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.
The exhibition Culture:City encourages everyone to think consistently about the future of our cities and takes a critical eye to the relationship between architecture and the social reality of the 21st century, showing the impact of art and culture on cities and architecture. The selection of international examples presented – ranging from spectacular architectural and art projects, via the creative reuse of empty buildings and city areas, through to citizens’ initiatives – opens up a panorama of constructed concretisation of culture thus allowing us not only to take stock of the surroundings but also to evaluate and assess each individual case.
Does the social, cultural and architectural rootedness in the city work and does this lead to new forms of cultural production? Or does the construction project merely represent a symbol strong on marketing, yet another island in a city’s public spaces characterised by increasing fragmentation?
The debate thus triggered in the exhibition, curated by Matthias Sauerbruch, is continued in the form of lectures, film screenings, concerts, sound installations and conferences a.o. with Jacques Herzog, Peter Cook, Patrick Bouchain, Peter Eisenman, Selgas Cano Arquitectos a.o. to Berlin.
Two Younger Women Come in and Pull out a Table surveys the multifaceted strand of painting in the artist’s tremendous body of work. A decade of large-scale works on canvas will be on view alongside site-specific interventions in different mediums: voluminous polystyrene objects, textile accumulations, oversized balloons and the walls of the museum are all used as carriers of images.
The factory hall of the former wool mills, which forms the kern of the exhibition, is taken up by an extensive, color-intensive installation. Bunches of grapes, made out of large PVC and latex balloons, and measuring four meters in size float under the historical ceiling construction. This gigantic labyrinth corresponds with the towering laminated polystyrene objects that occupy the museum’s entrance hall. The sheer magnitude and structure of these bodies render it impossible to capture the work in its entirety from a singular point of view. Here, seeing necessarily implies movement in space.
In a temporary exhibition space on the historic Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin, Peres Projects is presenting Gay Town – a solo project with James Franco. Exploring a variety of themes central to the artist’s practice, Gay Town is devoted to issues related to adolescence, public and private persona, stereotypes and other societal concerns such as society’s preoccupation with celebrity. James Franco created many of the artworks in hotel rooms, makeshift studios and other temporary locations whilst completing other projects, mainly motion picture work. Working across media including painting, drawing, film, sculpture, installation and photography, Franco elects the media that best fits the project rather than committing to a sole artistic practice.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Goethe-Institut in Portugal, Lisbon-based architects Barbas Lopes have been invited to design the Goethe Salon, a pavilion which articulates and celebrates a temporary structure and platform sited in the tropical garden of the Goethe Institute’s central location in the city of Lisbon. The pavilion project was catalyst of the International colloquium this November in the Institut Français and Goethe-Institut in Lisbon with Patrick Bouchain (Paris), Patrícia Barbas + Diogo Lopes (Lisbon), Alex Schweder (NY/Berlin/London), Magnus Nilsson + Ralf Pflugfelder (London/Berlin), Torsten Blume (Leipzig), Tim Simon (Berlin), João Quintela (Madrid/Lisbon) and Julia Albani (Lisbon/Berlin).
As a journey through finest textile art, the exhibition features selected protagonists from the discipline, like Sofie Dawo, who by transgressing the boundaries of the medium’s two-dimensional format, steered the evolution of tapestry towards three-dimensional relief and fine art. The artists Lena Meyer-Bergner and Elisabeth Kadow – both trained at the Bauhaus University in Weimar – are presented with studies on paper for textiles alongside with a homage from Verner Panton to Josef Albers, selected samples by Barbro Nilsson from the notable Swedish weaver Märta-Maas Fjetterström, and a hand-woven wall piece made in the Sixties by Renata Bonfanti. The site specific installation by Frauke Eigen “Friendship-Balls” – or Japanese Temari – further traces a Far East tradition from the 7th Century.
Built in the outskirts of Lisbon in the 1840s for the Count of Farrobo, a lover of the arts, to host theatre and opera shows as well as wild parties, the Thalia has been in ruins for more than 100 years after a fire in 1862 destroyed most parts of the luxurious architecture. Now Lisbon based architects Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos & Barbas Lopes Arquitectos reconverted it into a multipurpose space commissioned by the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science. They covered the remaining walls with a shell of terracotta concrete while the interior remains in its original condition and combining the old and new parts of the building into an urban ensemble with views to the nearby exotic Zoo. The original Latin inscription, “Hic Mores Hominum Castigantur,” was placed once again at the tympanum of the main façade spelling out the motto of Thalia: “Here the deeds of men shall be punished.”
In the course of summer expeditions, selected artists from the areas of music, performance and other cultural fields experience and revive urban spaces. The dernier cri is the focus of this year’s Sound Development City expeditions – it allows for an independent exploration of themes and modes of expression in the perception of the three cities. The work resulting from this exploration will in part be shown in public. With: Jana Burbach (Zürich, Theater, Performance); Ariel Bustamente (Chile, Public Acoustic Experiments); André Castro (Lissabon/ Amsterdam, Networked Media Design); Donald Deadalus (New York, Art, Sound); D-Fuse (Michael Faulkner/Matthias Kispert – London Sound and Video Art); Maria Guggenbichler (München/ Amsterdam, Art, Ideas, Music, Books); Israel Martinez (Mexiko, Multidisciplinary Art, Electronic Music); Katharina Rohde (Berlin, Architecture, Art, Activism); Steve Rosenthal (London, Visual Art); Evelynn Trouble (Zürich, Music).
On the last weekend of June (29. – 30.) in Berlin and the first weekend of July (6. – 7.) in Paris, the fourth edition of Berlin-Paris, a gallery exchange project illuminates the artistic tendencies of the two capital cities by presenting around 60 artists and creating new impetuses through its selection of galleries. One of the new features introduced in this year´s edition is the involvement of artistic interventions organized by the curator collectives The Office and Le Bureau/.
CARLIER | GEBAUER – MARCELLE ALIX
CHERT and MOTTO – CNEAI=
GALERIE CAMPAGNE PREMIÈRE – EMMANUEL HERVÉ
GALERIE ULRICH FIEDLER – JOUSSE ENTREPRISE
GALERIE ZINK – ALMINE RECH GALLERY
KLEMM’S – TORRI
MEHDI CHOUAKRI – GALERIE 1900-2000
Double Bound Economies begins with a photo archive from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) by photographer Reinhard Mende. Produced as commissioned works, the photographs dramatize the situation of productions in “Volkseigene Betriebe” and the “Internationale Leipziger Messe” from 1967 to 1990. From the archive, Double Bound Economies moves toward contemporary artistic and spatial positions, historical and theoretical analyses, and the production of a video project. Artists, theorists, scholars, and former participants were invited to view, comment on, or select from the archive. This collective work method resulted in a polyphonic dramatization of the archive while also reporting on a nonlinear approach to the GDR.
Following the presentation in Leipzig, Double Bound Economies will be exhibited at the Centre de la Photographie, Geneva (September–October 2012) and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (January–February 2013).