29 November 2016

INTERVIEW: HAJNAL NÉMETH

Foto 5 Hajnal Németh, installation view, Galerie Patrick Ebensperger, Berlin, 2016
Courtesy of the artist

In her artistic practice Hajnal Németh creates musicals, operas, performances, films and photographs but most of all, through slight modifications of poems, songs and texts she encourages political statements. In her current exhibition “White Song – Among Others” at Galerie EBENSPERGER in Berlin, Németh discusses political systems and prevailing normative beliefs in current Western societies without framing the topic in a heavy format, but rather by bobbing and weaving with a bitterly humoristic approach coated in cultural and historical references.

13 November 2016

INTERVIEW: YOĞUNLUK

sublime_3
"Sublime" © Yoğunluk

There is a thin line between an architecturally influenced art installations and experienced based installations using the architectural space. Yoğunluk is an art initiative from Istanbul including a team of 8 people working and experimenting on relations between “time”, “space” and “experience” in art. They force the viewers to stand alone in the moment and experience the space they step into, questioning everything around them. Their spatial installations are impossible to record or photographed – a fact that makes them more unique, especially in a generation that is used to consume and archive everything. One might say they create new spaces in old surroundings, or one might say they create a way of seeing the actual space we live in. We met İsmail Eğler, one of the co-founders of the initiative, and talked about how they started their journey and what they are planning for the future.

25 October 2016

INTERVIEW: WILLEM WEISMANN

2002bc 2012
all works © Willem Weismann


Willem Weismann paints chaos. The narrative scenes that the Dutch artist creates stem from his own imagination. Like stages, they present interiors and extras, revealing layers of flooring, stapled props and set design constructions. In this imperfect world, the perfect façade is always already crumbling. While his paintings often reflect aesthetics from films or even computer games, he returns to the painterly and analogue medium by embedding his entire palette of colours on top of the motif. These could be books, anonym reading figures or simply chaotic interiors, tempting one to get lost in details. Born in 1977, Willem studied at Goldsmiths College in London, where he currently lives and works. His upcoming exhibition "Basement Odyssey" at the ZABLUDOWICZ COLLECTION in London opens the 10th of November.

19 September 2016

INTERVIEW: NICO ANKLAM

Performance Iteriations in VELLFERDEN; Photo © Hans Edward Hammonds Henning Christiansen (6) Untitled, poster print, 1969_foto Thomas Gunnar Bagge_2703
Curator Nico Anklam and curatorial assistant Mai Dengsøe Hansen during the performance Iteriations in VELFERDEN (August 2016), photo © Hans Edward Hammonds; 
Two paperworks by Henning Christiansen at Kunsthal 44 Møen, photo © Thomas Gunnar Bagge

"Henning isn't a member of FLUXUS. Henning is FLUXUS"*, the Danish artist Bjørn Nørgaard wrote about his friend and artist colleague Henning Christiansen, who passed away in 2008 but left a giant archive of FLUXUS artefacts and a legacy of experimental music compositions. For Christiansen life and art merged fluently – he dedicated his practice to nature, its sounds and colours. "Unlike the complexity of musical modernism so far, my vision thus tends towards extreme simplicity"**, he stated, envisioning a transformation from complex to pure, from eye to ear, from visual to auditive. 

Having established an isolated and rural, but nonetheless fruitful artist community on the Danish island of Møn, Christiansen, his wife Ursula, Nørgaard and the curator René Block jointly founded what is known today as Kunsthal 44 Møen – an ambitious art institution that is located just across the house of the Blocks and Christiansens. The Berlin-based curator and art historian Nico Anklam, who teaches art theory at Universität der Künste in Berlin, has been involved in the institution's exhibition and research making for a few years, and is currently organising a project that reflects Henning Christiansen's notions on nature and its affect on language through a small selection of Christiansen's art works in an exhibition at the Kunsthal in Møn and through a travelling performance program with international artists. 

14 September 2016

INTERVIEW: EKW14,90

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ekw14,90, Imperativ (l'individu dans l'image), 2016
HD video, courtesy ekw14,90

The artist collective ekw14,90 was founded in Graz in 2000 by Moke Klengel, Christoph Rath, Marlies Stöger, and André Tschinder. Together they conceived numerous exhibitions and projects working in the fields of video, photography, music, theater, drawing and publishing.

In their current exhibition “eh ben” at Künstlerhaus – Halle für Kunst und Medien, in Graz, the collective presents a new kind of artistic avant-garde, the “Zu-Realisten” – a pun that combines the concepts of being “too realist” and moving “toward realism”– and their approach in perceiving reality. In Graz we talked about the potential of the subjunctive, the imperative, art manifestos and how this influences the perception of reality.

9 September 2016

INTERVIEW: GORKA MOHAMED

Domingo_Despotico_II All works courtesy and © Gorka Mohamed

The work of Spanish artist Gorka Mohamed is of a both humorous and disturbing nature. Offering a concrete allusion to the pictorial language of cartoons, his protagonists often bend the boundaries between reality and fiction, between a yearning for infinity and the set rules of their everyday lives. With great sensitivity towards the shifts within modern day society, Gorka analyses sharply, while introducing a refined imagery that thrives on a unique use of colour, character and form. His current exhibition at Peter von Kant "Raise ravens and they will pluck out your Eyes" introduces his latest body of work while revealing a distinct take on the current state of cultural reality.  

20 July 2016

INTERVIEW: ISTANBUL QUEER ART COLLECTIVE


6.PostFluxDogGames "PostFluxDogGames", 2014, photo by Ayşe Kaya © Istanbul Queer Art Collective

Founded by the three artists Tuna Erdem, Seda Ergul and Onur Gökhan Gökçek in 2012, the Istanbul Queer Art Collective is a performance collective based in Istanbul. Recently, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu and video artist Burak Serin have joined the collective and opened it to further collaborations. Having performed more than 20 performances around the world, their recent project “Fluxus Remakes” re-stages and "queeryfies" fluxus happenings, inviting participants and viewers to try, experience and – most importantly – to fail with them. This is because neither perfection or virtuosity, but incompetence and failure is what the collective explores. Engaged in political and social discussions, it's possible to come across their happenings in a nightclub, a park, an ancient site or simply anywhere around Istanbul. Moreover, the founders Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergul are not only engaged in Istanbul's offline art world, but they also run the art blog sanatsepeti, in which they write about their experiences through exhibitions and performances. In our interview, I talked to the co-founders Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergul about how clichés of orientalism and of being queer merge and meet in their practice, about how the Turkish occupy movement influenced their performances and what it exactly means to practice a "queer art of failure".

27 June 2016

INTERVIEW: SEBASTIAN NEEB

Sebastian Neeb_artfridge_5 "22 sausages to stare at, praise and worship" (2015) © Sebastian Neeb

A few weeks ago "Praise and Trophy“ opened at Berlin art space Dzialdov. The show dealt with the question of how a certain symbolism can be held accountable for moments of sublimity, majesty and superiority. It asked how much these sentiments are rather a matter of traditions and emotions than of an actual expression of reality. Three different positions, Lars Bjerre, Max Dickhaus and Sebastian Neeb were invited to participate; I sat down with one of them. 

With a diverse body of work, Berlin-based artist Sebastian Neeb (b. 1980) surveys how certain media can be used to guide, influence and control individuals as well as the mass and how closely real and fake values are linked together. In his idea, the awarding of trophies and titles is rather a matter of manipulation, a loose promise of a value that only exists in people’s head without having an actual materialistic counter-value. Following this concept, a new kind of character head is courting for leadership within his series "New Leader", while "Trophies for Outstanding Performance Over Decades" awards rather nonsensical achievements like the finding of an already emptied jug of wisdom.