Gallery Weekend came and went, leaving Berlin more self-confident, definitely warmer and wondering about the same old/new questions: "Can someone please explain why, in 2013, Oscar Murillo's work is remotely interesting to people?" asked former Computer Art Wonderboy on his fb wall... We are unsure if we can re-publish public facebook conversations, in any case this one brought up many likes and quite a few answering comments, most of which had to do with hair and money (Murillo sports a Basquiat look) people hating other people because of their success and inevitably...Jeff Coons.
Artists in glass houses... we say.
If last weeks show-overload was about seeing too much in too little time, this week was about enduring through not much at all in what seemed like forever. It is after all performance month in Berlin. Here are + and - on this week's events. Remember it is usually not the art that is rated, that would be impossible, but what is really important- everything else.
VIRTUOSITY- A concert on skill and disruption, strength and nonchalance, morale and cheating.
Saâdane Afif, Bethan Huws, Christoph Keller, Annika Larsson, Klara Lidén, Olaf Nicolai (feat. Elliott Sharp), Tracey Rose, Tino Sehgal @Berlin Philharmonie, Kammersaal
A project by Augustin Maurs
+10 this title would have brought me to any event, any where in the world- even without the big artist names participating.
+ 1 If you visited this event to get out of the art crowd in a post-GW- can't stand-any-more-art-shit-mood, you would be deeply disappointed. Everybody who is anybody was there. Not everybody stayed until the end... but still.
Artists dealt with the composition, the stage and the sound in different degrees of virtuosity, we would single out Saâdane Afif's piece as the one most succesfully doing so +5. Also thanks to Bethan Huws for the shortness of her piece and a special mention to Annika Larson. Tino Sehgal's pieces always hold (to us) a unsual kind of appeal and magic. This time however, placed in the foyer after a quite excruciating 2 hours, felt like eating pop corn from the cinema floor. -2
+2 for the concerned-concentrated look on the artist's face during the performance. Or maybe even -2 because the artist's performance overshadowed the very subtle performance he was directing.
Now something peculiar happened during this (first) performance which left viewer facing the cornerstone of welcomed/unwelcomed questions during a performance: "Is this meant to be like that or is this freakishly embarassing?" A good 45 minutes into this performance, which to be fair was meant as kind of warm up while people come in, but was also as annoying and repetitive as a mosquito on a warm summer night, people at the back started clapping and yelling "Zugabe" - that is a very rude-sounding German word for "encore". The performer stopped and came to the edge of the scene to question the reaction. What followed in my not very skilled synchron-typing: (art or life; I will give this whole incident a +10)
Annika Larson's 999 pieces
Isabel Pauer, Before the Beginning @ Scotty Enterprises – opening
+3 for the camera shy visitors with a clever idea – defending themselves from being photographed by suddently taking out smartphones and shooting back.
+3 for hints of erotica in the drawings. Not sure if those were intentional, but they added a needed punch to this exhibition.
Artists Residency I ‘Invisible Drawings: GREY AREA’ – opening + performance
Natalie Adams (UK) & Christine Cheung (CAN) invite Arianna Rodeghiero (IT) and WOOGURU (KR)
+13 for being pleasantly surprised with the performance. I expected something more predictable but ended up wanting more and thinking that it should become a regular show in different locations.
-3 for missing some parts in the back row. I'm hesitating to give minus points here because I actually liked that the artists moved around the room and that the entire exhibition space was used (+6), despite not being completely adequate for the number of visitors. Thanks to the curators who borrowed my camera after theirs went dead, I could see the whole thing on the photos.
+3 for this nice shirt although it distracted me for a while
Part 3: Heads. Performed by Timothy Murray and Wojciech Kosma @Leap
+ 3 for the spent-the-whole-day in the sun slight (or some might say heavy) odour in the room. Was the perfect fit to the performance.
+5 for Kosma's deep voice, without which the incessant NY chatter would not have been bearable.
+20 this was a 2 hours long performance, which entailed but did not limit it self to 5-6 tender kisses, a 2,5 minute long ash hair picking, and a 5 min long mild spanking. People were leaving from here too, I want to believe rushing home to procreate.