Letter from Berlin
Welcome to the Letter from Berlin!
This month we take Ann Veronica Janssens’ two exhibitions in the south of France and her project at the Panthéon in Paris as point of departure to present exhibitions in France, Italy and at the Adriatic Coast, as summer traveling season has begun. We also include recently opened exhibitions in Berlin and hope you will join us next week for the opening of Summer ’22, a group exhibition with works by Sarah Buckner, Ann Veronica Janssens, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Cemile Sahin, Julia Scher, Sun Yitian and Tao Hui. Ugo Rondinone's major exhibition at the Schirn in Frankfurt concludes our review. A podcast recommendation, Liam Gillick on the Bonn exhibition Color as Program, and a selection of recent books round up this month’s Letter from Berlin.
We hope you have a wonderful summer! - Read here
Now Representing – Sojourner Truth ParsonsEsther Schipper
Esther Schipper is delighted to announce representation of Sojourner Truth Parsons.
"I am looking at art through my heart. Maybe that's selfish, but I want to find something I didn't know was there."
—Sojourner Truth Parsons, 2016
Jac Leirner, Us Horizon – Opening Saturday March 12, 2 – 8 pmEsther Schipper March 12 – April 14, 2022 www.estherschipper.com
March 12 – April 14, 2022
Opening Saturday March 12, 2–8 pm
Esther Schipper is pleased to present Us Horizon, Jac Leirner’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Us Horizon will include a new work from Leirner’s acclaimed series constructed from ensembles of plastic shopping bags, and a new installation made of found numbered markers. Her conceptually rigorous and formally beautiful works draw on a wide array of art historical and formal influences, as well as embracing the transgressive legacies of Dada, Constructivism, Pop and Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, and Punk, among others.
Hito Steyerl’s Digital Visions by Merve Erme in The New Yorker
The New Yorker
Hito Steyerl’s Digital Visions
By Merve Erme
Read the full article here
'It would be wrong to claim that I first met the German artist Hito Steyerl on such-and-such day, insuch-and-such city, where the weather was bright or blustery, and that she arrived suitably dressed for this season or the next. It is more accurate to say that she simply appeared while I was waiting in the atrium of the Communist Party court, under a spectacular red banner from which the faces of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin bore down on me. One minute I was alone, and the next she was there—all yellow and smooth, except for the thick black cubes of her hands and her large, impassive face. Four black cats trailed her, in place of her shadow. “I spawned a lot of them, so they have multiplied,” she murmured. Suddenly, a kitten wobbled out from between her legs. “I made a baby!” she cried. When I tried to balance a puffer fish on my own blocky hand to feed thekitten, I pressed the wrong button, and kicked it instead.
Kicking kittens is, I believe, usually discouraged, but in Minecraft, the sandbox video game in which players extract raw materials—water, wood, sugarcane, coal ore, gold, lapis lazuli—and use them to craft three-dimensional Legolands, the stakes of violence seem lower. The game is “a very good metaphor for how platforms really work,” Steyerl told me. Platforms seduce their users into performing the unpaid work of content creation—uploading the texts, photographs, videos, and music that are the raw material of the digital world—while mining their metadata to create newmarkets for corporate and military surveillance. “Many of the other platforms are quite devious,” she said. “We don’t really know whether your face is being used to train facial-recognition algorithms or something like that.” In the digital economy, free labor tenders a self-replenishing vein of gold for capital’s pickaxe.'
– Merve Erme for The New Yorker, February 2022
Letter from Berlin – February 7, 2022
Welcome to our first Letter from Berlin of 2022
We want to look ahead to the first half of this new year, introducing briefly our upcoming exhibitions in Berlin, art fair presentations and share with you a selection of exciting upcoming exhibitions by our artists.
Then join us for a visit to the Whoniverse: Simon Fujiwara's solo exhibition Once Upon a Who? takes a deep dive into the world of Who the Bær, the artist's original, jeans-clad cartoon figure with the giant lolling pink tongue and a voracious appetite for images! Discover their world in our video introduction and the dedicated OVR. Read Fujiwara's interview with artnet. And stay tuned for a live zoom tour with the artist on February 12!
We hope you enjoy our Letter from Berlin!
Thomas Demand – Centro BotínCentro Botín, Santander October 9, 2021 – March 6 2022 www.centrobotin.org
Thomas Demand presents Mundo de Papel at Centro Botín, Santander. The exhibition is conceived as an installation combining photographs not previously shown and others selected by the artist and Udo Kittelmann, curator of the exhibition.
For Mundo de Papel, Demand has designed an entire simulated urban landscape, composed of eight pavilions surrounded by wallpaper installations. Each pavilion hangs from the ceiling and serves as a display for his photographs and video works dating from 1996 to the most recent from 2021.
Subjects include Whitney Houston’s last meal at the Beverly Hilton Hotel; the control room at Fukushima’s nuclear power plant; the recent Diamond Princess cruise ship stuck in quarantine; a pond with waterlilies like an impressionist painting; a red bow glowing in the sun or discarded plastic cups stuck on a mesh fence. Each scene is reconstructed with paper and cardboard using intricate folding and cutting techniques. After the model is built, he photographs them and discards the objects he created leaving only a visual narrative.
Accompanying the exhibition will be a unique pop-up book including an essay by Nobel Prize-winning author Mario Vargas Llosa and with three-dimensional representations of the pavilions, produced by Thomas Demand and co-edited in collaboration with Fundación Botín and London-based publishers Mack Books. Demand will lead a special workshop in Santander during the exhibition.
Julia Scher – MAMCO, GenevaMAMCO, Geneva October 6, 2021 – January 30, 2022 www.mamco.ch
The work of Julia Scher, which first appeared in the 1980s, is noteworthy for its systematic use of surveillance techniques, particularly CCTV. Scher’s technical background provided her with in-depth knowledge of a range of surveillance systems. She worked at a well-known security firm for a period of time before setting up her own company, Safe and Secure Productions.
Rosa Barba’s Open-Air Cinema and Premiere: Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage, 2021UN Buffer Zone, Deryneia, Cyprus Friday September 10, 2021, 8:30 pm
Esther Schipper is is pleased to announce the inaugural ceremony of Rosa Barba’s Open-Air Cinema and premiere of her film Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage, 2021.
Inside the Outset is a project that consists of two parts: a film and a long-term open-air cinema installation within the 180-kilometer UN-controlled "Green Line Buffer Zone" in Cyprus. This area divides the island between North and South, and forms the starting point of Rosa Barba’s artistic intervention.
The project started seven years ago when Barba was invited by Point Centre for Contemporary Art in Nicosia and by the curator Mirjam Varadinis to Cyprus and proposed a cinema sculpture for the Buffer Zone. The inaugural ceremony of the Open-Air Cinema will take place in the presence of His Excellency the Ambassador of Italy to Cyprus on September 10, 2021, with the projection of Barba's film Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage along with films selected by the project’s Advisory Board of artists from each side of the Green Line and beyond. Visitors from both sides of the island will be able to enter the Buffer Zone, which is usually closed to civilians.
In a recent article for The Brooklyn Rail, Rosa Barba discusses this project as well as her other current projects – Read it here
Esther Schipper is pleased to announce the representation of Sarah Buckner
Sarah Buckner was born in 1984 in Frankfurt, Germany. She studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Palermo and at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Buckner lives and works in Cologne.
Sarah Buckner's image world is inspired by multiple sources: real-life encounters, books, films and imagination. She has developed an intuitive and fluid approach that transforms these impressions through her material practice. Her works distil narratives into images full of mystery, their atmospheric scenes resonating with emotional potency—the exact nature of which remains elusive, even to the artist, she says.
As Meret Held has written: “Between the concrete and the non-concrete, between the said and unsaid, she forms pictorial worlds that come very close to that of the dream. Like the dream, Sarah Buckner's paintings are determined by a mixture of (past) experienced, (present) acting and (forward-looking) premonition. We are taken from the real space into the dream world by certain, peculiarly present picture elements, but especially by the materiality of the paintings themselves, the oil paint, which carries the trace of painting in itself and with it the liveliness of the painter herself.”
In 2020, Sarah Buckner was awarded the Residence NRW+ grant, and at the conclusion of the residency period presented her work in the solo exhibition Head over Heels at the Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster in 2021.
In 2021, Buckner's work was included in Esther Schipper's group exhibition L'Invitation au voyage. Buckner’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Europe and the US. Among her participations in institutional exhibitions are: Salon des Amateurs, Tramps, London (2018), Lia Pasqualino Noto / Casa Studio, Manifesta 12, Palermo (2018); 1001 Bild, Villa de Bank, Enschede (2018), Eggy and Seedy, Munchies, London (2017), Petto, L’Ascensore, Palermo (2015), Beyond the Stage, Canongate Venture Edinburgh (2013).
Click here for German text
steirischer herbst ’21 with Tino Sehgal and Hito Steyerlsteirischer herbst ’21, Graz and Styria
Letter from Berlin – August 20, 2021
Welcome to our Letter from Berlin!
This weekend Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie will reopen after being closed for nearly six years for renovation. Under the title Mies in Mind many Berlin galleries are celebrating with projects related to the architect Mies van der Rohe and his famous structure. Esther Schipper is presenting a special screening of Rosa Barba’s Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage.
Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence - Online Viewing RoomThrough August 28, 2021 www.estherschipper.com
Esther Schipper is pleased to present an Online Viewing Room dedicated to Etienne Chambaud’s exhibition Inexistence, the artist’s first with the gallery. The works included in the exhibitions are a scent and a sound installation, a sculptural work generating a pattern of temperatures, three light installations, glass works, bronze sculptures and modified panel paintings.
Visit our OVR here
The Online Viewing Room features an exhibition film in which Chambaud takes you through the exhibition.
Simon Fujiwara, Who the Bær - Online Viewing RoomThrough July 14, 2021 www.estherschipper.com
Esther Schipper and Dvir Gallery are pleased to present parallel Online Viewing Rooms on the occasion of Simon Fujiwara's solo exhibition at Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam (on view through September 12, 2021).
Visit our OVR here.
For his first solo exhibition in the Netherlands, Simon Fujiwara presents works from his most recent project Who the Bær. Developed during the lockdown in the spring of 2020, Fujiwara created a unique cartoon character in the form of a denim wearing bear with a golden heart and an uncontrollably long tongue, that seemingly has no gender, race, sexuality or even a clear design. Without an identity, Who exists only as an image, a status that allows them the freedom to roam a world of online images, appropriating characters, identities, aesthetics and guises in a greedy search for a "self".
Who the Bær is also at the centre of a major solo exhibition currently presented at Fondazione Prada in Milan, through September 27.
Who the Bær can also be followed via their official Instagram account, @whothebaer.
Letter from Berlin – July 2, 2021
Welcome to the Letter from Berlin!
This month the Letter from Berlin begins with our exhibitions by Etienne Chambaud and Rosa Barba opening at the gallery. Please join us tomorrow, Saturday July 3, 2-8 pm.
And of course, we hope you will visit our pop-up exhibition, En la casa de Marquès, in Palma de Mallorca beginning July 12, on view through July 31.
Letter from Berlin – May 28, 2021
Welcome to the Letter from Berlin!
This Letter from Berlin begins with our current exhibition L'Invitation au voyage. The focus here will be on the notion of travel, which is one of the unifying themes of the exhibition.
As exhibitions are opening and re-opening, we present a number of projects - Read the Letter from Berlin here
Spotlight: David Claerbout
For our Spotlight this week we present David Claerbout's Die reine Notwendigkeit/The Pure Necessity, 2016.
Die reine Notwendigkeit/The Pure Necessity is a work by David Claerbout, based on the classic 1967 animated adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book.
The 50-minute-long film follows the tradition of the frame-by-frame animation, and focuses almost exclusively on the animals: the panther, the bear, the snake, among others.
Over a period of 3 years, David Claerbout and a team of professional artists painstakingly redrew the frames of the original movie by hand, one by one, and then assembled them to create an entirely new, lifeless animation—a contradiction in terms—which stands in raw contrast to the lively and rhythmical original.
Spotlight: General Idea
For our Spotlight this week we present General Idea's, S/HE, 1976.
On the occasion of Frieze New York 2021 (May 5–9) and our solo presentation with General Idea in collaboration with Mitchell-Innes & Nash we are pleased to present General Idea's S/HE as part of our Spotlight series.
Playing with gender, the two groups of five black-and-white photographs show two models, one male, one female, both professional fashion models from General Idea’s circle of friends. Each model illustrates five roles more usually assigned as male or female: Celebrity, Architect, Muse, Olympian, and Empress.
Spotlight: Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
For our Spotlight this week we present Daniel Steegmann Mangrané's Summer Cloud, 2017.
The work is from Daniel Steegmann Mangrané's series of brightly colored aluminium curtains with differently shaped passageways made from Kriska aluminium chains. Widely used in Spain, Kriska curtains can function as flexible screens for entryways. They are light, often brightly colored and make a characteristic metallic sound when the chains touch.
The forms cut into the curtains relate to the artist's idea of "model forms", familiar but non-specific shapes that both trigger our imagination and leave us unable to identify them. The "continuation" of the aluminium chains below the openings appears counterintuitive, adding an element of surprise. Oscillating between appearing as diaphanous screen and semi-solid object, the curtains are both indications of a transition (meant to be traversed, marking the end of one space and the beginning of the next) as well as sculptural objects, existing in a hybrid state between corporeality and immateriality.
Spotlight: Nathan Carter
This week for our Spotlight we present Nathan Carter’s Rosa Rosaghetti in the Red Anemones Garden at Rougemont Castle., 2021,Syldavian Sallies née Succory at Snowdonia Llyn Gardens, Dolwyddelan., 2021, and
Royal Convulvulus Clementine at The Alnwick Castle Poison Garden., 2021.
Nathan Carter’s exuberant paintings continue a theme of playfully mixing abstract and organic shapes to create fantastical botanical compositions, named for flowers and recalling their distinct shapes. Painted in acrylic enamel, the works focus on flowers in the process of blossoming. Thus, among the tightly intertwined forms reminiscent of leaves and vines, are also stamen and stigma, evoking the complex reproductive apparatus of plants. The intersexual botanical beings are curious proliferations, spiky prideful panorama, petals, stamen and ovule tentatively intertwining and coupling in a self-stimulating dance. Emphasizing the phantasmagorical element of these constructions, they can also include hearts or a row of rainbow spikes, or, as Carter calls them: “visible deadly warnings to all away supporters and dream killers."
The titles of this series of works contain both scientific and common or fictional references to plants, paired with names or emotive qualifiers.
Spotlight: Karin Sander
This week for our Spotlight we present Karin Sander's Patina Painting 187/12, In The Garden During Building Renovation, Berlin-Zehlendorf, 2018.⠀
Patina Paintings (Gebrauchsbilder) are standard, mass-produced canvases in various formats that the artist has placed in specific locations for a certain time period, or given to collectors and institutions for their own use over a limited period of time.
As Harald Welzer noted in his text on Karin Sander's work “From the moment of its acquisition it is left to them whether they install such a work in their sports car or leave it in their basement or carry it about as a constant travel accessory (like a toiletries bag). In any case the canvas will be covered with some kind of a coat of dust, dirt, mould, notes or whatever else crosses the path of the wok and its owner. These works are also self-portraits of their owners, at least they show traces of a use that could only take place with this individual and his or her specific way of life. In the context of an exhibition they seem as auratic as any other painting; this can represent an affront to actual painters.”
Spotlight: Andrew Grassie
This week for our Spotlight we present Andrew Grassie's Giraffe, 2020.
Giraffe is from a new body of work exploring images from the artist’s image archive, among them decades old snapshots associated with personal memories, tied to a specific place, a moment in time. Andrew Grassie chose motifs that had held his attention for reasons he could not always explain: photos from his image archive, sometimes many decades old and exuding a vague awkwardness, became sources for these works.⠀
The intimately scaled, precisely painted work is executed in tempera, a painting technique associated with pre-Renaissance panel paintings anteceding the development of oil paint.⠀
Click here to see the full Spotlight!
Letter from Berlin – March 26, 2021
This Letter from Berlin is dedicated to our current Art Basel OVR: Pioneers presentation.
After a short essay on the history of the term pioneer, we introduce the works by General Idea, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Ann Veronica Janssens, Philippe Parreno, Anri Sala, and Hito Steyerl featured as part of our selection in Art Basel OVR: Pioneers, and present a conversation with Tino Sehgal and Svetlana Marich on the artist's practice.
As part of our series All Access, a video takes you into Sun Rise | Sun Set with Pierre Huyghe's aquarium work at Berlin's Schinkel Pavillon. David Claerbout's solo exhibition opened yesterday at the Garage Museum in Moscow. Karin Sander's sole presentation opens tonight at the Kunsthalle Tübingen. Find the links to attend the digital opening and exhibition tours with the artist below.
Spotlight: Ann Veronica Janssens
This week for our Spotlight we present Ann Veronica Janssens' Green, Yellow and Pink, 2017.⠀
“(…) sometimes you have to erase reality, erase what’s visible in order to see something else, to make the invisible visible.” – Ann Veronica Janssens⠀
This site-specific work was created on occasion of the artist’s 2017 solo exhibition at Esther Schipper, Ich rede zu Dir wie Kinder reden in der Nacht. Once visitors pass the threshold of the exhibition space, they find themselves immersed in an immaterial colored abstraction where any spatial or temporal landmark has disappeared.⠀
Green, Yellow and Pink was most recently part of the artist's Connect, BTS project at DDP Design Exhibition Hall, Seoul in 2020.
All Access – Schinkel Pavillon, BerlinSchinkel Pavillon, Berlin
All Access is a series of online visits to exhibitions which currently have restricted public access. As museums and galleries around the world are mostly closed, the series takes us into these spaces with the artists and curators as guides.
Here, curator Agnes Gryczkowska introduces a section of the exhibition Sun Rise | Sun Set at the Schinkel Pavillon Berlin.
Sun Rise | Sun Set brings together contemporary and 20th century artists to form a multi-layered response to the fast unfolding ecocatastrophe. The selected works permeate one another, creating small organisms and turning Schinkel Pavillon into a surreal landscape, highlighting the interconnectivity between humans, animals, plants, inanimate objects, technologies and non-beings.
The exhibition includes two works by Pierre Huyghe. The video tour below focuses on the room in which "Circadian Dilemma (Dia del Ojo)" is installed. The work is part of a series of aquarium works in which the artist creates cyclically-oriented underwater scenarios. The landscape of the water basin is modelled on a Mexican cave and is populated by six fish of the species Astyanax mexicanus, along with microscopic bacteria and algae.
Spotlight: Isa Melsheimer
This week for our Spotlight we present Isa Melsheimer's false ruins and lost innocence 1, 2020.⠀
The large-scale ceramic takes as point of departure the so-called Cuckoo Coffee House in Da Nang, Vietnam, an airy building from 2019 designed by a young Vietnamese architectural firm called Tropical Space. Inside the multiple nestled shapes overlooking an enclosed courtyard, a small forest of trees appears to thrive, their trunks richly glazed.⠀
The new sculpture is one of the artist’s largest and technically complex ceramics to date. Similar to her idiosyncratic use of concrete, Melsheimer who began to work with the material in 2013, has pushed the boundaries of this craft in scale and technique, making the medium completely her own.⠀
Click the link below to see the full Spotlight!
Spotlight: Ugo Rondinone
This week for our Spotlight we present Ugo Rondinone's zweiteraprilzweitausendundsiebzehn, 2017 and the quick, 2019.⠀
Taking the universally recognized motif of a brick wall as point of departure, Ugo Rondinone's large scale zweiteraprilzweitausendundsiebzehn traverses the boundary between sculpture and painting.⠀
the quick is made of hewn bluestone. Five blocks have been stacked atop one another to form the basic shape of a human body—legs, waist, torso, and head. The stones, whose rough edges result of the quarry work, have not been modified. The marks left by weather, wind and corrosion contrast with the smooth surface of the poured concrete plinth.
Spotlight: Angela Bulloch
This week for our Spotlight we present Angela Bulloch's Pentagon Totem: Tree, 2020⠀
Pentagon Totem: Tree is the latest development in Angela Bulloch's ongoing series of sculptures. The work consists of five assembled geometrical figures known as regular dodecahedrons (each figure is made of 12 pentagons).⠀
Angela Bulloch's series of sculptures examines the connections formed by the convex geometrical shapes of their structure, together with their associations of colors and the gallery space. Made of painted Corian, the surface of the vertically assembled dodecahedrons creates an optical illusion of pushing and pulling planes. Conceived and designed within a digital imaging program, each superimposed module appears distinct while at the same time relating to the others.⠀
Click here to see the full Spotlight!
Letter from Berlin – February 26, 2021
Welcome to this month's Letter from Berlin which presents two major solo exhibitions, Liam Gillick's just-opened The Work Life Effect at the Gwangju Museum of Art in Korea, and Ryan Gander's Natural and Conventional Signs installed in his impromptu Kunsthalle-like space Solid Haus, part of his studio complex in Suffolk and currently only accessible virtually.
Our dedicated Online Viewing Rooms for Isa Melsheimer and Rosa Barba remain open and our new series Spotlight and All Access highlight works and exhibitions accessible virtually.
Under the title Sun Rise | Sun Set an ambition group exhibition with a multi-layered responses to the fast unfolding eco-catastrophe opens exclusively digitally today at Berlin's Schinkel Pavillon with a major work by Pierre Huyghe.
Rounding up our Letter is a selection of publications, among them a beautiful new catalogue for the 2017-2018 group exhibition Like a Moth to a Flame curated by Liam Gillick, Tom Eccles, and Mark Rappolt. Details can be found below.
Spotlight: Roman Ondak
This week for our Spotlight we present Roman Ondak's Bad News, 2018.⠀
Bad News consists of a round table with three papier-mâché spheres placed on its tabletop. As is characteristic of Roman Ondak’s practice, the table, formerly a revolving worktable showing signs of wear, is a found object that most likely originates from an artisan’s workshop in Bratislava, where the artist works and lives.⠀
The three spheres were made by Ondak using pages from three different widely-read newspapers, the American The New York Times, the Russian Izvestia and the Slovakian SME. The artist collected the newspaper issues for the work throughout December 2018. The diameters of the spheres was determined by the number of printed pages of each newspaper. While the surface of each sphere appears as a cacophony of article headlines and text quotes, the artist’s selection of the visible headlines was deliberately random. It is the observer who, subtly nudged by the work’s title, might assume “bad news” when in fact they may not be any.⠀
FIAC Online Viewing RoomMarch 4 – 7, 2021 https://fiac.viewingrooms.com/
We are pleased to announce our participation in the first iteration of FIAC Online Viewing Room where we will present major works by Rosa Barba, Martin Boyce, Angela Bulloch, Etienne Chambaud, General Idea, Ann Veronica Janssens, Isa Melsheimer, Roman Ondak, Philippe Parreno, and Ugo Rondinone.
Spotligt: Ryan Gander
This week for our Spotlight we present Ryan Gander's Y gêm (My neotonic contribution to Modernism), 2017.⠀
Y gêm (My neotonic contribution to Modernism) takes as point of departure a 1918 abstract sculpture by the Belgian Modernist artist George Vantongerloo (b. 1886, Antwerp; d. 1965, Paris). Vantongerloo, who was greatly influenced by his encounter with the Dutch De Stijl movement, pursued his interest in geometrical relationships and algebraic formulas beginning in 1918. Another art historical reference are Pop artist Claes Oldenburg's "soft sculptures" from the early 1960s.⠀
Ryan Gander short-circuits this development by first treating the older master's hard-edged sculpture with a computer program that enlarges the work and rounds angular shapes, before covering it in a thick layer of orange artificial fur balls, transforming the sculpture into a soft, fuzzy and inflated-looking form.⠀
Simon Fujiwara at Fondazione PradaFondazione Prada, Milan March 2 – September 27, 2021 www.fondazioneprada.org
For this new site-specific project conceived for the ground floor of the Podium in the Milan premises of Fondazione Prada, Simon Fujiwara introduces audiences to the fairytale world of Who the Bær, an original cartoon character that inhabits a fantasy universe created by the artist. Who the Bær is a cartoon bear without a clear character – “Who” as they are known, seems to have not yet developed a strong personality or instincts, they have no history, defined gender or even sexuality. Who the Bær only knows that they are an image, and they seek to define themselves in a world of other images.
The world of Who the Bær is a flat, online world of pictures, yet one full of endless possibilities. Who the Bær can transform or adapt into any image they encounter, taking on the attributes and identities of those depicted within the image – human, animal or even object. In this sense the fantastical world of Who the Bær is a world of freedom: Who can be whoever they wish to be, Who can transcend time and place, Who can be both subject and object. Yet Who the Bær may never be able to overcome their one true challenge – to become anything more than just an image.
Who the Bær’s fantasy adventures are presented at Fondazione Prada in a giant labyrinth made almost entirely from cardboard and recyclable materials and forming the shape of a giant bear. As visitors travel through the bear-like installation, they are introduced to the basic design and formation of the cartoon character of Who the Bær before embarking on a series of adventures that follow Who the Bær around their fairytale world. Told through drawings, collages, sculptures and animations, we witness Who the Bær in their perennial quest for an authentic self.
Inspired by the tradition of fairytales as well as modern animation movies, Fujiwara uses the mechanisms of fantasy to explore some of the joys and traumas we face as a society possessed with images and spectacle.
The exhibition is completed by a publication, which is part of Fondazione Prada’s Quaderni series. Conceived as an illustrated story book, it includes a conversation with the artist.
The adventures of Who the Bær can be experienced on Instagram following their official account @whothebaer.
All Accesshaubrok foundation, Fahrbereitschaft, Berlin
All Access is a new series of online visits to exhibitions that are currently closed to the public. As museums and galleries around the world remain closed, the series takes us into these spaces with the artists and curators as guides.
For the first All Access, Jeanne Tremsal introduces her exhibition at FAHRBEREITSCHAFT together with Christopher Roth.
FAHRBEREITSCHAFT in Berlin-Lichtenberg is one of the locations of the Haubrok foundation. In changing exhibition spaces throughout the dynamic arts and industrial yard, the foundation shows works from its collection, from artists working on site, or from guest curators and artists.
The exhibition Mein Vater, meine Nachbarn, meine Freunde und deren Freunde was curated by Jeanne Tremsal around the work of her father, Benoit. Their father-daughter relationship was always centered on art, and upon finding out that he had a terminal illness, Jeanne initiated an exhibition that responded to Benoit’s tree sculptures. The title refers to the community of artists that contributed responses to the trees: neighbors, friends, and their friends.
und deren Freunde
with Angela Bulloch, Isa Melsheimer, and Christopher Roth
haubrok foundation, Fahrbereitschaft, Berlin
Spotlight: Rosa Barba
This week for our Spotlight we present a selection of major works by Rosa Barba who recently joined the gallery, as well as an introduction to her new film and site-specific project, Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage, filmed in Cyprus, including the UN-Buffer Zone.
This summer, Rosa Barba will present an architectural film installation as part of the long-awaited reopening of the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, after five years of closure for renovation work.
Ryan Gander at SOLID HAUSOnline Exhibition A recorded tour of the exhibition will be available to view on-demand from February 5–26, 2021 www.arts.princeton.edu
Natural and Conventional Signs is an exhibition in which Ryan Gander presents a selection of new works directly guided by his research at Princeton undertaken during his time as a Hodder Fellow (2019-2020) and made during a period of reflection while the world paused amid a global pandemic.
Gander invites an audience into his studio-cum-gallery, Solid Haus in rural Suffolk, a two-hour drive east of London, digitally for the first time. There he has assembled a show in which the works have duality in meaning and utility; subverting the signs, tropes, and markers seen in the everyday world to shine new light on how we position ourselves in relation to the values of time, money, opportunity, attention and privilege.
Interview with Ann Veronica Janssens at Centre Pompidou–MetzCentre Pompidou–Metz
On the occasion of the exhibition Chagall: The Emissary of Light, which explores the importance of light and of stained-glass window in Marc Chagall' work, the Centre Pompidou–Metz has invited Ann Veronica Janssens to present a new triptych from her gaufrettes series. By an effect of absorption and diffusion of the light rays, these ribbed glass plates, which contain an overlay of different iridescent and colored filters, produce chromatic vibratory variations.
Spotlight: Thomas Demand
Spotlight is a weekly presentation focusing on an artwork or a group of works. This week in the spotlight is Thomas Demand's Princess.
The work depicts a detail of the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that gained notoriety when in early February 2020 several passengers were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus and Japanese health officials imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on the vessel which was then anchored in Yokohama, Japan. Aboard the ship were a total of 2,666 passengers and 1045 crew members whose daily activities were reported in worldwide news.
The image is part of a series produced in 2020 for the covers of the Italian architectural magazine DOMUS. The series depicts "architecture which got into trouble," as Demand puts it. These are designs which became symbolic architectural forms for current disputes without necessarily being built with any such intention.
Letter from Berlin – January 29, 2021
Welcome to our first Letter from Berlin in 2021!
We begin with a short introduction to the work of Cemile Sahin whose representation the gallery has just announced.
As much of Europe remains on lockdown, we highlight exhibitions and the extensive materials which makes it possible to visit and to engage with these remotely.
Our overview includes Simon Fujiwara at the Blaffer Art Gallery, Ugo Rondinone at SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, AA Bronson and Simon Fujiwara at the Schwules Museum, and our exhibition with Isa Melsheimer.
A charming short video on Philippe Parreno's work Echo at the Museum Modern Art, a recent interview with Esther Schipper, and our book recommendations round up this January edition of the Letter from Berlin.
Read the entire Letter from Berlin here
Esther Schipper is pleased to announce the representation of Cemile Sahin
Cemile Sahin was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1990. She studied Fine Arts at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. She lives and works in Berlin.
Sahin's artistic practice operates between film, photography, sculpture and text. Points of departure include both images and stories, which she stages in multimedia video installations. Her work questions the instrumentalization of media and the significance of diverse perspectives for the writing of history. Working with a variety of media, she explores how history and its narration changes when it is constructed through diverse—or even contradictory—points of view.
Her debut novel TAXI was published in 2019, followed by her book Alle Hunde Sterben in 2020, both of which are important components of her artistic practice. In 2019 she was awarded the ars viva 2020 prize for Visual Arts. The same year she was a fellow of the JUNGE AKADEMIE at the Akademie der Künste Berlin.
Spotlight: Philippe Parreno
Spotlight is a weekly presentation focusing on an artwork or a group of works. This week in the spotlight is Philippe Parreno’s lightboxes Invisibleboy.Invisibleboy, 2020 consists of seven light boxes, all featuring a still taken from Philippe Parreno's film Invisibleboy", 2010–2015, that has been enlarged and printed on a Duratrans transparency, mounted in a light box.Invisibleboy portrays the world of a Chinese child immigrant in New York's Chinatown. The narrow streets and cramped spaces in which the local community lives are populated by monstrous imaginary figures. In Invisibleboy, reality and fiction overlap: monsters creep into the images of the urban fabric and city life, taking on alien forms. Scratched directly into the film stock, these monsters spring to life out of its frames. Parreno tries to give an image to people generally described as "invisible," who fall outside of any legal framework.For this new series of light boxes, the artist has delicately scratched the transparencies to add texture and presence to the existing monstrous figures of the film. Each image features a different creature, named by the artist: in this case, The Hanger.The work is unique in a series of five variations. Every variation is customized by the artist with unique hand-scratches.
Lecture Livestream with Hito SteyerlFriday, January 22, 2021 at 12:00 P.M. EST, 6 P.M. CET
On Friday, January 22, 2021, artist, filmmaker, and media theorist Hito Steyerl joins the Dramaturgies of Resistance collective for a discussion of recent work, including a live Q&A with the Zoom webinar audience.
Hito Steyerl is an internationally renowned artist, filmmaker and scholar whose deft navigation of the disparate modes of art-making and theorizing continues to expand the ways we experience and examine the social roles of art and museums, experimentation with media and forms of presentation, and our interactions with realized and potential uses of artificial intelligence. At this unprecedented time, when it seems as if “everything is canceled,” Steyerl’s most recent work explores the complex relation between spread (of conspiracy theories no less than viral contagion) and simulation (from the automization of performance to our capacities for virtual interaction with statistical probability of human risk).
Alaina Boukedes on Philippe Parreno’s "Echo"
In the latest online edition of MoMA’s ArtSpeaks program, a member of MoMA staff shares personal impressions of an artwork in the galleries. Here, Alaina Boukedes, a guest specialist in the Department of Visitor Engagement, talks about the “unpredictability” of her favorite piece in the Museum, Philippe Parreno’s installation Echo: “She’s always talking, she’s always interacting...she’s never the same.”
Click here to watch!
"The Challenge: We are in this together" – Esther Schipper for The New Institute
For its December newsletter, titled "The Challenge: We are in this together", The New Institute asked Esther Schipper – among other thinkers and practitioners – to share her insights and analysis on the current global pandemic. For the occasion, Esther Schipper selected artworks by the gallery artists showing that the questions of viruses and pandemics have been among us for a long time.
Letter from Berlin – December 18, 2020
To conclude this extraordinary year, we present a special film screening from Rosa Barba whose representation we just announced.
Take a tour alongside Isa Melsheimer and Jan Kage who met last weekend in the artist's exhibition at the gallery in Berlin for a lively conversation.
We present our first online exhibition with Hito Steyerl and introduce materials from K21's digital guide.
Projects by Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and Jean-Pascal Flavien have real-life iterations and a strong digital presence: Steegmann Mangrané's work is currently on view in Madrid, Flavien's will be accessible in Hannover in 2021.
And don’t miss the online artists’ conversation on occasion of Jeanne Tremsal’s exhibition with works by Angela Bulloch, Isa Melsheimer and Christopher Roth taking place on Saturday, December 18th.
Esther Schipper is pleased to announce the representation of Rosa Barba
Rosa Barba was born in 1972 in Agrigento, Italy. She currently lives and works in Berlin.
She studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and has completed her PhD at the Malmö Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University in 2018.
She has been a visiting professor at MIT, ACT (Program in Art, Culture and Technology), in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Barba holds a professorship in Fine Arts at the University of the Arts, Bremen.
Rosa Barba engages within the medium of film through a sculptural approach. In her works, Barba creates installations and site-specific interventions to analyze the ways film articulates space, placing the work and the viewer in a new relationship. Questions of composition, physicality of form and plasticity play an important role for the artist as Barba examines the industry of cinema and its staging vis-à-vis gesture, genre, information and documents. Her film works are situated between experimental documentary and fictional narrative. They often focus on natural landscapes and human-made interventions into the environment and explore the relationship of historical records, personal anecdotes, and filmic representation, creating spaces of memory and uncertainty.
Hito Steyerl's "We Will Survive TV"November 15, 19, 21, 26, 2020 www.e-flux.com
What happens to the art at the museum at night?
A weird-ass visual podcast
During the corona-related shutdown in November 2020, Hito Steyerl’s exhibition I Will Survive at K21 (September 26, 2020—January 10, 2021) transforms into a livestream format. The project 4 Nights at the Museum developed by the artist, filmmaker, and author Hito Steyerl, provides some background and conversations about the works in the exhibition.
In five episodes (each lasting ca. 45 minutes), selected works and themes in I Will Survive will be discussed in more detail. Participants in the works, such as the New York-based graphic designer Ayham Ghraowi or the Hamburg-based actress Heja Netirk, will talk about their perspectives. In addition, Steyerl will present alternative versions of exhibited works and previously unedited archival material. Short guided tours by the curators will accompany visitors into the exhibition spaces, which are abandoned at night. They will take a look at some of the works and prove that there is nothing going on inside the museum during the shutdown.
The episodes will livestream on e-flux Video & Film starting Sunday, November 15. All episodes air at 8pm CET, 2pm EST.
Letter from Berlin – November 13, 2020
Welcome to the Letter from Berlin!
Our focus is Andrew Grassie’s exhibition Still Frame with an essay introducing the Online Viewing Room and an online tour the artist and Manuel Miseur, director at the gallery, conducted.
While Thomas Demand’s exhibition at M Leuven is currently closed, we want to draw your attention to the artist's conversation with the museum’s curator Valerie Verhack, Demand’s recent interview with German Public Radio, and the final cover for DOMUS as part of his collaboration with the magazine’s 2020 guest editor David Chipperfield.
Recent press includes a comprehensive article on AA Bronson’s A Public Apology to Siksika Nation and an interview with Gabriel Kuri on life in Brussels.
Hito Steyerl's "SocialSim" Live StreamTwitch TV Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Hito Steyerl's simulation Social Sim screening live from a locked down K21 to reflect the current political climate.
Online Tour with Andrew GrassieInstagram Live Sunday, November 1, 2020, 11:30 am
Online Tour of Still Frame with Andrew Grassie and Manuel Miseur, Director at Esther Schipper
Sunday November 1, 2020, 11:30 am
On Instagram live
Andrew Grassie’s paintings are based on photographs he has taken himself or that he, in some cases, has found. Often they have been elaborately staged, although this effort is veiled by the ostensibly unassuming matterof-factness the small, precisely painted works exude. The works are executed with tempera, a technique associated with pre-Renaissance panel paintings anteceding the development of oil paint. Tempera dries very rapidly and remains relatively sheer. To create cover and solid colors, many layers are needed.
Artist Talk with Philippe ParrenoMoMA Online Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 12 pm (EST) www.moma.org
Enjoy a discussion with artist Philippe Parreno, creator of the installation Echo, a "sensible and sentient automaton" that "lives" in MoMA's lobby and interacts with visitors, and hear about what he's working on and thinking about these days.
An online lecture/panel discussion with Philippe Parreno
Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 12 pm (EST)
Letter from Berlin – October 9, 2020
This Letter from Berlin introduces new documentation for Philippe Parreno’s Manifestations and Ugo Rondinone’s nuns + monks. Both exhibitions remain on view through October 17.
This weekend the Lenbachhaus presents Ari Benjamin Meyers' K Club at Blitz Club in Munich. Also in Munich, Gabriel Kuri's exhibition as part of Various Others remains on view at Walter Storms Galerie through October 31. Please find detailed information below.
Podcast: AA Bronson speaks with The Art Newspaper
On the occasion of Berlin Art Week 2020, The Art Newspaper spoke with AA Bronson about participating in one of the big shows opening during the week, at the legendary Berghain nightclub, and about his experience of living in the city.
A Reading by Philippe Parreno at ESPACE DIAPHANES, BerlinESPACE DIAPHANES, Berlin
Philippe Parreno reading an excerpt of Eden, Eden, Eden by Pierre Guyotat. Recorded at ESPACE DIAPHANES on September 9, 2020.
Marking the 50th anniversary of Pierre Guyotat’s Eden, Eden, Eden (1970), this video is part of a series of 50 readings organized by the Association Pierre Guyotat in collaboration with contemporary art institutions and galleries around the world.
Since its release on 9 September 1970, this provocative novel has attracted a mixture of scandal and fascination. The work of a young author, it was prefaced with texts by influential French philosophers Michel Leiris, Roland Barthes, and Philippe Sollers, and endorsed by Michel Foucault. Its immediate censorship attracted further international support from leading cultural figures including Pier Paolo Pasolini and Joseph Beuys.
Fifty years later, the work of Pierre Guyotat remains impactful and Eden, Eden, Eden has proven to be prescient of a world on the verge of transformation – through violence, sexuality, decolonization, and cosmology. The texts herald the endpoint of colonial history as well as the starting point of a new history.
Book Launch with Liam GillickMuseo Madre, Naples Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 6.30 pm www.madrenapoli.it
On Wednesday September 9, at 18.30, the Museo Madre will present the new publication by Liam Gillick: Standing On Top of a Building: Films 2008-2019 published in June 2020 by Edizioni Madre and arte’m.
After an introduction by the president of the Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee, Laura Valente, Liam Gillick will be joined in conversation with the curators, Alberto Salvadori and Andrea Viliani.
The publication is the first retrospective dedicated exclusively to Liam Gillick’s film production.
Ugo Rondinone Featured in new Beyoncé Video
Earlier this summer, Beyoncé released her new music video ALREADY (in collaboration with Ghanaian singer Shatta Wale and Jamaican-American trio Major Lazer), as part of the artist's much anticipated visual album and musical film, Black is King, which she wrote, directed, and executive produced. The film serves as a visual companion to the 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift, a tie-in album conceived by Beyoncé for the 2019 remake of The Lion King released by Disney Plus.
The video clip was in part shot on location in Ugo Rondinone's solo exhibition sunny days, on view during the summer of 2019 at Guild Hall, in East Hampton, NY. 'ALREADY' features Beyoncé and her dancers engaging in a powerful choreography in Rondinone's large-scale installation of 'sun' sculptures: circular rings made from vine branches which were cast in aluminum and then gilded. The vine is seen here as a symbol of renewal because of its life cycle from growth to dormancy and rebirth to a fruitful state every year—reminiscent of the solar cycle—thus reflecting the 'circle of life' theme of The Lion King.
Cooking with Artists – Nathan Carter
“When I was a kid, I drew and built my worlds. I would make maps and models of places. I would mix toys together and there was a lot of masking tape, pencils, matchboxes, thread, string, and Elmer’s glue—sticking legos to pine cones and things like that. As an adult, as a childish adult, I’m still doing that storytelling through drawing maps and world-building.”
Nathan Carter shared his recipe for a refreshing, tangy salad of cucumbers, mangoes, pineapples, lime, and spicy Thai chilis for MoMA PS1's new instalment of Cooking with Artists with Chef Mina Stone
Click the link for the full recipe!
The Reading Corner: Roman Ondak
Published on occasion of the Roman Ondak's exhibition History Repeats Itself at Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg in 2017 and is published Verlag der Buchhandlung König. It is a personal and metaphysical journey into the landscapes of history and youth of Roman Ondak.
Roman Ondak works with conceptual art, that is: art based on an idea. Like the father of conceptual art, Marcel Duchamp, Roman Ondak works with found objects. He revitalises the genre by placing the "object" in a broader context, which allows new stories to arise - with both personal, poetic and political power.
Instagram Takeover: Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
"What do a dog and a tree have in common? Their bark!” Joke, anonymous.
"An animal is classified as feral when it is a former domestic animal living in a wild habitat, without food or shelter provided by humans, and showing some resistance to people”, biologists state. Some of the most common species that turn feral are cats, dogs, horses, and pigs. Once companion species, when the pact established thousands of years ago by codomestication is broken, they have the ability not to go back to being wolves, their wild ancestors in the case of dogs, but to become something else. They become feral. Claude Lévi-Strauss coined the concept of pensée sauvage (not la pensée des sauvages, as we are often reminded), a type of “untamed” thought, kept alive in the modern western world within “natural reserves” of art, as he would say. Dogs are not often considered wildlife; they are mostly a species-with-humans. Messmates. That does not mean they could not experience their own kind of pensée sauvage – or even a domesticated thought, who knows. But what mode of thought is expressed when these two worlds collapse, pacts are broken, their world is wounded, they become without-humans and thus feral? Is it possible that la pensée férale is one that makes surviving in the Anthropocene feasible?
Text Juliana Fausto, images Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
For each week in 2020, curator Maria Lind invites 52 artists to inhabit this account to make weekly proposals for the 2020s. See Daniel Steegmann Mangrané's takeover at @52proposalsforthe20s.
Anri Sala – Take Over (Marseillaise), 2017
We celebrate Bastille Day with Anri Sala and an excerpt from his 2017 video Take Over (Marseillaise)!
Watch as the pianist and Disklavier play the French national anthem in a carefully choreographed moment of ghostly harmony, evoking the timelessness of the tune.
Both this video and its counterpart, Take Over (Internationale), pair the two eponymous musical works, powerful political anthems that are affiliated by an entangled political and cultural history.
Letter from Berlin – July 3, 2020
This week we take the exhibition of several major works of Anri Sala’s (at ARoS, in Aarhus, the Kienzle Art Foundation in Berlin, and at the gallery) as occasion to focus on the artist and also screen his Take Over (Marseillaise) as our weekly online film.
As part of Festival! Isa Melsheimer and N.Dash’s exhibition continues through next Thursday. The following weekend, July 11th, Sala’s exhibition with Saâdane Afif will open.
We want to draw your attention to a comprehensive exhibition by Grönlund-Nisunen at the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum and reprint from an interview and an essay on the two Finnish artists.
And beginning July 14th, Simon Fujiwara will exhibit Joanne as part of the 2020 Seoul Photo Festival. Details can be found below.
The weekly Letter from Berlin will break for summer! After a travel issue in late July, we will return with new stories in the fall.
The Reading Corner: Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
“If there are no more subjects nor objects, then there are no longer spectators or works of art, but rather processes of relationships of mutual transformation. Combinations of agents which influence one another”. – Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
Profoundly transforming the space of the IAC Daniel Steegmann Mangrané's solo exhibition, Ne voulais prendre ni forme, ni chair, ni matière, generated new vanishing lines. Defined by a sensitive geometry, driven only by rays of natural light that penetrate the gloom, the exhibition encouraged exploration.
This artist book has been published on occasion of the exhibition Ne voulais prendre ni forme, ni chair, ni matière at the Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes from 20 February to 28 April 2019.
Letter from Berlin – June 26, 2020
This week we continue to focus on new projects and re-opening exhibitions.
On occasion of Isa Melsheimer's exhibition with N.Dash as part of Festival!, we introduce her short video Wasserballett für Marl and reprint from her interview with Collectors Agenda. Isa Melsheimer's solo exhibition at the KINDL closes next weekend, on July 5th.
We want to draw your attention to an exhibition with Karin Sander opening this weekend, present recent interviews with Gabriel Kuri, and also take a closer look at the artists' works in our exhibition PS81E.
Immersive Ping-Pong with Gabriel Kuri
Currently exhibited as part of our exhibition PS81E, Gabriel Kuri’s untitled (AE DEC 18) consists of a number of objects in different colors made from hard plastic that have been arranged in a loose grouping. Their shape is taken from a standard fastening clip, a closure best-known for use on packages of sliced bread (but also used to seal bags of fruit and other perishables). In this case the found object, the bread-clips, has been scaled to an almost monstrous size, removing all functionality.
The artists characteristic combination of precision and playfulness surfaced with a recent short video in which he plays ping-pong in his studio, felling the giant bread-clips one by one!
Made in confinement in Gabriel Kuri’s studio in Brussels. Much gratitude to Cristian Manzutto for his selfless help with the iPhone camera and editing. And thanks to Jonas Kuri.
Letter from Berlin – June 19, 2020
This week we continue to focus on new projects and re-opening exhibitions.
On occasion of Angela Bulloch’s exhibition with Gerwald Rockenschaub Festival!, we introduce her collaboration with David Grubbs The Wired Salutation with an excerpt from Grubbs essay.
This coming Sunday, June 21, the gallery will be open as part of SUNDAY OPEN, as we also continue participating in the now extended Basel by Berlin.
Please visit our new Online Viewing Room for PS81E and the presentation of our Art Basel Online Viewing Room.
We want to draw your attention to exhibitions with Simon Fujiwara and Roman Ondak opening next week in Bonn and Aalborg, respectively, and also take a closer look at their works in our exhibition PS81E.
In the Studio – Simon Fujiwara
This week the art magazine Collectors Agenda published an extinsive interview with Simon Fujiwara. Below excerpts from their conversation in which Simon also spoke about his fascination for female characters, among them Marie Antoinette who is the subject of his work currently on view as part of PS81E, A Dramatically Enlarged Set of Golden Guillotine Earrings Depicting the Severed Heads of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI, 2019.
Letter from Berlin – June 12, 2020
Welcome to our Letter from Berlin!
This week we focus on new projects and re-opening exhibitions.
This week’s film screening presents two works by Liam Gillick, Construction of One, 2016, and Pelin Tan A Film by Liam Gillick, 2019. We also introduce his contribution to A Fair Land Pforzheim, a project organized by Robert Eikmeyer
Please note these weekly viewing links are temporary: The films are available to view only through Sunday night, Berlin time.
Anything you may have missed from our social media channels can be found on Continuity, our digital platform.
Read this in good health.
The Art World Works From Home: Gabriel Kuri
An extensive interview with Gabriel Kuri published by artnet on June 5, 2020.
Letter From Berlin – June 5, 2020
This week we take the film screening Christoph Keller’s 3 Self-Experiments as occasion to present an essay on his practice which focuses on the way in which knowledge is gathered and organized across disciplines.
Podcast on Julia Scher's Security by Julia
In this podcast series Prof Dr Astrid Mania, students, and colleagues from HFBK in Hamburg as well as special guests talk about art works that resonate with what’s currently on our minds, that might be thought-provoking, comforting and also a little entertaining every now and again. In this fifty-second episode Astrid Mania talks about Julia Scher's Security by Julia.
Online Performance – Ari Benjamin Meyers
Forecast (Part I/Concert Version)
by Ari Benjamin Meyers
From Thursday June 4, 2020, 6pm, for 48 hours
American artist and composer Ari Benjamin Meyers works at the intersection of music, theatre, performance and live installation, aiming to exploit each genre’s particular register and make new connections between their different mechanisms of action.
Forecast, his work that was scheduled to premiere on April 23 but whose rehearsal process and premiere had to be postponed to next season due to the coronavirus pandemic, is dedicated to the weather as phenomena and a starting point for an evening about predictability, and humans as the creators of the future with their need for forecasts, control and imagination.
From May 11-15, the Forecast ensemble met in the Volksbühne to record an excerpt of the performance as a concert-style session on video.
Click here to watch the performance!
Letter from Berlin – May 29, 2020
This week we focus on the work of AA Bronson and General Idea in this Letter from Berlin. There is much to discover: a film, God is My Gigolo, two recent interviews the artist gave on the parallels of the health crises regarding AIDS and COVID19, past exhibitions, his ongoing project A Public Apology to Siksika Nation, presented in an excerpted essay by Ben Miller, and notes on the recurring motif of the poodle in General Idea’s oeuvre.
Another highlight is AA Bronson’s powerful text I Love Berlin!
The weekly film screening features General Idea’s God is my Gigolo from 1969-70. (Please note these weekly viewing links are temporary: The film is available to view only through Sunday night, Berlin time.)
We also want to draw your attention to the opening of Karin Sander’s major solo exhibition at the Museion in Bolzano and to the online screening by the Berlin-based project space Scharaun of films by Anri Sala premiering today.
The Reading Corner: Liu Ye
"It is no accident that the simplified paintings by Liu Ye are reminiscent of cartoons and illustrations in children’s books: the artist’s father wrote books for children and possessed a box filled with Western, often prohibited classic children’s literature. The pictures in them influenced Liu Ye at an early age. After studying at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and the Berlin University of the Arts, the artist discovered his own distinct style, which plays with viewers’ visual expectations and catches them unawares with surprising pictorial compositions. His small-format paintings of Miffy the rabbit, the character created by Dick Bruna, are unmistakable, often painted against a dismal background that recalls the Old Masters or combined with elements borrowed from Piet Mondrian, as are his pastel compositions with innocent yet challenging female characters."⠀
This first catalogue raisonné featuring the sensitive works by Liu Ye provides an overview of his creative output from 1991 to 2015.
Film Screening – Anri Sala, Long Sorrow (2005) & Answer Me (2008)www.scharaun.de
Long Sorrow (2005) & Answer Me (2008)
Friday 29. May, 2020, for one week
From 6 pm
Letter from Berlin – May 22, 2020
This week we take the launch of our Ari Benjamin Meyers Online Viewing Room as occasion to loosely focus on music in this Letter from Berlin.
We introduce Meyers’ with a film streaming of his 2018 Four Liverpool Musicians and a text by Alexander Abdelilah. You can also find Meyers recent talk with Michael Langer in German public radio linked. (Please note these weekly viewing links are temporary: The film is available to view only through Sunday night, Berlin time.)
In a recent conversation with the Vienna-based curator Alexandra Grimmer, Liu Ye spoke about listening to music in his studio.
Ryan Gander has practiced his DJ-ing skills. See, and listen to, his broadcast, recorded on his birthday.
Letter from Berlin – May 16, 2020
This week we continue our film streaming with Tao Hui’s Mongolism from 2010. (Please note these weekly viewing links are temporary: The film is available to view only through Sunday night, Berlin time.)
As Spring turns into Summer, in this Letter from Berlin Isabelle Moffat presents two outdoor projects: Martin Boyce’s 2019 commission at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute and Pierre Huyghe’s La Saison des Fêtes from 2010, including an exclusive screening of Huyghe's film on his Documenta project, A Way in Untilled!
In four short videos, Isa Melsheimer speaks about her transformative experience on the coast of Newfoundland.
This week’s theme was loosely inspired by Para Site’s large-scale group exhibition entitled Garden of Six Seasons that includes Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s work Gloria. More information below.
The Reading Corner: Anri Sala
This book, published for the exhibition Anri Sala. Le Temps coudé, presented at Mudam in fall 2019, comprises four essays by the philosopher and musicologist Peter Szendy that consider the artist’s major works since 2013.
Demonstrating the strong intellectual connections that has developed between the two over the course of their collaborations, these essays draw on a sensory experience of the works of Anri Sala to analyze the way that music nourishes them, in their connection to image, space, history, and time.
Letter from Berlin – May 7, 2020
This week we continue our weekly film streaming with David Claerbout’s Die Reine Notwendigkeit / The Pure Necessity and also highlight the artist’s recent interviews and lectures. The film is available to view through Sunday night, Berlin time.
This Letter from Berlin introduces three recent projects across magazines and the internet: Thomas Demand’s covers for the Italian architecture magazine Domus, Anri Sala’s contribution to M, the magazine of Le Monde, and the enthusiastically received "polite hack" of the website of this year’s Copenhagen Architecture Festival.
We also want to draw your attention to an online screening of a work by Hito Steyerl, the Guggenheim Museum’s offer of virtual backgrounds and our new German language Online Viewing Room for Angela Bulloch.
Isa Melsheimer About the Whale Hearts at KINDL
We are very happy to announce that Isa Melsheimer's exhibition at KINDL, Berlin, is re-opening today!
In this clip, Isa Melsheimer speaks about about the whale hearts on currently on view at KINDL, a motif which refers to Melsheimer's artist residency on Fogo Island Arts, a popular whale-watching location in Newfoundland.
Click here to watch the full video!
The Reading Corner with Ryan Gander
In this week’s Reading Corner, Ryan Gander reads I Am for an Art by Claes Oldenburg (1961) to his two daughters, Penny and Olive.
Letter from Berlin – April 30, 2020
This week we focus on film in our Letter from Berlin. As this is a holiday weekend in Germany, we have assembled a program that adopts the format of a magazine. We hope you enjoy browsing its sections. The films are available to stream through Sunday night, Berlin time.
In a postscript to last week’s book-themed edition, Etienne Chambaud introduces another format of films on books: the film on a book about a film.
Studio Visit with David Claerbout
“I’ve always thought that one of the privileges that an artist has is to have time to waste.”
Louisiana Channel visited David Claerbout in his studio in Antwerp, Belgium, where he spoke about some of his intriguing projects – from creating a 360-degree journey around a room with Elvis Presley, to a completely different take on a classic animated Disney film.
Claerbout works with what he describes as “virtual image making.” Early on, he knew that his work would be a sort of resistance against information in images as well as a fight between “clock-time” and the plurality of duration: “Which is frightening in a way because it means that you no longer can define a space of time.”
Matti Braun – A Video and a Reading
A video of the publication edited by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Beth Citron, and Matti Braun with a reading by Joëlle Bargel of an excerpt from the biographical essay Traveling in a Time Machine to the Golden Age of Science Fiction in Kolkata (1963 - 1985) by Ranen Ghosh with additions by Santu Bag.
Ranen Ghosh was a Bengali writer, editor and publisher from India. In 1963 he began writing science fiction (or kalpavigyan as the genre is known in Bengali) for the first Bengali science fiction magazine Aschorjo, working with his mentor Adrish Bardhan. After Aschorjo ceased publication, Ghosh edited the short-lived Bismay science fiction magazine with Sujit Dhar and Amitananda Das. After Bismay, Ghosh acted as a co-editor for Adrish Bardhan’s SF magazine Fantastic. Beside kalpavigyan, Ghosh was also an admirer of popular science. He passed away in Kolkata on April 7th, 2019.
The book brings together texts by Parashuram, Beth Citron, Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Dip Ghosh, Ranen Ghosh, Soham Guha, Sudhir Kakar, Sami Ahmad Khan, Matthia Löbke, Amrita Shah and presents Matti Braun’s artistic production of the last ten years.
Designed by Yvonne Quirmbach, Berlin. Published by Kunstverein Heilbronn and Snoeck, 2020
Letter from Berlin – April 24, 2020
The gallery has re-opened and we have extended Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s exhibition Fog Dog. We look forward to welcoming you at the gallery again soon!
This week everything turns around books in our Letter from Berlin. Our bookstore, opened in 2018 with an overview of the publications of General Idea and AA Bronson, has seen a number of very special artist projects and has also become a site for readings and book launches. As its function as meeting place is on hold for now, we highlight past projects and focus on our artists’ relationship to books.
Matti Braun presents a virtual reading, in image and sound. Our Head of Content Isabelle Moffat takes his video as starting point to write about a new type of looking at books. And Gabriel Kurispeaks about his particular fondness for the conception and design of his own books and catalogues.
We present a number of outstanding recent publications and end with the round-up of this week’s social media contributions from our artists.
Online Concert & Interview – New Order with Liam GillickFriday April 17, 2020, 7:30 pm
New Order’s collaboration with artist Liam Gillick was the hottest ticket at MIF17 and one of the most in-demand shows in Festival history. Now, the Manchester International Festival are given you a chance to relive this MIF classic at 7.30pm (UK) on Friday 17 April!
At MIF17, New Order took over Stage 1 of the iconic Old Granada Studios for a limited series of intimate shows created in collaboration with visual artist Liam Gillick and composer-arranger Joe Duddell.
Join from the comfort of your sofas for this one-night-only revival of the original live stream from the event which begins with a conversation between Dave Haslam and Liam Gillick and then joins the performance for the second half of the show. Broadcast exclusively through MIF Live on Friday 17 April.
Following immediately the concert Liam will be live in conversation with Peter Saville at 8:15 pm (UK).
Letter from Berlin – April 17, 2020
First off, we are very happy to announce that we plan to open our exhibition space middle of next week - pending the clarification of local governmental regulations.
This week’s letter focuses on new additions and long collaborations: we introduce Etienne Chambaud whose representation was announced this week and highlight Angela Bulloch’s thirty-year history with the gallery. Below you find excerpts from her interview with Suzanne Cotter and from an essay by Alexander Provan, as well as a dedicated Online Viewing Room detailing her exhibitions with Esther Schipper since 1989.
We continue our collaboration with Zapp Magazine which is making available rare footage from the landmark group exhibition in which Angela Bulloch and many more of the gallery's artists participated: Traffic, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud at the CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux in 1996.
The theme continues as we present Jac Leirner’s recent work and Ugo Rondinone’s 2013 gallery exhibition from our social media posts.
This week we have two recommendations: Don’t miss Liam Gillick’s conversation with Peter Saville on occasion of the Manchester International Festival’s streaming of ∑(No,12K,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So It Goes..
And on Sunday Ari Benjamin Meyers is featured on German Public Radio.
A Conversation with Ari Benjamin MeyersSunday April 19, 2020, 1:30 pm
On Sunday April 19 at 1.30 pm Ari Benjamin Meyers will be the guest of the two-hour program Zwischentöne on Deutschlandfunk, German Public Radio. Hosted by Michael Langer, conversation alternates with musical works specially chosen by Meyers.
Tune in this Sunday April 19, 2020 at 1:30 pm!
The Reading Corner: Gabriel Kuri
On the occasion of his first institutional exhibition in Germany, Gabriel Kuri created four new groups of works, which provide an insight into different aspects of his practice. Accordingly, Kuri is showing sculptures and installation; all of them are made out of found materials or industrially manufactured products, including marble slabs, sand, paper, cigarette butts, or body care products.
A precise and deliberate positioning and a surprising casualness always characterize the presentation of his objects in the exhibition. With their humor and lightness of touch, his works level criticism as well as political, economic, and social conditions. In the sense of an extended notion of sculpture, he shifts the boundaries of art and the everyday, as the viewers and the everyday become part of the aesthetic form.
This catalogue is published on the occasion of Gabriel Kuri’s solo exhibition at Bielefelder Kunstverein and Kunstverein Freiburg.
Messages from Home – Jean-Pascal Flavien
Under the heading Messages from Home artists are sharing videos from their (temporary) studios or homes.
Here, Jean-Pascal Flavien presents fostering architecture. Deep green, his model of "Greenhouse" has a striking floor plan that, seen from above, is reminiscent of a plant from which four limbs extend.
Click the image to watch the full video!
Letter from Berlin – April 9, 2020
This week we are inaugurating several new features on our website.
Continuity, our new digital platform, features a variety of news, messages and online stories by our artists and the gallery staff. It also hosts our weekly e-mailing, Letter from Berlin.
We have added Selected Works section to each artist’s page on our website. It gives an overview of major works, spanning throughout the entire careers of the represented artists.
A separate section integrates of all historical exhibitions at Johnen Galerie since 2004. In the course of last year’s thirtieth anniversary of the gallery’s founding in Cologne in 1989, extensive archive material was published on the gallery’s website. The online-accessible exhibition history documents over 230 internal gallery and countless external institutional exhibitions.
Online Tour – Liu Ye, Storytelling
The Fondazione Prada has produced a walk-through of Liu Ye’s exhibition entitled Storytelling with an engaging and thoughtful commentary by the artist and the curator Udo Kittelmann. Following the first iteration held in 2018 at Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai, Liu Ye's solo exhibition in Milan features a selection of 35 paintings realized from 1992 onwards.
The exhibition is currently closed but scheduled to remain on view through September 28, 2020.
The Reading Corner: OneStar
In a generous gesture of bringing art into life, OneStar has made available pdfs of all their artists’ books published since 2000. We salute them!
Messages from Home – Isa Melsheimer
Under the heading Messages from Home, we are sharing videos from our artists as they open their (temporary) studios and share short messages on how they’re handling these uncertain times.
This week, Isa Melsheimer takes her plants out for some fresh air and to get some of that springtime sun.
Click the image to watch the full video!
Letter from Berlin – April 3, 2020
"A few years ago, I gave Nathan Carter a short text I had written on his work. He was visiting Berlin for the opening of the gallery’s new space and I was updating his profile. In response he gave me a list that I took as a kind of manifesto. Similar perhaps to the famous Pop Art list by the Independent Group, it is a mission statement, and as he recently noted,
“It was a defiant list of all the things that I as an artist will play with when I make art. The use of the word “play” means to experiment, touch, examine, alter and use in a fluid active way. The list is a license to be an artist and to make work about all of those things. Consequences n’all.” From abstraction to violence via bad weather, dancing, espionage, excitement, fear, love, pain, punk rock, shame, tequila & guacamole bar, among others—it’s all there.
I came across that list three weeks ago when I was preparing to work from home, and, on a whim, took it with me. It seemed like a good antidote to impending isolation.
The short video Carter sent last week, a behind-the-scenes view of his studio where he is currently working on a new film entitled LA GNARLIES, has a similar exuberance, a defiance of darkness."
Behind the Scenes – Nathan Carter
A behind the scenes look into Nathan Carter’s new film, LA GNARLIES, which features surfing & skating, a magic quesadilla and an infamous Haggis Monster…
“The video shows the scene in my studio and my workspace at home where I am currently making the images and music for my next film called LA GNARLIES. Using hand painted paper cutouts and dioramas and music made in a dirty Brooklyn basement, the film tells the story of four women from Ventura California who, depending on the waves either surf or skate. One day they eat a magic quesadilla and get teleported to Thurso Scotland where they must defeat the infamous Haggis Monster in order to re-enter the Tesseract Portal and teleport back home on a giant wave to sunny California. " – Nathan Carter
Click the image to watch the full video!
Messages from Home – Christoph Keller
Under the heading Messages from Home, we are sharing videos from our artists as they open their (temporary) studios and share short messages on how they’re handling these uncertain times.
This week Christoph Keller shares this playful DIY starter-kit on how to make a mask.
Click the image to watch the full video!
Online Tour – Isa Melsheimer
An exclusive behind the scene tour while the exhibition is closed due to the temporary closure of KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin.
Letter from Berlin – March 27, 2020
Isa Melsheimer’s works are quite fun to unpack: clusters of far-reaching associations--personal, literary, historical, philosophical, architectural—are massed into their intense materiality, as unexpected details pop out and demand an immediate response which can include curiosity, disbelief, laughter—and even a bit anxiety when the works are colossal mountains made of shards of glass.
This is why my virtual visit will focus on a few works: heaping the detailed references onto each of them undermines the artist’s light touch, the playful arrangement she has created at the KINDL. The references—which building is cited and why—and, many more views and close-ups of details can be found in our dedicated Online Viewing Room.
Messages from Home – Anri Sala
In times like these it’s never felt more important to stay connected with one another. With this in mind, we’ve asked our artists to share short messages on how they’re handling these uncertain times.
First to share is Anri Sala, who sent a message juxtaposing the closeness and remoteness between all of us right now. Based on the idea of a prolonged “life line” by using protection, it hints at social distancing as well as nodding to previous works by Sala.
Click the image to watch the full video!
Letter from Berlin – March 20, 2020
By now a tenuous routine begins to set in and many of us may very well begin to miss our outings into the world of art and ideas. To give respite to the unsettling onslaught of coronavirus news we want to visit exhibitions with you. If you cannot come in person, we will accompany you on virtual tours. In the Letter from Berlin we will bring you stories about exhibitions, our artists, about works that have touched us, hidden gems and all-time favourites of our team.
For our first Letter From Berlin, our Head of Content Isabelle Moffat takes you into Fog Dog, Daniel Steegmann's exhibition at the gallery. Leah Turner, Director and Artist Liaison remembers her experiences at Art Basel Hong Kong, and we watch the wildly popular K-Pop band BTS disappear in Ann Veronica Janssens' fog room, Green Yellow and Pink, currently installed in Seoul as part of the Connect, BTS project.
Artist Talk with Tomás SaracenoMusée du Louvre, Auditorium, Paris September 20, 2019, 2–7 PM www.louvre.fr
An Artist Talk with Tomás Saraceno and Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel.
Artist Lecture with Liam Gillickabk–Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart July 11, 2019, 7 pm www.abk-stuttgart.de
In this presentation, Liam Gillick will discuss topics that correspond to his recent text for the e_flux journal, We Lived and Thought Like Pigs: Gilles Châtelet’s Devastating Prescience.
Lecture with Ari Benjamin MeyersMusik-Akademie Basel (Main Building Z. 6-301), Basel June 18, 2019, 7 pm www.zeitraeumebasel.com
Ari Benjamin Meyers
Lecture: On the Kunsthalle for Music
More information HERE.
Artist Discussion with Tao HuiGoethe Institut, Beijing June 12, 2019, 2-5 pm
The migration phenomenon is reflected in two aspects in China: urban and rural population movement; convection between foreign population and Chinese population. In Assemblage, Xia Yanguo invites five artists including Tao Hui, to think about these two aspects separately.
Artist Talk with Tino Sehgal about Marcel DuchampStaatliches Museum, Galerie Alte und Neue Meister, Schwerin April 25, 2019, 6 pm www.museum-schwerin.de
Artist talk with Hito SteyerlAkademie der Künste, Pariser Platz, Berlin April 9, 2019, 7 pm www.adk.de
Hito Steyerl in conversation with Marius Babias
Steyerl’s artistic discourse orbits sociopolitical processes in theory and practice: postcolonial criticism, abuse of power, violence and the influences of globalization and digital life visualized in five mixed media installations.
This year’s Käthe Kollwitz Prize winner responds by assembling and disassembling computer generated and real images as well as self-written texts. An artist talk will be held together with Marius Babias on 9 Apr 2019.
The talk will be held in German and tickets can be purchased here.
Visiting Artist Lecture with Liam GillickCollege of the Arts & University of Florida February 19 2019, 6pm www.arts.ufl.edu
On February 19 2019, Liam Gillick with host a lecture at the College of the Arts & University of Florida.
Read more about the event here.
Liam Gillick in conversation with Nicola RicciardiOGR–Officine Grandi Riparazioni, Turin November 4, 2017, 11:30am www.amaci.org
The Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums (AMACI) and OGR–Officine Grandi Riparazioni in Turin announce Museums at The ‘Post-Digital’ Turn, the first major symposium conceived by AMACI.
Museums at the ‘Post-Digital’ Turn will take place at the OGR in Turin over two days, November 3–4, and will encompass seven panels including a conversation between Liam Gillick and Nicola Ricciardi (Artistic Director, OGR, Turin).
Read more about the symposium here
This event is concurrent to Like a Moth to a Flame, an exhibition curated by Tom Eccles, Mark Rappolt and Liam Gillick at OGR–Officine Grandi Riparazioni and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin (November 4, 2017 – January 14, 2018).
Find out more about the exhibition here.
Anri Sala in conversation with Maud PageCourtyard Marquee, Sydney Observatory, Millers Point October 14, 2017, 12pm www.kaldorartprojects.org.au
On October 14, Anri Sala will share his insights into the conceptual and creative development of The Last Resort in a conversation with Maud Page, Deputy Director and Director of Collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Read more about the event here
Tomás Saraceno in conversation with Yasmil RaymondChicago Cultural Center, Randolph Square, 78 E. Washington, Chicago October 5, 2017, 6pm www.arts.uchicago.edu
On Thursday, October 5 at 6pm, Tomás Saraceno will be joined in convesation by Yasmil Raymond, Associate Curator at the Museum of Modern Art.
This event is presented by Arts, Science + Culture Initiative and the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and the Goethe Institut.
Find out more about this event here.
Tomás Saraceno at Columbia University New YorkThe Lantern, Lenfest Center for the Arts October 10, 2017, 6:30pm to 8pm www.lenfest.arts.columbia.edu
Join Tomás Saraceno for a lecture at The Lantern, Lenfest Center for the Arts in New York.
This Event is co-presented by Columbia University School of the Arts; the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science; and the School of International and Public Affairs as part of Saraceno’s Fall 2017 visit to at Columbia University.
Read more here: lenfest.arts.columbia.edu
Talk with Isa Melsheimer: Fading ArchitecturesZKR–Center for Art and Public Space, Schloss Biesdorf Berlin August 10, 2017, 6:30 PM
Join Isa Melsheimer for an artist talk at ZKR–Center for Art and Public Space, Schloss Biesdorf in Berlin. Entitled "Fading Architectures, Melsheimer will talk about the present and future of urban cityscapes and architectures. Read more about the event here: zkr-berlin.de
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster Included In Art Basel ConversationsMesse Basel Auditorium June 16, 11:30 Am www.artbasel.com
Ari Benjamin Meyers: Music Is Not!Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam May 26-27, 2017 www.kunsthalleformusic.org
Kunsthalle for Music and its Artistic Director Ari Benjamin Meyers continue the unfolding of Kunsthalle for Music by addressing fundamental questions through a symposium of multiple modes: lectures, auditions, open workshops, and performances.
The two-day symposium at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam will feature international practitioners from the fields of contemporary art, music, and theory. As part of the symposium, Witte de With will host a casting of the Kunsthalle for Music's future ensemble, which will invite selected performers to collaborate with composers towards the creation of music and performance works.
The program was conceived by Ari Benjamin Meyers, Armen Avanessian, and Witte de With's Defne Ayas, Samuel Salemakers, and Rosa de Graaf.
David Claerbout in conversation with J.J. CharlesworthFundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona March 15, 2017 at 3pm www.fundaciotapies.org
Christopher Roth: J.G. Ballard Screening and Conversation with Christopher PetitDecad, Berlin April 29, 2017 at 3pm www.decad.org