The Swiss artist Nicolas Party is both the subject and curator of Pastel, an extraordinary exhibition examining the under-appreciated, fugitive medium and its history.
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.
BERLIN — When does public, participatory art become predatory?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.