The exhibition Kendell Geers 1988 – 2012 can be seen in Haus der Kunst in Munich until 12.05.2013
The exhibition Kendell Geers 1988 – 2012 can be seen in Haus der Kunst in Munich until 12.05.2013
This museum has been built between 2006 and 2012 and designed by designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The complex is itself very nordic: very light, very ethereal, very transparent and minimalistic. Or is it just a huge sail? Inside, on the other hand, is colorful and loud, as one of the world most complex and diverse private collections found its place there. The collection itself dates to 1960s and museum displays it not in chronological view but in its full visual richness and expression. I may say that I learned here about Bjarne Melgaard and have never seen before so many damien-hirsts at one place. However, another piece was perhaps more intriguing:
Is it electric cupboard? Or self-reflection board? Or serves only as a visual composition?
The exhibition is curated in the way that the visitor is engaged herself in the art, from just observing, going and out or avoiding it, to picking up the posters or candies from the floor and taking them with (yes, ‘the art pieces’ they are!).
Or – others are just – honest:
More about it you may found in their own blog.
… and this beautiful folio comes from the present-day Uzbekistan, Samarkand. It is attributable to the calligrapher ‘Umar Aqta’, who made this to the ruler Timur. It represents a beautiful calligraphy from Timurid period, written in muhaqqaq style and depicting Sura al-Qisas (28: 82-84).
This belongs to the one of most probably largest copies of Qur’an ever produced: each line is almost one meter long and each page over two meters tall. The legend goes that the ruler was quite unimpressed when the calligrapher presented him with a Qur’an copy that could fit under his signet ring; the calligrapher then produced a next copy so large that it was brought to the ruler Timur on a cart.
Naked before the Camera is a small temporary exhibition given in Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It evolves around the topic of naked human body in photography, bringing the light to this highly disputed motive in art and depicting it from various angles. Therefore, we see the first female naked bodies and acts, done by French impressionist for the purpose of painting them later on, we see the photographs of dead bodies or bodies in motion, used for medicine and scientific scrutiny, as well photographs of rare skin illnesses or muscular build of athletes, again finding its use in medicine and analyzing human anatomy. One may see also varieties in the technique and media how human body is being portrayed; the proximity of camera, the angle, play of light and shadow, so that the body often has an abstract organic form. It becomes apparent that the photographer wants to tell us something with it. The motives are sometimes banal and show the everyday life, but soon they become more personalized. There we see first attempts in feminist photography as well as gay population. It is interesting – just to see this rather obvious image having its evolution in art in so many unexpected directions and applications and being subject here to artistic investigation.
I’ve been recently in Chicago – a city with certainly some of the most beautiful high-rise buildings in the world. These buildings have later inspired the cities and architects around North America to compete more creative, more theme oriented and unusual in their next project. Museum of Contemporary Art has organized a fantastic exhibition on skyscrapers, showing them from inside out: what it means not only for citizens as part of the skyline but also for their inhabitants. Moreover, what skyscrapers meant for society, their construction and, sometimes, deconstructions. Last but not least, all those emotions that those skyscrapers involve have been also touched upon and often on display.
What a fantastic shot! Roy Ethridge captured romance of this world by striking the upward rising Tokyo with a sharp ray of light and rainbow in one and focusing not only on metropolitan urbanism of the city but also on its lucky charm of modernity.
Another interesting photography: Wegner shows the obvious here with non-obvious means. Long city boulevards, elongated upending buildings and gloomy sunset – he surrealistically ‘creates structures where none seem to exist’.
The image here does not do the work its justice: the light projection right on the fragile paper structure is further translated on the wall, so that the installation is a constant play of light and shadow. Reminds a lot on works of Sol LeWitt.
What you see here are refrigerators, which have been altered by simple mirrors. This work symbolizes ‘a yearning for the glamour of the metropolis’, but also shows how this urbanity can be easily improvised and approximated.
Ahmet Ögüt shows here an imaginary metropolis, comprised of building that have been destroyed in an act of destruction, conflict or war. He shows them in the shape as they used to exist, disregarding the geography and placing them all together (this above is only a table explaining the background). Through this installation, the artist is playing with personal stories and emotions, the meaning of building and their destructions as well as the role of mass media.
What you see behind Ögür’s model of Vijecnica in Sarajevo (“Exploded City”) is an everchanging sculpture representing World Trade Center towers. Every day the newspapers are placed and the ‘towers’ are rising; once the newspapers fill rectangular forms, they are removed for recycling. In this way, the artist plays with idea of constant change and rise and fall patterns.
I spent recently a beautiful week in Sarajevo. The city was pretty as always (or maybe even prettier): warm, sunny and full of good-mood people. Its artistic articulation took my attention in another area and I have seen rather the opposite.
I have seen the ”Spiked” exhibition by young artist Daniel Premec, who is with his 12 aluminum spikes symbolically reflecting on difficulties in Bosnian everyday life but also artistic and cultural one; what all people have to go through in order to stay on the surface.
I have not seen the photography exhibition “Majke” of two Polish artists, Monika Redzisz i Monika Berežecka, which focused on gender questions, sexual identity, gender equality and stereotypes, feminist ideas, transsexual and intersexual topics. I did see the poster and I found it to be just the right one.
… and now a ‘classic’: International Community monument, a over-dimensional canned beef by Nebojsa Seric Shoba, that fed the people of Sarajevo during the war-time. In the meantime, the ‘can’ became one of the favorite landmarks of locals. According to artist, this was a can with “never-confirmed content, expiration date, country of origin, (…) did not have anything better”.
Before going to dOCUMENTA, I had a privilege (with time) to make a stop in Frankfurt and visit a must-see exhibition of Jeff Koons. Enfant terrible of several decades already and highly disputed and discussed about mega-artist has some amazing shows in Frankfurt and Basel. I had a chance to visit both Liebieghaus, for sculptures, and Schirn Kunsthalle, for his paintings.
Paintings were shown in one big hall and were combined there from several series and time periods, ranging from “Celebration”, “Made in Heaven”, “Antiquity”, just to name few.
However, Koons’ sculptures were the ones that made me think/laugh/look around/smile and again think about them way longer after leaving the space. Not only that his pieces were provocative for themselves (‘balloons’ – that are not; e.g. made of stainless steel, all with ‘creases’, and several tones heavy), but the curatorial design and dramaturgy was amazing. Jeff Koons was placed right in the middle of antique and medieval classics. I have seen his ceramic women taking the bath right in front of renaissance tiles with Venus or Koons Cherubs next to baroque Eros and Psyche. After all, feel free to judge for yourself:
To me art is about self-acceptance, and once you learn to accept yourself, automatically there’s a transcendence to going outward; it directs you to the acceptance of others, and everything is a metaphor for that acceptance—whether it’s working with objects, or images, or anything from the external world… [It] is a metaphor for the acceptance of others.
– could not agree more with him.
The exhibition is to be seen by 23 September.
First day at dOCUMENTA(13) has been spent in visits to exhibition spaces in Fridericianum and Karlsaue. Second day has started off by visit to documenta-Halle. Built in 1992 by Jan Hoet and with its large walls and spacious halls, it has been a known challenge to most exhibition curators ever since. This year the critics were very positive about the visual fit of artworks in the exhibition space.
For example, we all loved four paintings of Julie Mehretu, an Ethiopian-born artist, famous for her large-scale architectural abstract paintings, where she and her team layer the drawings on several transparent media and combine them together to create a metaphoric story.
An interesting story was waiting for us in another room: Yan Lei had painted intuitively 360 paintings for 360 days of Chinese calendar and all of these mass-media images were found in internet. Some of them were hanging on walls and from ceiling and some of them were racked in storage. During the 100 days of dOCUMENTA, the paintings are serially brought to a nearby car plant and painted over by a monochrome paint and then brought back to the exhibition space. In this way, Yan Lei creates a feeling of ‘finiteness’ in time, but also preserving them by sealing the paintings under the car paint itself.
Nalini Malani used an irregularly shaped storage room to show her video and light installation that reflects on human nature, evil in people and how and why it develops.
We continued to Neue Gallerie, where we had chance to see an interesting 3D collage by Geoffrey Farmer, showing LIFE magazine cut-outs from 1935-1985. It represents a visual history reflecting American self-identity in past era. Its title is an homage to Walt Whitman famous poem.
One can truly appreciate the content and all energy and thoughts of dOCUMENTA only by paying a visit. I have ended mine by Kulturbahnhof and I am aware that many were left in the city of Kassel that I still need to see. Kulturbahnhof, a deserted building of a railway station, impressed me by the open and inviting space, truly amazing in its rawness – perfect place to exhibit contemporary art! William Kentridge was my last stop there: his 5-channel projection and a breathing machine was telling you a story of time, in a high-pitched voice, video and accompanying music. A show that could go on and on and that you could not stop watching – just like dOCUMENTA.
dOCUMENTA(13) will end 16.09.2012.
Last weekend I was at dOCUMENTA(13), a large-scale exhibition that takes place every five years in Kassel. It all started in 1955, in order to bring Germany back from the cultural darkness from Nazi regime into the contemporary art evolution of the actual time. Therefore, dOCUMENTA differs from some more commercially popular biennale in the sense that it often works with a concrete theme that comes from the current societal needs and developments.
This time dOCUMENTA is connecting Kassel with Kabul, Alexandria-Cairo and Banff, and the main theme is “Collapse and Recovery”. The show has been curated by well-known Carolyne Christov-Bakargiev (CCB) and it lasts, as usual, for 100 days.
I was moved there with so many of artworks. What counts (in my humble opinion) is the artistic vision / goal / intension and subsequently personally experience and subconscious reaction.
This beautiful work is a tapestry, spread around in a semicircle in the rotunda and showing half-true half-fantasy: a destroyed Dar-ul Aman palace in Kabul with people attending banquet in honour of dOCUMENTA(13), superimposed in the image. Other, rather fantasy images, are combined throughout the tapestry.
Mariam Ghani shows a 2-channel video installation, in which in both of them a female figure goes through the empty spaces: ruined in Kabul and deserted in Kassel. Mariam narrates in the background about the conflicts and history and philosophical symbolism of both. You get the impression that you see and hear a poetry – very sad one.
During her engagement for Sydney Biennale in 2008, CCB got in contact with these artists of aboriginal background. The paintings shown here go back to the traditional painting style of dotting and applying the colour in a special order so that this somewhat psychedelic impression is created.
A lot of interesting works could be seen outdoors, as here in park Karlsaue, but also in different streets and buildings in Kassel. This one is inviting the visitors to go inside the tent.
dOCUMENTA will end at 16.09.2012.