Twenty Twelve proved to be an event-saturated year for Berlin. We heard the announcement of the Guggenheim’s departure from the scene, we observed the launch of the first Berlin Art Week, and we celebrated the canonization of Germany’s own Gerhard Richter with his transnational Panorama exhibition. The Berlin Biennale reflected the grassroots political fervor that swept the globe, our favorite local bunker introduced the first rotation of its semi-permanent collection, and dOCUMENTA(13) drew scores away from the venues of the Hauptstadt this summer and off to Kassel.
As the final chapter of one year concludes, the ArtSlant team give the year-in-reviews a final once over before dutifully beginning to pen 2013.
"[This exhibit] fiercely focuses on the botched potentiality of movement through somewhat surreal quotidian spaces. A door has become an impenetrable wall, a railing recalls where a staircase might have been, and a keyhole taunts a viewer’s desire to transcend the white space of the museum. Instruments that usually are guides between spaces have here become markers – false symbols of potential movement – like the documentary newspapers, only pointing at something that was or could have been."
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Dublinesca (Installation), 2012 4 bunk beds (3 blue, 1 yellow), books; Courtesy Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Esther Schipper
"Against the backdrop of TH.2058, which was a speculative imagining of the world in 2058, the paradoxical exhibition at Esther Schipper elicits profound nostalgia for an imagined future, forming a metaphor for the impossibility of return."
Anthony McCall, Between You and I, 2006, Installation view at Peer / The Round Chapel, London, 2006; Photo: Hugo Glendinning / Courtesy of the artist and Hamburger Bahnhof.
"Most traditional exhibitions are conceived to provide us with an expected detached viewing experience. We come […] to encounter art at a safe, respectable distance (no touching, no photos… sound familiar?). For Anthony McCall’s exhibition Five Minutes of Pure Sculpture, expect to lie on the floor, waving limbs and staring dumbfounded into dark space broken by elegant spires of shimmering light."
"Political art has claimed Germany’s attention this year, and it doesn’t seem to be letting go… So too is this year’s Berlin Art Week rich with social resistance and political unrest. In the city with undoubtedly the most alternative art spaces and politically vocal artists out of the world’s major art capitals, soaking up the critical discourse here just feels right."
"In my projects […] I involve entire communities in the creative process. I’ve enlisted a community of retired miners from Enna, Sicily; more than 15,000 citizens of Derby, UK, and 300 Lower East Side residents, in NYC. In this process, the viewer becomes a participant and the hierarchy between the artist, as author, and the public as recipient can be questioned and rewritten."
Happy New Year from the ArtSlant Berlin Team!
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