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... [more]
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 anecdote... [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... [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 German... [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 firm presumably trying to sell them o... [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 i... [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 ill, so... [more]
BERLINER LISTE opens this week in a new home at the former postal railway station Postbahnhof am Ostbahnhof. Now in its 11th year, with 112 exhibitors, BERLINER LISTE is the longest running of the trio of fairs opening during the Berlin Art Week. Leading up to the fair Dr. Peter Funken, now in his second year as Curator, took the time to answer some of our questions about Berlin's art scene, his curatorial role, and, of course, what we can look forward to in 2014 edition of BERLINER LISTE.
Pink is the color of teenagers' cheeks when they’re secretly falling in love
For the third time in Palo Alto by Gia Coppola, they meet. It’s daytime. They study at the same high school but not the same class. So much has happened since that disastrous party, they both thought it was over, their untold love would not survive. Walking towards each other, they pretend to not notice the disturbing presence of the other getting closer. They slow down their pace, in perfect harmony&mda... [more]
What does vanitas look like today? by Jesi Khadivi Paweł Althamer, Mona Hatoum, Jeppe Hein, James Hopkins, Alicja Kwade, Dieter Roth, Tomas Saraceno, Thomas Schütte, Roman Signer, Daniel Spoerri, Katja Strunz, KEI TAKEMURA, Luca Trevisani, Reijiro Wada at Georg Kolbe Museum
June 15th, 2014 - August 31st, 2014
A human skull rests atop a modest wooden table flanked by a chronometer, books, musical instruments, an earthenware pot, and swathes of silk. Harmen Steenwyck’s Still Life: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life (1612-1656) is emblematic of the vanitas genre, most commonly known for its intimate tabletop tableaux alluding to the transient nature of all worldly goods and pursuits. Upon entering Vanitas – Nothing is Forever Anyway at Berlin’s Georg Kolbe Museum, one immediate... [more]
Ruin Value: Sammlung Boros in Berlin
Stephanie Cristello considers the poetic weight of a WWII bunker that was designed to be a ruin and became an art gallery: the site of the Boros Collection.
What if ruins were not a remnant of civilization, but the very purpose of it?
It is through this very unnatural state that Albert Speer, Hitler’s chief architect and Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich, conceived the concept of "ruin value." His... [more]
“Time turns metaphors into things” – Robert Smithson
Ruins are often untouchable spaces. The ruin embodies architecture as memory; the site is a host to ghosts, standing half-formed and half-alive as specters from the past, "unregulated" and with "no present function,"—an artifact, as some would say, that transforms the symbolic into the concrete. The influence of the past invades potential futures of the space, so much so that the ruin is trapped in time, a cycle th... [more]
“Our sky was destroyed during World War II,” creaks a white-bearded eighty-six-year-old Otto Piene from in front of the lens of a video created on the occasion of his Berlin multi-sited exhibition More Sky. He explains his lasting impression with the light phenomena that would permeate his art practice for upwards of six decades, his desire to establish a new launching point for his practice, for the role of art to act as rebuilder.
In conjunction, the Neue Nationalgalerie and the De... [more]