The Composing Rooms

Berlin Art Week 2016, Sep 13 -18

12 September 2016

The fifth Berlin Art Week is taking over the German city this week, running from September 13 to 18 at various locations throughout Berlin.

Over 20 institutional exhibitions, project spaces and private collections will take place alongside various line-ups of screenings, talks and performances as well as art awards.

Highlights include:

— The Printage group show at Frontviews.

— Jan Groover’s The Virtue of Balance at KLEMM’S.

 Constant Dullaart’s second solo exhibition Synthesising the Preferred Inputs at Future Gallery.

— Trisha Baga’s L O A F at Société, as well as ssaliva’s 4s4 12-inch launch on September 15.

— A new production by Anne Imhof Angst II: Eröffnung der Ausstellung-als-Oper / Opening of the exhibition-as-opera at the historic hall of Hamburger Banhof.

— Berlin Community Radio’s 3 Year Birthday Club of the Month at KitKat Club.

— Dena Yago’s A car ride driven topless… at Sandy Brown.

— A curated selection of work from UdK students at at Galerie Burster.

— Brussel-based collective HC will perform Incidentan intervention for one evening at KUNSTSAELE Berlin.

— Ry David Bradley will present first solo exhibition in Germany, DADABASE hosted by The Composing Rooms.

— Marianne Vlaschits’s *a disturbance travelling through a medium* at DUVE Berlin.

— Jo-ey Tang’s Like An Intruder, The Speaker Removes His Cap, Walking In The Air With His Hands To The Ground at Porcina, Chert, Berlin.

— Alona Rodeh presented by Grimmuseum as a part of ABC Berlin Contemporary 2016, along with artists from Ellis King, König Galerie, Galerie Koal, Kraupa-Tuskany Ziegler, Galerie Neu, Société, Sprüth Magers, Galeria Stereo and more.

Visit the Berlin Gallery Week website for details.**

Ry David Bradley, 'Dadabase' (2016). Promotional image. Courtesy of artist + The Composing Rooms, Berlin.
Ry David Bradley, ‘Dadabase’ (2016). Promotional image. Courtesy of artist + The Composing Rooms, Berlin.
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R.Lord @ The Composing Rooms, May 28 – Jul 16

27 May 2016

R.Lord is presenting solo exhibition Safeword at Berlin’s The Composing Rooms, opening May 28 and running to July 16.

For the LA-based artist’s first solo exhibition outside of the Californian city, Lord will be presenting a series of charcoal and gesso works applied directly to unprimed canvas. With titles like ‘Quarantine: Earth and The Politician’, the pieces resembling “left-field cartoon panels” will draw on conspiracy theories and occult symbols, systems of belief, in an approach that exists somewhere between painting and drawing.

Unlike Lord’s earlier work —like the Angry Bird Paintings series or Documental exhibition at Dem Passwords —that painstakingly translates digital images to canvas, this new approach for Safeworld is “devoid of traditional painting methods; of perspective, vanishing point, colour and texture”.

In perhaps a sly nudge to the popular pulp erotic fiction novel, Lord says about the exhibition to come, “I am attempting to paint the innumerable shades of grey between the poles of spiritual and scientific discourse, a grey area oft labeled ‘conspiracy’.”

See the FB event page for details.**

Rachel Lord, 'Stock Certificate' (2014). Image courtesy the artist.
Rachel Lord, ‘Stock Certificate’ (2014). Image courtesy the artist.
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Estrid Lutz + Emile Mold @ The Composing Rooms, Apr 16 – May 21

19 April 2016

Paris-based artists Estrid Lutz and Emile Mold will present collaborative exhibition I Dusts at Berlin’s The Composing Rooms, opening April 16 and running May 21.

The artists, who have been working collaboratively since 2010, will show three collages made up of photos taken from their car windows and 3D-modelled objects, as well as three sculptures made of mesh guard, foams, and materials like carbon fibre.

The press release for I Dusts curated by Ché Zara Blomfield describes the work as a crash, with materials and remains resembling a “bombed high-tech public relations office”, complete with sculpted human parts. Lutz and Mold’s work extends the metaphor of crash to mash and mesh in their dealing with the internet’s mashup culture driven by a “desire for a forward motion”, whereby they rather aestheticise destruction than the clean and sleek over-tones of much of digital culture.

See the FB event page for more details.**

Estrid Lutz + Emile Mold, 'Its Still Life Without You (Night Glean)' (2015). Courtesy the artist
Estrid Lutz + Emile Mold, ‘Its Still Life Without You (Night Glean)’ (2015). Courtesy the artists.



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Nina Cristante @ The Composing Rooms, Feb 20 – Apr 2

20 February 2016

Nina Cristante is presenting a solo exhibition called United at Berlin’s The Composing Rooms, opening February 20 and running to April 2.

This will be the London-based artist’s first in the German capital and will feature posters and sculpture representative of her interests in the body “as site of reconstruction and performance of friendship”.

The exhibition will feature A0 posters of black and white images of couples doing acroyoga poses set to ocean landscapes, as a reference to both gift shop posters of artist reproductions and the advertising and propaganda of Flyposting.

Along with familiar soft toy character sculptures, the Zao Dha Diet and fitness povera purveyor again places necessity and utility in the same ambivalent space with art and lifestyle.

See the FB event page for details.**

Nina Cristante, 'Couples Goals' (2015).
Nina Cristante, ‘Couples Goals’ (2015).
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An Art Week amble through Berlin + Vienna

30 September 2015

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 GCC art 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 contemporary art 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) by Lizzie 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 RogersColumbine Library artist’s book and other objects.   

Hito Steyerl, Left To Our Own Devices (2015). Exhibition view. Photo by Ladislav Zajac. Courtesy KOW, Berlin
Hito Steyerl, Left To Our Own Devices (2015). Exhibition view. Photo by Ladislav Zajac. Courtesy KOW, Berlin.

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’s One 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.

Slavs and Tatars, Dschinn and Dschuice (2015) Photo by Hans-Georg Gaul. Courtesy Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler.
Slavs and Tatars, Dschinn and Dschuice (2015). Photo by Hans-Georg Gaul. Courtesy Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler.

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.

Aaron Graham + Bryan Morello, Send Cycle (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Neumeister Bar-Am.
Aaron Graham + Bryan Morello, Send Cycle (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Neumeister Bar-Am.

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. **

Exhibition photos, top right.

The Fourth Berlin Art Week was on across spaces in the German city, running September 15 to 20, 2015.

Header image: Kate Cooper (2015) Exhibition view, Courtesy Art Berlin Contemporary.

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IBN – BLUE CLOUD  / 1991 @ The Composing Rooms, Aug 23

22 August 2014

The Composing Rooms returns with IBN – BLUE CLOUD / 1991, a composite talk, screening and book launch on August 23 at 7pm.

While a video recording of BLUE CLOUD – a ’91 live broadcast performance by Dirk Paesmans of clouds floating listlessly through the sky accompanied by a bulletin board system – screens in the background, a simultaneous panel discussion will take place on the concept of net art.

Speakers include Karen Archey, curator of the Art Post-Internet group exhibition at UCCA, Paesmans of the JODI two-man video and WWW art collective, Berlin-based artist Niko Princen, as well as the technology writer + artist Renee Carmichael.

Concurrent with the screening and panel discussion is the launch of BlueCloud – Live Transmission, a hard-back 160-page book created by Paesmans and published by THISISAMAGAZINE, and consisting of a collection of screen images of cryptic WWW language set against the backdrop of swirling blue clouds taken from the BLUE CLOUD broadcast.

See The Composing Rooms event page for details. **


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‘basic linguistic services’ @ The Composing Rooms

7 August 2014

The Composing Rooms curatorial project is hosting weekly ‘basic linguistic services’, a language-focused art project by artist Rainer Ganahl begun in 1993.

The weekly free linguistic services will take place at various locations across Berlin during August, including The Composing Rooms, Berlin ‘showroom’.

Ganahl’s initiative follows in the footsteps of other Composing Rooms projects, including Tea Ceremony with Ready Mades by Mai Ueda, massages by Eternal Internet Brotherhood alum, Anastasios Logothetis and a project hosted by Jesse Darling with Hito Steyerl’s class from UdK.

The Composing Rooms was founded by curator and fellow #ETINTERBRO alum, Ché Zara Blomfield, and is currently exhibiting multiple works by artists Anne Speier and Keith Allyn Spencer, as well single works from Vajiko Chachkhiani, Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze and Brandon Andrew.

Sign up and see The Composing Rooms newsletter for details. **

Tea Ceremony with Ready Mades by Mai Ueda. Installation photos courtesy The Composing Rooms.
Tea Ceremony with Ready Mades by Mai Ueda. Installation photos by Adrianna Glaviano, image courtesy The Composing Rooms.

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