Review, 25.01.2016

4 things we liked
Looking back at imm cologne

no1: Product designer Sebastian Herkner was selected for Das Haus, the project space for young designers and architects. The ‘open house’ structure was a statement on both our tendencies towards isolated modern living culture and on the current global issues of the refugee and housing crisis. However, instead of it being an overly-political message, Herkner began the dialogue through topics of hospitality, in order to communicate ideas of inclusivity and openness.

no2: Herkner’s design interest is well suited to a curiosity about the domestic sphere, and this is something that was explored in his recent collaboration with Colombian-German interiors brand ames, which also launched at imm. The designer worked with several small local manufactories in the countryside of Colombia to create ames sala, a line of modern interior accessories connected to traditional Colombian life.

no3: Frankfurt-based brand e15 engaged visitors on another important issue – the impact of copyright infringement on the design world. This was expressed in the 20th anniversary display of their iconic BACKENZAHN stool, a design classic that is included in museums and collections all over the world. In a poignant and playful installation, e15 exhibited replications of the stool over its 20-year existence, stressing the international market for copied products and the necessity for original design. And this idea was brought to life further, with many of the Chinese exhibitors, showing replicated products throughout the fair.

no4: Design was also transferred into the art sphere with two exhibitions outside the fair. Berlin-based brand NEW TENDENCY were focused on nurturing emerging talent in their collaboration with Milan and Barcelona-based journal apartamento, where they selected three designers to make an edition of their famous CLICK shelf. At contemporary art gallery Ruttkowski;68, Mike Meiré (Cologne), Nathalie Du Pasquier (Milan) and Ill-Studio (Paris), showed their takes on the shelf. At Kölnischer Kunstverein, designs by Jasper Morrison were shown on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the A&W Designer of the Year award. The survey highlighted Morrison’s long-standing commitment to innovative, globally consciousness design. This example for younger designers to follow was supported by Morrison selecting Swiss designer Michel Charlot for the A&W Mentor Prize.

Feature, 13.01.2016

PHOENIX Restaurant & Bar
Dreischeibenhaus Düsseldorf

© Steve Herud

© Steve Herud

With the opening of PHOENIX Restaurant & Bar, Dusseldorf has gained a new place to meet, to eat well, to linger and to feel at ease. Located on the ground floor of the iconic Dreischeibenhaus and hosted by the building’s owner Patrick Schwarz-Schütte, the restaurant provides guests with modern interpretations of classic, seasonal dishes such as Fjord trout with avocado salsa and braised ox cheek with truffled polenta. Irina Kromayer and Etienne Descloux were responsible for the design and interiors of PHOENIX. Materials, forms and colours from this historic, listed building have been taken on, incorporated and reinterpreted.

© Steve Herud

© Steve Herud

Feature, 10.12.2015

A Toast to the 100th Anniversary of Malewitsch` Black Square
Berlinische Galerie – 19. December 2015

One hundred years after the Black Square (1915) by Kazimir Malevich was first exhibited, the Berlinische Galerie invites you to a ceremony as homage to the artist, with a work dedicated to him, a book presentation and a musical performance. Based on the fine cracks that have appeared over time in the paint of the Black Square, the artist Mikael Mikael developed the thesis that these represent a map, a kind of signpost to a utopia. The drawing Map to Utopia (2015) will be presented where the work looks behind the icon of Suprematism. The text and picture collection Blackout (Merve Verlag), edited by Mikael Mikael will also accompany the presentation. The book goes back to the origin of ‘to black out’, in this case meaning the censoring of text, and the loss of information. Two pianists will play Sonata No. 7, Op 64 (White Exhibition, 1911) and Sonata No. 9, Op 68 (Black Mass, 1912-13) of the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. Find more info here.
Mikael Mikael - Schwarzes Quadrat, 2013; Mikael Mikael - Schwarzes Quadrat in Landschaft, 2013

Mikael Mikael – Schwarzes Quadrat, 2013; Mikael Mikael – Schwarzes Quadrat in Landschaft, 2013

Project, 09.12.2015

Dreischeibenhaus Düsseldorf
Reinventing an Icon of German Architecture

Since the 1960s the Dreischeibenhaus has defined Dusseldorf’s skyline with its height of 94 meters. It is among the most significant examples of post-war modernist International style and a symbol of the so-called Wirtschaftswunder in West-Germany. Located in Düsseldorf’s city center, the sleek steel and glass building forms an ensemble with the Schauspielhaus and the Kö-Bogen. It´s unusual silhouette is shaped by three slim construction blocks, featuring curtain wall façades made of aluminum and glass, and narrow sides cladded with stainless steel. The building has now been completely refurbished by HPP Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner with the intention to preserve and highlight its original character from the 60s, which is particularly visible in the iconic lobby with a dark green marble floor, high steel walls, colorful risers, Barcelona-styled chair furniture and even a glass phone box. Beside measures to maintain the old charm, new features were also added to the building, including terraces on the rooftop and the new restaurant Phoenix on the ground floor, hosted by the building owner Patrick Schwarz-Schütte and designed by Etienne Descloux and Irina Kromayer.

Feature, 08.12.2015

12. + 13. December 2015

For the second time, the Berlin fair for contemporary artists’ books and periodicals by artists and art publishers is taking place at Hamburger Bahnhof. Featuring 130+ international participants, FRIENDS WITH BOOKS will include discussions, readings, presentations, performances, and art works that explore the perimeters of today’s art publishing. In 2015, the focus is again primarily on artists presenting their current publications. Furthermore, artists’ multiples and editions are featured by Black Palm, Edition Helga Maria Klosterfelde, Little & Large Editions, Galerie Neu / M72, and Motto Books. Artists, whose work emanate from the book, present special installations and performances as part of I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library, including Susanne Bürner, Anita Di Bianco, Natalie Czech, Dominque Hurth, Ines Lechleitner, Joachim Schmid, Erik Steinbrecher, Jonathan Monk and Elisabeth Tonnard.

Ohne Titel

Project, 02.12.2015

Design Display
Autostadt Wolfsburg

What is design? A 3D-printed prosthetic hand, or a chair inspired by the structure of bone? A new exhibition format at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg investigates core questions of the multifaceted contemporary discourse on design with a radically formalized approach. The exhibition series DESIGN DISPLAY opens up spaces for discussion on political and social dimensions of design by posing provocative questions. A 20-meter long, 2.40 meters high, triangular glass display was produced to stage  two arrangements of objects in comparison to each other. Each exhibition runs for three months and is accompanied by the magazine ON DISPLAY with essays and interviews, available both in print and online. The first exhibition deals with innovative production methods by juxtaposing a low-tech, 3D-printed prosthetic hand with the Bone Chair, an aluminum cast chair that was computer generated by adopting bionic principles.

Project, 30.11.2015

Tomás Saraceno – Aerocene
Grand Palais / Palais de Tokyo
04. – 05. December 2015

Tomás Saraceno’s artistic project Aerocene is a series of air-fueled sculptures that will float in the longest, most sustainable journey around the world without engines, becoming buoyant only by the heat of the Sun and infrared radiation from the surface of Earth. The material realization is surpassed by the message it bears: Its aesthetic form follows a both utopian and real idea of open source force of movement. Inflated by the air, lifted by the sun, carried by the wind, the project questions and seeks answers to our current and troublesome dependency on fossil and hydrocarbon fuels and pollution – the topics that places Aerocene at the core of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21 topical framework. Crossing the frontiers between art, science and education, it becomes a visionary and open platform of shared knowledge. Thus it seeks for the deep understanding of our planet and all its physical, natural and social entanglements in order to project new ways of how we can move, dwell and be-together here on Earth.

Feature, 27.11.2015

Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country
German Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale



The Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) has been chosen to curate the German Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016 presenting the exhibition “Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country”.

The current refugee situation is part of a massive worldwide flow of migrants. It leads people from the countryside into cities. What are the challenges facing cities with incoming refugees and migrants? Where in Germany are the preferred “arrival cities” located? How do newcomers become socially integrated citizens? And how can architecture and urban design contribute to this process? Taking as a starting point the hypotheses put forward by the Canadian journalist Doug Saunders in his best selling non-fiction book ‘Arrival City’, the DAM team – comprising Peter Cachola Schmal, general commissioner and director of the DAM, Oliver Elser, curator at DAM and the project coordinator Anna Scheuermann, with Saunders as advisor, examines these questions in the exhibition “Making Heimat” in the German Pavilion. How, in the future, can Germany’s “arrival cities”, such as Offenbach am Main respond and hypothetically shape the conditions that create a good ‘Arrival City’? The 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia runs from May 28 – November 27, 2016.

Feature, 24.11.2015

Celebrating 25 Years of Texte zur Kunst
Haus der Berliner Festspiele

With 100 issues and a quarter century of politically and theoretically driven art criticism to its name, Texte zur Kunst has made a mark on the German/English speaking art world. Both in the role it’s played in establishing many, now universally acclaimed artists and in the evolution of the primary art critical methods used in this field, Texte zur Kunst has, since the early 1990s, certainly shaped the common canon – and even produced a canon of its own. The gala-conference Canon Today presents twenty-five writers, artists, and theorists from different generations, via various forms of performances, dialogues, and short talks.

25 Years of Texte zur Kunst, Photo: Ilya Lipkin

25 Years of Texte zur Kunst, Photo: Ilya Lipkin

Project, 03.11.2015

Transparencies – The Ambivalence of a New Visibility
Bielefelder Kunstverein / Kunstverein Nürnberg
7.11.2015 – 17.01.2016

The globalized world seems at once transparent and opaque. While modern life is characterized by a desire for more transparency in communication, politics and business, limitless access to information has eroded personal privacy, creating an ever-present, now long-running social dilemma. Despite the generally positive promise of transparency, there have been growing doubts about its impact on the community and on our understanding of the public sphere. Transparencies examines the cultural facets and atmospheres of the notion of (non-)transparency. The two-part, joint exhibition project in Bielefeld and Nuremberg is dedicated to developments in »transparent society,« and asks how these are reflected in current work by contemporary artists. Participating artists deal with the paradigm of transparency and the ambivalence of the term in multiple, diverse ways. They examine the consequences of an algorithm- and data-collection-driven, life-world transparency and explore our changed relationship to privacy. Other key points of investigation include interpersonal exchange and its possible control. Curated by Simone Neuenschwander and Thomas Thiel, the exhibitions include contributions by Neïl Beloufa, Juliette Blightman, Ryan Gander, Calla Henkel, Max Pitegoff, David Horvitz, Metahaven, Katja Novitskova and Yuri Pattison.

Opening I: Friday, 6.11.2015, 7pm
Bielefelder Kunstverein
Opening II: Friday, 20.11.2015, 7pm
Kunstverein Nürnberg – Albrecht Dürer Gesellschaft