An exhibition I didn't expect. “Absalon Absalon” at the CAPC in Bordeaux.
Bordeaux was my starting point to visit a friend with her family in the Gironde countryside and then, completely surprisingly, an exhibition that I didn't expect made my trip even more unforgettable.
So, even if you have no friends in the area: Bordeaux is now even more worthwhile.
I have already seen a few Absalon exhibitions in the last few decades, or to be more precise, before and after his far too early death from AIDS in the early 1990s and above all one of the most formative exhibitions for me personally in 1991 at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, curated by the wonderful curator Ute Meta Bauer, who introduced him to me at the time. I will never forget that.
A definitely excellent re-viewing of his work in the present in context and as a point of departure with artists of his generation.
“Dreams of freedom. Romanticism in Russia and Germany presents masterpieces from Russia and Germany together for the first time, directly related to one another and in a pan-European perspective. The exhibition brings the works of romanticism from both countries into an exchange that has never been done before”
The very special, even extraordinary, about this exhibition for me was the perfect staging and juxtapositions, also with contemporary works, mostly well-known contemporary artists (Wolgang Tillmans, Susan Philipsz, etc.). The term “Romanticism” opens up topics from their own culture and history and turns away from classical forms, which explains the preference for a fragmentary spelling in Romanticism from a historical perspective. The turn to one’s own culture also meant a stronger turn to the legends and myths of the Middle Ages. This makes this exhibition abundantly clear. In addition, this exhibition is beautiful in the proper sense of the word. I also have to admit that when I visited Moscow at the end of June 2021, the Tretyakov Galleries were, so to speak, unvisited; the few visitors were mainly local visitors who took their time – the opposite of quick tourist visits that would have overcrowded such exhibitions in prepandemic times.
In the self-description of this, in fact, the first exhibition of contemporary art that deals with the pandemic, the “Garage” in Moscow plays the topicality of this exhibition rather too low:
“In order to put together a show conceived during the first lockdown, Garage announced its first ever exhibition open call, inviting artists and creative collectives living and working in Russia to take any kind of distance in relation to the current situation and to consider speculations in a broad philosophical sense: as a form of interaction with reality and/or as speculative reasoning about the possible.”
I went to this exhibition rather casually and had no great expectations either. However, I had to correct myself immediately. This exhibition provokes in an exemplary manner the importance of such non-collecting institutions and their role in providing visibility to young and very young artists, which many other institutions are unable to manage due to their sluggish responsiveness. The focus on the current Russian art scene and its sensitivities did the rest of the concentrated “understanding” of how artists react to the pandemic.
Numerous, especially the smaller national exhibitions, take the theme of this year’s Architecture Biennale, originally planned for 2020, seriously. It’s refreshing. Once again it becomes clear that we live in a transitory time that tries to redefine the meaning of “community” and “place age”.
One of my favorite pavilions this year was the contribution from Thailand.
Under the title Elephant, the Thai pavilion (curated by Apiradee Kasemsook) answers the leitmotif question in an exemplary manner.
The focus is on the “Kuy”, a Thai ethnic group who live with elephants. For centuries the Kuy and elephants in Surin have lived an independent life in which they collect food and other essentials from the surrounding forests. The ignorance of sustainable organization and wrong state economic prioritization, however, led to a mass deforestation of the forests. The Kuy people and their elephants were robbed of their habitat, with the result that they wandered through the streets of the touristic Thai cities. About a decade ago, the current government started a project to bring them back to a sustainable home.
The new age of the coroncene in which we live is at the same time the history of modernity and its history of an ongoing crisis.
Art production is of course also affected by this situation. And last but not least, painting was affected. I don’t know how many exhibitions have already declared the death of painting. A recurring metaphor. Continuous death is followed by rebirth, this is nothing new.
Currently, in 2021, the artist Peter Fischli staged this story of the crisis as a highly personal and ideally subjective exhibition with Stop Painting in the Palazzo Ca ’Corner della Regina, the Venetian branch of the Fondazione Prada. 80 artists can be seen, including well-known artists such as Louise Lawler, Wade Guyton or Kurt Schwitters and positions such as Josh Smith and Henry Flynt. Flynt is responsible for the brutal criticism of the museum and, above all, he is the originator of the concept of conceptual art. One of the many reasons not to miss this exhibition.
Stop Painting reads like a declaration of love from an artist whose love for art and art history is threatening to disappear. A highly melancholy exhibition that argues from an unfamiliar Eurocentric perspective today. This means that when you visit this exhibition, don't go in with false expectations.
Isa Genzken’s approach to art as a whole is characterized by a keen sense for the contemporary. Her work meets the troubled social climate of our time with youthful ease. Without being guided by trends, the work has been new and trend-setting for decades and also has an enormous influence on subsequent generations of artists. Her perspective on the world and our human condition is what defines the artists practice and what probably makes her more meaningful than many other artists not just of her own generation. I really admire that. To have worked with Isa Genzken so many times in the last few decades is a great stroke of luck for me personally!
Leonor Antunes exhibition at MUDAM, Luxembourg plunges into referencein reference to painted volume studies by one of my favorite artists Lygia Clark. The title of this exhibition refers to Lina Bo Bardi’s design and its joints, voids and gaps. The architect Lina Bo Bardi who, among other things, built one of the most fascinating and architecturally best suited museums for contemporary art in the world: The MASP in Sao Paulo, where this exhibition also originated.
The exhibition catalog is one of the best monographic publications of the last few months.
Games are subject to rules, but these are not always transparent. This makes it difficult for potential new players to become active participants. With his exhibition Rules of the Game at KM gallery, the artist Sebastian Jung looks at the art world and his own position in it in relation to the unwritten rules there.
The questioning of the art market and the search for possible ethical criteria within the system is as old as the mediation of contemporary art itself. However, the course of time is changing, and in this respect this discussion is as important as it has always been and has to be repeated over and over again by a “new” generation.
As a longtime believer in the printed book (and as a publisher!) as well as in architecture and urban design as one of the main disciplines that shape our cultural context, I have always been interested in projects that blend the two. One such example is the Headquarters of the renowned Publisher “Suhrkamp” on Berlins Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz by Bundschuh Architekten. Essentially an urban intervention that creates new public spaces, the building is both boldly contemporary and highly user-specific. While the publishing floors are naturally not publicly accessible, the new public plaza is!
The german magazine “Bauwelt” has published an interview with the architect (in german):
I'm really looking forward to this year's Gwangju Biennal, curated by Defne Ayas and Natasha Ginwala. During my internal online course “art history weekly” for my colleagues on Fogo Island and Canada, Defne presented this year’s topic “MINDS RISING SPIRITS TUNING” a few days ago. My colleagues loved it. This year Gwangju is also about the positive aspects of living together. I hope it lasts. I have been to Gwangju regularly for the past 15 years. Unfortunately, such a trip from Europe is probably not yet possible this year.
Mophradat creates opportunities for artists from the Arab world through an inventive approach to funding, commissioning, collaborating, and gathering. Since 2004, their grants program has supported over 700 artists and arts organisations from the region.
Since 1905, Villa Romana, based in Florence, Italy, has been a place of contemporary artistic production and international exchange. Over the course of decades, the Villa Romana has become a unique, dynamic and committed interface for artistic production and discussion between Germany, Italy and the entire Mediterranean region.
The apabiz, was founded in the mid-eighties as an antifascist press archive in a left-wing archive in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Support their work!
The residency program Ludlow 38 provided for curatorial experimentation in the tradition of the German “Kunstverein” from 2008 to 2019.
Visit their new website ludlow38.org to browse their online exhibition archive as well as their recently launched online publication, including contributions about the present, past, and future of residency programs.
NSU-Watch is an organisation that creates networks between experienced antifascist projects and individuals, including lawyers of the accessory prosecution to reveal unresolved NSU crimes, the NSU-network and the authorities therein.
It is one of the organisations I deem important to support, to enable the work of those professionals who have been dealing with this complex topic for over a decade.
curated by Roberto Ohrt und Axel Heil in collaboration with the Warburg Institute
With his work Bilderatlas Mnemosyne (1920) Aby Warburg reveals connections by thinking in images.
By repositioning his work into present times, dominated by images and information overload, the exhibition creates a new understanding of the possibilities and value of this kind of non-linear thinking, alongside the textual art discourse.
NO MATCHING PROJECTS
Tell me about yesterday tomorrow. A Book about the Future of the Past 2021 PUBLICATION
Curating contemporary art against the backdrop of a local context 2019 TEACHING
Heinz Frank. The Angle of the End Always Comes from Behind 2019 EXHIBITION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2018: Ting-Jung Chen & Hui Ye. Keep Me Close To You 2018–2019 EXHIBITION
Olaf Nicolai. There Is No Place Before Arrival 2018 EXHIBITION
Ieva Epnere. On water, wind and faces of stone 2018 EXHIBITION
Guy Mees. The Weather is Quiet, Cool, and Soft 2018 EXHIBITION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2017: Marlene Maier & Olena Newkryta: Everything a Hand Can't Take 2017–2018 EXHIBITION
Florian Hecker. Hallucination, Perspective, Synthesis 2017–2018 EXHIBITION
Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989-2017 2017–2018 EXHIBITION
Marlene Creates. To the Blast Hole Pond River 2017 EXHIBITION
Marcel Odenbach. Beweis zu nichts / Proof of Nothing 2017 EXHIBITION
Marcel Odenbach. Beweis zu nichts / Proof of Nothing 2018 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2016: Margit Busch, Andrej Polukord 2016–2017 EXHIBITION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2016: Margit Busch. IF—THEN—ELSE. Welcome to Transciency 2016 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2016: Andrej Polukord. The Sarcophagus 2016 PUBLICATION
Nathalie Du Pasquier. BIG OBJECTS NOT ALWAYS SILENT 2016 EXHIBITION
Wilfrid Almendra. Light Boiled Like Liquid Soap 2016 EXHIBITION
Wilfrid Almendra. Light Boiled like Liquid Soap 2019 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2015: Karina Mendreczky, Anastasiya Yarovenko 2015–2016 Exhibition
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2015: Karina Mendreczky 2016 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2015: Anastasiya Yarovenko 2016 PUBLICATION
Charlemagne Palestine. GesammttkkunnsttMeshuggahhLaandtttt 2015 Exhibition
Charlemagne Palestine. GesammttkkunnsttMeshuggahhLaandttttt 2016 PUBLICATION
Individual Stories. Collecting as Portrait and Methodology 2015 Exhibition
Individual Stories. Collecting as Portrait and Methodology 2016 PUBLICATION
Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz. Future Light 2015 Exhibition
Function Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality 2015 Exhibition
Flaka Haliti. Kosovo Pavilion for the 58th Biennial 2015 EXHIBITION
Pierre Bismuth. The Curator, the Lawyer and the Psychoanalyst 2015 Exhibition
Pierre Bismuth. Things I Remember I Have Done, But Don’t Remember Why I Did Them 2017 PUBLICATION
Tony Conrad. Two Degrees of Separation / Über zwei Ecken 2015 PUBLICATION
Gareth Long & Melton Barker. Kidnappers Foil 2014–2015 Exhibition
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2014: Leander Schönweger. The Fog Disperses 2014 Exhibition
Leander Schönweger. Die Nebel lichten sich 2014 PUBLICATION
Hannah Rickards. Grey light. Left and right back, high up, two small windows 2014–2015 EXHIBITION
Isa Genzken. I’m Isa Genzken, The Only Female Fool 2014 Exhibition
Isa Genzken. I’m Isa Genzken, the Only Female Fool 2014 PUBLICATION
Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys. Das Wunder des Lebens (The Miracle of Life) 2014 Exhibition
Zin Taylor. The Story of Stripes and Dots 2013–2014 EXHIBITION
Zin Taylor. Lichen Voices/Stripes and Dots 2013 PUBLICATION
WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do Festival 2013 EVENT
Act I: Beautiful from Every Point of View 2009–2010 EXHIBITION
John Kormeling. Dutch Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 2010 EXHIBITION
Liam Gillick. German Pavilion 53. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte La Biennale di Venezia 2009 2009 EXHIBITION
Liam Gillick. How are you going to behave? A kitchen cat speaks 2009 PUBLICATION
William Hunt. Tempting Fate, Swimming Alone 2008 EXHIBITION
Liam Gillick. Three perspectives and a short scenario 2008 EXHIBITION
Isa Genzken. Deutscher Pavillon 52. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte La Biennale di Venezia 2009 2007 EXHIBITION
Die Frage des Tages / The Question of the Day 2007 PUBLICATION
Michael Beutler. nicht innen sondern außen – nicht drinnen, sondern draußen 2004–2005 EXHIBITION
Ars Viva 03/04. Film: Jeanne Faust and Omar Fast 2004 EXHIBITION
Adorno: The Possibility of the Impossible (Vol. II) 2003 PUBLICATION
Adorno: The Possibility of the Impossible (Vol. I) 2003 PUBLICATION
Gerard Byrne. Books, Magazines, and Newspapers 2003 PUBLICATION
Alex Morrison. Giving the Story a Treatment 2005 PUBLICATION
Stephen Prina: An Evening of 19th- and 20th- Century 2003 EXHIBITION
Marcel Odenbach. Even If The Driver May Be Different, The Truck Still Remains The Same 2002 EXHIBITION
Husain / Richter / Jensen. Lavawoche – Krustenwoche 2001 EXHIBITION
Christa Näher. Das Malwerk und das Schöne 2000–2001 EXHIBITION
Tulipomania Dotcom: A Critique of the New Economy 2000 EVENT
Stephen Prina. To the People of the City of Frankfurt 2000 EXHIBITION
Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij. After the Hunt 2000 PUBLICATION
Man muss ganz schön viel lernen um hier zu funktionieren 2000 EXHIBITION
Dorothea von Hantelmann. Der andere Schauplatz 1999 EVENT
Benutzeroberfläche Stadt. Performanzen für den Frankfurter Kunstverein 1999 EVENT