Spacial, Visual & Iconic

Berlin Artweek 2017: Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann at Galerie Noah Klink, Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld and Reto Pulfer at Bärenzwinger & «Festival of Future Nows 2017 → ∞» by Olafur Eliasson

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. •

[Click on the images to get to the gallery mode.]

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A modified version of the notorious logo of «Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz» on a flag outside a house oppsite of the Volksbühne | Photo: Norbert Bayer
Linguistic, Performative

Volksbühne in Berlin: No consensus – but bonus material galore

After 25 years director Frank Castorf has to stop working at Berlin theatre «Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz» — more than a pardigm shift, but a warning to all of us and especially our politicians

Frank Castorf had to leave the Berlin theatre «Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz» as head of directors in the summer of 2017 after 25 years of successfully changing the aesthetics of postmodern theatre — and he and his team of directors and actors left after a fulminating season. For example Castorf himself directed a seven our long version of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s «Faust», were he integrated also questions of colonialism and Paul Celans «Todesfuge» among several other debates and sources.

Frank Castorf (* 1951 in Ost-Berlin) of Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz applaudes to his team to make it come back on stage after the last performance of his adaption of «Baumeister Sollness» by Henrik Ibsen, 1st of July 2017. | Photo: Norbert Bayer

Frank Castorf (* 1951 in Ost-Berlin) of Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz applaudes to his team to make it come back on stage after the last performance of his adaption of «Baumeister Sollness» by Henrik Ibsen, 1st of July 2017. | Photo: Norbert Bayer

On the photo above he stands under a flag with the so-called «Räuberrad» created by Bert Neumann (1960–2015) for the drama «Die Räuber» by Friedrich Schiller in 1992 which later turned into a logo for Volksbühne. It also stood as a sculpture in front of the theatre since end of June 2017, before it was taken away to make clear that the times there will have definitely changed when the new director will start working. The sculpture was taken on tour to the theatre festival in Avignon where the company played its very last shows early July 2017. It is planed to bring it back and then it has to be decided where it will be displayed. ⠀

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Linguistic, Performative, Sound & Vision, Spacial

Gallery Weekend Berlin 2017: Adam Pendleton, Donna Huanca, Luigi Presicce, Helga Paris, Jeongmoon Choi & Stefan Panhans

A selection of artists and their work shown at galleries, off-spaces, showrooms, municipal galleries and private collections in Berlin.
Most of them will be on display for longer – check them out!

Italian artist Luigi Presicce is exhibiting in Berlin at M+Project which organized the exhibition «Nostalgia del Futuro» with the Italian artist who is shortlisted for the Premio Anna Morettini this year. ⠀

Italian artist Luigi Presicce is exhibiting in Berlin at M+Project which organized the exhibition «Nostalgia del Futuro» with the Italian artist who is shortlisted for the Premio Anna Morettini this year. ⠀

Italian artist Luigi Presicce is finally exhibiting in Berlin for the first time, because luckily M+Project organized the exhibition «Nostalgia del Futuro» with the Italian artist who is shortlisted for the Premio Anna Morettini this year. ⠀
Although working in performance art, he dates his initiation to become an artist back to his time as teenager when he got in contact with the large-sized paintings by American artist Julian Schnabel. ⠀
The son of a fisherman was born near Lecce in southern Italy and started with a series of self-portraits on sheets which evokes a certain religious reference: The Veil of Veronica, which became a central icon in the Western Church. ⠀
But it must be clearly stressed that Presicce rejects every religious dogma, even when he integrates religious elements in his works to form a hybrid symbolism that deals with various iconographic and iconologic references and as a consequence creates his own individual mythology. ⠀
The mix of performance and pictoriality was the significance of his work ever since his first works and actually his art can be seen as a form of media art – in a literal sense that it tries to preserve the special quality of intermediality and stimulate comunication between different spheres which can’t be clearly devided by general logic. This combination is defined by «tacit knowledge» and its connected skills, ideas and experiences – like sailing does require it or like it is embodied in artistic performances. ⠀
Also modernist movements incorporated this special, sometimes «magic» wisdom – a part of the history of modernism which is mostly ignored, but to a greater extent inspiring generations of artists. ⠀
They work in this special tradition and never forget about the utopian qualities of historic and tacit wisdom – the way Luigi Presicce incorporates it is just striking. •

Stefan Panhans and Andrea Winkler set up an exhibition under the title «A Gallerina's Dream (Arbeitstitel)» at Galerie im Turm.

Stefan Panhans and Andrea Winkler set up an exhibition under the title «A Gallerina’s Dream (Arbeitstitel)» at Galerie im Turm.

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Life in Franconia as seen through a window of Kunstpalais Erlangen which shows an exhibition by Juergen Teller | Photo: Norbert Bayer
Archeological & Archival, Photography, Visual & Iconic

Enjoy your life, Juergen Teller & Franconia!

Juergen Teller, who opens a show in April at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, was born in Erlangen where he has an exhibition at Kunstpalais Erlangen which is still on display there. 

It’s an intimate show dedicated to his mother Irene, his family and friends and the area he comes from: Franconia. The exhibition is defined by a simple set-up which underlines the private and easy-going approach of both the artworks and the show. It touches on all the different fields Juergen Teller works in: Fashion photography, personal portraits, conceptual works and the mise-en-scène of stars.

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Archeological & Archival, Photography, Visual & Iconic

My view on art & culture in March 2017 in my private pictures & meandering words

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The entrance to the stage workshop of Volksbühne in Weissensee

The entrance to the stage workshop of Volksbühne in Weissensee

This is the entrance to the stage workshop of Volksbühne in Weissensee. ⠀
Volksbühne – so many memories are connected with it. ⠀
The fist time I was there was for the concert of the back then new band Tocotronic in August 1996. I didn’t live in Berlin and the internet as we know it now didn’t exist yet, so we just tried naively to get rest-tickets. Luckily it worked out and I didn’t have a reason to complain like the title of their back then just released album «Wir Kommen Um Uns Zu Beschweren» said it.
Many evenings to be remembered followed there. Also some sleep is envolved here, that comes with theatre productions lasting five hours or more. But over the years I got trained. How good the training was will be tested when I will hopefully get to see the latest staging of «Faust» by Frank Castorf which I was told goes at least for 8 if not for 10 hours even. ⠀
I will deeply miss the challenges the Volkbühne put me in – if the rumours of the announced changes will really become true. ⠀
In January I called them, because I had to cancel a ticket. The music they played while I was on hold was the word «Danke», sung by the choir of Volksbühne in a version of a German Christian hymn written by Martin Gotthard Schneider and one of the first songs in the genre later called new spiritual song. With the lines missing the message it seems to say: «Thanks for nothing!» – and rightly so, because we have to say thank you! ⠀
DANKE, VOLKSBÜHNE! • ⠀


Claudia Sarnthein's presentation «Von Alters her/ From the Old» at Künstlerhaus Bethanien

Claudia Sarnthein’s presentation «Von Alters her/ From the Old» at Künstlerhaus Bethanien

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Archeological & Archival, Photography, Visual & Iconic

My view on art & culture in February 2017 in my private pictures & meandering words

Please follow me on Instagram for regular updates.


Hanne Lippard's exhibition «Flesh» at KW Berlin

Hanne Lippard’s exhibition «Flesh» at KW Berlin

Finally I made it into the exhibition of Norwegian artist Hanne Lippard at KW Berlin called «Flesh», which was run over at the opening weekend and which is set in an attic style space reachable though a spiral staircase located in the center hall. In this environment paved with flesh-coloured carpet banal phrases and self help techniques are bent together by Hanne Lippard to form an acoustic artwork which fills the empty environment with an extra low ceiling in which it is set. Putting words, homonyms and homophones on top of each other she piles up a wall of sound to break through for the visitor. We become the listener to a surrealistic piece which preaches peace and peaks in appeasement, while we stare out of the windows to gaze over the roofs into the lives of the others. «If not now then when?» •


«alien matter», an exhibition as part of the 30th Transmediale-Festival in Berlin – here I am inside the artwork «Video Palace #44 – The Hidden Universe, 2017» by Joep van Liefland | Photo: Unknown helping hand @ HKW – Thank you! ❤

«alien matter», an exhibition as part of the 30th Transmediale-Festival in Berlin – here I am inside the artwork «Video Palace #44 – The Hidden Universe, 2017» by Joep van Liefland | Photo: Unknown helping hand @ HKW – Thank you! ❤

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Werewolf Ashley McKenzie Grassfire Films FB
Sound & Vision, Visual & Iconic

Un­an­ge­kündig­te Züge

Der Film «Werewolf» von der kanadischen Regisseurin Ashley McKenzie skizziert achtsam das Unangekündigte und zeichnet die schleichenden Wandlungen der Protagonisten nach.

Wer mit einem Film über Ex-Junkies nach Berlin kommt, beweist Humor oder Abgebrühtheit – lebt diese Stadt doch vom Mythos des High-Seins und Dabei-Seins und ist verliebt in die zahlreichen Filme darüber. Nur hier bekommt man wie selbstverständlich das paradoxe Unterfangen hin, einen Film (in dem es ebenfalls um Drogenabhängige geht) im Wettbewerb außer Konkurrenz antreten zu lassen.

Die 1984 geborene kanadische Filmemacherin Ashley McKenzie ließ sich jedoch zum Glück davon weder einschüchtern noch beirren und stellte bei der Berlinale in der Reihe «Forum» ihren ersten Langfilm «Werewolf» vor, der bereits den Grand Prix Focus QC/Canada beim Festival du nouveau cinema in Montréal gewonnen hat und unter die zehn besten kanadischen Beiträge beim Toronto International Film Festival kam. Bei ihr geht es jedoch nicht darum, Drogenerfahrungen und Rausch zu verpoppen oder zu verherrlichen, denn bei ihr sind die beiden Protagonisten Nessa (gespielt von Bhreagh MacNeil) und Blaise (Andrew Gillis) bereits in ein Methadonprogramm eingestiegen. Sie leben in einer ländlichen Gegend im Osten Kanadas in einem Wohnwagen im Wald und schlagen sich damit durch, die Vorgärten von Hausbesitzern zu mähen; das dafür nötige Benzin klauen sie aus deren Autos. Somit dreht sich ein Teil des alltäglichen Lebens und des Films um den lebenswichtigen Rasenmäher, der am Laufen gehalten werden muss, und die ermüdenden Anbiederungsversuche an die Einwohner, damit das Überleben gesichert ist. «Sie würden nicht einen Tag in meinem Leben aushalten!» schreit denn auch Blaise einmal bei der Methadonvergabe einen der Apotheker an.

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Heike-Melba Fendel: «Zehn Tage im Februar», Blumenbar Verlag
Linguistic

Beim nächsten Mal wird alles anders

Heike-Melba Fendel lässt die Protagonistin ihres Romans «Zehn Tage im Februar» in die Welt des Films abgleiten und über die Liebe schwadronieren. Was für ein Irrweg!

Eine Frau, eine Straße, ein Leben, eine Welt. Diese Zutaten können ausreichen für einen Roman, auch für einen Liebesroman. Heike-Melba Fendel wandelt diese Komponenten ab in: Eine Filmjournalistin, der Stadtteil Tempelhof in Berlin, eine erschlaffte Beziehung, die Welt der Filme und der Filmindustrie. Dies reicht für ihren Roman «Zehn Tage im Februar», der gerade im Blumenbar Verlag erschienen ist. Irgendwie halbwegs zumindest.

Besagte Frau wird von ihrem Mann, der das ganze Buch über lediglich «der Mann» bleibt, verlassen. Um genau zu sein: Vorübergehend für angekündigte zehn Tage verlassen, denn er möchte für diesen Zeitraum ausziehen, weil die Frau Filmjournalistin und während der Berlinale so gut wie nie zuhause, sondern dienstlich unterwegs ist. Das stört den Mann und er quartiert sich während dieser Zeit aus und ermöglicht der Frau ihre Freiräume. Eigentlich zuvorkommend von ihm und praktisch für sie, sollte man meinen. Aber weit gefehlt.

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Archeological & Archival, Photography, Visual & Iconic

My view on art & culture in Januar 2017 through my private pictures

Galerie

Click on the single images to change to slide-show-mode and get more informations about the pictures in their subtitles.

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Barbara Klemm • Mauerfall 1989, Nimbus Verlag 2009 | Foto: Norbert Bayer
Archeological & Archival, Photobook, Photography

Aus den Archiven: Barbara Klemm

Über Barbara Klemm. Fotografien 1968 – 2013, eine Ausstellung im Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin vom November 2013 bis März 2014

«Bin there, seen it, done it – and took the photo!» Jenes Grundkonzept der aktuellen Social Media-Plattformen wie z.B. Instagram, Facebook und Tumblr könnte auf den ersten Blick auch das kuratorische Konzept der Ausstellung Barbara Klemm. Fotografien 1968 – 2013 im Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin [1] sein. Denn staccatoartig hängen die Fotografien ähnlich wie in einem horizontal angeordneten Fotostream in streng linearen Reihen, gelegent­­lich auch mehrere davon im Raster übereinander, an den Wänden der Ausstellungsräume des obersten Stockwerks des Martin-Gropius-Baus. Alle Fotografien sind analog in schwarz-weiß abgezogen, alle in der gleichen Größe von ca. DIN A4 groß und alle in etwa gleich großen, hochformatigen Holzrahmen von ca. 50 cm x 70 cm präsentiert.

Barbara Klemm hat das Archiv ihrer Fotos, die sie über die letzten Jahrzehnte hinweg als festangestellte Redaktionsfotografin aufgenommen hat, für die Besucher durchforstet und unge­fähr 320 davon für diese Ausstellung ausgewählt. Von 1970 bis 2005 arbeitete sie für die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung und belieferte schwerpunktmäßig die Ressorts Politik und Kultur mit Bildern. Etwa eine Million Bilder hat sie während dieser Zeit aufgenommen, die nun als Abzüge und Negative im Frankfurter Archiv der Zeitung lagern.

Barbara Klemm stand von Beginn ihrer Laufbahn an nicht daneben, sondern sie kam durch ihre Arbeit den kulturellen und politischen Zeitläuften Deutschlands in der zweiten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts ganz besonders nahe und war dabei. Wie es ihrem Auftraggeber entspricht, geschah dies vor allem bei offiziellen und repräsentativen Ereignissen, die sich jetzt im Rückblick sehr ausdrucksstark zu einer ansehnlichen Chronik Deutschlands über die zweite Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts zusammen stellen und von der Bundesregierung bewerben lassen. [2]

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