Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

“An exclamation, a passionate outcry.” A short guide to Venice Biennale 2017, May 13 – Nov 26

10 May 2017

The 2017 Venice Biennale is on at various locations around the city, opening May 13 and running to November 26.

The international art exhibition is now in its 57th year, and takes the title Viva Art Viva as “an exclamation, a passionate outcry for art and the state of the artist,” according to this year’s curator Christine Macel. In a statement about the Biennale’s title, Macel notes “Today, in a world full of conflicts and shocks, art bears witness to the most precious part of what makes us human. Art is the ultimate ground for reflection, individual expression, freedom, and for fundamental questions. Art is the last bastion, a garden to cultivate above and beyond trends and personal interests. It stands as an unequivocal alternative to individualism and indifference.” Artists to look out for include Phillippe ParrenoRachel RoseGuan XiaoAgnieszka PolskaShimabuku, and Frances Stark.
Held across the Central Pavilion, Giardini and the Arsenale venues, the programme will present 120 artists from 51 countries, and it is worth noting that of the participating galleries, 103 are taking part for the first time.
There are also a number of ‘Collateral Events‘ featured throughout the programme, including Open Table, Artist Practices Project, Unpacking My Library and Projects and Performance. Here are a handful of event and exhibition recommendations:

– Helsinki’s Frame presents Erkka Nissinen and Nathaniel Mellors’ The Aalto Natives
– Recycle Group’s ‘Conversion‘ installation
– HyperPavilion group exhibition produced by Fabulous Inc + curated by Philippe Riss-Schmidt- Anne Imhof’s Faust at the German Pavilion
– The Antarctic Pavilion curated by Nadim Samman
Katja Novitskova at the Estonian Pavilion
– Diaspora Pavilion with Larry Achiampong, susan pui san lok, Paul Maheke &c
James Lee Byars‘ ‘The Golden Tower’ **

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Infection + transformation in Guan Xiao’s Living Sci-Fi, under the red stars at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Apr 28 – Jul 1

27 April 2017

Guan Xiao is presenting solo exhibition Living Sci-Fi, under the red stars at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, opening April 28 and running to July 1.

The Beijing-based artist will present a series of new sculptures looking at the urban environment and the increased change on our habitat by economic and technological development. There will also be a new video ‘Dengue Dengue Dengue’ which was made for exhibition A Temporary Futures Institute at Antwerp’s M HKA, which also opens on April 28.

The three-channel film looks at how “habits contaminate our behavior, spreading around the world like an infectious disease. The infection is a transformation happening inside of us; the work calls for a retreat from these dynamics in order to learn the possibilities of breaking habits.”

See the Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler website for details.**
 
Guan Xiao, ‘Dengue, Dengue, Dengue’ (2017) Video still. Courtesy the artist + Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
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A look back at ABC Berlin

10 October 2016

art berlin contemporary (abc), running during Berlin Art Week, from September 13 to 18, is presented as a hybrid between a curated salon-like exhibition and a commercial platform, gathering a carefully selected set of international galleries, including Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, PSM and Societé, among others. The event depicts itself as more than just an art fair, focusing on a smaller number of artists with single propositions.

The way art is usually consumed nowadays in biennials and fairs resembles a conceptual binge: a compulsive, unachievable mental record of one thing after another, with a viewer forced to accept the impossibility of achieving an overall view in detail. In the case of abc, however, its 62 participating galleries seem to constitute a feasible amount of displays to see, distributed in only one hall, Station Berlin near the German capital’s Gleisdreieck Train Station.

Alona Rodeh, 'High Visibility' (2016). Detail. Courtesy the artist + Grimmuseum, Berlin. Photo: Turben Hoeke
Alona Rodeh, ‘High Visibility’ (2016). Detail. Courtesy the artist + Grimmuseum, Berlin. Photo: Turben Hoeke

In this 2016 edition, a much smaller and humbler setup than previous years, is presented at the usual location: a 19th century brick station and former Dresdener Bahnhof devoted to imports and postage in the 20th century and now host to miscellaneous events. Although spacious, the building feels rather non-excessive, as only half of the building is taken up by the fair, in contrast to previous editions of abc.

The single focus on one artist and the reduced space afforded to each gallery makes for an unusually comfortable and placid experience, in relation to the more common anxiety of art fairs. The resulting — in the words of abc’s organisers — “rigorous selection” of galleries feels slightly insufficient, given the diminished amount of exhibitions on display and without a decrease in entry price.

The visual dimension of a social body mediated by infrastructures of control is suggested, for instance, by Alona Rodeh’s twenty-one paintings from her recent exhibition at Grimmuseum where the Israeli artist explores the aesthetic potential of security and surveillance, bringing together reflectant materials for colors and infrastructural material, like aluminium. In ‘Safe and Sound, (High Visibility)’ (2016),  the official turns trendy and the useful prop turns autonomous artwork out of Rodeh’s collection of hi-vis workwear.

Kenny Scharf, 'Closet #16', (1997). Installation view. Courtesy the artist + Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf.
Kenny Scharf, ‘Closet #16’, (1997). Installation view. Courtesy the artist + Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf.

At gallery Guido W. Baudach’s booth, shared with Vilma Gold, digital media pioneer Markus Selg presents ‘Subliminal Fire/Present Ancestors’ (2016): a staged giant rag doll lifting its worshiping arms. Sitting on a domestic blanket, positioned as looking to a vertical screen, it is reminiscent of Nam June Paik’s ‘TV-Buddha’ (1974), melting esotericism and a popular fascination with mass-media technologies. 

At Carlier/Gebauer’s booth, Laure Prouvost’s installation consists of two narrow corridors hidden behind a wall-scale piece of painted fabric that leads to two humourous video works. Shown on two old TV monitors on plinths, there is one in each corridor. The first depicts a close up of the artist’s torso and hands, while her voice narrates the unacknowledged discovery of a sign of God materialised in a set of vegetables the artist envisions when waking up. Throughout the film she explains why those vegetables are a sign of God and how no one takes this fact seriously, not even the artist’s grandfather. The other monitor depicts two hands smearing hand-soap through the pages and the cover of a book about conceptual artist and developer of time-related theories, John Latham. Perhaps it satirises the traditional figure of the male genius, sliding female fingers softly, distributing this substance, which on the screen appears critically similar to sperm. The two video installations are surrounded by each film’s protagonist: the actual props, like the vegetables and the soap container, serving as three-dimensional still lifes as well as a symbol of the absurdity of the acts.

Fabian Knecht, 'UNVERÄNDERUNG' (2016). Photo courtesy of Alexander Levy and Art Berlin Contemporary.
Fabian Knecht, ‘UNVERÄNDERUNG’ (2016). Photo courtesy of Alexander Levy and Art Berlin Contemporary.

On another corner, next to the fair’s café-restaurant, a colorful and flashy van turns out to be Kenny Scharf’s ‘Closet #16’. It’s the sixteenth version of an eponymous project, which began in the ‘80s when the painter, sculptor and performer was sharing a studio with graffiti artist Keith Haring. Collecting trash and decorating compact spaces with it as an escapist and therapeutic process, Scharf’s hobby became a ritual and the ritual became the project called Closet. This most recent iteration is a permanent and portable container of diverse found objects, such as toys, electronics and detergent boxes, painted with neon colors and acting as a surface to reflect the low lights, randomly directed by a disco ball. All of this is accompanied by lo-fi mambo music played by an old cassette player painted in the same fashion as the rest of the fluoro piece in the space.

Author of the NET manifesto and iconic figure within conceptual movements, Polish artist Jarosław Kozłowski’s framed newspaper pages, painted with one monochromatic layer, are hung on Profile Foundation booth’s walls, accompanied by some paper bags containing monochrome painted paper on the ground. A low table lies a book about Kozłowski’s NET proposition, which represents a non-institutional exchange of ideas –in his words. Those concepts, such as non-commerciality, unauthored nature and the capacity of being copied and reproduced, heavily contrast with the traditional spirit of an art fair.

Yet, it’s this paradoxical contextualisation of a work that reflects the contradictory nature of abc itself. While still trying to find the most effective way to present this hybrid model, abc represents a  skeletal framework hopefully acting as raw material to be exploited and developed; a new way of marrying commerciality with conceptual and curatorial practices.**

art berlin contemporary (ABC) runs alongside Berlin Art Week annually during September

Header image: Laure Prouvost, ‘Behind the lobby doors, the pepper is in the right eye’ (2016). Installation view. Courtesy of artist + Carlier | Gebauer, Berlin. Photo by Trevor Good. 

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Berlin Art Week, Sep 15 – 20

14 September 2015

The fourth Berlin Art Week is taking over the German city this week, running from September 15 to September 20 at various locations throughout Berlin.

Like every year, the city explodes with art, with the abc art berlin contemporary and Positions Berlin art fairs both opening on Thursday, as well as over 20 institutional exhibitions, project spaces and private collections, and a stacked lineup of ceremonies, gallery nights, performances, talks and screenings.

The opening night brings the three different exhibitions with Redemption Jokes at nGbKIch kenne kein Weekend. The Archive and Collection of René Block at n.b.k., and the reception for Paul McCarthy‘s latest exhibition at Schinkel Pavillon. Other highlights include:

— 1 LUNATIC 1 ICE PICK with Clémence de La Tour du Pin and Antoine Renard at L’Atelier-ksr

— The openings of Carla Scott Fullerton’s If these walls had ears and Tyra Tingleff’s I gave the postman your name at Chert

— Tilman Hornig’s Looki Looki at abc art berlin contemporary art fair.

Molly Nilsson‘s live show at Berghain’s Panorama

— Aaron Graham and Bryan Morello with Send Cycle at Neumeister Bar-Am, with an installation by Cécile B. Evans and Yuri Pattison.

— Matt Goerzen with Low Floor, No Ceiling at Future Gallery

— Slavs and Tatars with Dschinn and Dschuice at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

— Hito Steyerl with her first solo exhibition at KOW

— The Abjects group show at Import Projects

Berlin Community Radio‘s Club of the Month

See the Berlin Art Week website for details. **

csm_Amit-Epstein_03_b16955a82c copy

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Art Basel, Jun 18 – 23

16 June 2015

Art Basel is returning for another round in the Swiss town, taking over from June 18 to 23.

The fair brings over 300 galleries exhibiting more than 4,000 artists, with eight different sectors representing the various artistic mediums, and a multitude of events throughout its week-long run, including an artist talk with Harm van den Dorpel, Anicka Yi, and Robin Meier on June 18, one in memory of the great Louise Bourgeois on  June 20, and one on romance and collaboration in contemporary art with Paul Kneale and Elise Lammer on June 21.

Among the 300 leading galleries exhibition are some familiar to aqnb, including Berlin’s Carlier GebauerContemporary Fine ArtsSociétéTanya Leighton, and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, as well as Hamburg’s LEVY Galerie, and the international Hauser & Wirth. Running alongside the art fair is Lady Bar‘s week of musical programming, bringing Berlin techno, Gang Fatale and Night Slugs, among others.

See the Art Basel website for details. **

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Daniel Keller @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler reviewed

29 May 2015

Even without initial comprehension of the words rendered on a wall, the internet aesthetic Daniel Keller employs in Kai Dalston Bushwick is instantly clear. In the solo exhibition, running from May 1 to July 4, the warped curves of a hung sculptural piece called ‘Composite Career Captcha (Betterneties)’ (2015) are sampled from a captcha compound of ‘better’ and ‘eternities’. Captchas are online security devices meant to distinguish between human and machine users. In this sense, they isolate a specifically human capacity for visual perception while divorcing it from meaning. This vague sensation of recognition separate from understanding seems continuously generated throughout the show.

Daniel Keller, Kai ♥ Dalston Bushwick (2015). Exhibition view. Right to left- 'Onanet Spirulina 1' (2015), 'Stack Relief (Dalston Kutcher)' 2015. Courtesy Kraupa­Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Daniel Keller, Kai ♥ Dalston Bushwick (2015). Exhibition view.  Courtesy Kraupa­Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.

In the first room, grey hoses lead out of a tank of water, green bubbles consistently bursting on its murky surface. One hose trails into the adjoining room and another disappears through a hole drilled into the wall. The tanks of ‘Onanet Spirulina 1’ (2015) are three in total and each contain the rapidly reproducing Spirulina algae. Currently considered a superfood, the organism is harvested and distributed on the health food market in powdered and pill form. Although these hoses circulate the water from tank to tank, this process is meanwhile superfluous for the production of the algae. Rather, the web formed here appears to delve deeper into the idea of connection in general. With the ever growing increase of (particularly technical) global interconnection, a question arises: is it really necessary?

In plastic sleeves on the sill of the gallery window is an excerpt from the play iDRIVE, co-written by Keller and Ella Plevin. Acting in a sense as the basis for the rest of the show, the play follows a romance between the fictional daughter of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the offspring siblings of Ashton Kutcher: Kai, Dalston, and Bushwick, respectively. In the sections provided, the former two drive along an exaggerated future-scape of hyper-technologized North America. Inspired by Albert O. Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, the conversations of iDRIVE span the potentials of leaving or staying within the techno-political economy via the vessels of Kai and Dalston.

Daniel Keller, 'Stack Relief (☆ミ Scout)' (2015). Courtesy Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Daniel Keller, ‘Stack Relief (☆ミ Scout)’ (2015). Courtesy Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.

Having walked through the two rooms once, I return to do another round, feeling the pieces fall together in the context of the play. For example, the three ‘Stack Relief’ (2015) structures resembling rock sculptures hanging on the walls are now extended in their meaning. On the one hand they allude to a past of basic environmental alteration and interactive creation. On the other, they are composed of complex assortments of materials (plywood, MDF, patinated brass, acrylic, aluminum, and sandstone, to name a few) and are incredibly artificial. From a distance, you note the diverse elements making up the patterned shapes of the object. Close up, they seem bound again, as though the entirety is made of plastic and stickered with design. The list detailing the pieces reconfirms the initial impression of diversity. Simple, complex, unified, divided – the past, the present, the past taken up by a present drawn into rapid future developments – it’s dizzying.

Like the ultimately unnecessary placement of the tubes connecting the tanks through the space, the assortment of works subsist within an internal, possibly also needless, logic. Although this logic is not immediately or inevitably understandable, it is simultaneously familiar in a rudimentary sense – perhaps acting in function similar to captchas, or the stone sculpture designs. You enter and you recognize, even if you cannot pin the meaning or extended complexity down to something that provides a deeper satisfaction. And at this stage, maybe there is a choice: you can go with it unwittingly, or comment, or  leave. **

Daniel Keller’s Kai Dalston Bushwick is on at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, running from May 1 to July 4, 2015.

Header image: Daniel Keller, ‘Composite Career Captcha (Betterneties)’ (2015). Courtesy Kraupa­Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.

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Andrea Crespo @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler reviewed

13 March 2015

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is considered a complex mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association that is difficult to diagnose and often caused by trauma. This is not the case in Andrea Crespo’s sis: somatic system exhibition running at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler. Here the artist presents as a so-called ‘plurality‘ under the names Celinde and Cynthia embodied in hyperreal hentai characters. They could resemble the CGI avatars of Kate Cooper’s RIGGED show opened at KW last year, except that Crespo’s characters represent a certain System community, a healthy multiplicity, rather than an image of a modified world.

Cynthia and Celinde have their own personalities and preferences but exist in the same body and head space. Hand drawn with ink, grading from white to dark purple, they kiss, fight or just exist among psychiatric mood charts and text. Spreading from paper to framed glass on eight digital prints in Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler’s first room and office, the charts show moods scanning “DEPRESSED” and “ELEVATED” to reaching the neutral green-coloured “NORMAL” state between. Transferred into data, the drawings and chart were scanned by mobile scanners, leaving suggested traces in the form of glowing lines.

Andrea Crespo, sis- somatic system (2015). Exhibition view. Image courtesy Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler.
Andrea Crespo, sis- somatic system (2015). Exhibition view. Image courtesy Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler.

Thick black curtains divide the gallery’s space. Before entering the other side, the viewer is met with a warning that what they are about to experience might provoke psychogenic nonepileptic seizures and are reminded that sis is“not liable for undesired changes”.

A strong video work and an impressive continuation of Crespo’s multi-layered sis project , ‘Parabiosis’(2015) –as in, the temporary loss of conductivity or excitability of a nerve cell –is central to sis: somatic system. Projected on a whole wall, the dark-toned video begins with two glowing lines scanning across the screen horizontally, followed by an almost unbearably high-pitched signal. These are effects designed to trigger a personality switch in a person with DID. Simulating a scan, the image of Cynthia and Celinde appears as the line moves and, as with the prints, the act of scanning becomes a method for diagnosing apparent abnormalities such as autism or what the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) defines as Gender Dysphoria.

sis is somewhat evocative of Pierre Huyghe and Phillippe Parreno’s ‘Annlee’, where an empty avatar is bought and later imbued with multiple identities and personalities by the artists in ‘No Ghost Just a Shell‘ (2002). Exploring the possibilities of buying \an avatar normally used for advertising, Huyghe and Parreno purchase a woman’s body and use her as an object before setting her free. Crespo’s sis figure, however, is less host and more an extension of the artist themself,  perhaps as a play on the ‘cis’ of cisgender, ‘System’, or ‘sister’ –all of which have implications that are socially, even diagnostically ascribed states of being.

Through text sis speaks to their audience: “You are drifting”, “never alone”, say some of the messages appearing among hashtags, mood charts and a diagram depicting the “Phantom Limbs, Phantom Body, Phantom Self…” of autoscopic phenomena. “#queer”, “#polygender”, “#autistics” run along a ribbon of labels including “#schizoaffective”, “#borderline”, “#bipolar. They’re words that were once defined, or are still defined as disorders by the APA. As a glowing line opens the video –scanning over the assertion, “you are a signal” –it also closes it. Two lines cross each other and arrive at either end. The noise fades.

Andrea Crespo’s sis: somatic system is on at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, running February 11 to April 21, 2015.

Header image: Andrea Crespo, Parabiosis (2015). Digital video installation view. Image courtesy Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler.

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John Seal @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler reviewed

18 July 2014

Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler is located on the fourth floor of the Pressehaus, an office building which houses several German media conglomerates and a journalism school. Amid the commercial sprawl of Alexanderplatz, it’s a bizarre place for a gallery: especially one with the kind of audience KTZ attracts.

John Seal’s latest show in the space, look to the void with expectation, oh precious and pregnant hope, has the aesthetic of a seaside art gallery your parents might check out on holiday: oil paintings of pastel waves crashing against the beach; an oversized velvet bow tie; thick clownish, colourful brushstrokes on canvas; a cabinet with repeated cup and saucer combinations; still-lifes with floral patterns and wax-dripping candles mounted on an oak dresser. This kind of ‘domestic’ style is being mocked, each of the works having an outrageous element that pushes them into the realm of the absurd.

John Seal, look to the void with expectation, oh precious and pregnant hope @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler (2014) exhibition view. Photo by Roman März. Courtesy the gallery.
John Seal, look to the void with expectation, oh precious and pregnant hope @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler (2014) exhibition view. Photo by Roman März. Courtesy the gallery.

As the title might already suggest, the exhibition is couched in an erudite, philosophical or literary façade. A text accompanies the show –the story of a conversation between two friends, which touches on questions of perception and the nature of reality through a colloquial and truncated kitchen chat. The text is introduced with a quote from Maurice Blanchot: “At the moment when everything was being destroyed she had created that which was most difficult: she had not drawn something out of nothing (a meaningless act), but given nothing in its form of nothing, the form of something.”

Admittedly, this quotation attracted me to the show in the first place. My Master’s was dedicated to the conception of work (and unworking) in Blanchot’s writing on aesthetics, so I’m not immune to the lure of theory. But, as is too often the case when art and theory are imposed on one another, one or the other is bound to suffer. In the story, we find a commentary on the impossible radicalism of art and the inevitable subsumption of the ‘new’ back into the market, in the form of a commercialised radicalism. The author muses on the repetitive nature of art, whether in concept or aesthetic.

John Seal, look to the void with expectation, oh precious and pregnant hope @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler (2014) exhibition view. Photo by Roman März. Courtesy the gallery.
John Seal, look to the void with expectation, oh precious and pregnant hope @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler (2014) exhibition view. Photo by Roman März. Courtesy the gallery.

Taken as a literal exposition of this argument, Seal’s works display both actual repetition, and a reuse of old artistic tropes. His medium is mostly oil paint on canvas, an artistic method that is lately often dismissed, unless it’s done with an ironic twist. In the first room of the gallery, his ‘A Very Cellular Song’ (2014), looks digitally-inspired. The traditional still life is contaminated with elements that resemble CGI 3D modeling techniques. The plant and candlestick are painted over with a houndstooth wallpaper pattern that has a transparent quality, making it less like actual wallpaper and more like the desktop background kind. These infusions of the digital onto Seal’s paintings seem less calculated than simply a product of his generation and surroundings.

The idea of bringing ‘nothing’ to the level of ‘something,’ while maintaining its essential nothingness, is presented through the reproduction of the everyday banal, in the form of recognizable artistic tropes and media. But as Seal’s text anticipates, this offers nothing new. The show is irritating and powerful in that respect, as it leads to one conclusion: art is dead and theory cannot revive it. **

John Seal’s solo exhibition look to the void with expectation, oh precious and pregnant hope is running at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler until August 8, 2014.

Header image: John Seal, look to the void with expectation, oh precious and pregnant hope @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler (2014) exhibition view. Left to right: ‘Why do we see?’ (2014), ‘Untitled’ (2014), ‘Welcome to me; (2010). Photo by Roman März. Courtesy the gallery

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Frieze New York, May 9 – 12

8 May 2014

Frieze Art Fair New York is running in the US city, May 9 to 12.

Aside from the sadly emblematic union with a clothing brand, there are still things potentially worth seeing at the art fair if you’re planning on going anyway.

There’ll be talks from Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova of (but not of) Pussy Riot, poet, author and founder of ubuweb, Kenneth Goldsmith and artistic director of documenta 14
Adam Szymczyk.

Some gallery booths and potential artworks to see include Artists Space, representing the likes of Bernadette Corporation, Metahaven, Loretta Fahrenholz, Ed Atkins and DUOX, Gallery Hyundai with YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTIRES and Nam June Paik and Bortolami.

Other artists potentially scattered across booths include Ned Vena at White Columns, Xu Zhen with Long March Space, Camille Henrot at Galerie Kamel Mennour, Tabor Robak and Cory Arcangel for team (gallery, inc.), as well as Sophia Al-Maria, Slavs and Tatars, Shirin Aliabadi and Hassan Hajjaj at The Third Line and Ian Cheng and Emily Wardill of Standard Oslo.

Artists from Carlos/Ishikawa, Clages, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Tanya Leighton and Société will also be represented, as well as a booth for Bidoun with publications and a “10th anniversary Donkey-Ouroboros-Nasreddin tote bag” available to buy.

See the Frieze Art Fair website for details. **

Header image: Camille Henrot, ‘Grosse Fatigue’ (2013).

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Gallery Weekend Berlin, May 2 – 4

2 May 2014

Celebrating its 10th anniversary Gallery Weekend Berlin is running across the city May 2 to 4.

There’ll be 50+ galleries officially and unofficially taking part in the weekend-long affair where the city’s exciting art scene opens its doors to the public in unison.

Openings and events to look out for include Katja Novitskova‘s Spirit, Curiosity and Opportunity, opening at Kraupa Tuskany-Zeidler, Ned Vena at Société, as well as a book sale at Sternberg Press.

There’s also Galerie Neu, KOW worth checking in on, as well as extended opening hours at Sandy Brown and The Cable Guys group exhibition at Future Gallery opened May 1.

Do your own research for details.

…or you can check the Gallery Weekend Berlin website for the galleries that are listed. **

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Florian Auer @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Feb 21 – Apr 19

21 February 2014

Florian Auer‘s solo exhibition Blue Prints is showing at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, opening February 21 and running to April 19.

Mid-last year in London, Auer’s Babies Are Born At Night constructed the future-dystopian office space of an ‘American psycho’, according to Lindsey Starkweather. This year in Berlin he’s reconstructing hyperreality in the real world across “a plane of colliding dimensions” through angles, shadows, interfaces, liquid camouflage, and perspectives. If this means physically placing an audience into an imagined reality, let’s go there.

Read a review of the Auer’s Babies Are Born At Night at Cell Project Space last year and see the Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler website for details. **

Florian Auer, 'Not Yet Titled (blueprint)', (2013). Image courtesy Cell Project Space.
Florian Auer, ‘Not Yet Titled (blueprint)’ (2013). Image courtesy Cell Project Space.
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Touching on 14.12.13 at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

23 December 2013

The most pointed and, in my opinion, apt commentary on last weekend’s ACCELERATIONISM:
A symposium on tendencies in capitalism came in the form of a tiny, inconspicuous size-10-font critique written on the display tag for Hito Steyerl’s video work ‘In Free Fall’ (2010): “The author wishes to personally insult anyone attracted by accelerationism by calling it a bout of dead white Ferrari envy, dripping from head to toe with stale testosterone.”

Steyerl’s video was part of the group exhibition 14.12.13, which confronted the recent trend of speculative realist philosophy and object-oriented ontology (OOO) in contemporary art theory and practice.* 14.12.13 (the date of the one-day show) represents a chronological disorder and an opening toward the multidimensionality of time.

The exhibition’s description by one of the curators, Armen Avanessian, is rife with vitalist, hyper-masculine language. He makes calls to “seize” reality and perform creative “abductions”, to revel in the unpredictability of the present and the future via the radical contingency of the material world. In this way, he argues, art and philosophy “can speculate on a new time, a new reality…But no time this time for catastrophism. The speculative is instead the time of anastrophism.” This anti-reflexive, accelerationist perspective relies on the idea that the past is unforeseeable and the future is now. It’s time to embrace objectification and cold materiality, and to accelerate the “energetic viscera” of capitalism to its finality rather than choose the path of withdrawal.

Accelerationism

The day-long conference running alongside the exhibition offered a forum for invited speakers to debate the merits of accelerationism as a political philosophy. UK Marxist and academic Benjamin Noys (who coined the term ‘accelerationism’ as it is used in the contemporary field of political theory) challenged the concept on the grounds that proponents have failed to adequately develop, in relation to the existing and present conditions of capital, exactly what is being accelerated and by whom. He argues that no matter how much we focus on accelerating the inhumanity or anti-humanism of the object –pushing the system on its course for ‘audio-necromancy’ – the logic of capitalism will never allow human labour or social relations to become entirely superfluous.

Co-curated by Galerie Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler and also featuring the work of Julieta Aranda, Diann Bauer, Daniel Keller and Andreas Töpfer, the 14.12.13 exhibition explored these themes in relation to accelerationist aesthetics, whether as critique or sympathetic response. Central to this is New York-based artist Ian Cheng’s disjointed, algorithmically generated “infinite duration” live simulations that  look like surrealist paintings, fragmentary elements exploding haphazardly across the screen. The program is ‘endlessly evolving’ or accelerating and images break up in front of our eyes: entropy reigns! Cheng’s work and its theoretical impetus are propelled by the intoxications of digital potentiality.

In Katja Novitskova’s more subdued cardboard cut-outs, we see corporate advertising aesthetics used to depict pristine natural settings. Her work is inspired by Deleuzian philosopher Manuel de Landa, whose theories of natural self-organization provide a basis for collapsing human and non-human relations. Novitskova brings out the trends of natural selection and competition that prevail in both evolutionary biology and commerce. Her work explores the possibility of new mutations and new forms of living in both nature and culture. Both Cheng and Novitskova present future-oriented projects that relish the prospects of the digital age, in a manner structurally similar to Modernist-Futurist programs but with a pseudo-Marxist twist.

14.12.13 and the ACCELERATIONISM: A symposium on tendencies in capitalism ran at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany on December 14, 2013. 

*For more in-depth analysis of speculative realism and its relation to aesthetics read this article by Svenja Bromberg.

All images courtesy of Galerie Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler.

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Ceremonial Achievements @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler reviewed

14 November 2013

Following on from their Achievements in Swiss Summit exhibition during London’s Frieze week last month, the celebrations continue for the GCC art collective, at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler gallery. In their second show as a ‘delegation’ named after the regional government body, Gulf Cooperation Council, Ceremonial Achievements again pulls focuses on parade over practicality. Now in the hands of politicians and officials, the PR campaign of success well-celebrated in the Gulf is passed on as its nine artists -spanning Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, and including Khalid Al Gharaballi, Fatima and Monira Al Qadiri, and Sophia Al-Maria -investigate traditions and icons of self-congratulations.

A screen on the floor projects ‘Ceremonial Projects in Motion’, a video of stately-looking men in the traditional Arabic thobe with large scissors in their hands cutting inaugurating ribbons. They smile and lift their hands as the tape falls and crowds applaud, before a new clip of a similar ritual begins. In each one, the same characters mimic the same ceremony, leaving one disoriented and dislocated: are we applauding the opening of a new shopping mall, with shiny floors, in Kuwait, or is it a children’s hospital in Qatar? Solemnly proud music plays alongside it, while this parody of personal victory, in self-promotion repeated, becomes absurd; the characters themselves becoming caricatures, without overstatement.

GCC, 'Protocols for Achievements' (2013). Image courtesy of the artists and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo by Hans-Georg Gaul.
GCC, ‘Protocols for Achievements’ (2013). Courtesy of the artists & Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul.

At the center of the room, a smaller screen shows a glowing and outlined presenter gesticulating in front of a projection of similar video loops in ‘Protocols for Achievements’. Screening information in Arabic beneath her, the presenter could be reporting the news or presenting said ‘protocols’ to her audience. Only, its impossible to tell by her body language alone as she stands mute. There’s no concrete information to draw from the text, doubtless incomprehensible to many a Berliner viewer, as she mimes in time with the sound from ‘Ceremonial Projects in Motion’ echoing throughout the whole exhibition.

Hanging on a nearby wall, an image from the GCC’s induction in Switzerland earlier this year (as well as the earlier London show), ‘Inaugural Summit, Morschach 2013, 7’, shows three figures, presumably men, sat on a picnic blanket on the bitumen and sharing tea, photographed only from the waist down. Again, it’s not so much the content of the image, or even the identity of its subjects but the ceremony around it that matters.

GCC, 'Inaugural Summit, Morschach 2013, 7' (2013). Courtesy the artists and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo by Hans-Georg Gaul.
GCC, ‘Inaugural Summit, Morschach 2013, 7’ (2013). Courtesy the artists & Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul.

Spanning the width of a wall in the inner space of the two-room gallery, the most visible piece in Ceremonial Achievements is enacted. It’s a screening of a make-believe ribbon ceremony by GCC, taking place in a grand hall. Several people take part by standing still, forming a circle and holding a red ribbon between them. The other three walls of the room display photos of the same event, a series called ‘Ceremonial Sphere’, taken from different perspectives and digitally printed on circular aluminium dibond. A marble veneer stall stands proudly in front of the large-scale projection, presenting a trophy-like ship’s wheel. With a map of the world at the centre of this golden sculpture, ‘Berlin Congratulant’ echoes the same glass sculptures from the GCC’s Achievements in Swiss Summit. As before, the source of these ‘achievements’ and their outcomes are nowhere to be found, the round shapes, circular motion and endless repetition leading to nothing. **

GCC’s Ceremonial Achievement‘ at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin 8 November – 10 December 2013

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