Artwise and socially, last week did not disappoint. Encouraged by post-holiday boredom, new years resolutions, lack of money and/or friendly outdoor temperatures, a lot of people used the benefits of the sudden boom of art events. Let us hope that this common January spark of energy and will lives throughout the whole 2014!
A Planetary Order @ Galerie Christian Ehrentraut
Martin John Callanan, Rebecca Partridge, Katie Paterson
+10 for camera-friendly people posing readily (and without my interference) in front of the artwork
...while some others might have been actually discussing something art related
...and some others instagrammin´
And some were also seen later that day cruising around and taking photos in another gallery (+15 for the gentleman in red who made his presence more remarkable than many of the artworks seen that night). (A)
Andreas Fischer / Manfred Kuttner @ Johann König, Berlin
Andreas Fischer - The Head of the Clock
Electromechanical machines assembled from various, mostly everyday objects, rythmically moving and talking, made people wonder and laugh. Some were more interesting than others, such as the one pictured below - it moves and uses the light in a way that draws you really close to it with a sudden violent movement that follows and makes you think you just lost some facial parts. Although with a constant "wtf" floating above my head, I actually really enjoyed these smart and at the same time totally nonsense objects. (A)
Manfred Kuttner - Was sollten Sie zuerst sehen?
The other part of the gallery was given to another artist with quite a different sensibility. It was also a more secluded part, where not a lot of people wandered in. Small scale works were a delicate visual pleasure, especially compared to the angry talking machinery at the other side of the wall. (A)
Karen Linnenkohl - Centum Lumina @ Scotty Enterprises
"A montage of 144 pairs of eyes gaze down at the viewer and are mirrored below. To see and to be seen; a game of hide and seek; eagle eyed observations and yet no recognition"... The show played with mirrors and photographs to challenge our perception. Fragments taken out of the context were a bit confusing here and there.
- a mirror
- a mirror
- not a mirror
The show encouraged playfulness in visitors and inevitably some narcissism. The mirror on the floor was much like the surface of the lake in which the beautiful Narcissus saw his own reflection and fell in love with it; only the difference here is that another 144 pair of eyes are looking at it, much like...on Facebook? Maybe the moral of it is to keep a safe distance. First step: no selfies. (A)
Ditte Gantriis / Rolf Nowotny @ die raum
die raum is one of those peculiar spaces that no one can prepare you for - not matter how many times I read about how it is only 5m2, I never believe it until I am standing in the project space and wondering how much room there is between my elbow and any of the art pieces lining the walls.
This cycle's artwork was a collaboration between Ditte Gantriis and Rolf Nowotny for their Berlin debut. A scentless array of noses lined the wall while an electric foot hung from the ceiling. Naturally, there was little space for anything else in the project space itself, so guests spilled into the lobby of the building next door, where the bar had already been set-up. The artists (below), the curator, and the guests all seemed be having a good time, as did I. +10 for the more-than-welcome break from the surrounding designer clothes-and-food shoops of Prenzlauer Berg. (N.)
Farhad Fozouni – Can a poem commit suicide? @ Uqbar
"Can a poem commit sucide" was a part-social experiment and part-poetry reading where photography was fully prohibited. If you did not have a chance to see the work itself, enjoy instead the above image featuring Farhad Fozouni (right), the mastermind artist behind the show.
Usually when events are described as bi-lingual, it seems standard operating procedure to start conversations by asking if German or English chat is preferred. "Can a poem commit suicide", however, introduced a third key player into the arena: Farsi.
The gallery filled fast with spectators excited to investigate the likelihood of a poem initiating its own demise. Even with the constant flow of visitors, Fozouni handed each guest an edition-numbered postcard with follow-up questions, moving the art off the walls and into whatever part of the brain asks/answers questions. +5 for the mind games, and for the literal interpretation of my art school teacher's advice: "Good art asks questions". (N.)