Feature, 28.01.2017

Language and Dialogue as a Form of Art — Ian Wilson and Hanne Lippard at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Jan 20 – Apr 9, 2017

Hanne Lippard, Flesh, 2016, Installationsansicht KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Courtesy die Künstlerin und LambdaLambdaLambda, Prishtina, Foto: Frank Sperling

Hanne Lippard, Flesh, 2016, installation view KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Courtesy the artist and LambdaLambdaLambda, Prishtina, Photo: Frank Sperling

The reopening of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art is marked by a series of exhibitions reflecting on the work of South African artist Ian Wilson, who explores spoken language as an art form and places great emphasis on dialogue. In Wilson’s non-tangible practice, language morphs into the quintessential vehicle for communication and knowledge. To highlight the importance of his objective in relation to the role of language, three selected artists have been invited to concentrate on different aspects of his artistic output and use them as inspiration for the production of new work. First in line to delve into the topic is Norwegian artist Hanne Lippard with the immersive installation Flesh that takes Wilson’s Statements and Circle Works as its point of departure. Lippard’s physical piece—a spiral staircase leading to a platform—incorporates the artist’s voice which completely encompasses the audience and opens up a world in which ourexperience of language as pure voice is further investigated. Maintaining Wilson’s oeuvre as a guiding framework, Lippard’s exhibition will be followed by artists Adam Pendleton and Paul Elliman.

Ian Wilson, Circle on the floor (Chalk Circle), 1968, unlimitierte Auflage, Courtesy der Künstler und Jan Mot; Ian Wilson, The Pure Awareness of the Absolute / A Discussion, 2014, Courtesy der Künstler und Jan Mot, Brüssel, Leihgabe: Jan Mot, Brüssel; Installationsansicht KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 2017, Foto: Frank Sperling

Ian Wilson, Circle on the floor (Chalk Circle), 1968, unlimited edition, Courtesy the artist and Jan Mot; Ian Wilson, The Pure Awareness of the Absolute / A Discussion, 2014, Courtesy der Künstler und Jan Mot, Brüssel, Loan: Jan Mot, Brüssel; installation view KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 2017, Photo: Frank Sperling

 

Project, 27.01.2017

Das Numen Meatus –
Scientific Data morphs into a Sonic Experience
Jan 27 – Mar 11, 2017

Das Numen Meatus, 2016, courtesy Das Numen and DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin

Das Numen Meatus, 2016, courtesy Das Numen and Dittrich & Schlechtriem, Berlin

 

After relocating to a more spacious venue right behind the Volksbühne, the Dittrich & Schlechtriem gallery inaugurates its new home with an installation by the Berlin-based artist collective Das Numen, made up of artists Julian Charrière, Andreas Greiner, Markus Hoffmann, and Felix Kiessling. The collective’s practice is premised on the methodological primacy of experimentation and the significance of engaging with their surroundings and the present moment. Entitled Das Numen Meatus, the exhibition focuses on sonic compositions and the importance of atmosphere for their existence. Something intangible and ephemeral fills the gallery’s rooms: sounds emerge, produced by an array of pipes suspended in the space. Das Numen feed readings—wind velocities and directions—from twenty weather stations into a computer program that converts the data into impulses. The latter in turn control valves that allow compressed air to pass through the pipes, which begin to sound. Scientific data that, due to its enormous quantity, often goes unused is transformed into sensual sounds and a curious aesthetic experience.

Feature, 14.12.2016

KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin

Philippe Van Snick, Dag/Nacht, 1984 – fortlaufend / ongoing Installationsansicht Eingangstor/ Installation view entrance gate, KW Institute for Contemporary Art Foto/Photo: Frank Sperling Courtesy Tatjana Pieters

Philippe Van Snick, Dag/Nacht, 1984 – ongoing. Installation view entrance gate, KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Photo: Frank Sperling, Courtesy Tatjana Pieters

Founded in the early ’90s, in a derelict margarine factory, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art has come to be seen as a symbol of Berlin’s artistic development. After 25 years, it continues operating as a lively platform for progressive art practices, and a meeting place specialised in experimental discursive programming. As part of a larger institutional restructuring process under the new directorship of Krist Gruijthuijsen, every part of KW’s 2017 program of exhibitions and events is filtered through the lens of artistic vision. The new program emphasizes dialogue and experimental uses of language, fostering visible exchange between artists and audiences in Berlin, and beyond. Ongoing investigations into singular art practices or thematics form the basis for corresponding commissions and exhibitions. The open-endedness and collaborative nature that lies at the core of the establishment’s mission creates a profoundly inclusionary place that invites numerous voices, and narratives to unfold through its program and the conversations it inspires in its audience. Thus, KW continues to push beyond the confines of the physical building through artistic commissions and events. Inviting artists to interfere with its physical space is an inextricable element of the institute’s approach. One of the most recent site-specific artworks, Philippe Van Snick’s intervention on the entrance gate, complements already existing pieces like Dan Graham’s glass pavilion housing Café Bravo, Renata Lucas’ pavement restructuring outside the main building, as well as the iconic garden by atelier le balto that has returned to the courtyard.

Feature, 18.11.2016

Engaging with current states of emergency
‘Uncertain States’ at Akademie der Künste
Oct 15, 2016 – Jan 15, 2017

Taysir Batniji, Watchtowers, West Bank (2008) Courtesy the artist & Sfeir-Semler Gallery Hamburg/Beirut, Sammlung Zimmermann, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016 / Akam Shex Hadi, Untitled, Courtesy the artist & Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq / Richard Mosse Come Out (1966) XXXI (Triple Beam Dreams) (2012), Privatsammlung SVLP © Richard Mosse

Taysir Batniji, Watchtowers, West Bank (2008) Courtesy the artist & Sfeir-Semler Gallery Hamburg/Beirut, Sammlung Zimmermann, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016 / Akam Shex Hadi, Untitled, Courtesy the artist & Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq / Richard Mosse Come Out (1966) XXXI (Triple Beam Dreams) (2012), Privatsammlung SVLP © Richard Mosse

 

“A man who wants to lose his self, discovers indeed, the possibilities of human existence, which are infinite, as infinite as is creation. But the recovering of a new personality is as difficult – and as hopeless – as a new creation of the world.” – Hannah Arendt, We Refugees, 1943

Akademie der Künste in Berlin presents Uncertain States, a major group exhibition and multimedia programme of events running until January 15, 2017. Current and historic states of oppression, human migration and cultural dislocation are addressed within a dynamic framework, which has already drawn widespread critical acclaim in Germany. The extensive exhibition programme is a timely exploration of the significance of memory and narrative, within eras of political, social and cultural transformation. Across art, archival ephemera, film, music, performance, talks, pop-up events and practical workshops, the show engages with migrants, thinkers, politicians, writers, artists and activists from across the world, as they confront today’s realities of forced displacement, cultural loss and mass emigration. A historical element of Uncertain States features objects sourced from the Akademie der Künste’s archives of artist émigrés, including cultural icons such as Walter Benjamin, Valeska Gert, Heinrich Mann and Kurt Tucholsky. Their artifacts, rich in memory and cultural identity, form a vibrant narrative when paired with artworks by modern-day artists. In addition to the group exhibition, a rich programme of events seeks to contextualize global political perspectives on migration and identity, within an artistic framework. Talks and panels will debate the topics of migration from the Middle East in particular, addressing themes such as reactionary xenophobia and Islamophobia. Under the banner of “Thinking Space” (Denkraum) a programme of concerts, readings, theatrical performances and symposia, tackle numerous questions surrounding these topics with original and challenging approaches.

Feature, 25.10.2016

Iceland’s Cycle Music and Art Festival
Explores Our Notion of Time

Festival Oct 27 – 30, 2016
Exhibition Oct 27 – Dec 18, 2016

AGBAS WELCOME WELCOME WELCOME by Adam Gibbons & boyleANDshaw, 2016 / South Iceland Chamber Choir

AGBAS WELCOME WELCOME WELCOME by Adam Gibbons & boyleANDshaw, 2016 / South Iceland Chamber Choir

Cycle Music and Art Festival serves as an international and local platform for contemporary music and visual arts as well as the coalition of the two fields. Now in its second year, the festival promulgates unconventional works and collaborations, with the goal of deeply engaging the audience and making them reconsider their preconceptions about disciplines and their role as spectators. Acclaimed artists are invited to produce and exhibit work that transcends the boundaries between art and music, classical and popular modes, and audience and performer. That Time, the title of this year’s performance programme and exhibition, will initiate yet another interdisciplinary experiment that will delve into the questions of ‘deep time’ and ‘peak futures’ (the title takes its cue from Samuel Beckett’s eponymous play, parroting the protagonist C: “Never the same after that never quite the same but that was nothing new.”). With an exhibition at Gerðarsafn Kópavogur Art Museum and other venues in Kópavogur, and a rich programme of performances, workshops and concerts, Cycle will promote experimentation, on-site synergies, and will seek to redefine the nature of a traditional art festival. That Time will run until 18 December. 

Berglind Tómasdóttir, photo by Anna María Bogadóttir / Rachel de Joode, Surface Units, 2016

Berglind Tómasdóttir, photo by Anna María Bogadóttir / Rachel de Joode, Surface Units, 2016

Project, 01.10.2016

Forecast: The next generation
of creative thinkers and influencers
Open call Oct 01 – Nov 30, 2016

Forecast mentors

Forecast mentors

Supporting pioneering ideas is at the core of Forecast, an international platform that calls on creative minds from diverse fields to submit their proposals and collaborate with six highly esteemed mentors. Now in its second edition, Forecast encourages public discussions on the ideas of the future and offers fertile ground for the growth of outstanding projects. Thus, a shared space to come together and exchange views is created, within which synergetic efforts bring forth innovation. The platform and its accompanying festival transcend the boundaries of disciplines to provide insight into creative production processes, and make room for the questions that are on the minds of the next generation of trailblazers. Until 30 November, creative minds from anywhere in the world working in various disciplines are urged to submit their proposals for consideration. Thirty finalists will discuss their ideas and present them to the public at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) during the Forecast Forum in March 2017. At the end of the forum, the six mentors will each select one concept, which they will accompany to fruition. Finally, the outcome of these collaborations will be presented during October 2017, at the Forecast Festival at the HKW.

Project, 28.09.2016

BNKR: Reflections on art and architecture inside a former bunker

 

BNKR München, Hochbunker. photo: hiepler brunier.

BNKR München, Hochbunker. photo: hiepler brunier.

After the Second World War, military edifices constructed for protective purposes were left abandoned and consumed by dismal emptiness. Germany, in particular, is replete with bunkers that in recent years have assumed a variety of new roles, from residential spaces to cultural institutions. One such concrete behemoth built in 1943 in Munich’s Ungererstrasse, houses BNKR, a multifaceted art space offering room for present-day visions without ignoring the past. The main focus of BNKR’s programme is to instigate reflection on our present reality in the realms of art, design and architecture. In the contemporary transformation of the bunker, with its new use and orientation as an art space, an unavoidable tension is created that oscillates between remembering and forgetting, past and future. The project was founded in 2014 , in order to give a format to art and architecture, to promote exchange and dialogue. BKNR collaborates with external curators over the course of one year to develop a programme that uses exhibitions, performances, lectures, discussions, film screenings, concerts and more to raise questions situated in the notion of the ‘in-between’, whether that’s referring to time, space or mental states. Currently on show, the solo exhibition Urban Shelter by Annett Zinsmeister examines the specific history, meaning and transience of shelters.

Feature, 20.09.2016

Thicker than Water. Family concepts in contemporary art – Exhibition at Kunstpalais Erlangen
Sep 24 – Nov 27, 2016

Candice Breitz, Factum Jacob, 2010 / Verena Jaeckel, New York City, 15.04.2006, 2006

Candice Breitz, Factum Jacob, 2010 / Verena Jaeckel, New York City, 15.04.2006, 2006

Is blood thicker than water after all? The widely known proverb implies that family relationships are stronger than friendships and should never be substituted by the latter. However, a new exhibition at the Kunstpalais in Erlangen titled Thicker than Water: Family concepts in contemporary art seeks to challenge this dogmatic opinion by initiating a discussion on the meaning of family within the ever-evolving contemporary society. In order to delve deeper into how the classical family structures have changed over recent years, the exhibition has invited the artists Candice Breitz, Simon Fujiwara, Badr el Hammami & Fadma Kaddouri, Nan Goldin, Verena Jaekel, Haejun Jo, Nina Katchadourian, Ragnar Kjartansson, Neozoon, Johannes Paul Raether, Gillian Wearing and Tobias Yves Zintel to present their understanding of the term through pieces of art. Developments in technology, and the appearance and acceptance of new lifestyles influence the broad social debate about family, leading to question whether the term is now open to all individual interpretations. Taking into consideration that familia, the Latin origin of the word, translates to household, the exhibition suggests that the term could refer to a community based on voluntary commitment rather than blood relations. Therefore, the main question that arises is: Is family nowadays based on a personal choice and no longer a genetic chance? The exhibition will be accompanied by a conference inviting speakers from sociology, art history, literature and cultural studies to discuss this interdisciplinary topic.

Project, 06.09.2016

abc art berlin contemporary
Sep 15 – 18, 2016

Folie1
CREDITS Christopher Roth – I Am In Paris, 2015, Courtesy: the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin Photo: © Andrea Rossetti / Andreas Schulze – Untitled (Vacanze/Son) , 2016, Copyright Andreas Schulze / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers  / SIMON MULLAN – Franz, 2016, Photo: Jens Ziehe, Copyright Simon Mullan, Courtesy DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin) / Saâdane Afif – Installation view from the series L’Eternité, Courtesy the artist and Mehdi Couakri / Sean Snyder – Mnemonic Equation (Level 3), 2015 – 2016, Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Neu, Berlin

The maxim remains the same: one gallery, one artist. This September, the 9th edition of abc art berlin contemporary will return to Station Berlin, continuing its commitment to a format that places the artist and their presentation of work at the center. Founded by a group of Berlin galleries, abc invites around 60 national and international galleries to showcase solo presentations of artists within their program. abc’s continual development and transformation reflects characteristic features of the city—a passion for experimentation and openness to evolution and change. On Friday night—which is the Gallery Night (16 September)—all participating Berlin-based galleries will open their doors to invite collectors, curators and art enthusiasts into their spaces and exhibitions. While on the following Saturday and Sunday afternoon, a series of talks and performances involving artists, curators and galleries will allow the public to gain a deeper insight into specific topics and works. Find the entire program of events here. A complete list of this year’s participating galleries and artists can be found here.

Feature, 13.07.2016

Wehrhahn Line Dusseldorf

giphy

 

Heinrich-Heine-Str

Heinrich-Heine-Allee; netzwerkarchitekten and the artist Ralf Brög. Photo Jörg Hempel

Following its opening to the public in February 2016, Dusseldorf’s Wehrhahn line is now in full use and worth revisiting to dissect its singular aspects in more detail. Fifteen years in the making, the recently acquired U-bahn expansion is a refreshing approach to inner-city mobility and a nod to the future possibilities of public transport aesthetics. Collectively designed by artists, architects and engineers from the very outset, the ambitious project offers an unparalleled art and architecture experience to commuters who are invited to immerse themselves in soundscapes, geometric animations and sculptural installations. Here art is not merely showcased on the walls but it has deeply infiltrated the entire structure—each of the line’s six stations have become pieces of art complete with their own thematic character but also seamlessly incorporated in an all-encompassing system. And that’s certainly not the norm when it comes to public transport—the line’s overarching concept initiates a dialogue between disciplines that’s visually perceptible throughout. From acoustic impulses, sound bites and interactive installations to a planetary underworld dedicated to outer space and poetic texts transformed into sculptures, the line’s stops highly elevate the long-neglected notion of the subway. At the Heinrich-Heine-Allee station, artist Ralf Brög designed the three entrances as visual and acoustic venues for the performance of changing sound compositions—an “Auditorium”, a “Theater” and a “Laboratory”. Each of the three model spaces boasts a high-quality sound system, enabling the most wide-ranging acoustic interventions possible. 

Space is the place at Benrather Strasse where sculptor Thomas Stricker embedded the vastness of the universe with its tranquility and weightlessness into the confined space of a subway station. To achieve the impression of flying in outer space, stainless steel panels cover the walls and lend the station a futuristic dull, metallic sheen. Like droplets, the dots stamped in the panels fall from the walls, forming a matrix or a kind of Braille that can be identified as encrypted letters while media walls act as windows to the universe.

Benrather Str

Benrather Straße, netzwerkarchitekten and the artist Thomas Stricker. Photo Jörg Hempel

At Schadowstrasse, Ursula Damm has created an interactive installation featuring a large screen displaying the real-time movements of passersby on the city surface transformed through a computer program into visualised data. The constantly shifting dynamic of the ‘outside world’ is presented to those waiting for the next train below. Small virtual creatures build a temporary, fluctuating architecture from the kinetic energy that emerges and vanishes with the city’s daily rhythms.

Schadowstraße; netzwerkarchitekten and the artist Ursula Damm. Photos Ursula Damm and Jörg Hempel

Schadowstraße; netzwerkarchitekten and the artist Ursula Damm. Photos Ursula Damm and Jörg Hempel

Another crucial element of this feat is the complete absence of advertisements and any sort of commercial placement. Thus, the individual stations become calm public spaces that alleviate commuting stress, render urban movement more pleasurable, and slow down the frenetic pace. Admittedly, exemplary underground stops are nothing new in the map of so-called “art stations”—in Naples the Toledo stop covered in blue-hued mosaics pays tribute to the aquatic world; Stockholm’s Solna station emits the ambience of a villain’s lair complete with a cavernous interior; while in Moscow the Komsomolskaya stop competes with the theatrical flair of opulent palaces. What’s unprecedented about Dusseldorf’s Wehrhan line is that these “art stations” are not merely stand-alone architectural projects but are part of a holistic network that seamlessly connects all six stops under one conceptual direction, creating a multifarious experience.

In a special edition published by Kerber Verlag, the impressive undertaking in public transport is thoroughly presented through photos and text elaborating on the project and the visions of the people involved. The Wehrhahn line is also accompanied by a newly launched website that delves into the line’s concept, process and distinctive characteristics—have a look here.