Last week the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, people were showing love to their significant other - at least for a day, and the city was loved by the artists and tourists from all over the world who came for the Berlinale festival. The varienty of happenings last week was as exciting as Berlin gets.
Sara-Lena Maierhofer - Dear Clark, @ Feldbuschwiesner
Sara-Lena Maierhofer's show merges fiction with the facts from an actual article about a man who kept changing his identity until his cover was blown and he got arrested. Groups of photos tell stories while exposing the subjectivity of vision and memory and the fragility of our perception and identity.
Humorous details make this show easy to appreciate. They might also be the reason why the most interested visitors I saw there were kids who gave the exhibition their full attention.
A Tribute to Yoko Ono: Acorn @ Espace Surplus
Eight artists, musicians, actors and performers were invited to celebrate Yoko Ono's book "Acorn" through their own interpretation. The results were quite exciting, especially during the re-enactment of Yoko Ono's "Cut Piece". When the performer got seriously close to being naked, the audience started to clap and cheer and one mother was seen taking her children out of the room. Nothing has changed since the sixties; nudity is as awkward as it was.
After the performance finished, Katharina Grosse's work became the centre of attention; not sure what was so inviting about it, but everybody wanted to touch it or push it around. I guess some childhood reflex - if you see a ball, kick it.
Very popular was the video of Peaches pulling off her pants and dancing frantic (to her music, I guess). That was all cool but I think we all expected to see her doing the same thing live in front of the audience.
Jeanno Gaussi - Dedicated @ Koal
The works of Jeanno Gaussi deal with the questions of cultural identity and the storage of memory scraps. Gaussi's multicultural background (born in Kabul in 1973, raised in Kabul, New Delhi and Berlin) is very evident in her artistic work. Photographs and installations on display originate mainly from her travels to Kabul between 2007 and the present day.
The garments installed on a wardrobe are not only a traditional symbol, but they also reveal the modernized and institutionalized imagery of war in Afghanistan through the pictograms that say a thousand words.
The work “Dreams on Wheels” refers to the dying Afghan craft - painting vehicles, in particular large-sized ones, with elaborate depictions of personal fantasies of the respective owners. The artist established a link to the Western youth culture by taking a skateboard as a vehicle of choice, and made seven unintentionally hip objects. If it was not an artwork but a limited edition series of semi-affordable design objects, it would be immediately sold to some too-cool-for-school Berlin kids.
Close Up! Young photojournalists at the 64th Berlinale @ C/O Berlin
Thirteen young photographers were given the assignment of presenting their personal view of the Berlinale in all its diversity - from the ambient to the Hollywood star moments. The red carpet installed in front of Amerika Haus gave the show that extra glam Berlinale touch.
George Clooney happened to be an accidental leitmotif which made each of the presented series with a photo of him less special. Even the one that won the first place ("Abrakabadra" by Xiomara Bender), but somehow that beautiful series managed to pull it off.
I was more impressed by the photos that catched the heaviness of the calm before a storm and the strong feeling of anticipation, than the ones that focused on celebrities and their fashion accesories. There were some seriously beautiful photos of spaces and details. Although the plain paparazzo shots were eye-pleasing as well, they lacked the intrigue and that element of surprise.