Berlin Art Week 2018

October 5, 2018

With the Berlin Art Week 2018 happening from September 26th-30th the Berlin art scene prepares for the upcoming fall season. Visitors from all over the world had the chance to see a vast range of internationally established as well as emerging artists in various Berlin institutions, private collections, galleries and project spaces.

‘Open House for Open Minds’ is the slogan of the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in its new spaces of Palais Populaire in the former Prinzessinnenpalais Unter den Linden. Already at the beginning of the year, the recently appointed director of the Martin Gropius Bau, Stephanie Rosenthal, announced a focus on contemporary and experimental tendencies in the 2018 program. Consequently, “Crash” (on view until Januar 13th 2019) is the first solo show there of Lee Bul, Korean-born artist living in Berlin. The show includes sculpture, paintings, prints, drawings and spatial installations.  

Other focal points of this year’s Berlin Art Week 2018 is the opening of EMOP – European Month of Photography at C/O Berlin and Agnieszka Polskas solo show at Hamburger Bahnhof.

Evidently, art berlin and Positions Berlin are two of the pinnacles in those September days.  Lately located in the hangars of the former Tempelhof airport neighboring the well frequented Tempelhofer Feld galleries found a prime location for the numerous art lovers from Berlin and abroad.

What GoArt! clients liked during their Berlin Art Week 2018 hopping: a new revival of ceramic and glass works in the context of fine arts. A gallery owner who has been in the business of the genre for over 25 years now is the trendsetter Geer Pouls: For the first time he participated with Brutto Gusto Fine Arts at the art berlin.

GoArt! Berlin consulting

 

Paloma Proudfoot @Soy Capitán, Art Berlin

Carole Feuerman @Galerie Hübner+Hübner, Positions Berlin

Ashley Scott & H.M. Davringhausen @White Square Gallery, Positions Berlin

Brutto Gusto Fine Arts, Art Berlin

Julius Weiland @Lorch+Seidel Contemporary, Positions Berlin

Jelena Bulajic's painting is mirrored in the work by Tarik Kiswanson @carliergebauer, Art Berlin

Šejla Kameriç @Galerie Tanja Wagner, Art Berlin

Karin Sander @Esther Schipper, Art Berlin

Eva & Adele in front of the booth of Galerie Neu with works by M.C. Chaimowicz, Art Berlin

Christian Hoosen @Tore Süssbier, Art Berlin

Zilla Leutenberger @Palais Populaire

Alicja Kwade @Galerie König

Alexander Golder @Fuchs Galerie

Matthew Brandt @C/O Berlin

Studio Visit with Klaus Killisch

Klaus Killisch
September 4, 2018

GoArt! studio visit with Klaus Killisch

„Mann vor Mauer“ (1988) by artist Klaus Killisch is part of the group show „ Die Schönheit der großen Stadt“ at Ephraim Palais, running till October 28th, 2018. The exhibition shows 120 top-class works by artists who represent the urban and social structures of Berlin in the 19th and 20th century. Born in the former GDR, Klaus Killisch lives in Berlin since 1972, first studied industrial design, later painting at the Academy of Arts in Weissensee. Expressionism as well as the Bauhaus idea, pop and punk, bands such as Einstürzende Neubauten or Nick Cave have influenced the artist’s style from the beginning – a particular kind of collage painting. Music as sound, or rather as material – vinyl, record sleeves or portraits of these models often represent a component of Klaus paintings.

Miriam met the artist in his studio.

Miriam Bers: You told me that the above named heroes of the eighties also swept to the former East of the city, to the Art Academy in Weissensee. This is hardly comprehensible for someone who never lived in the GDR. How does it coalite: Punk and GDR? How come that these movements have significantly shaped your work?

Klaus Killisch: My interest was listening to cool music while painting; for example Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds or Einstürzende Neubauten inspired me a lot. This kind of music best expressed our feelings, the awareness of life at that very moment. It was like a motor stimulating me while painting and propelling me into trance. And it still works the same way today. Much later I understood how much ‚Zeitgeist‘ was turning up in my paintings. This for example is highly visible in ‚die Seele brennt‘ or ‚Teutonisches Bild‘, showing a wolf-man rising out of the image-space.

MB: You mentioned the pottery workshop of Wilfriede Maass being important for you and for other artists, who later also had a gallery in Berlin Mitte in the 90ies.

KK: In the 80ies, the pottery workshop of Wilfriede Maas was a kind of salon and meeting place for the subversive art scene in Prenzlauer Berg, East Berlin. Artists like Cornelia Schleime, Wolfram Scheffler or Angela Hampel painted their pottery there. When I met Wilfriede, many of them had already left the East to live in the West. This exodus was a big loss, but at the same time it helped us going one step further. Together with Wilfriede, Sabine Herrmann and Petra Schramm I founded one of the first artists run galleries in East Berlin. We invited other artists to work there. The ceramic works being produced in the workshop have then been exhibited together with the respective actual work. I therefore had designed blue wall paintings and exhibited my pottery in front of it. That was pretty cool! In the nineties we moved to Gipsstreet with the gallery. We were pioneers of the art boom in Mitte. One highlight was the exhibition ‚Sake Bar‘. It was the idea of Mikael Eriksson. You could sit in a recreated Sake Bar, drink from the vessels but also buy them. Neo Rauch, Carsten Nicolai and many others participated.

MB: How has your work grown in the nineties until today, in the spotlight Berlin? Have you instantly had contacts to people living abroad, after the fall of the wall? I know that in 2004 you co-founded the group ‚Collective Task‘, a kind of mail art together with a poetry scene in New York. How does it work and what is the idea of the collective undertaking about?

KK: When the wall felt through our peaceful revolution I was kind of fortunate: I have been invited to the Biennial of Venice! My expressive works were part of the show Berlin! inthe Italian Pavillon. That was totally exciting and new. With the help of fellowships and exhibitions I traveled a lot and also stayed in Japan for a while. There, I met the American poet Robert Fitterman with whom I have a very long friendship now. He had the idea of ‘Collective Task’. We both organize CT for more than 10 years. The idea is relatively simple: Each month an artist sets a task and the others answer, each in his or her creative way. The results and its variety can be seen on our website. In 2012 we were even invited presenting the work at MoMA. This was thrilling.

In my artistic work I am open for inspiration. Thus several years ago I have been asked by Sangare Siemsen to create a ceiling look for his bar ‚ambulance‘, with records he dj‘ed in the nineties. With this work my passion for vinyl break out. I started experimenting with acrylic color and screened motifs from advertisement thereby developing my collage painting. Talking in terms of music, there is Sampling. And this is how I conceive my art – as a mix of a piece of everyday culture, of the club scene, of trash and painting. Unfortunately the bar no longer exists. In the meantime the ceiling has been covered. Perhaps one day it can be uncovered again.

MB: What will be shown at your next solo exhibition “Endless Rhythm” in Chemnitz? Where and when can it be seen?

KK: The show will beon display at gallery ‚Weltecho‘, starting October 20th, 2018. I already look forward to realizing a wall work there, on the 5 meter high walls!

MB: Which is your favorite place in Berlin?

KK: My studio.

MB: Which is your place of longing?

KK: Parpan, a little village in Graubünden.

MB: How does your day end? Do you cook yourself or do you eat out?

KK: Both. But cooking at home and dining with my family is best.

MB: Recipe idea?

KK: My children often ask for pancakes. And most of the times they turn out well/filmly cut. There are so many options to enjoy them – with salmon, mushrooms, salad or as a desert.

photo credit: Klaus Killisch

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Klaus Killisch
Klaus Killisch
Klaus Killisch
Klaus Killisch
Klaus Killisch

10th Berlin Biennale

August 16, 2018

 The 10th Berlin Biennale is on display until September 9th, 2018. Under the title ‘We do not need another hero’, Gabi Ngcobo’s team of five curators has brought together 46 artistic positions dealing with political and social events, power structures and historiography away from the Eurocentric perspective, with a focus on African or South American contemplations.

Miriam Bers spoke with Nomaduma Rosa Masilela, one of the co-curators of the 10th Berlin Biennale:

MB: What expectations did you have when you came to Berlin – how was /how is the work here as a curator for the 10th Berlin Biennale? How international is the scene compared to New York, what inspired you, what surprised you and what disappointed you?

NRMI lived in New York for over a decade, spending nearly all of my 20s in the art ‘scene’ there, therefore I’m not sure if I am yet at all able to provide any real comparison to the Berlin scene, which I have really only been experiencing for less than a year. While I don’t think that many cities can compare to the international quality of the New York scene, a difference that I have noted is that while the forces of the capital are overwhelmingly present and influential in New York, the Berlin scene appears more directed by state/singular funding sources, which dictate the direction and overall interests of the season. What has inspired me the most about Berlin has been meeting the many artists who live in this city, sharing their work, and being able to imagine a way of collaboration in a much more free way than what is possible in New York, in which most activities are centered around a concern for a profit or popularity margin.

MB: It is very inspiring that the curatorial team of the 10th Berlin Biennale has managed to combine politics with poetry. You comprehend the message of many works without knowing all the details and backgrounds. Themes such as colonialism and oppression characterize the style of the exhibition venues – without a moral pointing finger, but with different artistic worlds partly involving the viewer. For example, The participatory performance of Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born in the Kunst Werke, which deals with one of the most important women’s protests in the world, incorporates the viewer, asks them questions that in a next step link them to lyrics or songs. Can this be understood as a work in progress, as a new story?

NRMOkwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born’s project, Sitting on a Man’s Head (2018) was a newly commissioned work for the 10th Berlin Biennale, however it is the result of ongoing research that far predates their involvement with the biennale. Okwui’s research into this practice, and its implementation in the early 20th century in Nigeria, informed earlier performance productions, such as Poor People’s TV Room. However, this specific iteration, which we produced for the biennale was really only possible within the context of an ongoing exhibition. Also, the ongoing participation of both activators and audience members, which is so integral to the piece, is also reflective of the ongoing nature of protest and its resultant possibilities of change.

MB: In the Academy of Arts, Firelei Baez shows her version of Sanssouci. Sanssouci as a former ruler and today’s artistic desire place? What is the story of the Haitian Sanssouci and what do we learn from it? What message does Firelei Baez attach to her work?

NRM: I think this question can best be answered through reading the beautiful essays that Portia Malatjie wrote about Firelei’s Sanssouci project in the biennale catalogue and exhibition guide. Portia’s essay clearly explains the importance of the Haitian Sanssouci and of the Haitian Revolution, not only within Firelei’s practice and this biennale, but also as a model for the necessary changes that need to occur. Firelei insists that by layering or ‘triangulating’ histories, one is able to open up a third space of enunciation – one of possibility.

MB: Last but not least in a few words: What is your key message and what’s coming next?

NRMWe have avoided providing keys throughout the exhibition, as that eliminates any of the interesting work that one has to do in interpreting and deciding how things are on ones own. What we want is for each viewer to be able to engage with the works and have their own feelings; to question themselves and the structures that they have possibly always taken for granted; and in so doing, to create new possibilities of being and of imagining the world and those within it. 
As for me, what’s next – I’m now based in Berlin, having moved permanently from New York in February, and am currently prioritizing completing and submit a dissertation for the department of art history at Columbia University in New York. I am also focusing on making my own art work and planning a sister publication to the curatorial publication that I organized for the biennale, Strange Attractors, which combined commissioned works by contemporary artists (such as Temitayo Ogunbiyi, Mame Diarra Niang, Adrijana Gvozdenovic, and Beau H. Rhee) with archival materials (the herbarium pages of Rosa Luxemburg, the sketchbook of Mildred Thompson, and notebooks of both Octavia Butler and Audre Lorde) in order to look at the comforts and complications of familial love and communication.

 

10th Berlin Biennale
10th Berlin Biennale
10th Berlin Biennale
10th Berlin Biennale
10th Berlin Biennale
10th Berlin Biennale

 

photo credit: 10. berlin biennale

photo 1 © F. Anthea Schaap, photo 2 © Liz Johnson Artur, photo 3 © Smina Bluth, photo 4 © Timo Ohler, photo 5 © Timo Ohler, photo 6 © Timo Ohler

GoArt! Berlin tours

Fashion Week Berlin – König Souvenir x Kollektiv Ignaz

Fashion Week Ignaz Kollektiv
July 13, 2018

A very exciting and rather atypical presentation at the Berliner Salon during Fashion Week Berlin was the cooperation of a contemporary art gallery and the over one year ago founded Kollektiv Ignaz. König Souvenir had been launched in 2017 and is a young product line of the successful Galerie König that recently opened a dependency in London.

König Souvenir creates editions like shirts, hoodies, beach towels and further accessories, whose prints refer to artists’ works being shown in the gallery and furthermore focuses on socially and politically relevant topics that define our everyday life. For example, there are leggings with a print of a work by Claudia Comte or the Guilt Cap by Monica Bonvicini but also a EUnify Hoodie calling for critical commitment to the European project. Kollektiv Ignaz lives in Frankfurt cutting a dash with music, design and photography related events, also in cooperation with the Museum of Applied Arts. Stated goal of the triple is arousing interest of young and creative peers currently graduating from school being less text-heavy than their predecessors.

Miriam Bers spoke with the protagonists during Fashion Week Berlin.

MB: Why founding the group, what moves you?

KI: Our group is based on friendship. We are friends for years now and have lived out our own creative ideas. At a certain point we began exchanging projects and became a team. Above all, we want to express our own creativity using the collective as a platform.

MB: König Souvenir, why collaborating with the collective during Fashion Week Berlin?

KS: We have been known Ignaz for a while and took notice of them through their creative projects. When the anti-Semitic attacks happened we were in a close dialogue with each other setting an example for tolerance and against hate while developing the Solidarity Hoodie together.

MB: The Solidarity Hoodie is a brilliant idea: A kippah stitched on a hoodie. In this way, you create a political lifestyle–product representing different minorities. The kippah as a Jewish symbol, the hoodie once synonym for marginalized groups, later popular in the hip hop scene and nowadays indispensable. Sometimes also connected to anonymity and denial.

MB: Where did the idea come from?

KI: The hoodie does not play a certain role. We all come from a generation where an outfit is not about its past but about its look and coolness. Both, attacks against the Jewish as well as against other religions unfortunately still happen too often in Germany. We are sick of the press and the society discussing religious details over and over again when the general free practice of religion is just not possible.

MB: Who is your target audience?

KI: There is no specific target group. Everybody who is for the freedom of religions and wants to stand up for people being religiously discriminated is invited to wear this hoodie.

MB: The hoodie is an edition of?

KS: The hoodie is an edition of 500 and currently available in the colors black, blue, yellow, grey and green.

MB: How does it feel to be represented together with König Souvenir at Berliner Salon during Fashion Week Berlin? How is the reaction to the Solidarity Hoodie?

KI: Of course it is a great honor and a huge opportunity to collaborate with König Souvenir. Even before the cooperation we were big fans of them.

KS: The Berliner Salon during Fashion Week was the perfect platform to show the Solidarity Hoodie. We received a throughout positive echo and even requests from the US.

MB: What’s next?

KI: Within the last months, we have fully dedicated ourselves to this project. But of course we will carry on soon.

MB: König Souvenir, which will be your next highlight?

KS: We have currently two new shirts in store created on the occasion of the exhibition by Andreas Mühe presenting his new works „Prora Sport“ and „Totilas I“. Furthermore, there are other collaborations being planned which of course will be surprises and available in our online shop Koenig-souvenir.com as well as in the gallery here in Berlin.

Photos: Jakob Blumenthal 

Portrait: Nick Leuze

IG: @goartberlin @koenig.souvenir @ignaz.de @nickleuze

GoArt! Art & Fashion Tours

Porträt Kollektiv Ignaz, Fashion Week
KSxIGNAZ
KSxIGNAZ
KSxIGNAZ

World Press Photo 18 Berlin

World Press Photo
June 12, 2018

The World Press Photo Award 2017 goes to the photographer Ronaldo Schemidt. He photographed José Víctor Slazar Balza (28) during the protests against the Venezuelan government, who was caught in flames when the tank of motorcycle exploded. Balza survived with severe burns.

The annual World Press Photo Arward is the world’s largest and most prestigious competition for press photography. Since 1955, the mission oft he World Press Photo Foundation has been „to maintain high professional standards in photojournalism and to advocate a free and unrestricted exchange of information“.

Altogether more than 4500 photographers with 73,000 photos took part in the competition. All award-winning photos will be shown in an exhibition that will be shown in 45 countries. Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus, Gruner+Jahr and the magazines Stern and Geo present the World Press Photo exhibition for the 15th time in the Willy-Brandt-Haus.

Exhibition: June 8th – July 1st, 2018, Willy-Brandt-Haus Berlin

World Press Photo 18

Installation View

World Photo Press 18

Installation View

World Photo Press 18

Installation View

World Photo Press 18

Long-Term Projects, 1st Prize, Carla Kogelman, The Netherlands, I am Waldviertel, 19 July 2012 - 29 August 2017 > Hannah and Alena are two sisters who love in Merkenbrechts, a bioenergy village of around 170 inhabitants in Waldviertel, an isolated rural area of Austria, near the Czech border.

World Photo Press 18

Carla Kogelman, Hannah und Alena, 2017

World Photo Press 18

Environment, 1ste Prize Stories, Kadir van Lohuizen, The Netherlands, NOOR Images, 23 February 2016 - 9 July 2017 > Humans are producing more waste than ever before. According to research by the World Bank, the world generates 3.5 million tonnes of solid waste a day, ten times the amount of a century ago. A documentation of waste management systems in metropolises across the world investigates how different societies manage-or mismanage-their waste.

World Photo Press 18

Kader van Lohuizen, Garbage is collected in the center of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

World Photo Press 18

Environment, 3rd Prize Singles, Thomas P. Peschak, Germany 1 Mach 2017 > A historic photograph of an African penguin colony, taken in the late 1890s, is a stark contrast to the declining numbers seen in 2017 in the same location, on Halifax Island, Namibia. The colony once numbered more than 100,000 penguins.

World Photo Press 18

Long-Term Projects 2nd Prize, Fausto Podavini, Italy, Omo Change, 24 July 2011 - 24 November 2017 > The Gibe III Dam across the Omo River in Ethiopia impacts not only people living along the Omo Valley, but those around Lake Turkana (into which the Omo empties) in Kenya. People of eight different ethnicities live along the valley in delicate balance withe the environment.

World Photo Press 18

Fausto Pdavini, Murrst women, wearing bras given to them by tourists, return to their village after fetching well water.

World Photo Press 18

A man from the Mursi ethnic group prepares for a traditional stick-fighting contest against a neighboring village.

World Photo Press 18

People, 2nd Prize Stories, Anna Boyiazis, USA 17 October - 29 December 2016 > Traditionally, girls in the Zanzibar archipelago are discouraged from learning how to swim, largely because of the strictures of a conservative islamic culture and the absence of modest swimwear.

World Photo Press 18

Anna Boyiazis, Students from the Kijini Primary School learn to swim and perform rescues, off Muyuni.

World Photo Press 18

Anna Boyiazis, Swimming instructor Chema (17) snaps her fingers as she disappears underwater, in the ocean near the village of Nungwi.