29 October 2015


Hale Tenger, We didn't go outside we were always on the outside We didnt go inside; we were always on the inside 1995-2015, Galeri Nev, Istanbul, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, Protocinema, New York photo, Vehbi Dileksiz Installation by Hale Tenger "We didn't go outside; we were always on the outside. We didnt go inside; we were always on the inside 1995-2015", Galeri Nev, Istanbul, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, Protocinema, New York / photo © Vehbi Dileksiz

American Curator and art manager Mari Spirito is one of Istanbul's most active persons in art world, always organising different projects at the same time and traveling to a other countries frequently. Dedicated to encouraging careers for emerging artists and curators, she is currently the consultant for Art Basel's "Talks Program" and has previously lived in New York, where she was director at 303 Gallery. In 2011, Mari initiated her own project Protocinema – an art organisation that connects cities such as New York and İstanbul, through educational programs, exhibitions and various collaborations. One of her newest, self-initiated endeavours is the temporary exhibition series Proto5533: A collaboration between Protocinema and the Istanbul-based artist-run-space 5533, displaying emerging curators and artists. I met Mari in Istanbul's district Çukurcuma, where we had coffee on the rooftop of a historical building. She told me about Protocinema, its goals and why she chose Istanbul as a base.

21 October 2015


Billy Rennekamp_houston in the blind
all works © Billy Rennekamp

Visting the Neukölln-studio of 1988-born US artist Billy Rennekamp reveals his intense passion for sports, rules and any kind of game, which he integrates and manipulates in every work that he produces. Balls, sticks, boards and countless props are spread all over the place. The space smells of rubber and leather. I talked to him about material fetishism, the shift from digital to physical art and, obviously, why he is playing games.

13 October 2015



What's hot? A question that we might hope to find resolved at every biennial, art fair or art week that we attend. But what's hot today might be over by tomorrow. And: who decides what's hot, anyway? Yvonne Reiners, a curator and researcher running the performance series Performing Encounters that re-imagines formats of encounter and discussion; and Tina Sauerländer, a curator and writer, who has been organising numerous exhibitions under the label peer to space, jointly organised the upcoming Pecha Kucha Art Night at Haus am Lützowplatz in Berlin. The event will ask this very question amidst a couple of professionals from different disciplines, such as the art historian Annika von Taube, the art dealer Volker Diehl or the publisher Uta Grosenick. I asked the two organisers, why they felt the need to pose this question.

28 September 2015


Buşra Tunç "Sinusoid" (2014), interactive light installation, "WAVES" exhibition at BLOK art space; photo © Rayna Teneva

Istanbul-based curator, art writer and sociologist Ebru Yetişkin embeds her practice in-between science, technology and art. Born in 1976, she studied Communications and Radio-TV-Cinema at Istanbul University and Science, Technology and Society at Université Louis Pasteur and the Istanbul Technical University. Her PhD in sociology was entitled “Nettachmental Thought: Problematisation of Social Sciences through Quotidian Practices” and has led to her current teaching in Sociology and Media at Istanbul Technical University and Isik University. Specialised in the overlapping of science, technology and art, she researches at the International Association of Contemporary Art Critics in Turkey (AICA). Focusing on new media art, she curated the exhibitions "Cacophony" in Açıkekran New Media Art Gallery, "Code Unknown" in 42Maslak and "WAVES" in BLOK art space. For this year's Plugin show "X-Change" – the new-media art section at Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair – Ebru has been appointed curator and told me about her curatorial approaches, algorithms, about organic and technological bodies and about her ideas on mutation and revolution.

28 August 2015


1a_by Florian Meisenberg all images: works by Florian Meisenberg, © Florian Meisenberg, courtesy the artist, Kassler Kunstverein and his galleries Wentrup, Berlin; Simone Subal, NYC; Mendes Wood, Sau Paulo; photos by Joerg Lohse, NY; Sebastian Bach, NY; Anna Arca, London; Trevor Good, Berlin; Nils Klinger, Kassel; Bruno Leão, São Paulo; Gui Gomes, São Paulo

The offline and the online world merge with German artist Florian Meisenberg. Using the media of paint, performance, installation and video, his work reflects the variety of skills that he experienced throughout his life:  Florian first studied media design, until he eventually entered the art academy in Düsseldorf and studied with Peter Doig. Whilst being intensely sincere about formal and critical concepts behind his work, he openly discusses what moves and motivates him.

Originally born in Berlin in 1980, Florian moved to New York in 2010 with his girlfriend and collaborator Anna K.E., who also studied at the art academy in Düsseldorf, since then sharing a studio in Bushwick. Not only a team in private life, Anna and Florian often create work together and approach each others practice both aesthetically and conceptually. But also from a more general perspective, the subject of intimacy is a coherent theme in Florian’s work, expressed in both physical and digital relations of beings and objects. While his unique instalments and performances, for example at Kassler Kunstverein or Kölnischer Kunstverein, often relate to the composition of screens, appropriating a digital aesthetic of pop-up windows, manuals and simultaneous data-streams, his videos incorporate corporeal affection.

Over the course of half a year, Florian and I messaged each other questions and answers, discussing his practice between the digital and the analogue, his fascination for the Internet, for exchange and for digital jet-legs.

28 July 2015


all works © Marco Stanke 

Is it a painting? Or an object? The works of Nuremberg based artist Marco Stanke aim at liberating painting from its traditional limitations and transferring it into space. But in order to be acknowledged as objects his Parts are cleaving too closely to the painterly, whereas their battered and extensive shapes make it hard to let them pass for paintings. Marco Stanke’s works were displayed at the Galerie Haas in Ingolstadt from April to June 2015, as part of the group exhibition YOUNG BLOOD. A few days ago he was awarded with the Kunstpreis der Nürnberger Nachrichten for his Kollektiv, shown in the associated exhibition at the Kunsthaus Nuremberg until the 6th of September. I spoke to Marco about his cross genre approach, which leads not only into the three-dimensional but also into the musical space. 

22 July 2015


Lars Bjerre_The Robbery (Crown Jewels) 1, Oil, pigment, oil pastel & spray on printed canvas. 185x135x4 cm. Oak frame (188x138x4 cm). 2015© the artist
all works © Lars Bjerre "The Robbery", courtesy the artist and Hunter/Whitefield, London

Looking at the work of Danish artist Lars Bjerre, one will not only notice the versatility and beauty of his detailed depictions, but will also come to realise that there is a golden thread that has been running through his paintings and installations over the years: A history of storytelling. Also his most recent series "The Robbery", which is currently on display in London at the recently opened gallery Hunter/Whitfield, reminds of a cinematic story-board. Five large paintings show a selection of fictive planning scenes, a blue print of the Tower and aesthetically flashy details of the loot and its countless diamonds – the British Crown Jewels – evoking a narrative through the images. Inspired by crime films and the figure of the anti-heroe, the artist's paintings create scenes, with surfaces between neatly applied and extremely smudged gestures. 

Although Lars changes the themes with each new series that he begins, they always incorporate a mise en scène: motifs, such as hunting trophy pictures ("Hunter's Delight") or brawls inside parliament buildings ("Angry Men") are repeated, manipulated and contrived into the dramaturgy of an act. Stage elements, spatial arrangements and objects turn his exhibitions into theatrical installations. But how important is the plot to the artist himself? What is behind these stories? These were some of the questions I asked the Berlin-based artist before his opening in London. 

18 July 2015


punk music_artfridge_15_UDK_Rundgang7969
Punk concert  in the hallway of UDK
 all works courtesy and © the artist, all photos © artfridge

The greek "OXI" – NO! – vote was something of a revolutionary credo embracing this year's annual degree show opening at Universität der Künste Berlin. Live punk music blasted through the hallways that were crowded with confused visitors, who wondered "where is the art"? The art was locked down. A loyal gesture to some of their professors, all students had previously decided to raise attention to corrupt professor deals by keeping their doors shut and not letting any guests enter the studio spaces during the opening night. Despite their hope to be picked up during the Rundgang, most students unanimously agreed to the collective act. The protest emphasises the position of a majority of students, who argue that the academy's hierarchical administration structures and their sweetheart deals with famous artists and their friends would not benefit their educational system. The flip side, they say, is that many lesser known guest professors receive unfair and bad paid short-term contracts that wouldn't even cover their insurance costs during the holiday period.