Regina Maria Möller at Michael Janssen Gallery Berlin

November 16, 2018

Regina Maria Möllers’ exhibition ‚The Moth’ runs until November 17, 2018 at Janssen Gallery Berlin. Born in Munich Möller firstly took up her studies at the Philosophical Faculty of Ludwig Maximilians University. She spent a large part of her career as a professor/visiting professor as well as artist (since 1993) amongst others in New York, Stockholm, at the NTNU Trondheim, Singapore as well as MIT in Cambridge. Today she lives in Berlin. With ongoing and often interdisciplinary projects such as ‚regina’ or ‚embodiment’ Möller focuses on socially relevant topics that partly autobiographical. She consistently works at the interface between culture and everyday life.

GoArt! meets Regina Maria Möller.

MB: Regina, how does your day start?

RMM: When I am in Berlin I usually go to the SSE – I swim.

MB:  At first glance, the gallery showcase is covered with a heavy black curtain. Entering the front space the visitor is confronted with a stage-like set of historical theatre curtains. Only after passing through does he reach the props warehouse, which is in the backspace of the gallery, exhibiting more of your works. Consequently, it becomes an indirect stage direction for the viewer – what role does the moth play in this production?

RMM: During the exhibition visitors pass the gallery through the main curtain and thus become participants. There is a shadow play in the center of the “stage” and by moving the curtains it reveals a new perspective to the viewer. Dramaturgy and orientation move circular – similar to the behavior of moths orbiting round the light while simultaneously being attracted by darkness. In this case I am referring to the ‘clothes moth’. An unwelcome visitor in our wardrobes, but at the same time it is a quality guarantee in digitally and plastic dominated ages: their larvae live on keratin, a protein that is a component of an animals fur and horn. Therefore fibres of high quality like wool and silk are a desirable resource for larvae.

Generally speaking, a heavy theatre curtain is often associated with something dusty in which thousands of moths larvae are romping about. It is penetrated, eaten and if it is not conserved in a theatrical prop it consequently lands in an old stuff bag. Moreover, the fabulous creature ‘The Mothman’ is an allegory for the Grim Reaper and so do the clothes moths remind of the Ephemeral.  For me, this is a memento mori to our senses and to material as a tangible body.
In addition, the porcelain vases come into play: For the first time they are endowed with a moth motif and produced together with Uli Aigner One Million as well as with the porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg. Handcraft and porcelain production have taken on a new significance in our technological world. All the more I love its delicacy and imperfection. Like so many materials I work with porcelain has its own character – a life – that provides surprises. So does the moth.

MB: Originally, you have a theoretical background, and among others studied art history. 1994 you also emerged as an artist with works like the magazine ‘regina’ and the label ‘embodiment’ – designing dresses, wallpapers and furniture as well as art works. Noticeable are the biographical components, for example, ‘Reproduktionen’ or other photo works, even the robes in it function as requisites. Do you place yourself in the genre of the self-portraying artist?

RMM: Generally, I do not consider myself an art piece and do not stage myself as an artist. But as an author, an artist, I naturally identify with my works and in this sense each piece leaves an imprint, an image of myself. On the one hand important issues of ‘regina’ and ’embodiment’ is the question of identities showing themselves in everyday life – intercultural and medial – for example via ‘clothing’ (dresses, textiles, interieur). But also the attribution and penetration of role models are of particular relevance. In our fast pace digital age people use multiple identities. Like this biographies become a mirror of a entertainment society. Nevertheless ‘regina’ and ‘embodiment’ go back to the 90ies where these issues were still quite different. Today they have a new relevance – their physical (embodiment) and analogue (regina) presence.

MB: To me, objects in the show awaken protagonists of the cultural life like the Brechtian curtain, a time travel through different epochs and genre. Is the moth synonym for a pioneering spirit of researchers, for artists, even for you, in your artistic context?

RMM: No. But it is part of it.

MB: Besides, a topic that interests me a lot is food – also part of ‘regina’ -of course in a vital way. The social importance of food, of nutrition, up to recipes. What place does food/cooking have in your artistic context?

RMM: The Eat Art concept of Daniel Spoerri has taught me early on how closely art and cooking are interlinked. To me the kitchen is a meeting place. Communal cooking and eating create the climate for fruitful exchanges between cultures. I myself enjoy cooking and I like carefully prepared tables – simple as well as magnificent – but always elaborate ones. Besides, there is king Louis II of course – the fairy tale king of Bavaria – with the fabulous ‘Wishing Table’…

MB: Recipe idea?

RMM: Re-educating our senses and sensors.

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

GoArt! Berlin art consulting

 

 

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