, Boxing Queers, Kathrin Rabenort, Rafucko, Gabriele Fulterer & Christine Scherrer, Saul Selles, Marc Serra, Coral Short, Grrrls* Can Skate, Julia Smit, Spielaufbau, Katja Stuke, Ilaa Tietz, Alexa Vachon, Tools for Action/Artúr von Balen & QueerSport/ Z¹eljko Blac´e, Verena Melgarejo Weinandt, Tom Weller, QueerSportSplit & Zagreb at Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK)
July 9th - August 28th
I lost sleep when Portugal beat France to win its first-ever European Cup football championship this month. Not from nerves—despite living in Portugal, I had no skin in the game—but from the unremitting cacophony of car horns and vuvuzelas invading my apartment. Up for celebrating, I joined the impromptu party of waving flags, sticky splashes of Super Bock, and staccato football chants. I fell asleep to sounds of revelry, comforted by the fact that even in troubling times, such overpowe... [more]
Walking into the Akademie der Künste, a key venue of the 9th Berlin Biennale, the café you encounter is more than just a café—but you wouldn’t know it at first glance. On one side there is a green juice bar serving up pricey smoothies and snacks; the seating area is furnished with fake plants and “upcycled” wooden tables made from shipping pallets.
MINT, as the café is called, is an art project by Mexico City-based artist Débora Delmar, who creat... [more]
A post-internet dystopian fairyland—this was my first reaction to the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, The Present in Drag. Curated by DIS, the art collective behind DIS magazine, the exhibition promised to be full of post-internet art, advertisements, and corporate aesthetics, as was made apparent by branding techniques and imagery on the Biennale website as early as 2014, when the curatorial team was announced.
In the weeks preceding the Biennale, posters were mounted outside KW Institute for Contempor... [more]
Interesting. The word says a lot and nothing at all. We often leverage it to describe people, projects, and ideas that we don’t quite know what to make of yet—or notions too complicated to be quickly defined. Used and abused, the word teeters on the brink of vacuity. Defining something as interesting insists on a radical subjectivity, the spark of a personal constellation of references and affinities. Yet it equally connotes the superficial bundle of affects often tendered in digital exc... [more]
The annual Berlin festival transmediale engages the crossroads of art, media, and technology. This year’s edition, given the title conversationpiece, was held at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt from February 3–7, with diverse events and artworks organized in four streams: Anxious to Act, Anxious to Share, Anxious to Make, and Anxious to Secure. On the morning of the final day, I entered the cafe stage area to find a computer monitor displaying a scene from the vantage point of a pig... [more]
Two uniformed Russian officials stand among snowy birch trees, the pale forest background in contrast to the grey, bureaucratic foreground of their uniforms. It could be a chilling, serious scene, and yet, the whole effect is undone by the fact that these “officials” are locked in an intense kiss, hands clasped on each others’ buttocks: an absurd, yet tender reversal of the crackdown on “gay propaganda” in Russia.
Kissing Policemen by contemporary Russian provocate... [more]
Ai Weiwei is now a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts. So when you stop him for a selfie on the streets of the German capital—or when you spot him somewhere collecting Lego—be sure to holler “Professor Weiwei!”
The Chinese artist spoke at a press conference this week confirming his guest teaching position, which starts November 1 and will run until 2018. He kicks off his Einstein Visiting Professorship with a public lecture which is open to the public and will be streamed live—even faculty work on weekends, it seems.
Image: Nadja Sayej
The artist s... [more]
Raised plastic titles display Arabic lettering.
The text is slightly enlarged so that it imitates brail—raised to suggest that the shapes could be read with hands—turning texture into thought.
A red exclamation point disrupts the script—a western interruption bordering on fusion.
These are some of the constructed artifacts on display in the Preis der Nationalgalerie exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof by the collective Slavs and Tatars, who were nominated for this year’s award. Th... [more]
The city is a cosmic place. It is home, playground, office, and dreamland all in one. Stadt/Bild: Image of a City is the second time four Berlin institutions have collaborated in their contemporary art program. The project, initiated and funded by the city of Berlin, is part of the city’s pursuit of prestige events that draw attention to Berlin Art Week and its commercial epicenter, the abc art fair. Two years ago, Painting Forever! was thought banal and unexciting but successful enough (i... [more]
Independent project spaces have an inherently tenuous nature. But don’t misinterpret that as an inadequacy. Often working within more confines than their established gallery and institutional counterparts, project spaces leverage their upstart spirit by converting restricted budget, resources, and square meters into an enticing enthusiasm that yields lively results.
Project Space Festival is proof positive of this resourcefulness. Recently, it’s hit its stride in maximizing the potentia... [more]
The first edition of Germany’s Preis der Nationalgalerie in 2000 included three of today’s most well known Berlin-based artists: Olafur Eliasson, Katharina Grosse and Christian Jankowski. Strangely, the fourth nominee and that year’s winner, Dirk Skreber, has had less shows since 2000 than the four nominees for the 2015 Preis der Nationalgalerie.
Museum award competitions give artists considerable amount of exposure in the media and tend to catapult the artists’ careers, their market... [more]
Now in its fourth year, Berlin Art Week is fast becoming a fixture in the German capital’s art scene. While blockbuster exhibition Stadt/Bild is taking over four of the main art institutions, the week is also a moment for smaller galleries, project spaces, and non-profits to shine. And then, of course, there are the art fairs: Art Berlin Contemporary and platforms for emerging art, Positions and Liste.
Ubiquitous at any major art event these days, there are also a vast number of talks, panel discussions and one-off tours, but it&rs... [more]
Berlin Art Week starts on Tuesday and features seven different locations around the city of Berlin. As always, it's a celebration of the diversity of spaces and artistic practices that the European artistic capital has become known for.
If you need a hotel room for Berlin Art Week, visit Cheaprooms.co.uk. On this website you will find a selection of affordable hotel rooms in stadtmitte Berlin.
Below is a quick preview of the best events during Berlin Art Week:
Neue Nationalgaler... [more]
Like other industries, the art world should come under the scrutiny of fair and equitable business practices. With so much privatization in the gallery and museum world, it's as good a time as any for consumers of culture to question where funds come from—and where profits are going. This summer, we're seeking out the best not-for-profit and community conscious art spaces in the most commercial cities on the global art circuit. As part of our mission to give art a social slant, the fourth st... [more]