Meg Cranston & John Baldessari - Real Painting (for Aunt Cora) @ Michael Janssen
"Godfather of conceptual art, master of appropriation, surrealist for the digital age..." - as Tom Waits narrates.
What would you ask John Baldessari if you had the chance to meet him? We were nervously thinking of all the questions we could bombard him with at the pre-opening of one of the two shows he had this weekend in Berlin. "Are you officially the tallest living artist? Who is your least favorite artist? What is your favorite Pantone hue? Can we see what's in your pockets?"
... Fortunately, John refused to give an interview with a solid "NO". After I googled a few interviews with him, I realized that there's already a phenomenon of journalists asking him goofy quirky immature questions, fearing they might bore him with common sense. He IS quite tall but probably not the tallest, supposedly never wears anything in his pockets, sincerely hates openings and is never ever late. Except for this opening, which made everybody very concerned. When he finally showed up, he didn't try to hide his contempt. I sympathised... An 82 year old guy really shouldn't bother with small talks and fake smiles.
Meg Cranston was doing all the talking for both of them and shared the story about the making of their works. What you can see there is Pantone pallette for 2013 fashion collections and all the cheesy things that Baldessari's aunt wanted him to paint instead of weird conceptual art he did, written on the monochromatic surfaces in Arial italic by a sign painter. Quite cute.
We also had a nice little chat with Baldessari's sister and nephew next to the buffet where we all gravitated to get another canape. Great food, great drinks... That kept us a little bit longer there. (A)
Viola Bittl, Stef Heidhues, Philip Seibel, selected by Dr. Hans-Jörg Clement @ Eigen + Art Lab
Various artists - various materials - various techniques - various results - various feeling afterwards... (E)
Ludwig Leo - Ausschnitt @ die raum
In an area such as Die Raum one just can't get lost - but it was not easy to leave on Thursday evening because one could get lost in the clear and detailed work of Ludwig Leo and in it's very effective installation.
Somehow it seemed intense for such a small place... It was actually nice and I am sure that if I was an architect, I would be able to understand and apperciate it much more. (E)
Episode 3: Cézanne beats Pollock @ insitu
I'm glad to see the young insitu team getting better and better with every "episode" / show they put up. This one was undoubtedly the best; both the concept and the artworks. In anticipation of a huge art revolution I can only hope that the questions raised there will attract more art folks to engage critically in the system they obey... (A)
- Looks familiar? Those are actually shredded banknotes (by Antoine Renard)
- Good one - Julie Goergen's "Fictional Artists in American TV Shows". There are more than you would think. Apparently Homer Simpson also went through an art phase.
Böjrn Perborg's video guide through artist's finances - should be a available as a Youtube tutorial
One From None @ Autocenter
It seemed like Autocenter was the right option for Friday evening. There was cold beer, pleasant music and it was crowded as if the beer was for free (was not).
The exhibition put together individual works of young artists who used a new visual language to externalize some spectacular aspects of their own personality. For me it felt like with different kinds of people - some of them you like, some of them you just don't understand. (E)
Self Made Urbanism Rome @ NGBK
When in Rome...
- Early 90s suburbia fashion
This comprehensive exhibition shows you a lot of things about the city that you wouldn't simply see there or read on Lonely Planet. It's a thorough artistic tour through the process of urbanisation of the city's outskirts. If you're not really into that kind of topic, a lot of it might be boring (I guess the reading parts are hard; images and videos are quite exhibition-friendly.) Fans of Italian neorealist films (or anything Italian; seems to be trendy lately) might find it quite interesting. (A)
Lick My Boots - David Shrigley @BQ
Who of us did not have a moment of wanting to yell this (LICK MY B...) to his gallerist, therapist, publicist, artist. David Shrigley's show is very refreshing. 16.000 Euro for the boots, 3.500 for the shit- a pair. And -hey, you can even put flowers in, as an older lady noted.
A very ballsy ( for lack of better words) show, impeccable works and a flawless installation, even if you not a fan of this kind of work. "I wanted to make a statement" says Regnery and I think it is loud and clear. And not just because of the hunderds of extra watt lighting up the gallery. Go see it.
Soy Capitan and Klemm's have a very good thing going on in their joint yard on Prinzesinnen str. Both young, but very promising galleries with a great program, friendly gallerists and (!) flowing beer almost until the end. Throw in some good weather and it was a great night. There is even this weird, weird tiny gay coctail bar at cellar of the building...
Wonderhut @ OZEAN
Before going to Ozean for the first time, I read the description of the space listed on our website—“Ozean shows exclusively solo presentations. The work is only to be seen through a fence.” Both of these statements were true during my visit.
Packed into the small building, there were only a few square meters of floorspace, almost fully occupied by a surprisingly large crowd muttering to their cliques in German. Surprising not because the show wasn’t worth seeing—it was a very pleasant show, in all actuality!—but rather because I’m pretty sure it was breaking a fire department building code.
Suspended by frames made of different materials, or resting on sheets and mats, around two dozen tent-shaped objects made of what I think was polkadotted pleather. The sculptural installation is the work of Geerten Verheus, says a cardboard flier I picked up on my way out.
A second set of fliers was also distributed, on which 24 hat-related setences were typed out in a simple bolded font. The sentences ranged from “Live your life, do your work, then take you hat” to “I knit for Caps for Good – a charity that gives hats to Third World babies – while I watch movies with friends.’ and also ‘All hat and no cattle’.
The piece was whimsical and conversational, unlike the intimidating crowd. Naturally, instead of trying to introduce myself to the attendants, I ran away after a few minutes of starting at the hats and trying to figure out how to fit my camera lens through the fencing. (N)