Stephen Truax

Museums

David Bowie Is Everywhere

by Stephen Truax on August 18, 2014

'David Bowie' at Martin-Gropius-Bau

BERLIN — It was impossible, having been born in the 1980s, not to memorize David Bowie’s song with Queen, “Under Pressure” (1981), as well as Bowie’s first top-five hit, at age 22, “Space Oddity” (1969) — a song that went on to actually be the first played in space. But I never had a direct relationship with Bowie’s music, the way I did with some of his contemporaries.

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Post image for Shades of Bushwick at Berlin’s 48 Hours Neukölln Art Festival

BERLIN — In the Neukölln borough of the city, there’s no room for hand wringing about what constitutes a work of art. Or the validity of an art exhibition space: cafes, living rooms, empty apartments, ground-floor galleries, artist studios, and bars alike are all employed in the service of exhibiting art during 48 Hours Neukölln, the Art Festival (48hnk), which took place this past weekend.

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Post image for 8th Berlin Biennale Curator on Berlin, Contemporary Art, and Gentrification

BERLIN — Juan A. Gaitán is a typical hyphenated global art professional. The Canadian-Colombian independent writer and curator is based in Mexico City and Berlin, and he was chosen to curate the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, which opens today.

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Galleries

An American Doing Things

by Stephen Truax on April 29, 2014

Post image for An American Doing Things

BERLIN — Through a quaint garden off the back porch of the main gallery of Haus am Lützowplatz is a small basement gallery filled with video works, handwritten texts, props from performances, sculpture, and other memorabilia by the Louisville-born, Berlin-based artist Brad Downey.

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Museums

Drones, Data, and Deletion

by Stephen Truax on April 21, 2014

Post image for Drones, Data, and Deletion

BERLIN — Two autonomous drones shaped like miniature tanks a little bigger than a kid’s Fisher-Price Power Wheels truck roam the cavernous white hall of the Berlinische Galerie. They have been programmed to sense and approach visitors.

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Post image for Seeing the Invisible in a Humanitarian Crisis

BERLIN — In a visually stunning multichannel video installation, “The Enclave” (2013), Richard Mosse has created an immersive environment that plunges the viewer into the heart of the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The installation in the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale consists of multiple screens positioned throughout the center of the room; they are transparent scrims, so you can see the projection simultaneously from both sides.

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Post image for The Impossible Desire of the Encyclopedic Palace

VENICE — After all of the seeing and being seen, it was a huge relief to enter Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace), curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the youngest artistic director of La Biennale in 110 years. This museum-like exhibition featuring work from over 150 artists from 38 countries made throughout the past century is split between two massive locations: the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, and the Arsenale, which is roughly twelve times the size of an American football field.

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Post image for Shock of the View: Seeing and Scene at the Venice Biennale

VENICE — Nothing quite captured the absurdity that is the vernissage of La Biennale better than Ragnar Kjartansson’s fishing boat, the S. S. Hangover, floating through a barrel-vaulted and colonnaded boat parking structure carrying six horn players performing British composer Gavin Bryars’ “White’s SS” (1977) as Tilda Swinton looked on elegantly from a grassy beach at the end of the massive Arsenale. Yes, I actually saw Tilda Swinton. I died.

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Post image for New Art Spaces in the Bushwick Area, Part 1

The bewildering number of new galleries opening in Bushwick in late 2012 and early this year continues to grow (even while this article goes to press). Counts now, depending on who you ask, are above 45. Growth seems to be nothing short of exponential as virtually every major studio building in every micro-neighborhood that’s part of Bushwick is now home to several artist-run exhibition spaces, and naturally, apartment shows abound. Here’s the first five on our list.

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Articles

Fuck Grad School, Let’s Have a House Party!

by Stephen Truax on September 11, 2012

Artist Andrew Ohanesian (at left)

“This is the biggest dumb idea I’ve ever had,” Andrew Ohanesian told me late one night over Budweisers at Pierogi gallery’s massive auxiliary space, The Boiler Room, in North Williamsburg. “There’s nothing I hate more than a good idea.” Ohanesian often selects “really stupid” ideas for his art that are, in reality, incredibly complex and expensive to realize. For his two-month-long solo engagement with Pierogi opening this Friday, he has made his most outlandish project to date.

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