20 July 2014


Mark Corfield-Moore_Klasse Neugebauer_UDK_2014 Mark Corfield-Moore (wall object) and Moritz Nehrkorn (sculpture), Klasse NeugebauerAndreas Foncerrada_Klasse Lewandowsky_UDK_2014 Andreas Foncerrada, Klasse Lewandowsky Lisa Peters_Klasse Möbus_UDK_2014 Lisa Peters, Klasse Möbus Gary Schlingheider_UDK_2014 Gary Schlingheider
all  works courtesy and © the artists // photo credit: artfridge.de

How does art reflect current politics? When are old trends replaced by new ones? What do young artists expect from the effect of their work on the spectatorship? Which art is, and which art will be interesting for the market? When hoping to find the slightest answer to any of these questions one of the best places to observe future tendencies are degree shows from art academies. The current Rundgang at UDK (Universität der Künste) in Berlin, for example, offers a pretty interesting overview on what young Berlin-based artists are interested in.

With a rise of society's political awareness and activism in Europe, the seemingly unanswerable question of art's relation to politics and social reality is once again up to debate. Confronted with a difficult subject such as this, art often overstrains and thus trivialises itself with programmatic messages and manifests, while other art risks to overshadow its aesthetic formalism with polemic concepts. It gets, however, interesting when art manages to allow its spectators to experience an ethical and political situation that calls for reflexion and for contemplation. This is the case with the work "Borders – Imbalance & Continuity" by Via Lewandowsky-student Andreas Foncerrada. He installed several uneven, squared wood-pieces on the floor into a puzzle and attached Goodle Earth images from political borders on top of the logs. As simple as this, Foncerrada allows the downwards-looking spectator a bird's eye perspective on the flat puzzle-planet and its randomly separated distributions of power, wealth and land. Manfred Pernice-student Sara Clarke exhibits an object that is assembled from different materials, each linking itself to growth (clinker bricks, a plant) and protection (helmet). Maybe not even intentional, Clarke's work "wir machen alle einen helm" is an innocent and yet precise allegory on industrialised country's value-priorities.

The sound of power is experianceable in an installation by extremely skilled Olafur Eliasson-student Markus Hoffmann: Attached to a pedestal, two hourglasses are connected to tiny microphones that play the sound of the running sand through two loudspeakers. Each portion of sand (that is, glass) was originally created through the world's first nuclear bomb tests, now repetitively imitating the sound of grains falling back on the ground. Hoffmann's second installation shows neatly framed wood-pieces, which he continuously nourishes and desiccates with different mushrooms until their surface reveals a picturesque and ornamentally unique pattern. 

Much more obvious than the subject of the political, however, is the students investigation in material's phenomenology and different materials' juxtaposition. Extraordinary examples have been done by Christiane Möbus-student Lisa Peters, who created a large and slowly hardening curtain out of dozens of pig-skin pieces, and by Neugebauer-student Mark Corfield-Moore, who plays with the beauty of plastic. Also Lewandowsky-student Vivienne Appelius plays with her materials' consistency and their balance, by placing heavy marble pieces on top of foam material plinths, causing a swaying through a ventilators' air puff. While Katja Strunz-student Maria Jose Ambrois installed a huge rock that is suspended from the ceiling, exploring its massiveness and its ability to make one feel helplessly small, Möbus-student Cathy Cocat explores the hardly visible, or the restraint with her white wall objects. Already established in the newly found aesthetic tradition of sellable 'Flip Art', the usage of cheap materials for extremely minimalist paintings and wall objects is a strategy that Cocat seems to employ for her work. Surprisingly however, she is one of the very (!) few students who follows the reduced painterly technique. 

Instead, most UDK-painters seem to return to (or remain) a representative, colourful or at least a slightly realistic style, such as Josephine Hans and Gary Schlingheider or Valerie Favre-students Henri Haake and Johannes Fuchs. While minimalism is thus not very present in the UDK's students' paintings, it is very much in sculpture and installation art. Even though the popular practice of leaning-an-object-against-the-wall is to this date a bit over-exhausted, Ursula Neugebauer-student Marie Jeschke created a great and ironic example called "Kottbusser Tor" and Favre-student Aaron Rahe leaned a wooden stick against a piece of foam material. Speaking of it – if there is a new trend in material, it is clearly the rediscovery of foam. Thomas Zipp-student Leon Eisermann, for example, built a witty multi-media pop installation that imitates colourful toothpaste-tubes on a basis of foam and mirrors.

Eventually, what we get to see at this degree show are several hints to a direction that young positions are continuously exploring. A search for beauty as much as for meaning. Maybe even more aware and sensitive, less humorous and foolish than expected.

Rundgang 2014
Universität der Künste Berlin
18.- 20. July 2014

Hardenbergstr. 33
 (Fine Arts, Workshops, Architecture)

Leon Eisermann_Klasse Zipp_UDK_2014 Leon Eisermann, Klasse Zipp Leon Eisermann (Detail)_Klasse Zipp_UDK_2014 Leon Eisermann (Detail), Klasse ZippJosephine Hans_Meisterschülerausstellung_UDK_2014 Josephine Hans, Meisterschülerausstellung Eva Vuillemin_Meisterschülerausstellung_UDK_2014 Eva Vuillemin, Meisterschülerausstellung Installation View_Wood Object by Lisa Drost_White wall objects by Cathy Cocat_ Onion table by Anja Gieschler_video projection by Tim Wulff_Klasse Möbus_UDK_2014 Installation View: Wood Object by Lisa Drost, White wall objects by Cathy Cocat, Onion table by Anja Gieschler, video projection by Tim Wulff, Klasse Möbus Cathy Cocat_Meisterschülerausstellung_UDK_2014 Cathy Cocat, Meisterschülerausstellung Sidsel Ladegaard_Klasse Pernice_UDK_2014 Sidsel Ladegaard, Klasse Pernice Wieland Schönfelder_Klasse Pernice_UDK_2014 Wieland Schönfelder, Klasse Pernice Sara Clarke_Wir machen alle einen Helm_Klasse Pernice_UDK_2014 Sara Clarke "Wir machen alle einen Helm", Klasse Pernice Alexander Skorobogatov_Meisterschülerausstellung_UDK_2014 Alexander Skorobogatov, Meisterschülerausstellung Moritz Nehrkorn_Klasse Neugebauer_UDK_2014 Moritz Nehrkorn, Klasse Neugebauer Marie Jeschke_Kottbusser Tor_Klasse Neugebauer_UDK_2014 Marie Jeschke "Kottbusser Tor", Klasse Neugebauer Aaron Rahe (left) and Mandy Piesold (right)_Klasse Favre_UDK_2014 Aaron Rahe (left) and Mandy Piesold (right), Klasse Favre markus_hoffmann_memory_installationshot Markus Hoffmann, Klasse Eliasson (photo by Markus Hoffmann) markus_hoffmann_memory_detail Markus Hoffmann (Detail), Klasse Eliasson UDK (photo by Markus Hoffmann) markus_hoffmann_umkehr Markus Hoffmann (Detail), Klasse Eliasson UDK (photo by Markus Hoffmann) Nina Schuiki_Klasse Eliasson_UDK_2014 Nina Schuiki, Klasse Eliasson Nils Benedigt Fischer_Klasse Lewandowsky_UDK_2014 Nils Benedigt Fischer, Klasse Lewandowsky Installation View_Klasse Lewandowsky_Candle Object by Rafael Ibarra_Wood object by Alienor Dauschez_tent by rosa weiss_UDK_2014 Installation View, Klasse Lewandowsky: Candle Object by Rafael Ibarra, Wood object by Alienor Dauschez, tent by rosa weiss Vivienne Appelius_Klasse Lewandowsky_UDK_2014 Vivienne Appelius, Klasse Lewandowsky Henri Haake_Klasse Favre_UDK_2014 Henri Haake, Klasse Favre Johannes Fuchs_Klasse Favre_UDK_2014 Johannes Fuchs, Klasse Favre Malaika Neu_UDK_2014 Jenny Claire Heck, Klasse Lammert. Maria Jose Ambrois_Klasse Strunz_UDK_2014 Maria Jose Ambrois, Klasse Strunz Tanja Pippi, Klasse Pryde, Meisterschülerausstellung, Rundgang UDKTanja Pippi, Klasse Pryde, Meisterschülerausstellung Installation View_Grundlehre Klasse Lorenz_UDK_2014 Installation View, Grundlehre Klasse Lorenz UDK Outside View UDK Outside View
all  works courtesy and © the artists // photo credit: artfridge.de