25 September 2013

INTERVIEW: CHRISTINA CHIRULESCU

CHRISTINA CHIRULESCU o.T, Öl, Sprühlack auf Lw, 100x70cm,2013 CHRISTINA CHIRULESCU o.T, Öl, Buntstift auf Lw, 70x50cm, 2013 CHRISTINA CHIRULESCU o.T, Öl, Tusche auf Lw, 40x30cm, 2013 CHRISTINA CHIRULESCU o.T, Öl, Acryl auf Lw, 60x40cm, 2013
all images: works by Christina Chirulescu, courtesy Christina Chirulescu and Tanja Pol Galerie, München.

During a working period in Nuremberg at the "Auf AEG" studio areal I met Christina Chirulescu – a young painter, who grew up in Rumania and moved to Germany in the age of 18. Chirulescu's paintings are minimalist, often kept in cool coloured tones and only rarely incorporate definite elements. While they suggest a distance, they similarly fascinate. After our work for the current AEG Werkschau "So Nah. So Fern(until the 12th of October), which also includes two of her works, I asked Chirulescu some questions about her artistic practice.

Anna: Your work is often kept in monochrome colours with only slight abstract elements. Would you call your work minimalist?
Christina: No, one could think of my work as being connected to minimalism, but for me it's not only about the reduction to the essential. My approach is not strictly conceptual. There are geometric elements, as well as there are figurative aspects. I am interested in this balancing act between abstract and narrative – the option to oscillate between formal and contextual meaning.

21 September 2013

ART BERLIN CONTEMPORARY

Nina Canell at Konrad Fischer Nina Canell at Konrad Fischer Nina Canell at Konrad Fischer Luca Trevisani at Mehdi Chouakri Luca Trevisani at Mehdi Chouakri Andrew Kerr at BQ Berlin Andrew Kerr at BQ Berlin Ull Hohn at Galerie Neu Ull Hohn at Galerie Neu Mie Olise at Duve Mie Olise at Duve Julius von Bismark at alexander levy Julius von Bismarck at alexander levy Timo Klöppel at KWADRAT Timo Klöppel at KWADRAT Tony Oursler at Aviskarl Gallery Tony Oursler at Aviskarl Gallery
all images: Courtesy the galleries, photos by artfridge


The Art Berlin Contemporary (ABC) is said to be, as director Maike Cruse doesn't tire to highlight, "not a business model". But why would an fair not want to be a business model? Or, to put it in other words, how can an art fair NOT automatically turn into a business model? The ABC generates itself as an art exhibition, with the aim to "serve the gallery system and to add something to the arts and culture at large" (see artinfo.com). Once again, in its current sixth edition, the fair only allows solo-presentations and the galleries needed to be invited to participate – applications are out of the question. What's new this time, is the fact that the fair includes lots of performative pieces and that the booths are designated by the artists and not their galleries.

120 artists are represented by 133 galleries, out of which several collaborated to show one artist. The single positions are impressive: Tony Oursler, Hermann Nitsch, Tomas Saraceno, Thomas Zipp or William Tucker. And also the well known young contemporaries such as Julius von Bismarck,  Ulrich Vogl, Andrew Kerr and Thea Djordjadze received much space to get the attention of the visitors.  On the other hand, the use of space in the three halls at Station Berlin is less impressive: With a lack of structure and a lack of clearly designated booths, the fair got a chaotic character with little guidance through the hallways. As most works are site-specific and installation-based, large conceptual pieces are placed next to each other without having any relation with one another. 

19 September 2013

INTERVIEW: NILS EMMERICHS

From One To None _ Autocenter Berlin _ curated by Nils Emmerichs _ featured on artfridge _ courtesy the artists and their galleries, photos by artfridge From One To None _ Autocenter Berlin _ curated by Nils Emmerichs _ featured on artfridge _ courtesy the artists and their galleries, photos by artfridge From One To None _ Autocenter Berlin _ curated by Nils Emmerichs _ featured on artfridge _ courtesy the artists and their galleries, photos by artfridge
From One To None _ Autocenter Berlin _ curated by Nils Emmerichs _ featured on artfridge _ courtesy the artists and their galleries, photos by artfridge From One To None _ Autocenter Berlin _ curated by Nils Emmerichs _ featured on artfridge _ courtesy the artists and their galleries, photos by artfridge
from the top: (1) Samuel Francois (left) and Chris Succo (right); (2) Samuel Francois; (3) Eva Berendes; (4) installation view; (5) David Ostrowski; (6) Sam Moyer / courtesy the artists and their galleries / photos by artfridge


It is almost two years ago that I met Nils Emmerichs for a lovely interview-picknick at the rhine, to ask him and his former partners Benny Höhne and Jan Kaps about their first curatorial project Format:C. On the occasion of Berlin Art Week, Nils now curated his first show at Autocenter in Berlin with five contemporary positions. "One From None", an exhibition that celebrates the new puristic minimalism and a state of painterly revolution, includes the artists Chris Succo, David Ostrowski, Eva Berendes, Sam Moyer and Samuel Francois. On this occasion, I talked to Nils about the trends that he observes in contemporary art and how this is reflecting on his show.

18 September 2013

SO NAH, SO FERN

Offen Auf AEG _ Werkschau So Nah, So Fern _ 2013 _ featured on artfridge Offen Auf AEG _ Werkschau So Nah, So Fern _ 2013 _ featured on artfridge Offen Auf AEG _ Werkschau So Nah, So Fern _ 2013 _ featured on artfridge Offen Auf AEG _ Werkschau So Nah, So Fern _ 2013 _ featured on artfridge Offen Auf AEG _ Werkschau So Nah, So Fern _ 2013 _ featured on artfridge Offen Auf AEG _ Werkschau So Nah, So Fern _ 2013 _ featured on artfridge Offen Auf AEG _ Werkschau So Nah, So Fern _ 2013 _ featured on artfridge
from the top: Christina Chirulescu; Birgit Nadrau; Capar Hüter (installation) and Julia Frischmann (paintings); Anita Blagoi; Mark Hegmans (sculpture) and Birke Bonfert (paintnig); Stephan Haimerl; Sebastian Kuhn / courtesy the artists / photos by artfridge

Many young key-figures of the contemporary art scene in Bavaria are based in Nuremberg, at the huge Auf AEG areal. As I have already revealed in the former post about the current Werkschau of the Auf AEG-Artists, I have been invited to curated their annual exhibition this year. With a focus on the enormous building and the history of the former AEG washing-machine production, the 67 artists have mostly created site-specific work that incorporates the traces of the old factory. In that sense, the title 'So Nah, So Fern' (so close, so far) does not only allude to the space's history, but also to very personal aspects of the artists' pasts and their memories.

While I am obviously not going to review an exhibition that I curated myself, I would however like to show you a little selection of installation shots from our show. For more information and pictures of each work you can also visit our website aegwerkschau.wordpress.com, or if you should be based in Bavaria, take a trip to Nuremberg until the 12th of October to see the exhibition yourself. There are several other exhibitions taking place at the same time at the Auf AEG areal, including a great show with Robert Lenkiewicz, a group show about the phenomena of the uncanny and the sublime with works from the Artist Pension Trust and amazing video- and photo works by the two invited artists Cristina Moreno Garcia and Edgar Leciejewski.

16 September 2013

INTERVIEW: ERIK HERKRATH

Inst2 GaMG Garden Houses Inst3 Night Promenade Perfect Ride+GamG Usefulness+GaMG
all works courtesy the artists, during the Serbinale exhibition in Berlin / photo courtesy Serbinale

BerlinBrückeBelgrad – the bridge from Berlin to Belgrade – is not exactly a relation that has been famous for its artistic exchange. A couple of people, namely the organizers of the new-found SERBINALE, are trying to change these circumstances and developed a cultural exchange festival. One of the events was the 3 day exhibit BerlinBrückeBelgrad at General Public by the end of last August, which included the four Serbian media and installation artists Goran MicevskiSlobodan StošićSaša Tkačenko and Ivan Petrović. I got really curious about this project and asked the curator Erik Herkrath about the Serbian art scene and the topics of the exhibition.

Anna-Lena Werner: The Serbinale in Berlin took place for the first time. What caused your interest to be involved in the exhibition as a curator?
Erik Herkrath: First of all I have personal relations with Serbia. I know many Serbians living in Berlin and I know how their situation is here and in Serbia. That is also why I already did an exhibition with four Serbian artists in 2008. And when the idea of Serbinale came up, the initiators asked me, if I could take care of the visual arts section, which I gladly did.

Anna: How are the exhibited artists connected?
Erik: There are several connections between the four artists. They all are living in Serbia. Three in Belgrade and one in Novi Sad. Then they all share the concern, that there isn't enough awareness for visual arts and especially critical contemporary art in serbia. Some of them, like Sasa Tkacenko or Slobodan Stosic addressed this issue directly in their works. The works by Ivan Petrovic and Goran Micevski are great social studies, which helps to understand the current cultural situation.

12 September 2013

INTERVIEW: JAN KAGE

Art Village 2013 _ Berlin festival _ Jan Kage _ featured on artfridge _ photos by Anneli Botz Art Village 2013 _ Berlin festival _ Jan Kage _ featured on artfridge _ photos by Anneli Botz IMG_2181 Art Village 2013 _ Berlin festival _ Jan Kage _ featured on artfridge _ photos by Anneli Botz Art Village 2013 _ Berlin festival _ Jan Kage _ featured on artfridge _ photos by Anneli Botz Art Village 2013 _ Berlin festival _ Jan Kage _ featured on artfridge _ photos by Anneli Botz IMG_2178
all images: Art Village 2013 at Berlin Festival, courtesy the artists, photos by Anneli Botz

Berlin Festival is not only known for its carefully selected choice of music but also for its position as a melting pot of creativity. Over the years, the Festival’s organizers have developed a smart understanding of how closely good music and art are linked together. Therefore the wide area of Berlin’s old airport Tempelhof did not only offer the witnessing of breathtaking acts such as Björk, Blur and The Pet Shop Boys, but also the chance to participate in the Festivals biggest Art Village so far. On a widespread space area curator Jan ‘Yaneq’ Kage gathered various artists to create a space for performances, poetry slams, DIY booths and general inspiration. As a colourful and versatile installation the area had everything a real village has to offer: A village pub, a marketplace for dances, a circus tent, an outdoor pool and even a church with the meaningful name “Church of Phonk”. To give a better understanding of what the story behind the Art Village is all about, we spoke to Jan Kage himself and got some insightful answers that show how much of a stand the village actually takes in a general art historian discourse.

1 September 2013

RICCARDO NAVA: OLIVER

Riccardo Nava_Oliver_courtesy and copyright Riccardo Nava featured on artfridge.de Riccardo Nava_Oliver_courtesy and copyright Riccardo Nava featured on artfridge.de Riccardo Nava_Oliver_courtesy and copyright Riccardo Nava featured on artfridge.de Riccardo Nava_Oliver_courtesy and copyright Riccardo Nava featured on artfridge.de all images belong to the book "Oliver" by Riccardo Nava, courtesy and copyright Riccardo Nava 

People say that dog owners eventually end up looking like their dogs. But what does that say about their personality? Is a pet (and the way the owner handles and presents it) somehow reflecting the true character of the human being? Riccardo Nava, an italian Berlin-based artist, explores this cultural phenomenon with his recent art book 'Oliver'. The publication, which contains several photos of a poodle dog named 'Oliver', is based on a photo box that Nava found at a flea market in Berlin. Editing the series and only keeping the portraits of the dog, the book after all says more about mental state of the dogs owner, than of the pet itself. A beautiful and quite lonesome visual story.