30 January 2014


Spirits Closing Their Eyes, Production stills, Galerie Eigen+Art, Leipzig 2014, Copyright: fischer/el sani and VG Bildkunst from the top: (1) Spirits Closing Their Eyes, Production stills, Galerie Eigen+Art, Leipzig 2014 © fischer/el sani and VG Bildkunst.

Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani have been doing collaborative art works since 1995. While photographic and cinematic projects dominate their oeuvre, Nina and Maroan often travel to far destinations around the globe, investigating in the particular mood of the country. It is 'transitory places' that they seek to explore and to portray in their very own artistic language. The large three channel video installation "Spirits Closing Their Eyes" is the central (and the most recent) work in their currently solo show at Galerie Eigen+Art in Leipzig. Along several former photographic projects and videos, this piece portraits various Japanese inhabitants just after the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima in 2011 and speaks both, a touching and a highly disturbing language. Far from being a classical documentary, this film creates an uncomfortable tension that causes the curiosity of how Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani approach their projects. In an interview with artfridge, they talked about their experiences of the post-traumatic state in Japan, about resignation and politics, and about the aesthetic of their work.

20 January 2014


BATMAN ELEKTRONIK, Galerie Mikael Andersen ,  Curated by Fritz Bornstück & Ernst Markus Stein BATMAN ELEKTRONIK, Galerie Mikael Andersen ,  Curated by Fritz Bornstück & Ernst Markus Stein BATMAN ELEKTRONIK, Galerie Mikael Andersen ,  Curated by Fritz Bornstück & Ernst Markus SteinBATMAN ELEKTRONIK, Galerie Mikael Andersen ,  Curated by Fritz Bornstück & Ernst Markus Stein all images: installation views, BATMAN ELEKTRONIK, Galerie Mikael Andersen Berlin, Curated by Fritz Bornstück & Ernst Markus Stein, photos and courtesy Galerie Mikael Andersen

How does technology influence our lives? How does a super hero of the 21st century look like? Is there still space for humanity and sexuality? The artists and curators Ernst Markus Stein and Fritz Bornstück invited 31 contemporary artists to discuss these questions along their artistic practice and strategies. “Batman Elektronik”, the current exhibition at Galerie Mikael Andersen Berlin, tells stories about the post-internet generation from various angles and pleads for a well grounded handling in technology. We met Fritz and Markus to learn about their motivation and how the exhibition concept originated.

Anna-Lena Werner: Fritz and Markus – you are the curators of the current group show “Batman Elektronik”. How did the exhibition’s title come about?
Ernst Markus Stein: The title and the logo come from a shop in Neukölln, where you could buy computers or get them repaired. They moved into a larger place, so the old store was vacant for months. We know the shop owner and asked him, if we could arrange a show in the empty space, but he refused. Instead, he made an exhibition two weeks later with his own sculptures made of electronic waste and we relocated to Galerie Mikael Andersen.

10 January 2014


David Shrigley _ “Big Shoes” _ BQ Berlin _  September 17 – October 26, 2013 _ Courtesy BQ Berlin David Shrigley _ “Big Shoes” _ BQ Berlin _  September 17 – October 26, 2013 _ Courtesy BQ Berlin
both works by David Shrigley at BQ Berlin (09. - 10. 2013) courtesy BQ Berlin // photos by artfridge

Just type the three words "neon sign art" into the google image search field. You will be presented an infinite gallery of ironic, poetic, theoretical, romantic, senseless or meaningful slogans. Everybody likes them. Including me. Berlin officially declared its love for neon signs when Maurizio Nannuccis red glowing work "ALL ART HAS BEEN CONTEMPORARY" was installed 2004 above the neo-classical columns of Altes Museum. Also Robert Montgomery's beautiful public poetry project, such as “The People You Love Become Ghosts Inside of You and Like This You Keep Them Alive”, adorned Berlin's cityscape for quite some time. At the latest during the opening of Joseph Kosuth's neon public-language retrospective INSOMNIA: ASSORTED, ILLUMINATED, FIXED last year at Galerie Sprüth Magers, the abundance of glowing letters and the insignificance of glowing statements exceeded their own limit. Too many wise words, too many quotes, too much twitter-length bill-board philosophy. 

4 January 2014


06-IPO-cle I/P/O-cle (2013), Photo By: Yunus Dˆlen, work © Candas Sisman

Mine Kaplangi: You are an artist working with paint, as well as with light, sound and digital systems. How do you evaluate the significance of new technologies in contemporary art?
Candaş Şişman: Digital technologies have created many new opportunities for art as they helped develop works that are based on interactivity and experience. Now the observers are not exclusively observing as they do in classic art; they get to become a part of the process and even change the work itself. Technically speaking, this was primarily allowed by technology. Also, digital technologies have allowed bridging different genres and methods. By increasing the possibility of interlinking different genres these technologies provide us with unlimited combination options. The artist’s role today is to figure out the artistic language in which these elements will be brought together. Since digital technologies are advancing rapidly, they also allow art to regenerate itself.

Personally, instead of stimulating one sense of the observer I try to address several senses. Depending on the work these senses are sound, touch, sight and smell. To manipulate all of these senses at the same time is very interesting to me. Trying to achieve this, I find classic art to be incompetent and find technology that helps me tie together different techniques to be useful. One of the most important reasons why I use technology in my works is because they allow me to combine different elements in terms of language and method, and also that they allow me to create works that are based on experiencing them.