24 March 2017

INTERVIEW: KATE STRAIN

5_Kate Strain Kate Strain. Image courtesy Renato Velarde

Following the direction of Krist Gruijthuijsen the jury of Grazer Kunstverein in Austria chose the Irish curator Kate Strain as his successor. Before moving to Graz last year, the 1983-born realised several interdisciplinary projects, mostly exploring the role of performance and performativity in today’s artistic practice. Among others, she has recently developed exhibitions at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin and the rural art space Cow House Studios, Wexford, Ireland. In Graz we talked about the concept of her first exhibition at the institution and her curatorial vision for the Grazer Kunstverein.

16 March 2017

INTERVIEW: CHRISTIAN FALSNAES

Existing_Things "Exiting Things", performance, video, acrylic paint on canvas, COCO, Vienna, 2010 © Christian Falsnaes, courtesy of PSM, Berlin

It is both fascinating and terrifying to participate in a performance by Christian Falsnaes: the 1980-born Danish artist commands exhibition visitors to follow his demands. They ought to dance, to hug, to scream, or even to paint his paintings. And, quite surprisingly, no matter how much they expose themselves and no matter if they actually enjoy doing as they are being told, people usually follow his order. Using the spectators as his artistic material and manipulating group dynamics with painstakingly planned scripts, Falsnaes' enthusiastic and insisting persuasion moves crowds who seem to willingly follow his authority. Performative elements are, however, only one aspect of his practice, which also includes collages, drawings, sculpture and painting, which Falsnaes originally studied in Vienna. Having just moved from Berlin to New York, we spoke about his studio practice, the authorship of his works and his general desire for utterly human gestures.

23 February 2017

INTERVIEW: JULIA WEISSENBERG

ToMakeYouFeel_01
“To Make You Feel Comfortable” (Video still) © Julia Weißenberg

In her video “Nothing to Retain” from 2014, Julia Weißenberg investigated how much impact an architectural design from decades ago could have on the present. The site and the subject of the work is the architectural model of clubhouse for a golf club in Krefeld founded in the 1930s. The 1:1 scale model was built after 2013, to a hitherto unrealized design by Mies van der Rohe. Julia Weißenberg, who graduated from the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne in 2012, has been broadening her range of topics throughout the past 2 years, by moving from visionary architectures to the utopias of city planning.

14 December 2016

INTERVIEW: ROGER EBERHARD

Standard_Tokyo1 Standard_Tokyo2 Tokyo HILTON hotel room and view in "Standard" © Roger Eberhard

Not many encounters between hotels and art have been so thoroughly and meticulously executed as Roger Eberhard's recent photo project "Standard". The book of the Swiss artist juxtaposes a room and the corresponding view of 32 international HILTON hotels on each double page. The location is first revealed by the end of the book. A publisher himself (bfrankbooks.com), Eberhard has a particular eye for the printed image, and uses repetition to force the reader of his book to discover patterns, familiarities and 'standards' in the hotel room. Having previously created other photo projects on hotels, we spoke about his relationship to dwellings and housings, and about "Standard".

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.