Einglish summary October 11 - 17

Kunstmuseum Bonn The west lights up. A sighting of the art landscape of the Rhineland 10.07.10 - 24.10.10 Fixed stars and planets Since Beuys’ days, the Düsseldorf Art Academy has been a stronghold for contemporary names. Whereby nothing has changed since Tony Cragg took over the management from Markus Lüpertz. Admittedly, no more art-storms à la Beuys brewed up here for a long time. All the same, photo artist Andreas Gursky, the art market megastar and photo pupil of the legendary Düsseldorf Becher class, belongs to the list of new teaching acquisitions. Meanwhile – and who would ever have thought it – Gursky presently heads a painting class. This, however, can be quizzically explainable in an exhibition at the Bonn Art Museum entitled "The West Lights Up", which doesn't only show Gursky's giant photographic boards from the current "Ocean" series. Gursky blows up and treats satellite pictures, virtually compresses the earth mass to the left and the Pacific to the right so that these form the frame at the edges by means of many, many computerized churning and pulsating dark blue seas. The observer can orient himself in an associative way between Mark Rothkos' meteorological precision and color field meditation – splendid! What resonates here – see the actuality of the day – doesn't have to be emphasized. Just a few rooms further on, Gursky's "god-child" is billeted. We refer to the sculptor, Bernd Kastner, almost as old as the godfather himself, born in 1957. Brusque terracotta figurations full of new glazes can be seen, almost as if they had been covered and congealed by lava. The relational work balance is not exactly close in this case and difficult to comprehend from the point of view of the visitor. But this is not the center point of a gigantic Bonn exhibition concept which can be seen until the 24th of October and which reminds one of the best days of the museum mile with federal art hall neighbors. The point of it is, basically, to act against the rumor (or none?) that in the Rhineland, the artistic lights are gradually going out: Art Cologne and Cologne's culture politics are in a continual state of flux, there is little of the visionary in the exhibition programs of the great houses, an exodus of art trade and young artists in the direction of Berlin. That's why a sort of temporary new set-up in the form of 33 artists in 33 rooms is intended for Bonn's art museum, furnished with, perhaps, the most representative spectrum of German art since 1945. The “West Lights Up”-system offers a core of established Rhineland giants, among them Beuys, Cragg, Knoebel, Palermo, Polke and Richter. People like Bernhard Johannes Blume, Isa Genzken, Georg Herold, Albert Oehlen, Marcel Odenbach, Thomas Schütte or Rosemarie Trockel belong to the 14 "god-fathers". The majority of those born in the 1970's are among the "god-children" of this capricious art gathering which is being tried in the Rhineland region, and which wants to discover new things and consciously stimulate the familiar in order to reinvigorate the Rhineland "We" feeling. So Cragg’s pupil, Gereon Krebber, isn't really a particular surprise. Nearly as exciting is the black stylized photographic art of Jürgen Klaukes who surprises with his “god-child” Christian Keinstar. His massively heavy conglomerate of demolition steel concrete is "heated" by means of red glowing metal threads. Director Stephan Berg, sponsored by the Land NRW and its Art Foundation, by the Rhineland Territorial Association and the Bonn Savings Bank Art Foundation, definitely doesn't want to practice a "Rhineland-bashing" (O-tone Berg); he rather has a "Grand Tour" in mind because not only the Düsseldorf Quadriennale is going into its second version in the expanded, newly opened art collection Nordrhein-Westfalen (K 20) since September (with Paik and Beuys projects). One doesn't want to sound small in the current culture capital project, Ruhr2010, whereby it's not so long ago that the respective contemporary art projects were there. Bonn's questionable precarious West enlightenment at least enlivens the topics of conversation about art and the curation of art (this, indeed, by curating artists). By Roland Groß Kunstmuseum Bonn 53113 Bonn, Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 2 kunstmuseum.bonn.de Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Wed 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Brot Kunsthalle Coca-colonized 17.09.10 - 20.11.10 Coca- Colonialization in a consumptive society Is colonialism over? The exhibition Coca-colonized, currently on view at Hilger Brotkunsthalle in Vienna, Austria, examining the postcolonial heritage in Africa and Latin America, and discussing a new found concept of independence within the social and economical realities in these regions. On the paper these regions may be independent, but the effects of control by colonial powers in these territories actually has never had an end, but rather acquired a new face. Colonialism is replaced by the global consumer society—coca-colonization—where colonial masters use brand names to create dependency. The artists in Coca-Colonized each reflect this phenomenon within their own realities. „Enjoy la fiesta“ – is the dogma of Puerto Rican artist Omar Peña Forty Obdulio. A room where one dances according to a Carribean tradition in Puerto Rico, the American ‚second class’ state inbetween the American way of life and also part of a Latin American and Carribean tradition. The animated video work by South African Cameron Platter, „The Old Fashion“ is confrontational: people trafficking, prostitution, warlords, proxy wars and corruption – ever repeating stories in the African history, are packed in a colourful storyboard of comic characters of illustrious figures of African and international politics and economy. Platter puts an end to the situation most of the African countries face since acquiring independence – cynically now called emerging markets – nourished by corrupt dictatorships, captives of the world bank and resulting in exploitation by the industrialised world... an invasion of transsexual zebras from outer space calls for revolution to an African utopia. Peterson Kamwathi focuses on another pertinent topic in Africa: queueing. Queueing and waiting. We see people queueing for transit, queueing to vote, a queue of businessmen. It is an impressing sociogram of the African reality: a row of dark non-descript profiles. The social and class gap between the former colonialist and the people is still irreconcilable. Anton Kannemeyer points out the issue of segregation with latent cynism: „Oh no, i'm not just saying it because you're black, I think it's really really good“ pokes fun at the white liberal movement in South Africa, the artist placing himself as the character congratulating the black ‚learning’ artist revealing self reflection at Post-Apartheid behavioural patterns. Racism replaced with guilt and over compensation. An equal society, where people are not being charged by the colour of their skin is still illusion in South Africa. Baudoin Mouandas photographs depict the youth of the hip hop society in Brazzaville, Congo who point out the social and political drawbacks of the country through their music, making their voices heard beyond the Congolese border. From the absurdity of creating products to celebrate the Anniversary of the revolution in the works of Reynier Leyva Novo to the found object-sculptures by Simon Vega: the former colonial masters are gone, but they left their influence. Influence that artists (and society) in these regions have used to their advantage. Brot Kunsthalle 1100 Wien, Absberggasse 27 www.brotkunsthalle.com Opening hours: Thu-Sa1 12 noon - 6 p.m. Galerie Ulysses Rudi Stanzel - .and white. 22.09.10 - 16.10.10 Absolute understatement Rudi Stanzel’s current exhibition shows pictures, which, from several aspects, awaken one's interest in fundamental things. Here, themes such as line, color (or rather “non-color”), and their application on the canvas, are covered from A to Z. At first glance, Rudi Stanzel’s pictures are like a template for Zen meditation. Briefly, and without reflection, that which is to be seen exposes itself and appears as the most sensible approach to these very calm pictures. When you do succeed in recanting everything you know and simply follow the scratches and shadows in the white colors and observe the light and its reflection on the canvas - only then do you realize the true quality of these pictures. “Seeing” is stimulated here, consciously perceived without needing to be described. The light-flooded attic premises of the Gallery Ulysses also fit the bill; the works in white with grey accents need much light to reveal their true impact. These fascinating pictures would appear rather boring and lacking in nuance if they were to be presented in a badly lit room. The pictures of the 1958 born artist can confidently be described as an understatement: there are works of high quality with intensely restrained appearances, which only reveal their singularity to those who are willing to accept it. Admittedly, such paintings will always have only a limited public because even on the most beautiful autumn day, these congenial, unpretentious pictures would not be suitable in a living room or as an eye-catcher in some lawyer’s office – and that’s a good thing! By Wolfgang Pichler Galerie Ulysses 1010 Vienna, Opernring 21 www.kunstnet.at/ulysses Opening hours: Tue – Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. expositur ESCAPE 2010 - Escape the Golden Cage - Urban art 02.10.10 - 24.10.10 street art vs. urban art Inspired by her participation in the exhibition "Street and Studio" in Vienna's Art Hall (25.06. – 10.10.2010), Sarah Musser has initiated and curates her own show to the theme of street art and urban art, "ESCAPE 2010 – Escape the Golden Cage". In contrast to the retrospectively-oriented function in the Art Hall, she focuses on what is really taking place in urban art. In the course of her research, the 25-year old art historian dipped into the Berlin scene, thereby experiencing and learning about the different forms of street art, graffiti culture and other interventions in public exhibition places. On account of her direct contact to artists from home and abroad, Sarah Musser chose the works according to their pure, qualitative criteria in order to present the variety within the spectrum of urban art independent of the nationality or degree of fame of the artist. The artistic direction should definitely be conceptually different from street art: in street art the ‘placing’ on the street is essential - thereby it has an active and effective interaction with society. For the street art artist, the urban public space constitutes a democratic environment which is dominated and profit-oriented by the figure of Corporate Culture, and which should be won back by artistic intervention. The artist is frequently “creative” in nightly actions, which are sometimes dangerous and sometimes not law-abiding. Whereas street art could not be presented in the framework of a gallery or in a museum, urban art has made the connection to such institutions. Urban art is contextually bound to the suburban and demonstrates distinctive bonds to street art, whether it be through the materials used, the content or the motives. Instantaneous and spontaneous, politically correct and, at the same time, provoking, it allows the delinquent aroma of the sub-cultural street art to resonate - and in its transfer to the "White Cube", generates a source of friction that the conventional gallery arts are unable to display. Sarah Musser has certainly succeeded in transporting this excitement in "ESCAPE 2010". In significant pictures and different positions, essential phenomena of urban art are made clear: Stefan Strumbel works on popular motives from the sub-cultural scene in smooth, trendy objects and installations which he has borrowed from the bourgeois milieu and in so doing, perverts - or rather satirizes – the term "home". Paul Busk refers to graffiti writings with ideograms and graphic characters. Christian Eisenberger uses everyday materials such as cardboard and adhesive tape in order to bring them into public view again and to confront the public with enigmatic references to politics and society. The anonymously active street artist XOOOOX paints his leitmotiv of stereotyped photo models on house walls, thus making a feature of all sorts of materials and demonstrating how effective and aesthetic they can be. In his photo films, Markus Oberndorfer succeeds in documenting the evolution of graffiti in its dynamic and mystic atmosphere. "ESCAPE 2010" is, amongst other things, a selling exhibition. From this aspect, Sarah Musser has also completed the show in the Art Hall with a contemporary component. However, exactly this moment strengthens the discrepancy that is also conveyed by "Escape the Golden Cage": the discrepancy which lies in the fact that the art market -under the title of urban art – has cashed in on street art's special flair, thereby bringing some street artists out of their buried darkness into the limelight. Because even if street art and urban art succeed in becoming truly accepted and appreciated, which are undeniably their good right, the question still remains whether this development can manifest itself as truly progressive. Hasn't street art been robbed of an essential part of its own enigmatic being as soon as it found an acknowledged place as a worthwhile artistic contribution to the urban network? Or: urban art has become disposable street art – is that what it wants? By Margareta Sandhofer expositur 1030 Vienna, Vordere Zollamtsstr. 3 www.escape2010.at

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