Photo: Marco Funke
With its innovative, artist-centred format, abc is consciously focused on artistic practice. Each invited gallery is specifically asked to realize a single position of contemporary art. Rather than presenting their particular programs, the galleries present themselves in their capacities as the producers of selected artists. This year abc will also be reinforced by an expanded program of events including a project called “Upcoming Exhibitions” curated by Shanaynay (Paris).
Around 130 emerging and established galleries from across the Globe will take part this year. The modular, architectural concept responds to the spatial conditions of each individual work and provides a structure which is both clear and open, and particularly well suited to the presentation of installations, sound pieces, performances and video screenings. Info can be found here.
ABC ART BERLIN CONTEMPORARY
Credits: House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects, Photo: © Iwan Baan |
Constantly shifting relationships between interior and exterior is one of Sou Fujimoto’s intellectual leitmotifs – which can be discovered in his first monographic exhibition in Europe Futurospective Architecture, presented in Lisbon at the architecture gallery Garagem Sul. Originally conceived by the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, the show displays texts, models and photographs documented and commented on by the architect himself, who seeks to offer more than a retrospective of his buildings and architectural work realized thus far, and to think the architecture of the future akin to a forest. In his words Architecture emerges where the flow is intensified.
SOU FUJIMOTO, KUNSTHALLE BIELEFELD, GARAGEM SUL
JEUNES COMMISSAIRES establishes new forms of supporting young curators in France and Germany. The program focuses on aiding in their professional integration and accompanies their first steps into the international art world. Serving as a platform for discourse and experience, JEUNES COMMISSAIRES not only offers opportunities for practical intervention within professional structures but also links between young curators and experts for a direct and long-term exchange. Alongside get-togethers and conferences with different curators and directors from Berlin’s art institutions, the participants will also meet independent, progressive curators and will conduct studio visits. The website www.jeunescommissaires.de not only allows insight in the workshop via photo documentations, but portrays its participants in interviews on their curatorial activities and their expectations on the program.
Credit: Albert Oehlen, / 5, Courtesy: Albert Oehlen & Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Photo: Stefan Rohner
When in 2008 Albert Oehlen was asked why he had recourse to fragments of advertising posters in his new paintings, he answered: “I wanted emotions! At some points, I had to admit to myself that my approach to art was a bit sober. […] At the same time, I’d always wanted to do Pop Art, big, colourful things with immediate appeal.” (Interview by Max Dax, in: Albert Oehlen 1991-2008 Galerie Max Hetzler and Holzwarth Publications, Berlin, 2008). The ‘trashiness’ of the advertisements is now all over the picture. Simultaneously, the compositions are all evocations of interieurs (interiors), playing with shapes and textures of furniture elements, but also with architecture and perspective, as well as with characters’ silhouettes. There is an obvious ambiguity between figuration and abstraction, produced by the contrast between the imagery of the advertisements and the new picture created. These new large-scale works by Albert Oehlen will be presented in the exhibition Interieurs at the gallery’s new space in Bleibtreustraße 45, Berlin-Charlottenburg.
Credit: Abert Oehlen, / 36, Courtesy: Albert Oehlen & Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Photo: Lothar Schnepf
Citizens across Europe are currently taking the initiative to re-appropriate urban space. A group of neighbours transforms wasteland into public space. Garden plot owners open their grounds to unemployed youths to test their small-scale business ideas. Communities are becoming patrons where they were once supplicants. Identified as “We-Traders” they redefine the relation between value, profit and public good and are able to motivate fellow citizens to follow suit. They respond to crisis in several arenas of urban life, be it economic, social or ecological and diffuse the boundaries between buyers and sellers: consumers become co-producers. Through interactive forums, workshops and exhibitions the project connects initiatives by artists, designers, architects and activists from Lisbon, Madrid, Toulouse, Turin and Berlin, where the current crisis manifests different facets from empty coffers and social polarisation to a lack of civic sense as a result of excessive growth.
Jeremy Shaw’s work explores altered states of consciousness and the cultural and scientific practices that aspire to, or attempt to map, transcendental experience. Often involving the documentation of physical and ritualistic activities of subculture, his videos, photographs, and installations offer propositions around the translation of experiences often considered untranslatable. In the exhibition Variation FQ, Jeremy Shaw premieres his latest work – a 16mm film that places the transgender vogue dancer, Leiomy Maldonado, within the aesthetics of Norman McLaren’s 1968 ballet film, “Pas de deux”.
Credit: Jeremy Shaw, Variation FQ, Installation View Schinkel Pavillon, Photo: Nick Ash
Variation FQ seduces and confronts the viewer with the beguiling force of Leiomy Maldando’s highly dramatic and evolved voguing performance. Voguing is a primarily black and Latino, gay dance subculture that began in New York in the late 1960’s, and in spite of minor mainstream recognition, remains largely marginalized. Using high contrast black and white, step-and-repeat effects, and an original soundtrack composed by Shaw himself, the film amplifies and extends the unique, cathartic movements the protagonist’s dance, both graceful and violent. Variation FQ is a study of the co-evolution of subculture, gender, dance, and special effects.
Credit: Video Stills Variation FQ – Jeremy Shaw
Credit: Ikuru Kuwajima, from the series Astana Winter Urbanscapes, 2010-2011
WINTER, the Central Asian Pavilion, unfolds its concept through six artistic positions and discursive statements, staged in the Pavilion by artists from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The site-specific installation ‘Breathe Quietly’ by Vyacheslav Akhunov originates in a sketch from 1976 as an unrealised public monument, satirically reflecting the culture of intimidation and state propaganda at the time. By exhibiting this piece today, the artist invites viewers to see the present situation in Uzbekistan, through the lens of the Soviet period. Other works, such as Saodat Ismailova’s double projection video, Zukhra and Aza Shade’s film ‘The Disappearing City’ explores the role of women in contemporary Central Asia, where tradition still plays a major role.
Credit: Aza Shade, The Disappearing City, 2011, film still
Ikuru Kuwajima’s photographic series ‘Astana Winter Urbanscapes’ and Kamilla Kurmanbekova & Erlan Tuyakov’s site-specific installation ‘Zhol’, explore the field of architecture, as being subject to appropriation by ideology. Kuwajima documents the recent architectural developments in Astana, while Kurmanbekova & Tuyakov re-interpret the classic yurt into an architectural installation and transitory passage. Sergey Chutkov & Anton Rodin’s collaborative project ‘Letters from Tajikistan’ was made possible through an open call for letters across a broad strata of Tajik society, resulting in a semantic map of Tajik and Central Asian realities. The Pavilion opened to the art world during the preview of the Biennale di Venezia, with the discussion forum ‘Perspectives Beyond Stagnation’, organized in partnership with LIAF (Lofoten International Art Festival). Invited guest speakers, Gopal Balakrishnan and Aaron Schuster addressed issues relating to themes of exhibition, such as the convolutions of capitalism, transgression and constraint.
Credits: Ikuru Kuwajima, from the series “Astana Winter Urbanscapes,” 2010-2011 | Vyacheslav Akhunov, Breath quietly. Courtesy of the artist.
LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA
“You can make anything in your life a wunderthing – a wunderchair, wundercar.
It’s a little bit like a magic stick.
It’s not a sculpture, it’s not a painting, it’s something else.”
Photos: Photos: Kevin Todora, courtesy Nasher Sculpture Center
NASHER SCULPTURE CENTER, KATHARINA GROSSE
Furniture, by its very nature, is a practical form, defined by its character and functionality. In his new exhibition Raumbilder (Spatial Pictures), Sven Temper presents his latest works, unique takes on ordinary household furniture, rendered here in everyday wood and mass produced materials. The show at gallery Hans-Peter Jochum sets his particular usages through an array of sideboards, tables, chairs, shelves, as well as multiple new takes on the armchair. The title of the exhibition refers to both the material as well as the social connotations of space, its physical and social impact and how social spaces are constructed through communication and/or action.
Credits: Sven Temper
Credit: Eva Kotatkova (Installation view Kunstverein Braunschweig, courtesy Meyer Riegger)
Discovering art in gallery spaces and gaining insight into the contexts of its production: with some 51 participating galleries, Gallery Weekend Berlin constitutes an exquisite art experience. The range of galleries also offers a panoramic view of an art city which holds special significance within the art world, and which serves as a production place for many internationally acclaimed artists. Hereby it focuses explicitly on the gallery space as a quasi-condensed version of the art world: as the singular place where art making and art market, but also exhibiting and viewing art, coexist so closely together.
Credits: Aye Erkmen, tre Colori (courtesy Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin) | George Condo, Day and Night (courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlin London) | Özlem Altin (Courtesy the artist and Circus, Berlin) | Henri Chopin, from a manuscript by Henri Chopin (courtesy Fondazione Morra, Naples and Supportico Lopez, Berlin)
GALLERY WEEKEND BERLIN