10 August 2017

INTERVIEW: TOZ ISTANBUL

Exhibition opening of "Homecoming", July, 20170 TOZ exhibition opening "Homecoming", July 2017 

In Kadıköy, one of the most vibrant art districts of Istanbul, lies TOZ artist-run space. Established, in 2015, TOZ has been founded jointly by the artists Ece Eldek, Sinem Dişli, Volkan Kızıltunç and Elvan Ekren. Recently funded by SAHA, the self-declared goal of the non-profit project is to open the founders' studios to other artists and to collectives, in order to work and research together by creating a platform for exhibitions, seminars and workshops. I talked to the team of TOZ about their story, their future plans and the relevance of sustainability for new art spaces in Turkey. 

27 July 2017

INTERVIEW: OLA VASILJEVA

Ola Vasiljeva, Gold Is the Metal With the Broadest Shoulders at Supportico Lopez, Berlin, 2017 , Photo_Linda Fuchs_1 Ola Vasiljeva, "Gold Is the Metal With the Broadest Shoulders" at Supportico Lopez, Berlin, 2017 
Photo © Linda Fuchs; © Ola Vasiljeva

Entering Ola Vasiljeva’s current exhibition “Gold Is the Metal With the Broadest Shoulders“ at Supportico Lopez in Berlin, one finds himself surrounded by drawings and sculptures in the term’s widest sense. Bearing titles like Ivan the Son of Bear, Memmie le Blanc at home in Paris, Big Prince and The Feral Thief, they form a community of social outcasts and mythical characters inhabiting a place somewhere between fact and fiction, history and illusion, dream and reality. The semi-imaginary, the tension between fiction and use, is central to the The Hague-based artist’s suggestive installations, in which metal sculptures seem to transfer the drawings into the three-dimensional and mirrored surfaces transform the exhibition space into a dream-like vision. In our conversation, Ola Vasiljeva talked about the site-specificity of her installations, her interest in the unintentional qualities of backstage areas and about how the idea of unlearning inflected her past projects.

21 July 2017

INTERVIEW: LINDSAY LAWSON

© Lindsay Lawson_featured on artfridge.de
“Half-Truths” © Lindsay Lawson

In 2016, American-born artist Lindsay Lawson hosted a symposium on objectum sexuality – a sexual preference in which a person has romantic and intimate relationships with objects. The event was part of her performance “Choreography for Crane”, presented at the site of the Humboldt Forum at the 9th Berlin Biennale. Objects play a central role in Lawson’s artistic practice, which also comprises video, animation, sculpture, photography, print and text. Often her objects appear in virtual settings. At the Thun Ceramic Residency in Bolzano she is currently working on her first clay sculptures.  

24 June 2017

INTERVIEW: FLORIAN GRAF

Florian Graf_1 Florian Graf, Verputz oder Beton, Follow the Money, 2009
Single Page from Drawing Book 90, Courtesy the artist

In his sculptures, installations and works on paper, 1980-born Swiss artist Florian Graf explores the way we install ourselves in a changing and transient world. He creates architectural interventions (and solutions) as well as sculptural environments that allow interaction and dialogue. In this interview Florian Graf talks about his passion for drawing and the plan to show his large collection of Drawing Books. 

24 May 2017

VIVA ARTE VIVA – 57. VENICE BIENNALE

Venice Biennale
Erwin Wurm, Ship of fools, 2017, 
Courtesy the artist & La Biennale di Venezia

Responding to a year of political turmoil: of Brexit and Trump; of crackdown in Turkey and of yet more terrorist attacks, this year’s Venice Biennale was meant as a countervailing force. French native Christine Macel set out to curate “a biennale designed with artists, by artists and for artists", wherein art serves as a "last bastion against individualism and indifference”. Lacking an overarching theme, Viva Arte Viva is divided into nine chapters: The Pavilion of Artists and Books and The Pavilion of Joys and Fears in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini; The Pavilion of the Common, - the Earth,  - the Traditions, and - the Shamans; as well as The Dionysian Pavilion; The Pavilion of Colors; and finally The Pavilion of Time and Infinity in the Arsenale. Offering artists loose realms to move within is an intriguing idea, yet its realization often underwhelms. Especially in the Central Pavilion, many works are poorly presented. Frances Starkes' Behold Man! (2013), a strong and detailed 192 x 244 cm collage, is hung in a narrow corridor that prevents visitors from beholding the work in its entirety. Too often the placement of works feels like a compromise, more than a thought through juxtaposition. The nine chapters, with their promise of openness and free space, can come to feel clichéd and banal.

9 May 2017

INTERVIEW: PHILIP GRÖZINGER

Philip Grözinger_Courtesy SEXAUER_Photo Marcus Schneider_artfridge7
Philip Grözinger, Courtesy Galerie SEXAUER, Photo © Marcus Schneider

Set in an utterly dystopian landscape, the paintings of Berlin-based artist Philip Grözinger reveal an imaginative universe full of little machines, wired robots and rainbows. In this universe, human beings have become uniform, balloon'ish creatures, whose protective gear turn them into hybrids between man and machine. Despite their desolate setting the images do not convey any disillusion, but they are oddly light-hearted, poetic even, and a bit sarcastic at times. Since years, Grözinger has worked on different unnamed characters and scenarios of this phantasmagorical world, creating an infinite row of sci-fi sequences and visions of our "future archaeology." In our conversation he explains where his inspiration stems from.

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.