Much of Mandla Reuter’s recent work departs from the idea of land – both in its most abstract form, as fixed coordinates on a map as well as land as real estate and property, and subject to development. Whereas a large part of his recent solo show at Kunsthalle Basel was centred on a specific plot of land in Los Angeles owned by the artist, his show at Croy Nielsen approaches the subject in a more abstract manner.
In “The Future Was at Her Fingertips” Aleksandra Domanović (b. 1981, Novi Sad) explores the circulation and reception of images and information, relating specifically to the history of the Internet and technology in the former Yugoslavia. The exhibition draws attention to one of the earliest attempts to develop an artificial limb with the sense of touch – known as the ‘Belgrade Hand’. Invented by Rajko Tomović at the end of the Second World War as a prosthetic device intended for soldiers who had lost their hands in the war, it was then further developed by scientists at MIT. The prosthetic later stared in Donald Cammell’s 1977 Hollywood movie Demon Seed where a scientist created ‘Proteus’ – an organic super computer with artificial intelligence who became obsessed with human beings.
If one views the past, be it in glances through old magazines, in movies of lost eras, or in visions of what was to come, the stream of history is laid bare, flowing forward to the present day. If one stops at a certain point and ignores what has followed, the stream opens up and the flow is forced to take whatever path we fancy.
A system of steel frames, each about the size of a doorway, a composition based on three modules: an equilateral triangle, a square, and a parallelogram. For Schinkel Pavillon, Oscar Tuazon creates an extensive new sculpture. He configures the modules into a range of different spaces and passages to then add elements alongside and within the modular system. Complex and immense, the steel sculpture reacts to the transparency of the glass pavilion.
Working in a variety of media like sculpture, installation, painting, photography and video, Ugo Rondinone has been continuously addressing transient and ephemeral phenomena of time, fleeting emotions and momentous changes in atmosphere and moods of a place. During the last years the artist has captured these themes in a series of sculptures using different methods of casting. Motifs of Rondinone’s sculptural series range from genres classical of art history, such as still lifes and nudes, to redefined archetypical forms of primitive art: masks, large abstracted heads and animal figures. The artist reinvents these motifs in different scales and materials and plays with multiple historic and visual references, translating these timeless images in the contemporary art context.
Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers present a major exhibition of works by acclaimed American artist Joseph Kosuth, in his first solo show in Berlin in 20 years. Featuring work dating from 1965 through to today, “Insomnia: assorted, illuminated, fixed.” offers for the first time an extensive overview of the artist’s work in neon. This chronicals a nearly 50 year-long investigation of the production and role of language and meaning within art, and an on-going use of neon, a material appropriated in the 1960’s first by Kosuth who considered it a form of ‘public writing’, without fine art associations, and traditionally associated with popular culture.
La Crevette Amoureuse (1967-1975) is part of the trilogy of Le Dernier Roman du Monde (together with l’Hommard Cosmographique) that Chopin started to write in 1961. This manuscript was never printed until 1994 when Peppe Morra, Henri Chopin’s former gallerist and current president of the Fondazione Morra in Naples, bought the manuscript. Under Chopin’s supervision it was published in addition with an Italian version, curated by the Italian poet Stelio Maria Martini.
Presented by Johann König, Alicja Kwade turns the monumental church space of ST. AGNES into a vast light and sound installation based on the principle of the Foucault Pendulum.
On March 31st 1851, French physicist J.B. Léon Foucault suspended a metal bob with a long wire from the dome of the Pantheon in Paris, and let it swing in the air. His aim was to make the crowd of onlookers visualize that the Earth actually spins. His experiment combines subtle simplicity and extremely complex forces. Indeed, if a heavy mass is free to swing in a vertical plane, its plane of oscillation remains fixed. Yet, rocking back and forth, the trajectory of the bob in the Pantheon seemed to be modified, the bob drew very slowly a circle on the floor. What was the explanation? While a pendulum has a stable plane of oscillation, something else is moving: the floor. The whole Pantheon was moving, Paris was rotating (and still does), and so do we: the Earth rotates! Thanks to the Foucault pendulum, we do not need to stare at the stars any longer to realize this, we can “visually feel” that the world revolves around its axis. This famous experiment revealed concretely for the first time a complex phenomenon driving us at any time.
One can first of all stick to the titles. “Dirty Gossip Rain” or ”From private to public painting and the streetlight on the way” prescribe the direction of our reading by postulating something like themes: social processes, the opposition between public and private spheres.
Gossip, then, is here social glue and oily dripping. In this sense, we might take the talk of the social productivity of the Internet as oily droplets, maybe also certain art discourses. Quite a lot speaks for the hypothesis that such factors are also meant in Jana Euler’s paintings.
In an art world of endless possibilities, can we talk about only six possibilities for a sculpture? This exhibition presents the work of five artists who embrace sculpture as an active force rather than a static object.
The art critic Rosalind Krauss once asked: “How necessary is sculpture to producing the effects of sculpture?” Her essay Sculpture in the Expanded Field (1979) examined the increasingly immaterial practices within the medium. Whilst she would later bemoan the breakdown of distinctions between media, her essay was an important milestone in what became known as the post-medium condition.
The artists included in this exhibition do not limit themselves to working in any one medium, yet they all engage with the practice of sculpture, of giving physical form to their ideas. They embrace the theatricality of sculpture – once maligned as its weakness – and choose to activate their forms in various ways, sometimes literally putting them on stage.
In ‘Variable Foot’, Miles Thurlow presents three sculptural works in epoxy resin, including the major new work ‘All The Gods’ (2013) made especially for Kunstraum. The exhibition borrows its title from the American poet William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) whose seemingly contradictory idea of the ‘variable foot’ described a sense of measure in poetry that has no fixed reference points. The apparent contradictions, tensions and polarised positions within cultural production make up the landscape within which Thurlow’s sculptures take their irreverent stances.
Hanne Darboven, a German conceptual artist, is best known for her large-scale, minimalist works, and her meditation on time, a theme foundational to her practice. In the mid-1960s, Darboven moved to New York, where she grew interested in conceptual art and developed a fascination with numerical sequences.
This interest became foundational to her work, and much of her work evidences a visual vocabulary derived from numerical sequences of four to six digits, drawn from the standard Gregorian calendar. Of her use of numbers Darboven said, “I only use numbers because it is a way of writing without describing…I choose numbers because they are so constant, confined, and artistic. Numbers are probably the only real discovery of mankind.”
Behind the walls and protective wire fencing, in secret, the aphasic slaves mount an insurrection. They have no recognisable style, no valid culture, do not adhere to the language of the society from which they geographically deviated. In the insalubrious enclaves in which they live they reconstruct a social body that has its own economics, its own codes or signals of belonging, its own stereotypes, also generating their own illnesses. These unassimilated bodies form the community of the sick, of outlaws who, at the same time as they are trouncing the world’s healthy beauty, kindle an intensified poetry. Without means, they have nothing but their emotions, their sense material, their affects for applying pressure, to crack the walls.
The exhibition Rudolf Stingel unfolds over the atrium and both upper floors of Palazzo Grassi, a space of over 5,000 square meters. For the first time, Palazzo Grassi is devoting the entirety of its space to the work of a single artist. It includes a site-specific installation as well as recent creations and previously unseen paintings. This is Stingel’s largest ever monographic presentation in Europe.
Say it with flowers!
The tussie-mussie was an indispensable fashion accessory of Victorian times, a hand-held posie carried in an elaborate holder made from ivory, glass, or mother-of-pearl, and decorated with jewels or etchings. The small bouquets gained a new dimension through floriography, the art of sending messages through flowers. Each and every flower and colour of flower had a meaning and a thought behind it, something that made the composition of a bouquet a complex and time-consuming process. Even the way a bunch of flowers was presented held a coded message, which could be of acute importance when the aim was to express feelings for a loved one.