Contemporary art from China is almost only known under the prominent name of Ai Weiwei. Obviously such a huge country has far more creative talent than only one single individual, even though being an artist in China is probably not the easiest job to pursue due to the dictatorial regime.
One interesting opportunity to discover new talents from China is the current exhibition The 8 of Paths which showcases a generation of artists who have gained new possibilities and new freedoms to express themselves. Presenting 23 positions by young artists living in Beijing the goal of the exhibition is to promote China as a vibrant and artistic country. Even though this goal leaves some question marks inside my head, I really enjoyed visiting the exhibition at the Uferhallen in Wedding. The artworks are very diverse and showed me really interesting cultural insights into Chinese society and their art world. The exhibition runs until July 13th 2014 and every Wednesday they are also showing cinema screenings at 19h. My photographic impressions and the address and times after the jump.
illustration: Beck O’Brien
Since we love all things cute and colorful we were enthusiasts of Pictoplasma from its first events on. During the past decade the Pictoplasma project has hosted, encouraged and pushed forward a unique, playful and amazing portfolio of visual artists. To celebrate the 10th anniversary edition the festival for character design starts with the Pictoplasma Portrait Gallery at Kaufhaus Jandorf, an exhibition presenting original works by the 100 artists who have most influenced the festival in the past (open from May 1 to May 11). Just like in the past years you can wander around town and plunge into the Character Walk enjoying numerous exhibitions by emerging and established artists. The freshly graduated alumni of the first Pictoplasma Academy, held in October 2013, will present their works at Urban Spree. On three nights the Babylon Mitte brings unique animations to the big screen and on Saturday night everything culminates in the inevitable Big Birthday Party at Urban Spree. Plenty of opportunities to discover your playful side and celebrates creativity and fantasy. More pictures of what you can expect after the jump.
Matthew Barney at Haus der Kunst
Berliners have a slight problem with Munich. Some say the people there are too snobbish and posh, some are shocked by the prices for rents and expenses and other ones are just calling it a boring city. Maybe it’s true that Munich is not a nightlife hotspot in Germany and does not have nice bar-areas like Hamburg, Berlin or even Leipzig.
But that does not make the city overall boring. Being the capital of one of the richest states in Germany, Munich is filled with prestigious high class art, music and theater venues all worth experiencing. We had the opportunity to travel to Munich for the opening of the new art space of Louis Vuitton: Espace Louis Vuitton München in the city centre. During our stay we could also venture to other art places and interesting contemporary art exhibitions and created a small list of recommendations for your next trip out of town after the jump.
In our upcoming series Berlin Artist we would like to present you some of our favorite artists and their work independent from a local exhibition. We realized that many artists may live in Berlin where the studio rent is low and the possibilities of creative exchange are vast. Nonetheless the buying art market and also many prestigious galleries and museums reside somewhere else. This is why a lot of artists living in Berlin rarely show their work here.
One artist got our attention at the KIK exhibition one month ago. At the group show inside Kino International with a variety of presented works Christopher Winter‘s paintings and sculptures stood out to me. I am not so sure if it was the mixture of cuteness and artistic faculty that impressed me or the slight melancholic feeling I felt watching his paintings. Have a look for yourself after the jump and stay updated on his website about his upcoming exhibitions.
The Plastic Garden by IP Yuk-Yiu
This coming Wednesday the transmediale festival for technology-based art is opening its 5-day-program at the Hause der Kulturen der Welt. This year it’s already the 27th edition and the theme is afterglow.
“The world is finally digital but as masses of data and electronic hardware pile up, it seems to be more made out of trash than of treasure. transmediale 2014 looks at how the liberatory promises of the digital are now contrasted by data mining, mass surveillance and e-waste dumping as well as by the wasted bodies and minds produced by our constantly required attention to excessive data flows. afterglow is the diagnosis of this post-digital moment where instead of resigning into cultural conservatism we need to ask if there are means of renewal in the excess, overflow and waste of the digital afterglow?”
For me visiting the transmediale exhibition has always been an artisitic technological wonderland where I can discover things that I would have never thought about could exist, the most significant one being this mindblowing music machine reacTable that was later on used by Björk on her world tour. I’m looking forward to make equally interstering discoveries at this year’s edition. Some previews after the jump.
Even if you are madly in love with Berlin as we are, you should always get yourself into different surroundings every once in a while. If you can’t imagine going into nature,there are a variety of exciting cities to discover, one of them being Venice in Italy which is pretty much the opposite of Berlin as a city. During the summer I had the feeling the whole city was actually venturing there to see the Biennale of Contemporary Art which takes place there every two years and is definitely worth a trip. But even without the Biennale going on Venice has a lot of great events like Carnevale or the film festival. It also has a magic of its own that can’t be compared to any other place on Earth.
Around Christmas I was invited by Anonimo Venenziano to be their foreign correspondent and to visit the city that I already know quite well off the beaten tracks. During my stay I collected 7 valuable reasons for you guys to visit Venice and the surrounding areas if you get a little Winter sick of staying in Berlin. Find my discoveries after the jump.
What do people look like when they get more and more aroused and finally have an orgasm? Photographer Clayton Cubitt’s short clips provide an answer to this question. For his project Hysterical Literature the artist asked women to read lines from their favorite books while, invisible for the viewer, being sexually stimulated.
A project called Beautiful Agony toyed with similar images. On this porn-page users could upload clips of their faces, while masturbating. The concept is similar to youporn, but instead of genitals in close-ups and crazy acrobatics you only see grimaces and big smiles.
Both projects seek a beauty in sexual arousal that is hard to find in modern pornography and concentrate their search on the faces of the protagonists. Affects and emotions prior to , during and after the orgasm create little stories and an undeniable tension in the spectator. I find the videos beautiful to watch, funny, subtle and sexy. So take a peak at the clips and let me know what you think…
all artworks: Lorella Paleni
When I stumbled across tLorella Paleni I was instantly in love with this Italien artist based in Berlin. I love how she combines very rough and urban textures and backgrounds with natural elements like animals and plants. Her paintings are beautiful and mysterious at the same time, you instantly wonder what the characters portrayed are experiencing in that very moment. Get lost in her artwork after the jump.
For the second part of our series The Berlin Experts we talked with gallery owner and curator Johann Haehling von Lanzenauer who co-founded the Circle Culture Gallery with Dirk Staudiger in 2001. Circle Culture is one of the leading galleries for contemporary art specialized in artists who draw their influences from street art, avant-garde design, pop-art, graffiti and other genres that go beyond traditional forms of art. For over 10 years Johann has maintained the urban attitude of the street in his gallery at Gipsstraße in Mitte, bringing his exceptional exhibitions also into a second location in Hamburg, several international art fairs worldwide and to recurring pop-up exhibitions in unusual spaces. Enjoy our interview with one of the most interesting personalities of our city about the art scene of Berlin after the jump.
photos: Pawel Zawiślak
I have always admired young artists who make powerful art out of imagination, who grab my attention and speak to my mind with just one image. Unfortunately, this ability to snap people out of their habitual state of mind is a very rare quality, especially in today’s cultural scene, where everyone seems to communicate through visual images.
One of the greatest examples and exceptions that springs up to my mind is with no doubt Polish artist Pawel Zawiślak, currently based in the beautiful Moscow. All his works are not simply grabbing my attention, like many other artists’ do, but they also embody such a deep meaning that you just cannot possibly turn away. Pawel is widely known for his prestigious art and illustrations, as well as for his highly-rewarded cooperations with exclusive magazines, art galleries, young designers and fashion labels all around Europe.
What makes me so supportive is probably his unique creativity in making art as a genuine projection of his inner sensibility, his emotions and inspirations. Apart from his commercial illustrations, he draws images of real life, shifting from mythological constructions to fascinating stories by playing with appearance, meaning and symbols. What strikes me every day is the attention given to the details and the impressive use of contrasts in the compositions, which remark once again his unique style and his pertinence with themes.
For your luck and mine, the Polish Institute in Berlin will soon present his excellent works with the exhibition Dots, Lines & Me and takes us all on a surrealistic trip through thematically diverse scenarios, where colors, shapes and media do not know any boundaries. If you don’t want to miss Pawel’s mindful and limitlesss art, you better start saving the date of the vernissage which takes place in Burgstr. 27, on Thursday 7th of March! Get a sneak preview of what I’ve been talking about after the jump.