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 - August 31st
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]
At Aanant & Zoo you can currently visit How to Disappear, a selection of works by Lynn Hershman Leeson created over the past forty years. It's a compact little exhibition featuring some twenty-seven works of various media including video and photography. It cuts out a great overview of an amazing career on the cutting edge while offering a taster of the planned retrospective at the ZKM, Karlsruhe, this coming December.
Some of the earliest works are the Suicide Pieces (1963-1968), photographic prints... [more]
In October 2013, Joanna Kamm hosted the Karl Larsson exhibition Twelve Hours at her Berlin-Mitte gallery, Galerie Kamm. In 2014, a metaphorical twelve months later, the title has appeared in the gallery once again, playing host to a familiar roster of works save for select new additions. One such alteration is a shallow scratch in the plaster wall at the gallery’s entrance. The gash, Form Was Not Born From An Idea, It Was An Idea Vanishing, sets the tone for this re-visitation.
The exhibi... [more]
When I think of Midnight Movies I timeslip to the early 90s and all-nighters at the Scala in London's Kings Cross. The imagery is that of The Trip, Eraserhead, Vanishing Point, and Blue Sunshine. The aroma is of popcorn and hashish, the taste—cheap stimulants and vodka. I think of a motley crew of film geeks and freaks who have stumbled out of the pub at closing, dashed to the off license, and now gather inside the crumbling flea pit for an all night fix of kitsch, action, and high weirdn... [more]
The Neue Nationalgalerie’s Marsden Hartley, the German Paintings 1913-1915 provides an unprecedented opportunity to see thirty stunning oil paintings from the American Modernist’s Berlin years. These works have not been displayed together in a focused exhibition since the artist exhibited them himself in 1915. Commendably, the Neue Nationalgalerie recognized the need for an exhibition that brings together paintings from a period representing the pinnacle of Hartley’s abstractions and... [more]
Lost in the Berlin Biennale: A First Look
Sonja Hornung and Richard Pettifer offer their first impressions of the exhibition.
Fifty artists is not so many for a biennial, and we were certainly looking forward to a concentrated and focused set of exhibitions. Spread across three venues, this Biennale sprawls, conceptually and physically.
Sonja Hornung: We caught the train out to Dahlem, west of Berlin, and got rained on. Once we made it into the exhibition you seemed totally uneasy, Richard—why was that?
Lost in the Berlin Biennale: A First Look by Sonja Hornung and Richard Pettifer Zarouhie Abdalian, Bani Abidi, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Saadane Afif, David Chalmers Alesworth, Carlos Amorales, Andreas Angelidakis, Leonor Antunes, Julieta Aranda, Tarek Atoui, Nairy Baghramian, Bianca Baldi, Patrick Alan Banfield, Alberto Baraya, Rosa Barba, Gordon Bennett, Zachary Cahill, Mariana Castillo Deball, Carolina Caycedo, Tacita Dean, Mario García Torres, Beatriz González, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Shilpa Gupta, Cynthia Gutiérrez, Ganesh Haloi, Carsten Höller, Iman Issa, Irene Kopelman, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Matts Leiderstam, Glenn Ligon, Goshka Macuga, Santu Mofokeng, Shahryar Nashat, Olaf Nicolai, Otobong Nkanga, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Judy Radul, Center for Historical Reenactments, Jimmy Robert, Anri Sala, Michael Stevenson, Mariam Suhail, Vivan Sundaram, Gaganendranath Tagore, Slavs and Tatars, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tonel, Li Xiaofei, Danh Vo & Xiu Xiu, David Zink Yi, Carla Zaccagnini at Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
May 29th - August 3rd
Fifty artists is not so many for a biennial, and we were certainly looking forward to a concentrated and focussed set of exhibitions. Spread across three venues, this Biennale sprawls, conceptually and physically.
Sonja Hornung: We caught the train out to Dahlem, west of Berlin, and got rained on. Once we made it into the exhibition you seemed totally uneasy, Richard – why was that?
Richard Pettifer: I couldn’t work out what was from the Biennale and what were pre-existing from the Et... [more]
Having read about the historical themes and ideas that curator Juan A. Gaitán chewed over while planning the 8th Berlin Biennale, I wondered if I was supposed to feel like some colonial explorer as I journeyed southwest towards Dahlem and into a Berlin kiez less travelled (by a peripheral fellow traveller of the Berlin art crowd, at least). Someone like Alexander von Humbolt, who undertook the first scientific exploration of South America and whose name is to appear on the controversial Humbolt... [more]