KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Venue  |  Exhibitions  |  Reviews

Fire and Forget: Artists Respond to Modern Warfare

by Vanessa Gravenor
Entering . On Violence, the viewer passes through two of the four rotating gates in Daniil Galkin’s installation Tourniquet. Beyond this eerie passage, a provocative text speculates on the impact of technology on modern warfare. Its thesis can be characterized as follows: since modern technology has largely emancipated warriors from a traditional active sense of duty—allowing them to literally fire and forget—does this change in confrontation halt the production and inevitable perception of... [more]
Posted by Vanessa Gravenor on 6/24/15

Moving Image: Film’s Emotional Metalanguage at the KW

by Guy Parker
During an early investigation into the language of film it was Christian Metz who observed that “film is difficult to explain because it is so easy to understand.” According to Metz, in film—in contrast to written text or the spoken word—the distance between sign and meaning was too narrow to withstand established codes of semiotic analysis. That distance, whatever its breadth, is central to themes explored in the exhibition currently at Kunst-Werk Berlin. The curators have brought together... [more]
Posted by Guy Parker on 3/5/14

Will be televised

by S V Km
King of schlock and shock, the late Christoph Schlingensief is widely considered one of the most eminent artists to emerge out of Germany in the last fifty years. Beginning as a filmmaker, he later incorporated theater, sculpture, installation, performance, and even literature into his practice before his untimely death at the age of fifty. Appropriating pop culture iconography for social activism, his democratic version of the post-Wagnerian (total art) sought to integrate the public and... [more]
Posted by S V Km on 1/8/14

Trauma and Rebuilding

by Collin James Munn
Participating artists: Curtis Anderson, Katharina Grosse, Leiko Ikemura, Jun Kaneko, Philipp von Matt, Boris Mikhailov, Daido Moriyama, Yoko Ono, Lieko Shiga, Stephanie Stein, Yutaka Takanashi, Shōmei Tōmatsu, Rosemarie Trockel, Donata Wenders, Wim Wenders. During the time following a moment of devastating collective trauma, like what has happened in Japan this year, there tends to be a questioning of what role Art has in understanding the societal and personal ramifications of such a violent... [more]
Posted by Collin James Munn on 6/20/11

(De)based in Berlin

by Alexander Forbes
Utter the words “based in Berlin” here lately and you can practically hear the collective raising of hair on the back of everyone’s neck. Like its predecessors in other cities such as “Greater New York”, few agree on what it means to be based in Berlin and almost all say this is not it. The festival’s organizers certainly did themselves no favors, with controversy erupting long before the final artist roster was released. The art community questioned why the German government’s culture fund,... [more]
Posted by Alexander Forbes on 7/3/11

Days of Future Passed

by Mara Goldwyn
At the moment of my visit, there was only one thing on display at the KW, and it was apparently going for six euros a view. It was what has now become known colloquially among the Berlin (Facebook) Art-erati as the “Beeramid.” As I entered the large hall and apprehended the view of two young German men talking on mobile phones sitting atop of—what was indeed—a pyramid of beer cases, I thought for sure this was a performance piece. Cardboard torn to pieces, bottles smashed, beer stench... [more]
Posted by Mara Goldwyn on 5/15/11

Three theses on “Early Years”

by Julia Moritz
      In his brief essay Introduction to the book of the same title, Norwegian critic Jonas Ekeberg has introduced the term “new institutionalism” to the curatorial discussion (1). Derived from new management debates, the term describes a range of experimental institutional practices that take their own conditions as a starting point for critical reconsideration of curatorial devices such as the art exhibition, the catalogue, the collection, and so on. This was in 2003. When the project... [more]
Posted by Julia Moritz on 3/14/10

Starting off light...

by Ana Finel Honigman
      Ceal Floyer's works are charming. The British artist uses wit and a sweet sensibility to lure viewers towards larger questions about the reception, presentation and purpose of conceptual art. Floyer's appropriations and mixed media installations (using stationary paper, rubber bands, puzzles, a receipt for only all-white foods and lights) offer the pleasures of a good puzzle. Connecting the bits of information that she provides and teasing out her meaning is a rewarding intellectual... [more]
Posted by Ana Finel Honigman on 9/12/09

Giving the credits the credit they deserve

by Ana Finel Honigman
While it is unfair to judge a book by its cover, one can certainly judge that some bookcovers are artworks in themselves. Berlin’s Kunst-Werke's excellent "VORSPANNKINO: 54 titles of an exhibition" demonstrates that the same holds true for film credits. "VORSPANNKINO: 54 titles of an exhibition" consists of a feature-film-length montage of 54 opening and closing credits cherry-picked by the KW curators to screen in cinema-scale in the main gallery, and addition credits shown on... [more]
Posted by Ana Finel Honigman on 2/24/09