Here are three carefully selected picks from this week’s Berlin Artweek 2017. By chance all of them include plants, refer to organisms and exhibit nature somehow – other connections surely can be found.
Always remember: «The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness» as John Muir put it.
Berlin Artweek 2017 is in full swing and Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann from Hamburg presents his exhibition «Dr. Perversi» at the recently opened Galerie Noah Klink until 10th of October 2017.
Frohne-Brinkmann who won the New-Positions-Prize of the artfair Art Cologne in 2016 presents an environment which cites waiting rooms of doctor’s offices. He refers to the furniture, the plants and the art usually found in these places of transit. On the wall he hang drawings modeled after the ones which are applied to patient’s bodies before plastic surgery and on the shelves he arranged sculptures of carnivorous plants made from clay. (I already mentioned before that clay is heavily trending again.) ⠀
The almost symmetric drawings bring to mind the images of the notorious and controversial Rorschach test used in psychological treatments which tries to analyze the patient through his or her perception of given inkblots images which are a priori without any given message. ⠀
While the Rorschach test is used to examine a person’s psyche, working with clay is also used a form of therapy. It is said that this non-verbal and playfull method has a balancing effect and strengthens the self-confidence and autonomy through the expression of feelings. ⠀
Frohne-Brinkmann combines the targeted perfection of optional beauty surgeries with the decay of the carnivorous plants to comment in a nonchalant way on the phase of a young artist in which he works constantly on his inner and outer personality while waiting until he gets called up, because the «artworld will see him now» – and one way or another gets swallowed up by it. •
As part of Berlin Artweek 2017 the new artspace Bärenzwinger opened at Köllnischer Park in Berlin-Mitte with the show «Ursus Olfaciens» by Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld and Reto Pulfer which will be on display until 29th of October 2017. ⠀
Both are working with the traces history left of this space: At this neo-gothic building by architect Georg Lorenz the city of Berlin’s heraldic animals lived at the bear pit for almost eighty years until the last female city-bear «Schnute» died in 2015. The first bear couple arrived in 1937 as a gift from the city of Bern, Switzerland for the 700th anniversary of Berlin. ⠀
During World War II the bears found shelter at Berlin’s Zoo, because the bear pit was buried under rubble – luckily they could escape. Just recently it was decided to break with the tradition of keeping bears at the bear pit because of animal rights reasons. ⠀
Now the city has given the space to young curators to develop exhibitions with artists and scientists who realize site-specific installation and interventions. ⠀
One core-idea of the recent two-year program is entitled «Traces of the Animalic» and refers to the bears. ⠀
Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld from Berlin and Reto Pulfer from Bern are refering to one of the most transient of traces: The scent of the bears. Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld turns the building into a sort of sauna to open up the pores and thus makes a space-cleaning with a special sauna infusion of herbs and berries found in the nearby vegetation surrounding the pit. And that special creation smells very good! She provides also a tea of the herbs, which I haven’t tasted yet.
Reto Pulfer works in and with the rooms itself: Installations with plants of the site and the exploration of the site itself are his purposes.
The opening was celebrated with a concert by the band «Eisklares Echo» which filled the whole space with their mysterios and embracing sounds. The exhibition is on display und 29th of October 2017. • ⠀
«Festival of Future Nows 2017 → ∞» is the title of an exhibition at Museum Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin organized by the Institute for Spatial Experiments. It existed as a research lab at Universität der Künste Berlin from 2009 to 2014 under the direction of Olafur Eliasson and turned into an independent community afterwards which takes care of the archive and about exhibitions and events like these. ⠀
In the historic hall of the museum unfolds a mingle-mangle of installations, video projections, sound experiments, pop-up performances and let’s not forget: interventions. ⠀
Anthropocene-influences meet tech-avantgardism meets hippie-style meets artistic research – it’s a potpourri of what looks hip and trendy. Among the exhibiting artists are Andreas Greiner, Julian Charrière, Julius von Bismarck, Kat Válastur, Raul Walch, Robert Lippok and Olafur Eliasson himself. If the excactly 100 presented projects will be sustainable in the art scene or elsewhere still has to be proved. ⠀
With his artwork «Kaya Cynara» Hans-Henning Korb seeks to melt the tactile and digital perception into one a recyclical action that connects inner and outer spaces. [Image left top]
Macarena Ruiz-Tagle intends to research about our perception of colors and light on different surfaces which results in contemplating artworks with the title «Relation Of Aspect». [Image left middle]
Ally Bisshop exhibits her erratic work «The bird sings with its fingers» which lends the title from Jean Cocteau’s film «Orphée», in which the character of Orpheus receives coded messages from the occluded underworld through strange poetic fragments broadcasted over the radio. [Image left bottom]
Anne Duk Hee presents «Yoko and Ono», a traditional chinese marriage bed in which electric fans keep on moving orange table tennis balls. They refer to molecules of boiling water and to the restraints of society. [Image middle top]
Olafur Eliasson presents a small forrest of birches bathed in yellow light which are supposed to create a space for meetings inbetween them. [Image middle bottom]
Matthias Sohr presents the sculpture «Strut» which discusses limitations of the sculpture itself, but also of the body experiencing it: He bends a stair lift like an airy ribbon. [Image right] ⠀
Oh and there’s red balloons and on top performances including artichokes and crispbread also. Don’t wait too long to see it, it’s only on display until 17th of September 2017. •