Drawings / Painting

‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat!’ Group show @ Kreuzberg Pavillon, April 5th, 2012

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We’re gonna need a bigger boat! 

Urban dictionary: Phrase originaly used by well known actor Roy Scheider in the 1975 blockbuster ‘Jaws’. He utters the line when he gets a good look at the size of the shark that is circling the small fishing boat he is on. You/We’re gonna need a bigger boat! is used in day to day life when a situation seems insurmountable and most likely this is what this ever moving and collective run guerilla institution from Kreuzberg wants to highligh with this exhibition.

They pop up with artists curated shows every Thursday night from March-May in Kreuzber’s ancient red-brickstone Post building between Görlitzer Park and Schlesisches Tor. On April, 5th within the group show “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!”, they presented seventeen paintings/collage/pictures, one video in a tabloid and four sculptures/objects from the following artists (in the slide shown in order of appearance):

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Ronny Lischinski, Andreas Helfer, Olve Sande, Maria Unverricht, Lea Asja Pagenkemper, Ronald Versloot, Annika Hippler, Ronny Lischinski, Olve Sande, Hansa Wißkirchen, Jana Meincke, Nora Lena Meyer, Sara Pfrommer, Nicolas Puyjalon, Eli Skatvedt, Nadine Deja, Maria Unverricht and performances by Tomoko Nakasato and Nicolas Puyjalon. Curated by  Nora Lena Meyer and Eli Skatvedt.

The videos below show the spontaneous performance by young French artist Nicolas Puyjalon: 1… the beginning: using his hands to built something to arrive to “an objective”, 2… later on, issues trying to stand straight the artifact he built to reach his purpose  … the irreverent of the effort (moreover in society nowadays). It was good to see how people (public, spectators) responded. To me was a beautiful methaphore of “working as a group is better than alone // …I cannot alone, but together WE can”, do not know if this was the objective but resulted in this pleasing interaction, 3… finally Nicolas got to put the sticker on the ceiling and his goal accomplished (last pic shows the little red sticker in the ceiling)

Text by Maria Muñoz
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‘Her Stomach is an oven that burns the world’, K. Ærtebjerg & ‘Einen intensiven moment’, P. Grözinger @ Mikael Andersen, March 23rd, 2012

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For this exhibition Danish artist KATHRINE ÆRTEBJERG  has created new colorful and imaginative paintings that each unfold reflexions on transformation as a fundamental human condition. She focus on the idea of the body being a landscape in itself.

Ærtebjerg’s paintings depict undefinable states of transition. They are played out in the borderland between conciousness and unconciousness. Usually a female figure is placed in a more or less recognizable universe consisting of dramatic mountain scenery, insect-like human figures, gigantic fantasy flowers and patchwork carpets overgrown with mushrooms. It is an ambiguous universe that is neither defined as recognizable everyday realism nor as unreal conceptions of the imagination.
The landscapes deal with the notion of metamorphosis: the external circumstances and inner mental relationships cross, merge and are displaced into each other.

The paintings by the Berlin based artist PHILIP GRÖZINGER appear sinister in their depiction of lonely places – an ocean, an abandoned house, a ladder to nowhere. The sense of solitude is counteracted by smiling figures appearing like lovely little monsters, who at first sight seem to radiate confidence, but who at second glance appear rather sad or miserable. In Grözinger’s works possible idyllic places and landscapes are made into dark spaces, which might have an unpleasant atmosphere, but which also seem to offer a refuge of dark humor from an eventual oppressing idyll.

23 MARCH – 12 MAY 2012

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Text source: http://www.mikaelandersen.com/berlin/exhibitions/current/

Annete Kelm @ Johann König Galerie, March 23rd, 2012

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Annete Kelm‘s new works show the lines of physical forces caused by the random scattering and piling of iron shavings on yellow and green paper backgrounds. At first glance, one might see as depictions of experimental systems such as those used to represent ferromagnetic forces in the lexical entries on Wikipedia or in the school experiments, in other words -scientific photography. This impression is shaken by Annette Kelm’s use of diffused light and various dispersions. Some of the photographic works create and almost three dimensional effect where on closer examination, lines disolve into powdery, jagged piles of dirt or smears, whereas some are still clearly recognizable as magnetic field lines. Two still lifes of poppies and a repeated motif of the iron shavings interrupt the latters’ seriality.

Since its discovery in antiquity, magnetism is a motif that has been placed in various categories and classification systems. The story of science has largely been shaped by its functions. Present in electromagnetic data carriers, electric generators, transformers as well as MRI scanners, it plays a decisive role in both daily life and critical science. Up until the last century, alongside its discovery and early applications in the natural sciences, magnetism was also seen as a mysterious phenomenon. The attraction and repulsion of two magnets has been understood as an allegory for love and hatred between people. To date, magnetism is veiled within the manifestation of the magical.

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Exhibition: 25.03 – 21.04.2012

Text source: Hardcopied press release @ the gallery.

Komplexraum #1, Henrik Strömberg & Ivan Seal @ General Public Projektraum, March 22nd, 2012

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Trophies, shells, collections, masks, clocks, ornaments, mirrors, feathers, sausages, tin foil, tails and other objects.

For the upcoming exhibition at General Public, Henrik Strömberg and Ivan Seal have delved into complexities regarding recollection and invention. Collecting and re-collecting form a route into Strömberg’s world as he warps a shell collection into trophies for forgetfulness, medals for rememberance and objects for getting lost in. Indeed the reflections, transparencies and delicate balancing inspire a child’s eye for wonder or Alice’s curiosity. Following rabbits down holes is often what Ivan Seals work requires. Passages into rooms filled with objects, half lit and equally understood; yet these rooms are located in the artist’s memory. However this memory is not to be trusted and we find that the objects Ivan brings back from his grandparents house have transformed into fantastical things glued together with different pasts and invented stories.

From 24. 03. to 05. 04. 2012 

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‘Einschüsse’, Blixa Bargeld @ Galerie Hunchentoot, March 22nd, 2012

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“Einschüsse” = bullet holes, shots.
Black spots and lines are spread out on white image surfaces and vice versa. Harsh contrasts focus on abrasions to the surfaces of façades, on patterns left behind by rapid gunfire. If patterns are brought to mind here, then it is because the bullet holes caused by gunfire draw irregular patterns on the façades that seem like deliberately created images, specifically in their fortuitousness. This is due to a method of viewing trained to see abstraction.
The combination of the subject (the fragment of a façade) and of a work’s title (the name of a street or a square in Berlin-Mitte + the street address) appears to speak for a documentary nature of the series, and this suspicion seems all the more justified since they are based on photographic images. What can be seen was or is there, and is exactly where the title localizes it. The conclusion that it concerns documentary work, however, is false. It is necessary to bridge the gap between the title and the work, which clearly separates the concrete from abstraction in the image. The black of these images is actually black; the white is actually white. There are no gray tones. Accordingly, Blixa Bargeld’s works exhibited in the series “Einschüsse” have just as little to do with anything documentary in the category of black-and-white photography. Instead, their tendency is more comparable to abstract painting, in which it is not so much an anti-realism that can be seen, but as Siegfried Kracauer put it, the realistic revelation of a prevailing abstractness.

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What Blixa Bargeld translation into images is an aesthetic practice. More generally, it should be perceived as an approach towards the world; in fact, it is just one productive mode of existence that Blixa Bargeld has made in his diverse artistic works. In this respect, the patterns of the “Einschüsse” also continue beyond the provisional limits of the image surfaces.

Text by Maria Zinfert, source: http://www.galerie-hunchentoot.de/

‘Arbeitsrhythmus’, Ignacio Uriarte @ Galerie Figge Von Rosen, March 22nd, 2012

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The exhibition “Arbeitsrhythmus”  consist of the sound installation ASDFGHJKLÖ  with which Uriarte is working on new territory, completed with groups of drawings and photographs as well as by the work Fold Spin Couple, an installation made from paper.

The Work Rhythm (Arbeitsrhythmus), to which the exhibition’s title alludes, is often dominating our lives. It comes vividly to life in the sound installation ASDFGHJKLÖ. In it the German punk musician Blixa Bargeld recites rhythmically and repeatedly the letters ASDFGHJKLÖ with varying tonalities. The order of the letters was established for the first typewriters for mechanical reasons as the central line of letters – the intention of this order was to avoid that the letters used most often got jammed. Later on this order was transferred to the keyboards of the Personal Computer even though its mechanical reason is not valid anymore in the digital world. The audio loop takes approximately 33 minutes and consists of – if you want – 28 chapters with 9 phrases/repetitions in each chapter. The changes of tone create an almost exciting narration built with the letters, a narration that can be understood as a mirror of our daily work rhythm. To the sound a large screen print showing the letters of the spoken line, is added. This is part of the installation.

Uriarte got known to a wider public by using utensils from the banal world of our daily office life. By repeating casual gestures and by decontextualizing the used materials he generates works that refer formal- and content-wise to the Minimal and Conceptual Art of the ’60s and ’70s.

In the exhibition he proves, for example, the differing quality of pens with the Schwarz-schwarzen Zeichnungen (Black-black drawings): areas and stripes filled with shining graphite are positioned side by side to areas that are filled with would-be black ball-pen. What should be black turns out to be reddish or a dark violet; Uriarte accepts voluntarily that the color will undergo changes in the course of the years and that thereby the time factor will expose these works to a prolonged rhythm. The four drawings in different sizes have different structures. However, there is no logic to the structures, no plausible relations between them, similar to the sometimes illogical work life that is continued for the reason of tradition and dominance of bureaucracy.

Another group of seven drawings is called Überlagerung (Overlays). Here, two Din A4-planes on a larger sheet are filled with loosely drawn lines from two black pigment-pens with document quality. However, each plane is filled with a pen of a differing company. Again, time will tell how colorfast these industrial products are in the end. Today the black planes create dynamic forms on the seven drawings, forms that remind us of the mathematical set theory or of architectural ground plans.

It is also shown Diagonal Weiss (Diagonal White), a diptych with two vertical sheets of paper that are each diagonally divided. On the left part of the diptych the left side is filled with lines drawn with a “Rapidograph”, a technical pen, and pencil. The lines are positioned at right angle to the diagonal dividing the sheet. On the right side of the diptych the right half has been worked on. That leads to the impression that these are two halves of one sheet or a reflection. Both is not true.

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‘Stop being so attractive I can’t get anything done’, Marlie Mul @ Autocenter, March 16th, 2012

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A group of women each with a large inflatable cigarette stripped to their back, in North London 2011, addressing any smoker in sight to quit their habit. The overturn of the smok-ing ban in The Netherlands for bars under size of 72m2; a nostalgic gesture to what has been described as “the atmospheric heritage” of smoking. The low-profile emergence of the outdoor (public) smoking pole, a singular stainless steel hollow pole with unremarkable appearance, comes in a comfortable standing height size or is installed on exterior walls at standing height.

The artist in the text provided in the exhibition analyses the history of smoker in Europe, since the first smoker, the Spanish Rodrigo de Jerez who brought the tobacco plant from the American Indians to Spain and was imprisoned for his sinful habits during 7 years in which smoking had caught on. Little by little westerners took control over the tobacco plant and also over the Native Americans of course.

With industrialization, the smoking in factories, warehouses, shops and offices possibly started to take place to counter the monotonous, sluggish work of modern age. First of all was mainly a male thing and the smoking of cigarettes was considered as an individualized, mild and transient habit. The 1920’s introduced the cigarette for women as a symbol of freedom, equality and personal choice.

Over the 20th century… in industrial countries the cultural meaning of women’s smoking as it relates to gender relations has moved from a symbol of being bought by men (prostitute), to being like men (lesbian/mannish/androgynous), to being able to attract men (glamorous/heterosexual).

The smoking of tobacco was linked to lung cancer in the 1950’s. The 1970’s formed the end of the baby boom and led to an emphasis on quality rather than quantity of the population. The construction of smoking as a public health problem. Science and media strongly interacted in these issues. The Saatchi & Saatchi anti-smoking campaign from 1973 introduced the links between smoking and losing sexual attractiveness, wrinkles, smoking in pregnancy, addiction and poor health.

After this, the presentation of tobacco smoking as an act of freedom (to smoke) allows one to “blame” the smoker. “The public smoker takes away my freedom to be a non-smoker”. Smoking becomes a spatial issue. The right to breathe smoke-free air at the 1980’s is still a choice based on aesthetical factors rather than on proven health risks.  The loss of complete tobacco’s freedom in the 1990’s.

The debate over whether there is a moral difference between directly causing harm to someone and allowing harm to come to that person. The smoke for the smoker and the smoke for the non-smoker. Mainstream/side-stream; the acknowledgement of the existence of both direct and indirect smoke. Second hand smoke is the conception of connected rather than disconnected bodies.

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Text source: summary from hard copied text provided in the exhibition, Marlie Mul