A selection of Fatma Shana’s work on display at DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM. Untitled, 2014 | Portrait and scarf, 2013 | Floating Portrait, 2018-2019. All images courtesy of the artist and DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin
Her youthful arms remained folded over the hips, as if reinstating the grounding weight of the resting figure. This seemingly allegorical scene is ruptured by Israeli artist Fatma Shana’s choice of motive, now on show at Dittrich & Schlechtriem gallery. Female figures inhabit these large-scale canvases, which not only translate the artist’s poetically-inclined narratives but serve as vessels through which she positions complex relationships between bodies and spaces. Another recurring motive are the rugs, both as a reference to her roots within the minority Druze culture in Israel where she was raised, but also more importantly in their function as territories within the picture and mediators between bodies and architecture.
© Photo: Jan Bitter, Sketch: Deadline Architekten
The completion of Frizz23 in Kreuzberg marks a milestone and a stroke of good fortune in Berlin’s real estate politics. This cooperative building demonstrates the possibilities of bottom-up urban development – how it can be constructive and successful when the lead is taken by citizens and local actors.
Frizz23 combines non-profit education, small creative businesses and temporary residences under a single cooperative building venture. In a tireless process of interchange with local actors, the district authorities and the Berlin Senate, the initiators FORUM Berufsbildung and Deadline Architects along with the building group’s forty-two members have created a diverse structure, that is more than just another private facility for investor-owners fromthe creative class: The education offered here is accessible to everyone, including low-income segments of society. Frizz23 is an attempt to counteract the impending gentrification of this area and project an image of another Berlin.
Foto: Robert Rieger
As borders are thrown up around the world, limiting movement and emphasising individual sovereignty, it is again time to reexamine the role of culture in promoting a more open society. What are the forces of change that socially engaged initiatives should advocate against the current divisive climate? The four awarded projects selected from this year’s open call of the “The Power of the Arts” initiative, will be able to test, examine and realise some of the ideas behind different modes of multi-disciplinary collaboration, intergenerational knowledge production and self-organised cooperation. The independent jury appointed by the initiator and sponsor of The Power of the Arts, Philip Morris GmbH, has been looking for progressive non-profit institutions and initiatives in Germany, that seek to open up art as an integrative tool for connecting people, irrespective of their social situation, education level, a disability, or origin. The jury has awarded these outstanding projects: Kulturisten2 (Stiftung Generation-Zusammenhalt), Migrantpolitan (Kampnagel), Musik für einen Stadtteil District Cantorate Mümmelmannsberg & Trimum e.V. and Weiter Schreiben, wearedoingit e.V.
Parallel with Art Basel, the Swiss Design Awards exhibition offers a detailed insight into contemporary Swiss design. From richly diverse areas of photography, graphic design, fashion and textile design, product and industrial design as well as scenography and mediation, the jury will grant 17 Swiss Design Awards to selected participants. Since 2007, in addition to the Swiss Design Awards, the Federal Office of Culture has presented the Swiss Grand Award for Design to individual designers or established firms that contribute to the renown of Swiss design nationally and internationally. Having originated as a means of encouraging, supporting and ultimately honouring the Swiss design scene, the prize communicates and indicates the traditions of Swiss design. This year the winners of the renowned prize this year are textile designer Cécile Feilchenfeldt, manufacturer of professional pruning shears Felco and graphic designer Rosmarie Tissi.
Jean-Vincent Simonet / Adrien Rovero / David Schatz, Sereina Rothenberg from NICE Magazine / sign of Swiss Art Awards and Swiss Design Awards
The Swiss art book fair I Never Read focus on the publication programs of around one hundred national and international, institutional and independent publishers, artists, and designers. The fair is committed to being a platform that facilitates connections between text, contemporary art production, artistic presentation, and the form of the book. This year’s thematic focus lies on book collections as well as the development of and various types of libraries. A process of reflection first turns an accumulation of things into a proper collection. The tasks of collecting, sorting, and transferring are among the working methods of the artist. In contrast, the tasks of collecting, editing, and distributing are among the working methods of the publisher. In the realization of an art publication or artist book, these functions are often interconnected. The importance of public and private libraries—whether physical or digital—is again playing a larger role in the debate surrounding a post-digital age. The amount of information and content that is being processed has neither diminished nor dissolved. On the contrary, consciously collecting is an expression of individualism, and it remains an important aspect of determining one’s own position.
Laszlo Glozer Analoges Paradies, photos by Malte Wandel, 2018
Manfred Pernice’s new catalogue Haldesleben ? Bibette headland ? Hotel Hangelar (2018) / Wolfgang Tillmans, What is Different? (2018), Sternberg Press / New Japan Photo (2018), Einstein Studio, Tokyo / Edition by Mariana Castillo Deball
Miss Read: The Berlin Art Book Festival marks its 10th year anniversary, assembling more then 260 international publishers, art periodicals, artists and authors. The fair is accompanied by a series of lectures, discussions, book launches and workshops dedicated to discourse around artists’ books, conceptual publications and publishing as practice. This year’s special focus is on Japanese publishers, with the Stage hosting a series of highlight events; a talk with legendary photographer Takashi Homma, launch of a new edition by e-flux Superhumanity: Design of the Self, and a lecture on Anthropocene with philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist Bruno Latour.
Francis Bacon: Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne Standing in a Street in Soho, 1967. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie. 1967 acquis par la ville de Berlin. © The Estate of Francis Bacon/2018, ProLitteris, Zurich. Photo: © bpk / Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jo?rg P. Anders. Lying Figure, 1969. Alberto Giacometti: Boule suspendue, 1930. Kunstmuseum Basel, Depositum de la Fondation Alberto Giacometti © Succession Alberto Giacometti / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich Photo: © Kunsthaus Zu?rich
Late at night, emerging from the cavernous studio on 46 rue Hippolyte-Maindron, a lonesome figure would inhabit the streets of postwar Paris. In this famously chaotic space, consumed by inner doubts and obsessions, Alberto Giacometti worked relentlessly, with feverish urge to forge a new human; walking away from the rubble of destruction. In London, on the other side of Channel, the younger artist Francis Bacon admired Giacometti from afar, fascinated by the famous sculptor’s aura of intensity and compulsion. In the following years the two went to develop a personal relationship punctuated by both friendship and rivalry. The artist Isabel Rawsthorne was one such connection, a close friend, muse and model to both artists, whose stark portraits feature on several works on display. Special focus, at this exhibition at Fondation Beyeler, is given to investigating their distinct isolation of space; subjects enclosed by means of cage-like entities, foregrounded in key works such as Giacometti’s La Cage (1949-1950) and Bacon’s Study of a Nude (1952). Like Giacometti, Bacon’s arrival to the ‘truth of his subject’ was rooted in failure and frequent moments of crisis; the artistic act an outcome of frenzied and conflicting struggle between artist and his creation. Beyond their obvious differences in terms of style and iconography, both absorbed so much of l’air du temps through which they lived, rendered in the immediacy and emotional charge of their work. Encompassing circa 100 works and numerous original plaster figures from Giacometti that have never been seen before, the exhibition seeks to untangle the complex layers of their relationship. Formulated across four main thematic sections, it reveals new strands of thought connecting the two masters of modern art.
Louise Bourgeois, Untitled, 2010. © The Easton Foundation/VG Bild-Kunst, Photo: Christopher Burke / Peaux de Lapins, Chiffons Ferrailles à Vendre, 2006. © The Easton Foundation/VG Bild-Kunst, Photo: Christopher Burke
Certain works of art are important historically but no longer offer us experiential quality. Louise Bourgeois, whose life spanned nearly the entire 20th century, used art as a way of understanding herself, inventing a distinctive visual world containing raw self-expression and emotion. Much like the maze-like structures of her famous Cells, which she invoked as visual expressions of memory, her mind was a complex puzzle. Schinkel Pavillon invites us to enter the last two decades of her life, through focussed selection of works in diverse media featuring the sack form. They first appeared in her writings and later sculptures, as empty and hollow structures, which she often confined with other personal objects inside the intensely psychological space of Cells. Spanning the entire octagonal room of Schinkel Pavillon the visitors encounter Peaux des lapins, chiffons ferrailles à vendre (2006), one of her largest Cells. Where surrealists focused on the more fantastic elements of the subconscious, Bourgeois played with more subtle ideas of the uncanny. Like other remarkable sculptures she created using fabrics, the sacks are made of delicate chiffon in various tones of pink, pushing the borders between seduction and repulsion. Inside her highly symbolic microcosm their incomplete anthropomorphic form suggests a dysfunctional architectural unit, an empty house, or an infertile woman’s body.
The Catastrophe Colours 2018. An Exhibition by Gonzalez Haase AAS and June 14 Meyer-Grohbrügge & Chermayeff, Photography: Dominik Gigler
A rejection of colour has come to characterise the aesthetic of modern architecture. White and monochromatic tones were often seen as the antithesis of purity, honesty and authenticity. Stemming from a time that defies any categorization, can contemporary architecture embody a more complex and shifting relationship to colour? Reaffirming the status of colour as primarily a sensory perception, architecture office Gonzalez Haase AAS has developed the book Catastrophe Colours, underlining a critical approach to colour theory in the present. By confronting media images of catastrophes with their inherent chromatic essence, the book establishes a new inventory of colour. One that is based on research, linkage and storytelling, echoing the basic components of our information society. For this exhibition at BNKR, Gonzalez Haase collaborated with June14 Meyer-Grohbrügge & Chermayeff, to arrange various catastrophe colours into new sets of colour like Middle East Conflict, Vietnam War, Cold War, Nuclear Disaster, Oil Spills and Terrorism. Such new samples are specifically adopted from a political context, transforming colour patterns into narratives. An event as part of the program „Stop making sense, it’s as good as it gets.“ curated by Ludwig Engel and Joanna Kamm.
Stepping Stairs, 2018, Courtesy Judith Hopf
As an homage to the American architect and theorist John Hejduk, one of KW’s courtyard façades has been repurposed to resemble his anthropomorphic structures attributing facial features to concrete buildings through structural masks. Judith Hopf, the artist behind this permanent architectural intervention, refers to the aesthetics of the Kreuzberg Tower and its adjacent wings in Berlin as a nod to Hejduk’s large-scale transformations. This artistic commission is an extension of Hopf’s upcoming solo show Stepping Stairs at KW, and it’s been made possible thanks to Outset Germany_Switzerland. Established in 2003, Outset is the only international, independent charity pooling donations from patron circles and partners to supports the creation of new art. Drawing on their network of experts, their aim is to identify what is most needed in the arts and respond with tailor-made funding solutions. Projects that challenge thinking and further the artistic discourse to reach new and wider audiences are at the forefront of the initiative’s activities. This spans education, professional development, the production of new work and exhibitions, institutional collecting, and initiatives that underpin the creative infrastructure for the long term.