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!
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.
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!
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.⠀
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.⠀
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Art World Works From Home: Gabriel Kuri
An extensive interview with Gabriel Kuri published by artnet on June 5, 2020.
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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.