Lauryn Youden is presenting Kunstsommer Detox at Frankfurt’s Meridian Spa Skyline Plaza on September 1.
Hosted by online Magazine Reflektor M (edited by María Inés Plaza), the event is part of Sacred Serpent Sessions; a series of performances and other events focused on healing. Sessions have included meditation, workshops, film screenings, CBT therapy, sound healing and alchemy, among other things.
The non-institutional award differs in its approach to the majority of art competitions in that the submission process remains anonymous, offering an alternative to the way art is “evaluated, interpreted, and publicly presented: Open for all, names and careers don’t count – only Berlin art!”
Piggybacking off pre-existing art prize structures, the title is somewhat humorous in its aim to be a [self-described] ‘cover version.’ At a time when the artists’ CV speaks louder than the work, and career development relies so heavily on the professionalizing of one’s practice, the approach feels restorative and enlivening.
There were a number of exciting events that splintered off from the main structure, including performative workshop Law Shifters led by Jacobsen and Bilal Alkatout, Meret and Isabel Mehl‘s performance ‘Rachel: The Pleasure Seeker’, a tattoo workshop with Girls That Poke, and public healing session led by Youden among other things.
Stine Marie Jacobsen
Jacobsen put together a performative workshop for the event. ‘Law Shifters’worked with teenagers to explore law and moral questions by creating a series of ‘moot courts’ where “school classes discuss real court cases, reach their own verdicts, and compare these with the verdicts made in the original cases in court.” A playful approach to a the heavy subject of authority and powerlessness, the jury described the work as “the pinnacle of socially engaged art”.
Partenheimer’s installation of “dramatic images of smoggy cityscapes in China” spread around the floor of the gallery, and stepped on by visitors, was both sincere and nihilistic in its approach to the subject of climate change. A theme that feels both urgent and overwhelmingly helpless, the project responded to the role of the photograph within our current socioeconomic and environmental climate.
Youden’s installation ‘A Place to Retreat, When I am Sick (Of You)’brought together a range of elements including Himalayan sea salt, essential oils, hand-dyed canvas and sound among many others, and became the backdrop for the healing ceremony performance ‘Sacred Serpent Sessions.’ A personal view into mental health, the project felt like a reflection of the constant search and struggle in the never-ending journey of healing.
The Berlin Art Prize project began in 2013 by four Berliners working in the field of art who had a shared interest in shaking up the traditional model of the art prize with the goal of supporting Berlin-based art practices. Like other awards, the aim is to provide financial support and tackle some of the struggles associated with lack of funding and how to remain independent in the particular climate.**
The nine nominees for the Berlin Art Prize have been announced as of October 23.
Selected from over 600 Berlin-based applicants through a multi-stage process, the following artists will take part in an exhibition covering sculpture, installation, photography, performance and conceptual art, opening November 11:
Three of those mentioned will receive the independent award — which includes a trophy created for the occasion by Berlin-based artistTomás Saraceno, prize money and a four-week residency in Georgia beginning March 2017 — to be announced at Kühlhaus Berlin on December 10.