ANDRÉ BUTZER at Max Hetzler Gallery

Galerie Max Hetzler opens a new space in Berlin that will be inaugurated with an exhibition of recent works by André Butzer.


Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

29 May – 1 August 2020

Galerie Max Hetzler announces the opening of a new space at Bleibtreustraße 15/16, with an exhibition of recent works by André Butzer. The exhibition will inaugurate the gallery’s third location in Berlin. A street level gallery, in a magnificent art nouveau building, Bleibtreustraße 15/16 was formerly the home of the pioneering German avant-garde art dealer Alfred Flechtheim (1878 born in Münster; 1937 died in London), who lived there from 1923 to 1933, before the Nazi regime forced him to emigrate to London. A memorial plaque on the outside of the building commemorates him as: “art dealer, publisher and friend of modern art”. Situated in the heart of Berlin-Charlottenburg, the new space will join the gallery’s current locations at Bleibtreustraße 45 and Goethestraße 2/3, continuing Galerie Max Hetzler’s longstanding commitment to exhibiting the work of contemporary artists across generations.

Since 2018, André Butzer resides in California and continues his elementary explorations of colour, light, and pictorial scale. Yet, everything seems to be “seen anew”. His paintings virtually reinvent themselves. Some of them are now even titled again, often in the form of basic words such as “Pistachios”, “Barber Shop”, and “Lunch”. Everyday things, places and activities from which the mosaic of an American experience gradually forms itself.

Central to the selection of five recent paintings and one work on paper is English Muffins. In its visual abundance, the painting is just as overwhelming as it is ravishing. It encompasses the entire chromatic spectrum. Every hue, every state of colour is incorporated into this painterly simultaneity of escalation and serenity. Butzer keeps what is abstract and what is corporeal, what disintegrates and what assembles in a precarious balance.

English Muffins is accompanied by two paintings upon which coloured bands, together with metallic and flesh-like forms, ornamentally “create planes”, as well as by paintings of a single woman and a group. Planar pictorial figures gaining universal validity due to their iconic appearance, their reproducibility, and their accessibility. Butzer’s latest paintings reveal all those polar opposites to be one single whole and realise a coherent conjunction of colours, lines, planes, figuration and abstraction.

André Butzer (*1973, Stuttgart), lives in Altadena, California. Fusing European Expressionism with American popular culture since 1994, Butzer has painted his way through the artistic and political extremes of the 20th century: life and death, consumption and mass entertainment. Today, he is one of the internationally most recognized painters of his generation. Butzer’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions in renowned institutions, such as the IKOB Museum of Contemporary Art, Eupen (2018); Växjö Konsthall, Växjö (2018); Neue Galerie Gladbeck (2016); Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2011); Theseustempel, Vienna (2011) and Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg (2009), among others. His works are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Carré d’Art, Nîmes; Deichtorhallen Hamburg; Hall Art Foundation, Reading; Nationalgalerie – Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; LACMA, Los Angeles; MOCA, Los Angeles; Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, Bremen; Rubell Museum, Miami; Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Germany and YUZ Museum Shanghai, among others. This is the thirteenth exhibition of Butzer’s work at Galerie Max Hetzler since 2003. It will be followed by a solo exhibition at our Paris gallery space in autumn 2020.

Erica Baum. A METHOD OF A CLOAK.

A METHOD OF A CLOAK Erica Baum’s first solo exhibition with KLEMM’S in Berlin

Klemm’s, Berlin

Until 13 June, 2020

Fascinated by the printed word, concrete poetry, and the beauty of language permeating our daily lives, the American artist Erica Baum could be best described as a “poet-photographer”.

She has become internationally known for her photographic practice based on found texts and images. With her reflected, nonchalant use of strategies akin to the work of the Pictures Gene- ration, conceptual art, and minimalism, Erica Baum has developed a unique and truly authentic visual language. For two decades now, her enigmatic close-ups of books, newspapers, and other printed matter have been investigating the nature, traditions, and essences of the photographic, steadily “re-materializing” its visual, haptic and thematic qualities.

Erica Baum’s works are “photographic” in a very specific fashion: alongside the fleeting and ephemeral quality of the constant flow of images on display, she places an object-like presence and a precise interest in the material context of photography. By developing her series of pictures in direct close-ups, focused on surprising details with a shallow depth of field, she evokes a poetic power: indexically precise and at the same time abstract and trans-temporal like a collage, fragmentary and yet possessing a narrative power; seemingly everyday, trivial, and at the same time charged. Baum’s pictures are emotional in a special sense – they have a soul and demand most careful attention. They question and confirm in very fundamental ways: text, image, writing – their message, significance and use — an understanding of the essence of our culture.

A METHOD OF A CLOAK is Erica Baum’s first solo exhibition with KLEMM’S, presenting her current series Patterns, photographs taken from guidelines and booklets made for the home tailor. Drawing a line between the “dictate” of fashion and the language of sewing patterns, Baum lets the words resonate on their own, freed from the canvas of a sentence.

Visual information is here quite literally layered, the signs and lines, word fragments and figures on the various sides appear over and next to one another. On a yellow-patinated foundation and against a backdrop of faded blues, reds, and blacks, a rhythmic play of instructions, a multilingual fashion vocabulary, and freely hovering body silhouettes develops. Somewhere between technical drawing, geometric diagrams, and a minimalist sketch book.

Striking in Patterns is the division into larger formats and smaller, almost serialistic images. The latter, with their reduced drawing and textual components, set the tone for the abstract visual language and the concentrated rhythm of the work group. The outlines of the figures thus are all the more remarkable in the visual space of the larger, subtly composed tableaus. With their posture, gestures, and facial expressions, these de-humanized mannequins and strangely inanimate subjects seem confident and entirely autonomous. Framed by patterns and sewing instructions, a different form of legibility comes to the fore.

Erica Baum inscribes her current images with a weightlessness, which already on second glance suggests a deeper, critical interest. The alienation of maker and product in our world of commodities and the role of the invisible labor force in the sweatshops of global competition come to mind, alongside questions of gender stereotypes, control and still prevalent power relations. By trusting the visual finesse and openness of her images, Baum succeeds in making various layers of this critical context palpable. Creating a stark contrast with the primary function of those manuals, which were actually aimed at “controlling” the body through arrangements, lines and cuts, they are now transcended into vessels for a much wider conversation.

Erica Baum (born in New York, 1961) received a BA in anthropology from Barnard in 1984 and an MFA from Yale University in 1994. Recent museum exhibitions include Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY ; Face à face, Frac île-de-france, Campus de Villetaneuse; The Swindle: Art Between Seeing and Believing, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Lever le voile, Frac île-de-france, Paris; Photo- Poetics: An Anthology, Kunsthalle Berlin and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include A Long Dress, Bureau, New York; Naked Eye Nature Morte, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris; AAa:Quien, Erica Baum & Libby Rothfeld, Bureau, New York; The Following Information, Bureau, New York; Stanzas, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris. Selected biennials include; AGORA 4th Athens Biennale, Athens, 2013 and the 30th Bienal de São Paulo: The Imminence of Poetics, São Paulo, Brazil, 2012. Her work is held in the public collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; FRAC Ile de France, Paris; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.

Images > Erica Baum at Klemm’s Courtesy the gallery and the artist

BARBARA BLOOM Works on Paper, On Paper

BARBARA BLOOM Works on Paper, On Paper

Capitain Petzel, Berlin

Until 1 August, 2020

The gallery is temporarily closed but the exhibition can be viewed by appointment.

Barbara Bloom, Works on Paper, on Paper Photo: Jens Ziehe

Bloom’s Stand-Ins constitute an ongoing series from the 1980s. For Works on Paper, on Paper she presents two of her historical Stand-Ins – Marriage on the Rocks, 1986 and Homage to Jean Seberg, 1981 – alongside four new works. Each Stand-Inconsists of an unfurled roll of seamless backdrop paper on which is placed a piece of furniture, accompanied by object-props: books, open magazines, newspapers, pieces of clothing, and occasionally a framed image. The works hover somewhere between sculpture, mise en scène, and the clues left for a detective’s perusal.

Barbara Bloom, Works on Paper, on Paper Photo: Jens Ziehe
Barbara Bloom, Works on Paper, on Paper Photo: Jens Ziehe

A photographer rolls down a swath of seamless backdrop paper in order to frame what is placed in front of it, so as to photograph the model and props in seamless, isolated color. The point of this color-field framing is to divorce the objects from the real world, rendering them contextless, spaceless. In Bloom’s works, the backdrop papers function similarly as a framing device, but there is no photographer and no photographs taken. The viewer observes only the set-up, a scene that implies an event just happened or will soon take place. Though the objects physically stand before the viewer, they do not exist in the present tense; placed in the seamless color-field they become atemporal, timeless.

Barbara Bloom, Works on Paper, on Paper Photo: Jens Ziehe

Bloom has spent years making works that explore what it means to pay tribute or honor a person or place, and she has given much thought to conjuring up the presence of an absent person or lapsed event. She has pondered extensively the many forms of memorial, tribute, commemoration, and homage. With her Stand-Ins, she approaches the subject of portraiture, but these works are not portraits. Instead, the stand-in furniture and props act as metonymic devices: the thing used or regarded as a substitute for someone.

Barbara Bloom, Works on Paper, on Paper Photo: Jens Ziehe

On the backside of the partition wall, Bloom presents her new series titled Objects of Desire. For this she takes as starting point the idea of the coveted object and contemplates what grants it the allure and capacity to act as a carrier of meaning. What if we were to consider these objects not for their aesthetic, symbolic or metaphoric qualities, but as intermediaries (messengers) between people? Perhaps we should consider them, as described by the anthropologist Alfred Gell, as ambassadors. Here, Bloom presents a number of items that have over the years, as she says, “gotten their hold on me”. These are not the originals and thus do not possess the aura of the item once touched by the hand of the famous person. They are facsimiles of particular objects that have called out to Bloom throughout her life. Each facsimile is housed and displayed in a custom-built case that infers the original owner’s habits, actions, and interaction with it.

Barbara Bloom, Works on Paper, on Paper Photo: Jens Ziehe

Bloom was born in Los Angeles, California in 1951 and graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 1972. In 2020, she will have a solo show at the Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark and in 2022 a large scale commission from The Shed, New York. Her work can be found in public collections worldwide including the Dutch National Collection, The Hague; International Center of Photography, New York; MAK Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna; Musée Cantini, Marseille; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Art Institute of Chicago; The New School, New York and Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama.

ADLER EHRENSTEIN LEY at Anton Janizewski gallery

ADLER EHRENSTEIN LEY at Anton Janizewski gallery

Anton Janizewski gallery, Berlin

extended until 4 June 2020

Due to the Covid-19 emergency the exhibition might be closed to the public until further notice. We invite you to CLICK HERE and check the website of the organizers to find the latest information and updates about the current situation.

Emma Adler, SUPERFLARE (Carrington 20.20) Keramik. Photo by Sascha Herrmann, Courtesy Anton Janizewski gallery

Emma Alder’s installation SUPERFLARE is a transformed version of an exhibition at Neuer Kunstver- ein Gießen. The work originates from a long research and working process and is part of a series of installations Adler continuously uses in various exhibition formats, starting in 2018 at Künstlerhaus Dahlem in Berlin in her installation REALITY SHOW. Emma Adler creates spatial compositions determined by her humorous use of materials. Her work at Galerie Anton Janizewski is based on the analysis of phenomena called Superflares. These are solar storms whose radiant power can influence the magnetic field, a protective shield of the earth, in an extreme and unpredictable way. A scientific apocalyptic scenario? Conspiracy theory with cosmic force? In any case, a rare phenomenon that far exceeds the human scope for action and control.

Anna Ehrenstein True Self I & II, 2018, 200 x 100 x 35 cm, Edition of 3, digital print on display film + ALIL, 2019 Lenticular Print, Edition of 3, 15 x 10 cm. Photo by Sascha Herrmann, Courtesy Anton Janizewski gallery

Anna Ehrenstein’s collage works consist of virtual platform glitches and research quotes: dealing with historical and socioeconomic critique of western feminist mythologies and constructions of the “true self”. The depicted imagery is the result of interviews with hyper feminin women in Tirana about their preferred image retouching techniques and personal choices on visual self construction. After each conversation the protagonists received 20-30 images in their favored aesthetic. Screen- shots of the social media curation in turn have been saved after being made public through the participants’ autonomously selected digital platforms. While `True Self` is examining concepts of authenticity in the relation between subject and object, the lenticular prints “A Lotus Is Lotus” from the eponymous body of work are looking at the present day circulation of exotica. They form part of a bigger research on colonial trajectories interwoven into East West power relations, fake textiles, tourist market and 3D stock exchanges.

Anna Ley Gleisdreieck, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 130 x 90 cm + Floraplatz 2018 150 x 120 cm Acrylic on canvas. Photo by Sascha Herrmann, Courtesy Anton Janizewski gallery

Anna Ley paints what she sees and how she sees it. Reducing the motifs she chooses to the most necessary. The question arising when creating a picture is: How much does the picture need and what doesn’t it need? Ley’s paintings show everyday objects and places that have shaped the pain- ter‘s life. But they also belong to our society’s collective memory. Thus the viewer has the possibility to link their own experiences and memories with the respective painting. If one zooms out of the individual picture, a network of pictures emerges; a hyper image reflecting the painter’s personal attitude and preferences while also raising current social and political questions.

Jeremy Demester, OUIDAH

Jeremy Demester, OUIDAH

Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

14 March – 30 May 2020

Jeremy Demester lives and works between Paris and Ouidah, Benin, where he has established a studio. According to the Voodoo cults of the Yoruba culture, rooted in Togo, Benin and Nigeria, Ouidah is the city of revenants. Living closely to the spirits, Demester creates works inspired – in the strongest sense – by the vicinity of the otherworld, embodied in the most extraordinary objects, as well as the most common.

The present exhibition was developed through consultation with several Voodoo masters (Vodounnon). An oracle gave the artist twenty-one words. These words, such as sun, moon, arrow or cross, are all symbols that populate the works to activate the world of spirits. Stirred by invisible forces, Demester’s paintings embrace the infinite metamorphoses of this cult, through their intense colourism and their exploration of primordial energies.

Demester’s works are presented along with art objects from his own collection, created in Ouidah, which bear witness to several aspects of the Voodoo journey. The Voodoo art objects take various forms and continually evolve in response to the fluctuations of the Western market, which can be felt in the availability of certain fabrics or in clothing fashions. Voodoo, an ancestral force, embodies in all materials – it dominates life.

“Jeremy Demester’s painting is action, vision and prose. In search of new possibilities in the world, the painter probes experience through intuition. It is his guide. In front of the artwork, intuition favors astonishment over assurance and pushes the painter to approach the impossible.” (Annabelle Gugnon, 2018)

Jeremy Demester (*1988, Digne), lives and works in Paris. Demester’s work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions, such as at the MUba Eugène Leroy, Tourcoing (2019); Château Malromé, Saint André-du-Bois (2018); Mucciaccia Contemporary, Rome (2017); Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Étienne, Saint-Étienne; Palais de l’École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (both 2016); Zinsou Foundation, Ouidah and Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris (both 2015), among others. His work can be found in the public collections of the Foundation Zinsou, Ouidah; Istanbul Modern, Istanbul and Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain Saint-Étienne Métropole, Saint-Étienne, among others.

Due to the Covid-19 emergency the exhibition might be closed until further notice. We invite you to check the website of the organizers to find the latest updates.

All images > Exhibition view Jeremy Demester. Courtesy, Galerie Max Hetzler

Sonia Gomes I Rise – I’m a Black Ocean, Leaping and Wide

Sonia Gomes I Rise – I’m a Black Ocean, Leaping and Wide

by Elda Oreto

Sonia Gomes never considered a career as an artist. She discovered her vocation by accident, long after she thought herself established in another occupation. Almost as if she had found her way after a long off-piste run. I rise – I’m a Black Ocean, Leaping and Wide is Sonia Gomes’ first exhibition in Germany, it is on display at the Salon Berlin, the Berlin exhibition space of the Frieder Burda Museum, in Baden-Baden (museum-frieder-burda.de/de/home). The show is curated by Patricia Kamp, artistic director and curator of the space which displays, apart from Gomes’ works, installations, sculptures and art from to 2000 onwards. The installations insinuate themselves into the space like organic creatures: they crawl on the floor, climb up the walls or hang in balance down from the ceiling. Everything is in motion.

Sonia Gomes, To De Kooning, 2019. Mixed Media, 180 × 90 × 60 cm © Sonia Gomes; Courtesy of Mendes Wood DM São Paulo, Brussels, New York; Foto: Bruno Leão

Cordão dos Mentecaptos (2016), is a carnival image in which a long line of fabric – supported by barbed wire and padded with various types of cloth – that resembles a snake or an umbilical cord, winds through the room. In Hiato (2019) two nets padded with fabric and resembling stuffed bags and lumpy knots, hang from the ceiling, counterbalancing one another. Aninhado (2019) is a cage folded and forcibly fastened to the root of a tree. Picaré (2018), from the Raíz series, is a huge tree trunk that the artist salvaged from a river and to which she attached a fishing net and other fabrics. The relationship her artwork establishes between different elements is not always an easy one. Indeed, the elements are forced together with deliberate violence, recalling the poses of certain athletes or acrobats.

On the wall there is a poem by Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise” (1978), which was also the title of the exhibition Gomes held at the same time at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) and at the Casa de Vidro. The relationship between poetry and sculpture is fundamental to Gomes’ practice. All of her materials are used or found by chance, they have already their own history and they have been affected by the actions and movements of other subects. Everything is permeated by the very rich Afro-Brazilian spiritual and religious heritage. “It’s a job of building stories and lives and time,” the artist says, and this becomes evident if we consider that weaving and writing have one thing in common: they create connections. There is always an element at the border between life and death, between the end and the rebirth. Twisted, nervous, dream-like disturbing objects that combine a good and a bad characteristics. A chemistry of feelings in which, at some point, it is impossible to identify differences.

Sônia Gomes. © 2019

Sonia Gomes was born in Caetanopolis, a Brazilian municipality, in 1948, from a marriage between an Afro-Brazilian woman and a white man. She grew up with her father’s Catholic family, after the premature death of her mother. But the influence of African culture persists in her life and strongly affects her work. Sonia Gomes worked in her father’s textile factory alongside the seamstresses. They all worked busily in the factory, like the women in Diego Velázquez’s painting, Las Hilanderas. The humid heat of the tropical jungle, the sounds of birds with unknown names and the noise of the water filled her afternoons, as Sonia hemmed, cut, and sewed. But Gomes knew that she would never be a seamstress. She did things her way, with no specific purpose or direction. On the recommendation of a friend, she enrolled in the Guignard Art School and, at the age of 40, she embarked on a completely new, unexpected path. She began exploring other possibilities beyond the classic media of art and experimented by mixing fabrics and leaves, tree trunks and colors. Fabric, silk, cotton, lace and bright colors all merged with wood, metal cages and fishing nets.

Gomes doesn’t like to label her work, so she does not call it contemporary. But it is through contemporary art that she has discovered to be an artist. “Sometimes my job resembles my innards,” says Gomes, describing the most organic and intuitive aspect of her practice, which also has a strong aesthetic and formal component. She makes her art out of necessity, or she would have gone mad, she says. Art is a way to discover life, without worrying about the commercial aspect of her work, Gomes has always focused on honesty: for her, art is truth. Even though Gomes does not belong to one specific artistic movement, with her work, she supports the Afro-Brazilian political movement, and now that her work has gained visibility, she believes it is important to give her contribution.

Sonia Gomes, TECIDOS LEVES ATADOS EM FORҪA
2013, stitching, bindings, different fabrics and laces, 230 × 100 × 20 cm photo Thomas Bruns

Gomes feels that there is a great deal of distrust in Afro-Brazilian artists. Racism today is real and cruel, she says. If there is a law about it, that also means that a prejudice exists. So she uses each work as a chance to support her cause. In her art, Gomes combines African tradition and surrealism. Many elements of her work recall Brazilian modernism, contemporary art and the practice of Louis Bourgeois’ – including a strange parallelism between her life story and his. At the same time, there are references to the Black Atlantic, an Afro-diasporic counterculture described by Paul Gilroy in 1993 as “not specifically African, American, Caribbean or European but all of them together.”

Represented by the Mendes Wood DM Gallery, Gomes held her first major institutional monographic exhibitions in 2018 in Brazil, at the MASP (Museu de Arte de São Paulo) and at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói. Her work has also been included in institutional collective exhibitions such as the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2015); Entangled: Threads and Making, Turner Contemporary, Margate, United Kingdom (2017); Revival, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., USA (2017); Art & Textiles: Fabric as Material and Concept in Modern Art, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2013); and Out of Fashion. Textile in International Contemporary Art, Kunsten – Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Denmark (2013).

Courtesy Museum Frieder Burda ©

Salon Berlin is a forum for international contemporary art, a showroom and an experimental space of the Frieder Burda Museum. Salon Berlin is closely connected with the museum program and the internationally renowned Frieder Burda Collection, which focuses on modernism and contemporary art and now includes around 1000 paintings, sculptures, objects, photographs and works on paper. The collection is based in Baden-Baden, in the museum designed by the architect Richard Maier and inaugurated in 2004. It is managed by the Frieder Burda Foundation, founded in 1998.

Franziska Klotz and Patricia Ayres

Franziska Klotz and Patricia Ayres

GALERIE KORNFELD, Berlin

until 18 April 2020

Franziska Klotz paints landscapes, figures or structures that she observes in real life. The scrutiny of reality and existential questions of being are just as critical to her as the means of painting per se: Composition, colour, form and individual expression. Patricia Ayres makes sculptures out of fabric and other soft materials that evoke deformed archetypes of femininity. The vulnerability of the body becomes apparent, and also the striving of the soul for unconditional freedom.

Many artists passionately cherish the state of incognito, which hints towards dissociation. Franziska Klotz does not. With her new works, she reacts to her life and art with acute awareness. Those who know how to read Klotz’s paintings will perceive a particular, emotional moment in them, which connects the private inner world with the public environment. From an artistic point of view, Klotz’s annual production in 2019 is more concentrated, stylistically more condensed, and more oriented towards the significance of colour as matter. It includes drawings as well as small to mid-format oil on canvas paintings. More than ever before, Franziska Klotz respects the autonomy of artistic values as the essential factors in the transformation of reality.

Paintings of young people in times of crisis thematise mood swings and the challenges of coming of age. The highlight of the artistic self-interrogation of Klotz is the painting “Moorbrücke”, a symbolic painting constructed upon brown/white/grey/blue panels in which insecurity and instability constitute the horizon of interpretation in the life of every human being. This painting that points both towards the whence and the whither is a meditative bridge from colour to a transcendent reality. Franziska Klotz only primed the canvas partially, and she playfully places codes in the upper part of the painting with charcoal to lead the viewers into the open and ultimately to leave them to their own devices without easy answers…”

Associative candour also characterises the work of Patricia Ayres. Her amorphous, humanoid sculptures are sisters with the Venus of Willendorf and thus with a prehistoric expression of femininity. Simultaneously they are related to the fetish-like dolls of Hans Bellmer. An outer skin of coloured rubber bands, fabric and yarn, held together by hooks, eyelets and carabiners, stretches over a construction of cotton wool, foam rubber and plywood. The small-format works in our exhibition could just as well represent heads as torsos. Associations with skin-coloured underwear of the past come to mind. One could think of corsetry, which shapes the female body according to mostly male ideals, but also of straitjackets, which inhibit the need for movement of the mentally ill through fixation. The vulnerability of the figures is mirrored in the pedestals made of concrete blocks stacked on top of each other, some of which are painted. All the same, the irrepressible power of Patricia Ayres’ sculptures is all too evident, their unquenchable urge to break free and to literally tear the bonds and thus liberate not only the body but also the mind.

Franziska Klotz was awarded the Max Ernst Scholarship of the City of Brühl and worked for more than six months as a fellow of the German Cultural Academy Tarabya in Istanbul at the invitation of the Goethe Institute in 2015 and 2018. Her works are exhibited worldwide, for example at the 4th International Biennale for Young Art in Moscow 2014, at the 56th October Salon in Belgrade 2016 and the Fanø Art Museum in Denmark 2017. In 2018, her works were exhibited as part of the presentation of fellowship holders of the Tarabya Cultural Academy in Hamburger Bahnhof. In 2019, the Cultural Forum Schorndorf dedicated the exhibition “Ölregen” to her, which was accompanied by a catalogue with texts by Gerald Matt and Karin Schulze. After completing her fine arts studies at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York with a BFA and an MFA from the Hunter College of the City University of New York, Patricia Ayres graduated from the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture as master student in 2019. The works of the multi-award-winning artist, who came to Berlin for the first time in 2007 on a scholarship, were shown in 2019, among others, in the exhibition “Entering a Song” at Koenig & Clinton in Brooklyn, New York.

Images > Installation View Franziska Klotz and Patricia Ayres 24 Jan – 18 April 2020, Courtesy GALERIE KORNFELD, Berlin

NATHALIE DJURBERG & HANS BERG, It Will End in Stars, 2018 at Julia Stoschek Collection

NATHALIE DJURBERG & HANS BERG

It Will End in Stars, 2018

Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin

From 25 January until 26 April 2020

by Elda Oreto

It Will End in Stars (2018) is a virtual reality project by Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg for Acute Art (www.acuteart.org). The project, directed and curated by Daniel Birnbaum, will be exhibited until April 26, 2020 at the Julia Stoschek Collection (www.jsc.art). Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg create an interactive VR work that combines the aesthetic of a video game with that of an escape room. The work investigates freedom of choice and the way each of us reacts to different possibilities. In order to make tangible the importance of decisions and intentions in human action, the work requires the viewer to move and operate “actively” within the virtual space. A sensor detects hand movements and causes the VR to react accordingly.

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, It Will End in Stars, 2018, virtual reality. Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art.

The viewer of the work, once the VR glasses are on, has access to the virtual landscape: in a dark wood faces the first decision — to enter an abandoned hut or to remain in the woods, wandering aimlessly, exposed to unknown dangers. Entering the hut, inside, there is a gray wolf sitting on an armchair near a fireplace. Around him are scattered various objects, including a gramophone and a skull. Enclosed in a small birdcage, hanging from the ceiling, there is a miniature woman. Djurberg’s disturbing images recall the typical motifs of her work, creating an alienating and obscene world, like those described in certain nursery rhymes for children. Djurberg continues her artistic research into the archetypes of western mindsets, with her charcoal drawings in black and white, together with text inserts and a soundtrack by Hans Berg. Strange words appear suspended in mid-air. They remind us of the voices in our dreams: they make sense but are truncated and only partially intelligible. Among the writings, two passages captivate the attention: Let’s keep memories they make me company… I am scared… 

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, It Will End in Stars, 2018, virtual reality. Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art.

The interactive element of It Will End in Stars requires the viewer to find an element or an object that activates the next level, in order to continue along the path and reach the end. The viewer must perform various actions: offering the wolf a cigarette, lighting it, touching the skull, touching the gramophone to make the wolf dance and finally, touching the woman in the cage. Performing these operations in succession allows to enter another dimension — the patio of a temple, where the tiny woman becomes a giant. While flashing, the woman turns into a skeleton that resembles some kind of primitive deity. Walking under the huge legs of the giant, who, among other things, seems to have cannibalistic intentions, one is able to escape the temple, becoming free into a starry universe.

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, It Will End in Stars, 2018, virtual reality. Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art.

In It Will End in Stars, each choice leads to another choice and then to more. Time is always an eternal now, with a constantly flexible perimeter. If a choice we have made has not led us anywhere, we can correct it and revise it; we can go back and change it. There is no “game-over.” The past is reversible, without guilt. This double interactive and simultaneously programmed nature of VR creates a sense of openness to infinite possibilities accompanied by a limitation of choice.

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, It Will End in Stars, 2018, virtual reality. Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art.

In Djurberg & Berg VR, what we encounter is more than a crossroad, it is like a three way junction. The past lies behind us, with the choices we have made (like the dark, endless wood); ahead of us is a future with two possibilities: following established habits (like the wolf on the chair who smokes cigarettes), repeating the choices of the past infinitely, inevitably leading us to the same point, as in a vicious circle, or changing, overcoming our fears (the woman in the cage) and evolving into something unexpected and bigger (the starry sky).

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, It Will End in Stars, 2018, virtual reality. Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art.

Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg’s research revolves around the primary fears and instincts of the human soul – jealousy, avarice, lust – analyzing them when they are still in a primitive and concrete state and not yet defined abstractly as feelings, bound by logical measures and moral norms. The complex symbolic universe they create represents a short journey inside the dark zone of our soul, reflecting the opportunities that a person encounters in every moment of life, on order to achieve what he wants. Their work combines Djurberg’s characteristic clay animation, which she developed in 2001, and Berg’s hypnotic musical compositions and sound effects. By mixing cinema, sculpture and performance, their most recent works have also created immersive environments rich in symbolic meaning. These works include We Are Not Two We Are One (2008) and Tiger Licking a Girls’ Butt (2004), which present a visionary world made up of grotesque figures and anguished atmospheres. The artistic duo exhibited together at various events including The Secret Garden (2016) at the Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, China; the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and the Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. They have also participated in group exhibitions, including the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009). 

Nathalie Djurberg was born in Lysekil, Sweden in 1978, and she received an MFA at the Malmö Art Academy, Sweden in 2002. Hans Berg was born in Rättvik, Sweden in 1978, and he is a musician, producer and composer, working mainly with electronic music. Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg live and work in Berlin, Germany.

Kris Lemsalu Malone & Kyp Malone Lemsalu, Love Song Sing-Along

Kris Lemsalu Malone & Kyp Malone Lemsalu, Love Song Sing-Along

KW INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, Berlin

From 29 February to 3 May 2020 

Kris Lemsalu creates sculptures, installations, and performances that fuse the animal kingdom with humankind, nature with the artificial, beauty with repulsion, lightness with gravity, and life with death. She combines animal bodies and porcelain objects with found (natural) material such as furs, leather, seashells, wool, or paper in theatrical installations that whisk us off into a world of fantastic imagination. Endeavoring to erase any distance between herself and her objects, the artist also uses her installations as stages for performance pieces in which her sculptures become an integral part of her attire. Her works carry the memory of local mythologies onto the surfaces of objects that resemble artifacts and byproducts of contemporary civilization.
 
Since Performa 17, Kris Lemsalu has collaborated with New York-based artist and multi-instrumentalist Kyp Malone (born in 1973, US) to create enhanced installations and performances encompassing sculpture, ceramics, animation, performative elements as well as music and sound. The exhibition at KW presents a newly conceived body of work as a continuation of the multifaceted collaboration between the—in the meantime married—duo. The large-scale installation will take up the entire third floor and will serve as an environment in which the lines between objects, bodies, and action are blurred.

Kris Lemsalu Malone & Kyp Malone Lemsalu, 2019, photo: Eric Martin

During the opening Kris Lemsalu Malone and Kyp Malone Lemsalu will enliven this environment with a new performance to create an enchanting spatial continuum. Through the ephemeral embodiment the duo enhances the blending of seemingly opposed dualities such as object and subject, animals and mankind, life and death, as well as the power and vulnerability of longstanding mythologies, rituals and one’s own narrative.

HAPTIC FEEDBACK at Thomas Schulte Gallery / Berlin

HAPTIC FEEDBACK at Thomas Schulte Gallery / Berlin

THOMAS SCHULTE GALLERY BERLIN

UNTIL 22 FEB 2020

WALEAD BESHTY, DAVID HARTT, CAROLYN LAZARD,MARIALOBODA,IÑIGOMANGLANO- OVALLE, JEAN-LUC MOULÈNE, MICHAEL MÜLLER, JULIA PHILLIPS, WILMER WILSON IV

Galerie Thomas Schulte presents a group exhibition featuring works by nine artists who explore our changing perceptions of reality, identity, and a shift in mental space. Haptic Feedback deals with the changing psychological relationship to physical space and our sense of belonging and touch under the influence of digital technologies.

Iñigo Manglano, Ovalle – Die Hütte / The Hut 2013-2020, Charred Cedar 350x350x400 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Thomas Schulte

The exhibition was developed in collaboration with the Philadelphia-based artist of the gallery, David Hartt.
The term “haptic feedback” dates backto the late 1990s and was first used by computer game developers who installed haptic technologies within game controllers. These technologies create a tactile experience by applying forces, vibration and movement to the user. Simple versions are for example the vibrating of the phone in response to manual input or the rumbling of the controller during computer games.

David Hartt / Negative Space, 2019 / tapestry, 290 x 515 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Thomas Schulte

Today however, haptic feedback is understood more as a form of communication between man and machine than a specific technological application. It involves everything from the creation of a sense of presence, an emotional connection and affects our well-being and how we explore and interact with objects. At a time, when intimacy is increasinglydefined by touch screen interactions,the works in the exhibition can be seen as explorations and as the reaffirmation of the importance of haptic feedback in relation to our physical and bodily identity. The exhibition features works by Walead Beshty, David Hartt, Carolyn Lazard, Maria Loboda, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Jean-Luc Moulène, Michael Müller, Julia Phillips and Wilmer Wilson IV.


PUBLICATION LISTED IN THE ITALIAN PRESS REGISTER BY THE SASSARI COURT OF LAW WITH REGISTRATION NUMBER 447/2017.
EDITOR IN CHIEF: ALICE ZUCCA

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