Berlin Art Week
A few weeks ago I was in Berlin, coincidentally during Berlin Art Week (or was this my fate?). The following crossed my path:
Microcosm Macrocosm by Yamamoto Masao at Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung Berlin was an exhibition in which I, as a coincidental passer-by, was drawn into, enchanted by the shop window. I had never heard of the photographer before. The exhibition text tells: “Yamamoto is known for his small-format silver gelatin prints, that he reworks through tinting, painting over them, or other manual interventions to the point that they almost become objects, carrying reminiscences of the past. As diverse as his motifs are, his images are expressions of an attitude of humility, as propagated by the Chinese philosopher Laozi, who considered humanity as only one small part of nature, which in turn is merely a miniscule part of an immense universe. By observing all the minute things around him, Yamamoto finds a key for accessing the all-encompassing nature of the universe that he captures on photographic paper.”
These “cute” embroideries by Ugemfo I came across at „Miete Strom Instagram“ (Rent Electricity Instagram) by Walch&Winkler. From their Facebook event: “„Miete Strom Instagram“ is an event designed to reflect the work and living conditions prevalent among artists in Berlin. (…) Beyond their artistic and geographic context, the works on show share a common functionality, reflecting the circumstances of their production. This is evident in their manifestation in the form of lamps, shoes and clothes, the objects highlight the artist’s need to create alternative means of income. The objects assembled in “Miete Strom Instagram” reveal a host of strategies and work methods that have arisen out of necessity among the artistic community.”
Freely translated from Dutch “we fell with our noses in the butter” at “Me Collectors Room” where “The Moment is Eternity – Works from the Olbricht Collection” was just opened with a delicious breakfast buffet. Also the show was good to digest. There was a lot of photographic work to see, classics from the 90s, and among others this giant painting of the master of hyperrealism, Franz Gertsch, one of my favourites at the time. A little hidden in the back and up a narrow staircase, we suddenly reached the “Wunderkammer” where we discovered one after the other rarity and treasure.
In Galerie Xavierlaboubenne we were personally guided by Anton Stoianov (not entirely coincidentally our host this week; top artist, top host!) through his solo show which this time consists of a series of paintings within the layers of mirrors. Stoianov is an artist who doesn’t easily repeat himself and reinvents himself every time. From the gallery website: “Escaping the repetition of stylistic ideas, Anton Stoianov continues to develop new modes of painting through aesthetic inventions. Anton Stoianov’ s apprenticeship at the Glaser-Innung Berlin for the last two years inspired paintings with ecological miralite revolution mirrors, made of silver instead of lead. The tension between control and hazard of the material produces unexpected layers and seductive-repulsive combinations. The muddied chromatic explosion on cold reflector hints upon the critical reality of planetary doomsday.”
VERY is a new temporary project space in a garage in Berlin Gesundbrunnen. It is being run by Silva Agostini, Dirk Bell, Mariechen Danz, Ai Kurahashi, Sarah Schönfeld, Nils Peterson and Anna Zett.
Here we visited the exhibition “Digesture” where a.o. Kinga Kielczynska was present with a new car installation overgrown from the inside, this time with content from her immediate environment (earlier I reported for J&T on a variation of this work during the last Manifesta in Palermo). At closing time the work was driven into the garage, where I think it showed off best.
"In Mariechen Danz's “Womb Tomb – Coral Concern” in the outdoor compound, the clay figure “Womb Tomb“ has been laid out. Containing bark mulch from the ground of the enclosure, the sculpture carries the last DNA traces of the bears. Throughout the course of the exhibition, it absorbs information from the environment in multiple stages. As part of Danz’, KAYA's and Raether's intricate interactions, visitors are invited to interact with the sculpture together with the artist and contribute to its transformation process by writing their worries on paper scrolls, the so-called worry scrolls and injecting them into the damp clay. After these interactions follows a drying and burning process that incinerates the bark mulch and the worry scrolls within the figure, leaving in its place a coral-like fossilisation. “active ashes (weather map Schnute Maxi)“, a spinnaker fabric with digital prints by Danz, KAYA and Raether is stretched over the “Womb Tomb“ as a protective layer."
And to top it all off, we also made a round at the fair, Art Berlin, which took place this year at Flughafen Tempelhof.