The second by the Berlin-based artist in the gallery, the show is part of an ongoing collaborative project of the same name, between van den Dorpel and self-designed artificial intelligence. Extracting and collating recurring aesthetic elements of the 20th century European collage works that have inspired and informed him, the artist has devised a ‘genetic algorithm’ to generate two-dimensional collages of his own. The approach is described as being that of artificial ‘breeding’ and the five unique works selected from this growing population — that you can see at death.imitates.org— will be on display along with an overview of the entire process.
Meanwhile, occupying the Der Würfel eighty-centimetre cubed project space, Moulton’s Only you can build the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of your life presents her focus on the “interplay between consumerism, commercialized New Age philosophies and fragmented reminiscences of other artistic styles, such as Land Art” with ongoing video series Whispering Pines (2002 – ).
Three-dimensional depth map sculptures drawing on “the formal relationship of both the photographic negative and the binary relationship between cast and mould” will populate the site-specific networked installation, taking over the entire building and exploring “the mutability of symbolism held in form” in dialogue with its architecture.
The work is the result of the artist’s research into the relationship between art history and photography, specifically the long-standing and ongoing influence of art on photography and photos of greek ornaments from the ‘New Objectivity’ movement of the late 20s.
After a never long enough Summer break Berlin Art Week hit the city with the four day fair and gallery nights along with numerous other events. In a press conference a week before Avatara Plenara Zeitstipendia step forward as the main sponsor of the art week. Dressed in a grey tracksuits with pale faces they present themselves as the the parliamentary embodiment of the needs of the 10,000 artists living in Berlin, demanding more structural funding and support for them, and stating that this year would be the last of the city-wide art event. Performance artists and ‘avatars’ Sabina Reinfeld and Ulf Aminde are right, the number of artists in the city is always growing, while at the same time funding stays the same. Hopefully, though, it isn’t all over.
The weekend before that, curated by_vienna begins in the Austrian capital, where it’s galleries open with a series of exhibitions focusing on curators and a selection of artists outside the regular program. Myriam Ben Salah, curator of special projects at Palais de Tokyo, chooses selects a group of Middle Eastern artists for the Like the deserts miss the real exhibition in Galerie Steinek. Prints on the windows show the luxurious interior of Grand Emirates Hotel in Dubai. Shiny marble floors, chandeliers and palm trees are photographed and presented by the GCCart collective. In ’Saudi Automobile’ (2012) Sarah Abu Abdallah paints a wrecked car in light pink colour in the hope that she can one day drive to work in her home country.
Abdallah is also showing at abc art berlin contemporaryart fair in Germany, her digital prints and the video ’The Salad Zone’ (2013) showing at the Saudi Arabian gallery Athr booth. Nearby, ‘Field Walkers’ (2015) byLizzie Fitch/ Ryan Trecartin is presented by Berlin-, London- and now recently LA-based Sprüth Magers. A glossy organic shaped form with leaves sticking out stands on two iron-net platforms and accompanied by stretched tennis balls, along with prints of digitally modified faces and interiors in pattern frames. Other booths give an impression of being a merch table for the average art fan.Timur Si-Qin ‘Truth by Peace’ t-shirts are being soldat Société, along with Bunny Rogers’ Columbine Library artist’s book and other objects.
Digital images of hyperreal female body parts stick out of white foam, shiny female heads with surprised expressions fall through white cushions. Kate Cooper continues her study on gender roles and autonomy within image production and distribution in her new series of works presented at abc by Neumeister Bar-Am. Later during the week Cooper –along with her fellow Auto Italia organisers and ‘Refugee Phrasebook’ co-founder Paul Feigelfeld –takes part in a round table discussion at ACUD. Organised by Lensbased, the class of Hito Steyerl, and connected to their show IMAGE IS A VIRUS // ON ACTIVISM, conversation covers the possibilities and difficulties of activism in the internet age.
Steyerl herself opens Left To Our Own Devices that same week. It’s her first solo gallery show in Germany, which is surprising in light of the artist’s considerable success and the very fact she’s representing the country at this year’s 56th Venice Biennale. Steyerl’s ‘Liquidity Inc.’ (2014) screens in a dimly lit space scattered with comfortable fat boys, along with other recent videos as part of KOW’sOne Year of Filmmakers program. Partly fictional, the seven chapter performance lecture ‘Duty Free Art’ (2015) explores the development of Syria’s cultural landscape that never was due to civil war, along with issues of Free Port Fine Art storage services. Popping up in Switzerland, Luxembourg and most recently in Asia these free trade zones create platforms for art to be sold and exchanged, tax-free and behind locked doors.
Devoted to the area east of the former Berlin wall and all the way to China, Dschinn and Dschuice is the result of Slavs and Tatars’ ongoing investigation into the potential of language. ‘Alphabet Abdal’ (2015) is a woven carpet, elevated from the ground, connecting the two rooms of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler. The Arabic characters on the carpet seem to be running in the same direction, heading straight to the bowl of bubbling red water in the adjoining room. The fountain, ‘Reverse Joy’ (Kha) (2012), addresses the role of a never-ending protest movement, inspired by celebration during the month of Muharram, that this year coincidentally started the same week as the Berlin Art Week.
Curated by Franziska Sophie Wildförster of Vienna’s Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Abjects group exhibition at Import Projects features new work by Eloïse Bonneviot, Emily Jones, Paul Kneale, Yuri Pattison and Andrew Norman Wilson.Future Gallery, which until recently shared a location with the Charlottenberg space, uses its old location on Mansteinstrasse for Matt Goerzen’s Low Floor, No Ceiling. One hundred dollar computers from the One Laptop per Child initiative are placed facing down on the Future II floor. Thick threads lead from the computers to sensitive fabrics attached near the ceiling, parachutes. The same threads lead to a child-like drawing, connecting those objects together. On the wall hangs a drawn print of networks, where connections have been made from computers, to clouds, to users. There’s something that’s dysfunctional though, as the press release mentions that the computers were highly secured, limiting the user’s permission and privileges.
Based on intercity friendship, Aaron Graham and Bryan Morello‘s Send Cycle plays with the internet that enabled their unofficial collaboration begun in 2009. With each artist based in NY and LA respectively, this communication becomes central to the joint exhibition at Neumeister Bar-Am. Along with images of their own set up scenes and material found online framed on the gallery’s walls, Graham and Morello construct a miniature apartment. Pixeled domestic images cover the walls and various objects are situated in the diorama, a microphone along with a glass of water is in one of them. Another mike is situated in a lit up corner, placed on an irregular pile of clothes, perhaps to emphasize the ongoing conversation circulating between the two artists.
In the same building, another space has been establishing itself during the last year, with The Composing Rooms opening its doors to the Windoes group exhibition. Mostly two dimensional works from Harm Van den Dorpel, Body by Body, Sofia Leiby, Miltos Manetas and more are attached to a fine wooden square-like structure in the space, with the placement of the works being set to change throughout the exhibition. It’s part of an art week the extends beyond just Berlin borders, with images, artworks and ideas circulating internationally, in spite of themselves and with the sort of resilience that a group like Avatara Plenara Zeitstipendia would hope for. **
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.
Kate Cooper‘s RIGGED, spread over two floors of Berlin’s KW Institute for Contemporary Art from September 14 to February 12, was not designed for comfort. I wrote about it earlier, comparing the effect of Cooper’s CGI-based exhibition with Marguerite Humeau‘s show Horizons at Import Projects, also running during Berlin Art Week. Cooper won the Schering Stiftung Art Award for her work, which takes the techniques of CGI, commercial photography, and post-production to look at the status the female body has occupied in the history of digital image technology. “In our post-representational world,” Cooper writes, “where images are dislocated and free-floating across networks – how can we renegotiate an agency to images, imbue them with power, make them work for us?”
Months later on May 2, Rachel de Joode‘s solo exhibition, Surfaces, opened at Neumeister Bar-Am in Berlin, along with Cooper’s new photographic piece, Care Work, produced specifically for the gallery’s Der Würfel 80 centimetre cubed project space. The two artists’ approaches couldn’t be more different. Whereas Cooper takes painful steps away from the natural, de Joode’s exhibition is a kind of return to the natural—or, at the very least, an examination of it. Interrogating a “contemporary agency of ‘things’ and how we engage with them”, de Joode focuses in on the German concept of ‘Zwischendinge’—”a between of things”. Examining the connections between her skin and the clay she moulds, between various objects and their photographic representations, between the organic and the artificial, she argues that “all these ‘Things’ and their ‘Betweens’ have equal agency”. **