31 July 2012

BERLIN: TILTED VOYEURISM. PAUL MACCARTHY'S BOX

Paul McCarthy_The Box_Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin_photo: artfridge.dePaul McCarthy_The Box_Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin_photo: artfridge.de Paul McCarthy_The Box_Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin_photo: artfridge.de Paul McCarthy_The Box_Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin_photo: artfridge.de
Paul McCarthy "The Box" (1999), Courtesy Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, displayed at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Images: artfridge.de

Producing artificial chaos is one of Paul McCarthy's biggest strengths: In his countless videos, installations and performances that he did since the 70s, there has hardly been any orderliness. And if there was, as in his sculpture "Dead H", McCarthy used it to criticise Minimalism. The artist strives for an obvious disclosure of the dark American soul - the rotten, decayed, brutal, pornographic - but in his current show at Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, he starts to disclose his studio.
In his collage-installation "The Box" - a simulation of his LA based studio - viewers may get a peek into his 90 degrees tilted labour, which looks less disgusting as I would have expected. Those who know his work a bit, will find traces of his props: Pinnocchio in the corner, a mask on the table, several video tapes. The overall work itself is a mirror to one of his strongest concerns: Voyeurism. A chaotic and intimate space that one cannot enter, nor leave (or, as in the museum: may not enter), but one can look at it from a secure distance. Now that he revealed his studio, I really wonder how his private house looks like...

30 July 2012

MONDAY BLUES

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Sara Lucas "Self Portrait with fried Eggs", 1996, Courtesy Tate, London
Feeling Monday Blues? Have some fried eggs.

20 July 2012

NEW YORK: RINEKE DIJKSTRA. A RETROSPECTIVE.

Dubrovnik, Croatia, July 13, 1996 The Buzz Club, Liverpool, March 3, 1995  The Krazyhouse, 2009 (Philip) videostill Kolobrzeg, Poland, July 26, 1992The Krazyhouse, 2009 (Nicky) videostillSelfportrait, Marnixbad, Amsterdam, June 19,1991   Olivier, Camp Rafalli, Calvi, Corsica, June 18, 2001.
From top: Rineke Dijkstra: Dubrovnik, Croatia, July 13, 1996; The Buzz Club, Liverpool, England, March 3, 1995; The Krazyhouse (Megan, Simon, Nicky, Philip, Dee), Liverpool, UK, 2009, videostill; Kolobrzeg, Poland, July 26, 1992; The Krazyhouse (Megan, Simon, Nicky, Philip, Dee), Liverpool, UK, 2009, videostill; Self Portrait, Marnixbad, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 19, 1991; Olivier, The French Foreign Legion, Camp Raffalli, Calvi, Corsica, June 18, 2001; all works Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris
 © Rineke Dijkstra

Usually, I don't post pictures from shows in the USA. Especially in NYC there are countless events with fantastic art works. But since the dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra is one of my favourite artists, I would recommend all American readers to quickly visit the Guggenheim Museum to see her mid-career retrospective show, which contains several series of her favourite topic: teenagers. And everyone else: we need to settle for her strong pictures in digital version for now and hope that the restrospective will tour to Europe as well.

13 July 2012

BERLIN: UDK RUNDGANG 2012

UDK Berlin Rundgang 2012 Photos by artfridge.de UDK Berlin Rundgang 2012 Photos by artfridge.de UDK Berlin Rundgang 2012 Photos by artfridge.de UDK Berlin Rundgang 2012 Photos by artfridge.de UDK Berlin Rundgang 2012 Photos by artfridge.de UDK Berlin Rundgang 2012 Photos by artfridge.de UDK Berlin Rundgang 2012 Photos by artfridge.de UDK Berlin Rundgang 2012 Photos by artfridge.de
image copyright: artfridge

"Seriously? This must be joke!", was the first thing I thought, when I saw the 100 meter cue in front of UDK's entrance on Hardenbergstraße, for its annual degree show 'private' view. Ten minutes later - and no, I am going to skip the part where we sneaked in through a hidden door on the other side of the building - we were inside, not even having the slightest idea how we were going to see all the works. Downstairs, in the main hall, the Meisterschüler (those who received their diploma) are displayed. All other floors and backyard buildings are mixed in different semesters and different teachers. But I was already happy, when I discovered a name-tag connected to a work. Impossible to name all the good works, but I'd like to mention a few outstanding pieces:

In the backyard sculpture studios, Julius Dörner showed a colour-block work in the shape of a concrete mixer and Stefan Träger presented an installation including 14 plinths crowned by golden poults. Azusa Kuno's work "Sebastian Haarmann" shocked not only with the obvious labour involved, but especially with the giant knit-piece's material: Collected hair from several hairdressers in Berlin. Ugh!  
Striking positions in the Meisterschüler-area are Andreas Gruner, exhibiting minimalist interior photography, confusing the viewers point of perception; Anton Steenbrock, who displays two conceptual installations that literally dangle on a string; and Latefa Wirsch, proving a good sense of humour with her anthropomorphic and deconstructed furniture-sculptures. 
Its not a bad idea to calculate at minimum of 3 hours for this mammoth-tour, but it is absolutely worth it.

7 July 2012

COLOGNE: ONE WISH IS ALWAYS LEFT UNFULFILLED

Museum Ludwig_One Wish is Always left Unfulfilled _images by artfridge Museum Ludwig_One Wish is Always left Unfulfilled _images by artfridgeMuseum Ludwig_One Wish is Always left Unfulfilled _images by artfridgeMuseum Ludwig_One Wish is Always left Unfulfilled _images by artfridgeMuseum Ludwig_One Wish is Always left Unfulfilled _images by artfridgeMuseum Ludwig_One Wish is Always left Unfulfilled _images by artfridge
From the top: Zoe Leonard "Tree"; Siegfried Anziger "Sechs Schweine"; Isa Genzken "Kinder Filmen"; Pawel Althammer "Cameraman"; Jimmy Durham "Building a Nation"; Hans-Peter Feldmann "Installation" (Detail);  images by artfridge, Courtesy Museum Ludwig, Köln 


Kaspar König had many dreams, when he enthusiastically curated "Museum of our Desires"- his first exhibition as Museum Ludwig's director in 2001. He borrowed those pieces that he imagined to fit into the collection and placed them between the museum's own. In the past twelve years, König was able to buy approximately 120 works, which he desired. His current and last show at Cologne's Museum for Contemporary art ties in with his first one: "One Wish is Always left Unfulfilled" talks less big, points to the dilemma of a collection's infinity, its impossible perfection. But at the same time, it celebrates a triumph: "Kaspar König takes stock" - and it doesn't look mingy at all.
Pawel Althammer's "Cameraman" (1995) was one of the first works that König bought. Therefore the uncanny sculpture welcomes the visitor right at the entrance of the floor. Siegfried Anzinger's painting "Six Pigs" (2012), on the contrary, gives an idea of König's relaxed and playful way of organising a collection. Works by the evergreens Rosemarie Trockel or Franz West meet Manfred Pernice recycle-environments.
His fondness for room-filling installations is expressed several times: Crowned by Jimmi Durham's "Building a Nation" (2006), followed by Stephen Prina's pink sofa-sound-scape "The Second Sentence of Everything I Read is You: The Queen Mary" (1979-2006), Isa Genzken's insane beach bar "Kinder filmen" (2005) or Zoe Leonard's affective patched-up "Tree" (1997/2011). The biggest surprise for me was Hans-Peter Feldmann's room "Installation" (2012), consisting of several small objects and photographic collages of seemingly inconspicuous images that the artist arranged himself.
Without a doubt, the is the end of an era - a great era, to be clear. Phillip Kaiser, the new museum's director, will breathe some fresh air into the established venue. And also he will be full of dreams and enthusiasm. Imagining a growing collection that exists only by the drive of never being complete.