Ashley Berlin

A female science fiction with Barbara Kapusta’s Empathetic Creatures at Ashley Berlin, Jan 13 – 24

12 January 2018

Barbara Kapusta presents solo exhibition Empathetic Creatures at Ashley Berlin, opening January 13 and running to January 24. 

Curated by Cathrin Mayer, the installation will feature new sculptures, a film and a text that explores ‘female science fiction’ and “the correspondence between body and speech.” The opening night will also include a performance by Kapusta alongside producer fauna.

Embracing the vulnerable and the diverse, the exhibition will explore an ‘alternative politics’ played out through four characters who make their way through a post apocalyptic setting. 

Visit the Ashley Berlin website for details.**

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Elif Saydam traverses the narrative of humour and fear in No R.E.M. at Ashley Berlin, Sep 15 -24

14 September 2017

Elif Saydam presents solo exhibition No R.E.M. at Ashley Berlin opening September 15 to 24.

The Berlin/Izmir-based artist, writer and performer often works in painting and performance exploring the relationship between humour and fear.

The upcoming show will look at language through fiction, theatre and painting to “perform conflicting narratives and traverse the tension found in irreconcilable difference.” On September 24 Saydam will also have a ‘Studio Sunday’ where she will present Virginia Woolf’s ‘StreetEssay’ (1930) with an accompanying group discussion.

Visit Ashley Berlin for details.**

Courtesy Elif Saydam
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Physical + mental ailments + the disease of the artist herself in Lauryn Youden’s ‘Kunstsommer Detox’ for Sacred Serpent Sessions, Sep 1

30 August 2017

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.

Youden is a Canadian Berlin-based artist and co-director of Ashley Berlin who was a awarded the Berlin Art Prize, along with Stine Marie Jacobsen and Benedikt Partenheimer in 2016. Her session will explore “physical and mental ailments and disease of the artist herself and all participants.”

Visit the FB event page for details.**

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Detoxing after Armageddon for Alex Heilbron’s Scent Description for a Young Woman at Ashley Berlin, Apr 27 – May 20

26 April 2017

Alex Heilbron is presenting Scent Description for a Young Woman at Ashley Berlin, opening April 27 and running to May 20.

The press release includes a text describing the textured and tangible world around us in microscopic detail by Jenny Gagalka:

“…and a feedback loop. A suite of fans oscillates. Airborne liquid solidifies. Paint dries.
A fruity floral scent, the smallest particles, pigments, spread with hair onto all-natural fibers wrapped around a wooden support. Then I fill the tub halfway, then riding with my surfboard, surfboard, surfboard, graining on that wood, graining, graining on that wood. A misunderstanding.”

On April 30 and part of the Studio Sunday series, Heilbron will also hold a reading called ‘The End of the World, Detoxification and Farming in the 17th Century Competence+ Quality = safety’ with Klara KayserTaking the form of notes, poems and found texts, the pair will “attempt to draw correlations between detoxification, harvesting in the 17th century, and the imminent Armageddon.”

See the Ashley Berlin website for details.**

Alex Heilbron, ‘Stinky Rose Gets the Hit’ (2016) Acrylic on Canvas. Courtesy the artist + Ashley Berlin
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Hats off @ Ashley Berlin, May 13 – May 26

13 May 2016

Kris Abdai is presenting the Hats off exhibition in collaboration with Matt Hill (aka Umberto) and Kineret Louri at Berlin’s Ashley, opening May 13 and running to May 26.

Closing their Winter 2016 Residency Program, the gallery will be transformed into a theatre consisting of two cinemas that operate as a stage. Live scenes will be presented throughout the exhibition featuring a film in each room: ‘Don’t Look at Me’ directed by Abdai and scored by Hill and ‘Enjoy Your Voice!’ directed by Kineret Louri.

Berlin-based artist Abdai works across time-based media, including sound video and performance with particular focus on “the face and the close-up”. Hill’s Umberto project is based in Los Angeles, releasing music on labels like Not Not Fun, Death Waltz Originals, and Permanent Records, while Louri is a London-based Israeli artist working with collage, moving image, sound and drawing.

See the FB event page for details.**

Kris Abdai, POP GOES THE REAL (2015). Video still. Courtesy the artist.
Kris Abdai, ‘POP GOES THE REAL’ (2015). Video still. Courtesy the artist.
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Hello @ Ashley Berlin, Apr 27

25 April 2016

Berlin’s Ashley will host Hello, an evening of readings by four artists on April 28.

Starting at 8pm, artists Rosa Aiello, Hanne LippardMegan Rooney, and Jenna Sutela will read in the project space nestled in Berlin’s Kottbusser Tor area.

Hello comes at a moment in contemporary art where artists’ words are being offered as work not just in and amongst shows and press releases —indeed, there are none with this event —but in their own right, read out, and settling in poetry zines.

Berlin-Helsinki based Sutela seeks to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, while London-based Rooney, who aqnb interviewed back in 2014 and who was a part of Cell Project Space‘s sets of poetry event, works between fiction and memory, or, reflection as she puts it.

See the Ashley Berlin event page for (limited) details.**


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Mirak Jamal @ Ashley Berlin reviewed

22 February 2016

Mirak Jamal’s my dear friends in Berlin running at Berlin’s Ashley from January 30 to February 19 is the first in a series of hybrid exhibitions in which the boundaries between solo and group shows are reconfigured. The series, entitled, Intercalating the Drift, will also include works by George Rippon and Michele Di Menna, but it is Jamal’s work that sets the series in motion.

In my dear friends in Berlin, the artist’s pieces are placed flush with the walls and represent a varied range of imagery and means of creation. On the north one of the gallery, a scratched hazy photographic image of a dog urinating marks its territory near a rectangular piece that evokes and sublimates Malevichian geometries. The black of Jamal’s rectangle has nothing like the assertive clarity of Russian painter’s black square, yet there is a deeper geometric dynamic it evokes: every black square is a black rectangle, but not every black rectangle is a black square. 

Mirak Jamal, my dear friends in Berlin (2016). Installation view. Photo by Hans-Georg Gaul. Courtesy Ashley, Berlin.
Mirak Jamal, my dear friends in Berlin (2016). Installation view. Photo by Hans-Georg Gaul. Courtesy Ashley, Berlin.

Along the western wall of the space, the works continue their games of perception and logic. Another one based on a photo, in this case, an image of peaceable yellow balconies, is placed considerably higher than eye level, forcing the viewer to look up. This kind of direction suggests that Jamal is acutely concerned with the dynamics of space both within and beyond the gallery. The viewer performs the ritual of directing their eyes upwards to see the top of a building while inside one. Such conceptual satires address as much our ways of seeing as the content we see.

The content of Jamal’s images are not limited to photographic references. There is a Daisy Age frieze on the eastern wall of the space that shimmers above a metal plate along the wall. Its offhand expressiveness is underwritten by its very materiality. The solidity of the etched flowers and the industrial colour scheme the work integrates again subvert contextual and semiotic expectation. These are not the flowers you find in nature, but they are also not the flowers that are frozen in their transient beauty from art history; they are flowers of pure signification, and, therefore, resist any modalities of domesticity that floral wall patterns may evoke. The material dialogues the works embody feel like, perhaps, their most immediately affecting quality, but, ultimately these works constitute the ‘background’ of the forthcoming Rippon and Di Menna shows, and so they have a kind of proleptic melancholy as well. Jamal’s flowers will not easily fade into the decor as other works appear, but the consideration Jamal has brought to the placement of that and other works will set a formidable challenge for the next two participants in Intercalating the Drift. The territory on which they will work is now forcefully defined, in a sense, by an urban geography of Jamal’s design.**

Exhibition photos, top right.

Mirak Jamal’s my dear friends in Berlin was on at Berlin’s Ashley, running January 30 to February 19, 2016.

Header image: Mirak Jamal, my dear friends in Berlin (2016). Installation view. Courtesy Ashley, Berlin.

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Maximilian Schmoetzer @ Ashley Berlin, Jan 20

19 January 2016

Bird of the Year 2022 is a video and installation by Maximilian Schmoetzer that it will be presented at Ashley Berlin on January 20.

Like the press release of Schmoetzer’s recent solo show, A rare bird in Estonia at Kunstihoone in Tallinn, the accompanying text for Bird of the Year 2022 points to his use of narrative and metaphor to weave together and describe small and ungraspable moments.

It talks about elation, anticipation, boredom, imagination and being awarded “Bird of the Year, 2022”.

“A skydive across the English Channel, a leap off Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, a plunge from the Taipei Tower in Taiwan, or a free fall from the edge of space, like any of these, this was a grand drift migration of the mind.”

The work was also included as part of Transmediale‘s Vorspiel 2016 programme in Berlin.

See the FB Event for more details**

Maximilian Schmoetzer, 'Preliminary Material for 2022' (2015). Video Still.
Maximilian Schmoetzer, ‘Preliminary Material for 2022’ (2015). Video Still.
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Veins of Gypsum Mortar (2015) exhibition photos

4 December 2015

Veins of Gypsum Mortar ran at Ashley Berlin between July 17 to August 1 2015. Artists Viktor Briestensky and Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw invited several other artists to show with them in a dimly lit room full of shadows in the space formally known as Other Projects. The title presents an altering thought that the part (mortar) that holds and seals things (gypsum) together is maybe the things themselves: too, or instead of. Gypsum is a material found present in chalk, alabaster and other forms of plaster. Many of the works in the small internal room seem as though they have swallowed chalk.

Leslie Kulesh‘s piece, ‘T.A.H. Temporary Autonomous Home (Survival Pillow Set)’ (2015) is made and therefore protected with PET film, a transparent polyester film which blocks the following waves: thermal, micro, and electro magnetic -as the materials list on Ashley Berlin’s website describes. There are two pillows. They are very close to each other, held together by a strap that makes them sit back to back. The foam pieces on their insides are visible – each granule.

Adam Shaw, 'Yucca Rose' (2015) Install view. Trevor Good, Courtesy Ashley Berlin.
Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw, ‘Yucca Rose’ (2015) Install view. Trevor Good, Courtesy Ashley Berlin.

On to one of the stone walls in the room Berlin-based artist Marco Bruzzone sticks soft, barbecue-sized marshmallows into the shape of a ‘T’ or a cork-screw or a drill and its called ‘get out fast’ (2015). Andrea Lukic shows three short recent videos -including the haunting ‘Christine Nicole’ (2014) -all wrapped up in in a square monitor, which is all wrapped up in transparent plastic and is also a place for Parisian artist Antoine Renard‘s piece of ground beef (‘untitled’, 2015) to sit.

Artist and co-founder of New York’s Tomorrow Gallery, Aleksander Hardashnakov shows several small drawings pasted to the walls and interior piping, Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw’s ‘Yucca Rose’ and ‘Beyond Quartzite’ are also on the walls, coming out like small cliffs on a bigger cliff face. Viktor Briestensky presents some masks, which also come out from the wall – or the weird melting shadow shape carved into the wall directly behind them. For ‘untitled (hood)’/ ‘untitled (mask)’ 2015 Briestensky swaps facial features for metal grates and eyes for silver foil goggles. 

With no press release to speak of Veins of Gypsum Mortar is instead made up of casts, hollow things, lamps, lighting and things used as padding or stuffing -marshmallows included, maybe. **

Exhibition photos, top right.

The Veins of Gypsum Mortar group exhibition was on at Berlin’s Ashley from July 16 – August 1.

Header image: Veins of Gypsum Mortar (2015). Exhibition view. Trevor Good, Courtesy Ashley, Berlin.

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