30 April 2013

PLAYGROUND LOVE

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Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Julian Charrière "Undefined Horizons"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Julian Charrière "Undefined Horizons"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Speech Tchoban & Kuznetbov "Towninbox"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Speech Tchoban & Kuznetbov "Towninbox"

Zimoun "318 Prepares DC-Motors, Cork Balls,  Cardboard Boxes 100 x 100 x 100cm"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Zimoun "318 Prepares DC-Motors, Cork Balls,  Cardboard Boxes 100 x 100 x 100cm"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Jeongmoon Choi – Drawing in Space
all images by artfridge, courtesy Olympus and the artists

Size does matter! Especially in the arts - whether in a good or a bad way. Despite last year's critical article "It’s Going to Be Huge" by American art critic Jerry Saltz's in the New York Times Magazine, I don't believe that the trend for big shows necessarily needs to be "watering things down". It can also be something positive: Some art works need space and some big spaces need large artworks. Nothing argues against enjoying spectacular art, as long as it has the ambition to be more than just enormous. In that sense, many of the large installations that are currently exhibited at Opernwerkstätten Berlin in the Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground exhibition fall into that category. Everything about this show is huge: a 7000 square-meter location, twelve interactive installations and eventually the expectation of the visitor...

Olympus sponsored this show, highlighting how the artworks may be experienced and captured through the lens of their OM-D camera. The curator Leigh Sachwitz was responsible for the artistic direction and designed all installations in regard to the connection of space and art. What sounds a little vague, has, however, been most interestingly explored in the outstanding piece "Undefined Horizons" by swiss artist Julian Charrière. Being a former Ólafur Elíasson scholar, Charrière must have adopted the need to visualise invisible phenomena and grew the bacteria from the exhibition space in a circular green house. Visitors can move their head under a bull's eye underneath the object and get a stunning, oddly meditative 360 degree view on a mildew landscape that continues growing throughout the exhibit. While Charrière's work miniaturises life, another striking piece on the bright top floor piles up in front of the visitor: "Prepared dc-motors, cork balls, cardboard boxes", an enormous cardboard tunnel  by swiss artist Zimoun, offers an intimidating experience with very little and unspectacular material. As if countless marching soldiers would inhabit the space, Zimoun made little cork balls knock against the cardboard shell and turned the static material into lively one. 

The second floor is dominated by experiments with light and space: The laser-installation "OT_L_SPACE_01" by Berlin-based artist Shan Blume creates an illusionary space within the room by adding artificial fog and thus making the green lines visible. While the visitor can walk through these glimmering lines, Jeongmoon Choi's site-specific installation "Drawing in Space" plays with the illusion of material and immateriality. Her work consists of hundreds of blue thread lines glowing in black-light, forming into an unseizable labyrinth. Likewise, but on the ground floor, the artist collective Numen / For Use prepared a three dimensional space, which allows the visitor to explore it from the inside. "Net Berlin", a room filling three-floored net-architecture, constitutes itself through the addition of people and is designed as a 'social sculpture' - not so much in the sense of Beuys, but rather quite literally. 

No later than here, while jumping in the black net and remembering distant childhood days at fun fairs, one realises why this exhibit has the right to include the word 'playground' into their title: While some pieces in the show, like "Alice through the key hole" by Martin Butler or "Settings" by Starstyling, exhaust the borders of entertainment, several positions find an intelligent balance between the visitor's involvement and an independent and ambitious research. And above all: Why shouldn't art sometimes be a fun experience?


OLYMPUS OM-D
26.04. - 24.05.2013

Zinnowitzer Straße 9 · Berlin
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 19:00h



Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Martin Butler "Alice through the key hole"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Martin Butler "Alice through the key hole"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Shan Blume "OT_L_SPACE_01"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Numen / For Use "Net Berlin"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Numen / For Use "Net Berlin"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Tim John "Das war gestern"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Starstyling "Settings"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Starstyling "Settings"
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy Olympus
Mira Thönnessen, Johanna Stock, Rike Horb, Johannes Bansmann (all artists from UDK, Berlin)
Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground at Opernwerkstätten Berlin _ opening, photos by artfridge, courtesy OlympusUnited Visual Artists UVA "Vanishing Point"
all images by artfridge, courtesy Olympus and the artists
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