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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.