Stephen Truax

Post image for Privacy Backlash Prompts Cancellation of Berlin Art Project

BERLIN — Few social media performance artworks have been as polarizing as “Wanna Play? (Love in the Time of Grindr)” by Dutch artist Dries Verhoeven. After hundreds of public complaints, and numerous articles, host venue Hebbel am Ufer (HAU) has ended the engagement prematurely.

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Post image for Public Display of Gay Men’s Photos, Texts Incites Outcry

BERLIN — When does public, participatory art become predatory?

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An Artist-Turned-Drag Queen Reigns in Berlin

by Stephen Truax on September 18, 2014

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BERLIN — Fellas, I wanna know if I could talk to ya for just a minute. … Is it okay?

The sultry voice cut through the din of hundreds of people. Chandelier Divine Brown’s lip-synch performance of the 1990s a cappella “Work This Pussy,” by American transgender vocalist Sweet Pussy Pauline, sent the crowd into a frenzy.

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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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An American Doing Things

by Stephen Truax on April 29, 2014

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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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Drones, Data, and Deletion

by Stephen Truax on April 21, 2014

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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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