For one year the Akademie der Künste is devoting itself to the topic Vertigo of Reality | Schwindel der Wirklichkeit. There is hardly a single issue in the arts that has been addressed as systematically as the construction and deconstruction of reality. Above all, new media and the interactive possibilities of the digital world have fundamentally altered the arts and their own reflective understanding. The threshold between digital information and the analogue user, between man and machine, between virtuality and body has long since been a dialectical core theme of contemporary art. The focus kicks off this November with a working station – a mobile architecture installed in the Akademie der Künste at Haseatenweg hosting a series of talks, debates and performances every Wednesday at 5:00 pm leading up to the Metabolic Office for the Repair of Reality and a large exhibition in the autumn of 2014.
89plus is a long term, multi-platform research project, co-founded and co-curated by Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist, mapping the generation of innovators born in and after 1989. The 89plus Resources Workshop and Panel at LUMA is the first event to be structured around a single theme, Resources, engaging the disciplines of art, architecture, literature, science, and technology in a focused conversation. Led by Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist a Workshop will bring together environmental activists and artists from the 89plus generation along with experts in resources and sustainable development. The panel discussion will address the potential of new technologies for positive environmental and social change in a world of declining natural resources.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”