English summaries May 19 - 30

Haus am Waldsee, KW Institute for Contemporary Art 8th Berlin Biennale 29.05.2014 – 03.08.2014 More blood By Thomas W. Kuhn In the House of Artworks in Mitte, Juan A Gaitán honours the chosen artists with the same generosity as he does in Dahlem. So the space on the first floor is dedicated to a complete installation by Leonor Antunes (*1972, Lissabon). With art-and-crafts materials and forms, the artist uses products manufactured from natural materials by pre-Columbian demographic groups from Brazil. On the next floor, Judy Radul (*1962, Lillooet) forms a connection to the Dahlem Museum and, on two screens, presents synchronised recordings from the museum with live pictures of the art works, which give the impression of parity between place and time. Colonization hand in hand with industrialization and nationalization in interplay between powerlessness and emancipation is substantially interwoven in a further complex of works. Bianca Baldis' (*1985, Johannesburg) video installation, "Zero Latitude" relates to the Africa researcher, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza and his camp bed by Louis Vuitton. Santu Mofokeng (*1956, Johannesburg) devotes himself, photographically, to the loss of tribal homelands as a consequence of the industrialization of his country. Works by Shilpa Gupta (*1976, Bombay) and Cynthia Gutiérrez (*1978, Guadalajara) are also to be seen. The parts of the exhibition in the Haus am Waldsee turns out to be a negligible quantity. The institution does feature an outdoor sculpture of Slavs and Tartars as one of the highlights of the Biennale – it thematises the political dimension of the translation of the Islamic call to prayer in Turkish on Ataturk's initiative - but in Mitte and Dahlem, the palpable meditative aspect gives way to a certain vapidity. Here, Patrick Alan Banfield (*1984, Munich), Matts Leiderstam (*1956, Gothenburg), Carla Zaccagnini (*1973, Buenos Aires) exhibit their works. A deliberate dovetailing with the original function of the building as a residence doesn't function; the conjunction suffers in a manner from objects borrowed from other parts of the exhibition (A Private Collection), because there is a slight lack of blood and yellow gall... Haus am Waldsee 14163 Berlin, Argentinische Allee 30 Tel: +49-30 / 801 89 35 Fax: +49-30 / 802 20 28 E-mail: info@hausamwaldsee.de www.hausamwaldsee.de Opening hours: Tue – Sun from 12 - 20 hours KW Institute for Contemporary Art 10117 Berlin, Auguststraße 69 Tel: 0049 (0) 30. 24 34 59 0 Fax: 0049 (0) 30. 24 34 59 99 E-mail: info@kw-berlin.de www.kw-berlin.de Opening hours: Tue - Sun 12:00 - 19:00, Thu 12:00 - 21:00 Museen Dahlem 8th Berlin Biennale 29. 05. 2014 – 03.08. 2014 Clear Casualness By Thomas W. Kuhn Following the cumbersome 7th Berlin Biennale under the leadership of Artur ?mijewski in 2012, the 8th edition, under Juan A. Gaitán, returns as a meaningful event of art and works. With 53 participants, 80 per cent of the new productions for the Biennale, which have been located between three showplaces, have been realised. The majority are in the Dahlem Museums, followed by the art works in Berlin Mitte and the Haus am Waldsee. The presentation is clear, at least in single spaces dedicated to individual artists which benefits becoming immersed in the works which are often put together in several exhibitions. According to Gaitán, "urbanity" functions as integral dispositive with explicit reference to Berlin, the relationship between inner and outer, middle and periphery, as well as "museumization" as a specific form of arbitration of culture by means of material objects. In light of the numerous non-European artists, the decision for the Dahlem Museum Centre with its ethnological collection appeared to be no random choice because above all, here and less so in art museums, the idea of culture outside Europe is characterised. That Gaitán himself lives in Mexico City appears to be of significance and, in a metaphorical sense, poses the question of location in Berlin Mitte and periphery. The exhibited works stand literally in a old-fashioned, graphic relationship to Gaitán's issues which also possibly raises the question of an all too illustrative relationship between art and the curative concept. Works by Beatriz González (*1933, Bucaramanga), Michael Stevenson (*1964, Inglewood) and Olaf Nicolai (*1962, Halle/Saale) are presented. The "museal" presentation theme find different solutions distributed in the house. The exhibition by Mario García Torres (*1975, Monclova) about the experimental musician, Conlon Nancarrow (1912-1997) hardly differs from a "regular" exhibition. The same goes for Natasha Ginwala (*1985, Pune) who, using historical materials, sets out to discover the traces of several 19th century culture researchers. In addition, there are works by Alberto Barayas (*1968, Bogotá) and Wolfgang Tillmans (*1968, Remscheid). That the paths between the exhibition areas of the Biennale repeatedly force confrontation with the collections that are by no means governed by a uniform production of themes and objects, is a quality of this presentation, which impresses with its casualness. 8. Berlin Biennale - Museen Dahlem 14195 Berlin, Lansstraße 8 www.berlinbiennale.de Opening hours: Tue-Fri 10 - 18, Sat, Sun 11 – 18 hours Charim Galerie Joanna Rajkowska – The Light of the Lodge 16.05.2014 – 07.06.2014 Error in the resonance chamber By Goschka Gawlik Joanna Rajkowska makes no compromises in her artist's practice. She ceaselessly challenges maxims of the prevailing ideologically coloured think models and perceptions. According to the historical context or location, she either lets the historical and commemorative rituals fall into oblivion – as recently in the Zak Gallery | Branicka, Berlin – or lets them rise again from repression, as was the case with her famous project "Greetings from the Jerusalem Allee" in Warsaw. The artificial palm standing at the most important crossing in the city – the "bodily counterpart” and witness to the invisible – appears outlandish but, at the same time, it's not possible to imagine the Polish capital without it. For over ten years, the Polish artist has known how to show attacks on existing systems and their fundamentals perfectly, and how to generate medial attention just as saliently. For her, it's exactly the plasticity of the art in the public space that constitutes a benchmark of freedom in democracy which is particularly prone to mistakes and failures. In her first solo show in Vienna, Rajkowska exhibits two large neon works whose red light invokes the atmosphere of a devastating fire or hell. Two years ago, within the framework of the Copenhagen Art Festival, she decorated the royal buildings in Copenhagen. In their metamorphosed dactylology, the neons correlate the insignia and ancient symbols of Freemason fraternities. Today, the Charim Gallery is located in the Dorotheergasse 12, formerly the site of the Austrian Grand Lodge which was liquidated by the Nazis. A sterling reason for the artist to let her practised deconstruction methods have free rein – or to call into question in single works, such as in the object "God is Right", in the collage "The Great Architect" or the shimmering, black neon lettering "Error" indicating the flawlessness of every prohibitive, secretive world order – whether of a religious, political or comical nature. The unstable identifiability of such a world view impressively mirrors the distortive, black-white Op Art-style chessboard pattern of the carpet called "The Blueprint" on the gallery floor – a spatial planning of wool (with a definitive black vanishing point), which converts the highly symbolic, historical disaster as well as a black-white way of thinking into an aesthetic pleasure. CharimGalerie 1010 Vienna, Dorotheergasse 12 Tel: +43 1 512 09 15 Fax: +43 1 512 09 15 50 E-mail: info@charimgalerie.at www.charimgalerie.at Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11-18 hours, Sat 11-14 hours Künstlerhaus Wien Wael Shawky – Al Araba Al Madfuna 09.05.2014 – 15.06.2014 Beyond knowledge By Susanne Rohringer The Vienna Festival exhibition is taking new paths, just as the Festival itself, under the new artistic director, Markus Hinterhäuser. In the Festival Centre – the Künstlerhaus – films by the Egyptian Wael Shawky can be seen and in the Karlsplatz Passage, a small solo exhibition by the Malaysian film maker, Tsai Ming-liang. Wael Shawky, born in Alexandria in 1971, studied art history and specialised in photography, film and installations. His works were shown at the documenta 13 and at the Biennale in Istanbul in 2011. In "Al Araba al Madfuna I", an approximately 20-minute video, we see children dressed as adults in traditional Arabian clothes with turbans, sitting in a darkened room. The building is lit by a few torches. In turns, 10-year old boys recount a tale in Arabian. English sub-titles translate the tale which is based on the novel "Dayrout al Sharif" by the Egyptian author, Mohamed Mostagab. The irritating thing about this video is that the texts have been synchronised by men's voices. The tale tells of a pharaonic treasure which the inhabitants of a village would like to find. The observer experiences a distorted account: the children with the affixed beards only perform with immediate gestures and remain awkwardly silent – due to the synchronised interpretation of the men. The actual message of this film remains to be guessed. Formally, an endearingly monumental cinematic picture of an Upper Egyptian community is portrayed in which children are the real protagonists in a rather incomprehensible tale. In these two films, "Al Arab Al Madufuna I und II", Shawky licenses the creation of a consolidated atmosphere of different feelings, interpretations and narrations. In his four-minute loop, "Telematch Shelter" from 2008, Shawky becomes more specific. One sees numerous children going into in a type of Bedouin tent in the desert. Subsequently, several children march out again in a type of easy goosestep march. Colourfully clothed, large and small, they illustrate the nomadic existence. With the aid of the varying marching directions, they explain that the unceasing movement of the element constitutes the life of the nomads. This loop by Shawky has humour and, through its title, reflects the well-loved TV series, "Telematch" shown in the orient in the 70's. An extensive retrospective on the Malaysian stage director, Tsai Ming-Liang, is also shown at the Festival – in his film he illustrates his family's obsession with cinema. Künstlerhaus Wien 1010 Vienna, Karlsplatz 5 Tel: 01 587 96 63 Fax: 01 587 96 36 E-mail: office@k-haus.at www.k-haus.at Opening hours: daily 10 – 18 hours, Thu 10 - 21 hours

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