What Did I Miss / What Did I Not Miss 10.10 - 12.10

Rain, rain, go away, come again never. Ever. But bring the rest of the Bpigs team back! As half of the Bpigs staff was out of the country this week, Eva and Nathan took to the town to bring you the best (and worst) of last week.

FRIDAY 11.10.13

Nachtleben Berlin - 1974 Bis Huete @ HAU2

Nachtleben Berlin – 1974 bis heute” was an exhibition I was very curious about. My imagination of Berlin’s night life in the 70’s is based mostly on the book “Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo”: dark, wild and dirty, but it was much more free and easy-going. It felt like it was definitely a time remembered by most of the people (not only from the pictures) as “the good old times.” This two day celebration with contemporary music was like travelling back in time and being a part of those “good old times (E.)

Fock, Madam, Manna, Michael, Schmidt @ Künstlerhaus Bethanien 

My first visit to  Künstlerhaus Bethanien was quite inspiring. All five artists showed very interesting pieces and it was very enjoyable to move from one artist to another and see how different and variable their works are, but all were really fresh and energetic.

We started with the last two rooms filled with works of Emmanuel Madan. TV screens covered almost the whole of the wall and we watched numerous politicians giving speeches onstage. The only thing we could hear was “Argh,” “Hmm” and “Eee.” – Is it really such a problem to find the right words these days?

Kevin Schmidt lived 3 months in isolation in a decaying house in northern British Columbia last winter. Another room was turned into a cinema where the projection showed the day and night cycle of a picturesque cottage, decorated magnificently as if for a neighbourhood Christmas lights competition. The video was accompanied by a flowing, light techno sound and all together created a peaceful experience which we actually considered to be an ideal place to chill after a party. +10 points for creating nice Christmassy thoughts.

In the end, all of my attention was caught by a fire which “burned” proudly in a barrel situated in the middle of a room. Its flames were cold and smokeless. We took a lot of pictures there and I think that the cold flame has made some of them look quite evil (E.)

General Idea @ Esther Schipper

This exhibit was fittingly titled "P is for Poodle". Alternate (and equally fitting) titles include "P is for Pastel Colors", "P is for Pretty People", and "P is for Plenty of Free Wine". +34 for all of the above.

Canadian collective General Idea seems almost cult-like. The show of General Idea's estate (now hanging at Esther Schipper) included books by and about General Idea, and many of the art pieces appropriated historic artifacts and ancient relics, subverting their original forms with poodle imagery: poodles on pots; poodles on paintings; poodles on plaster.

Finally, an adjacent room featured "Mondo Cane Kama Sutra", also known as "P is for Poodle Sex Positions". The colorful arrangements of stenciled poodles resembled the all familiar kama sutra diagrams, with a playful—"P is for Playful"—reimagining, and a surprising resemblance to the 2010 horror film "The Human Centipede". +8 for "P is for Poodles Predicting Potential Blockbuster Hits"? (N.)

Olaf Hajek @ AJLART

Commercial illustrator Olaf Hajek took a break from drawing for The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal to put on a solo show titled "Still Life" at AJLART. His face is stern and angular, but his art is quite the contrary. "Magic realism" comes to mind, as does "Alice in Wonderland on hallucinogens". I wonder how much it would cost to commission him to design a tattoo for me? +89 if it's free after this review (N.)

SATURDAY 12.10.13

Jurgen Ostarhild @ Kreuzberg Pavillion

Despina said I can be very mean ONLY IF I am also very funny. I will try to be both.

Before a trip to Paris, everyone is advised not to have high expectations for the "Mona Lisa". Diminutive and over-protected, Da Vinci's masterpiece ranks among the world's top disappointments, along with "Aaron Carter's Transition to Adulthood" and "Carrots that aren't Crunchy". Jurgen Ostahild's current exhibition at Kreuzberg Pavillion isn't far behind.

Coded in every pixel is a packet of information. Ostarhild unpacks these packets, reimagining "Mona Lisa" from a surprisingly-small cultural icon into a suprisingly-large waste of paper. Printed over dozens of A4 sheets, "Mona Lisa" is accompanied by: a massive mind-map relating "art" and "philosophy"; a codified print that resembles crashing waves at best and resembles an error-script at worst; a sheet reductively defining "art", "philosophy", "freedom", and other concepts; an overwhelming air of pretension. Interestingly, "boredom" was left off the list of concepts, so I would like to point Jurgen Ostarhild in this direction. -100 for, well, all of the above (N.)

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