BERLIN.STATUS (1) investigates the big-city phenomenon of art, starting out from the observation that Berlin today is “an art city with no consensus”. Whereas it had been possible to observe an organic weave of sense of reciprocal interplay between tradition and renewal until into the 1980s, young art in Berlin today lives primally from international influences, multi perspective orientations and globally determined lines of production. This development was triggered long before the fall of the Wall by the grant programs of the DAAD and Künstlerhaus Bethanien, the Transmediale after 1990, a growing avantgarde electro and club culture, and by successful intermedia and thematic projects at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Volksbühne and the HAU. Additional bonds between Berlin and its artists are created by working grants awarded by the State of Berlin, and the provision and mediation of affordable studio spaces by the Bundesverband Bildender Künstler (Federal Association of Fine Arts).
If Berlin is a landing area for young international artists today, it is not only because of continuing favorable opportunities to live and work here -the culture of “interim uses” that passed its high point long ago. Even though the developments of globalization have had a noticeable impact in Berlin, in many cases artists want to work in the city precisely because they as individuals are consciously struggling against the pull of uniformity. And although Berlin is caught in a lasting state of radical change, young artists do not regard the city itself as worthy of capturing in images; we have also registered a reduction in site-specific and situational research projects. After a twenty-year phase of transformation, Berlin is becoming -neighborhood after neighborhood- a “normal” place to work. However, this does not mean that reasons for worry and doubt have turned into delight, and new interest in ornament, design and non-representational formal languages does not indicate that criticism of society and consumerism is drying up, either. Today, aesthetic debate is shifting towards cultural debate, and some artists react to this development in a decidedly formalist manner.
The exhibition presents artists who doubt in the necessity for large-scale mobilisation and are therefore working intellectually and aesthetically to supplement or sharpen their own very personal profile. Although they have definitely moved the focus of their lives to Berlin permanently, it is not “the Berlinesque” here that provides fertile ground for the extraordinary, but the individual ability shown by every outstanding artist. For BERLIN.STATUS (1), therefore, the curators have selected both well- and lesser-known artists: the common characteristic being that they are laboratory practicians – pure and idiosynchratic.
The main conceptual interest of the exhibition curators is in the doubt inherent in almost all current tendencies: “Somewhere, there is always ‘one small village in Gaul’. We search for that and reveal nuances of change by distancing, i.e. the signals prior to radical change, not trends. We ignore the opposition of ‘newcomers’ and ‘established artists’ because the market is greedy; in the end it will turn everything into mincemeat, but now and then we ought to consider a more innovative dish.” (Curators: Sven Drühl & ChristophTannert).
The exhibition will show works by:
Gabriel Acevedo Velarde, Silva Agostini, Angelika Arendt, Dafni Barbageorgopoulou, Madeleine Boschan, Jessica Buhlmann, Hannah Dougherty, Zhivago Duncan, Wiebke Elzel / Jana Müller, Hadassah Emmerich, Lu Feng, Shannon Finley, Wolfgang Flad, Torben Giehler, Andrew Gilbert, Ane Graff, Stella Hamberg, Secundino Hernández, Gregor Hildebrandt, Nico Huch, Klaus Jörres, Sven Johne, Jan Koch, Astrid Köppe, Alicja Kwade, Alon Levin, Eoin Llewellyn, Alexej Meschtschanow, Daniel Mohr, Jan Muche, Regine Müller-Waldeck, Xuan Huy Nguyen, Catalina Pabón, Katinka Pilscheur, Bernd Ribbeck, Tanja Rochelmeyer, Egill Sæbjörnsson, Michael Sailstorfer, Adam Saks, Ariel Schlesinger, Judith Schwinn, Martin Skauen, Emmy Skensved, Kei Takemura, Alex Tennigkeit, Philip Topolovac, Luca Trevisani, Nasan Tur, Elmar Vestner, Ulrich Vogl, Jorinde Voigt and Ralf Ziervogel.
Text source: http://www.bethanien.de/kb/index/trans/en