24 April 2015


Mia Boysen_Vorhang_III Mia Boysen_Vorhang_VIII All works are photographs © Mia Boysen; courtesy the artist and Mirko Mayer / m-projects, Cologne

Mia Boysen is a German photo-artist whose works elegantly address the physical and psychological allure of consumer culture. Currently based in Cologne the 1985-born artist was brought up in Johannesburg, South Africa where she studied at The Wits School of Arts. Following her Bachelor degree she moved back to Germany and in 2013 studied a Masters at the Academy of Media Arts Köln (KHM). Her new series of photographs ‘Plastic Manisfestations’ was previewed at Mirko Mayer/M-projects last month, and centres on close-up photographs of plastic curtains. Boysen spoke to me about the production mystery, about fetishism and about the reasons why curtains and displays are the major motifs in her work.

19 April 2015


Art Cologne 2015 Art Cologne 2015
Rainald Schumacher and Nathalie Hoyos at booth Art Collection Telekom; © Deutsche Telekom AG; photos by Norbert Ittermann
– In Collaboration with Deutsche Telekom AG –

Two giant and viciously looking pigs float above a cityscape, opening their mouths and chewing on the architectural fundament of civil life. A hand cuts off a pig’s tail; the blood spreads into the sky. Painted inside the booth of Art Collection Telekom, the 1976-born Ukrainian artist Volodymyr Kuznetsov created the work during the installation phase for Art Cologne 2015. It refers to Koliyivshchyna, a bloody Ukrainian rebellion against Poland in 1768; and it asks what could be the next step after such immense brutality.

Assembled by the curators Nathalie Hoyos and Rainald Schumacher, and directed by Antje Hundhausen, the five-year-old Art Collection Telekom emphasises the contemporary art scene in Eastern Europe. Originally initiated on the occasion of the Telekom’s recently established national companies for communication services in countries such as Romania and Poland, their bonds to Eastern Europe now imply a visual dialogue and exchange.

The collection neither focusses on decorative works for corporate headquarters, nor on big names. It  consists of art works that intend to create a cultural understanding, such as the works by 1986-born Kosovan artist Petrit Halilaj, who currently has a solo show at Kölnischer Kunstverein. One of the collection's major concerns is the support of young Eastern European artists, and especially those, whose works are controversially raising the awareness of social change. Nathalie and Rainald, who are both experienced in managing large collections, have been a part of the small team from the beginning on. I spoke with them about their curatorial work for the collection.

16 April 2015


Walter Dahn at booth Sprüth Magers, Berlin, London Walter Dahn at booth Sprüth Magers, Berlin, London Rose Eken ar booth The Hole, NY and V1 Gallery, Copenhagen Rose Eken at booth The Hole, NY and V1 Gallery, Copenhagen Michael Krebber at booth Galerie Nagel Draxler, Köln:Berlin Michael Krebber at booth Galerie Nagel Draxler, Köln, Berlin; all works © and courtesy the artists and galleries; photos © artfridge

In its 49th edition, the 209 predominantly German participating galleries of this year's art fair ART COLOGNE are divided in segments of emerging and established galleries for contemporary art and galleries for modern art. For the first time, these segments were separated on three floors. A new tactic, that helped bringing together the young and the established contemporary positions and their galleries: hosting the “New Contemporaries" section on the second floor, the “New Positions" and  “Collaborations" section is held in cooperation with NADA on the third floor, while modern and postwar art dealers are united on the ground floor.

10 April 2015


Work Elizabeth Willing © and courtesy the artist Work Elizabeth Willing © and courtesy the artist
all images: works by Elizabeth Willing, at Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, © and courtesy Elizabeth Willing

On a distance, the wall object looks like an abstract version of a David Hockney landscape painting. But closer inspection reveals: it is 3000 pieces of chocolate, the type of creamy and cold tasting German Eiskonfekt, wrapped in differently coloured shiny papers. This work, like many other pieces from Australian artist Elizabeth Willing, may be eaten by gallery visitors. Usually based in her hometown Brisbane, where she finished her fine art studies, 1988-born Elizabeth came to Germany and worked with Thomas Rentmeister for a few months until she began her one-year artist residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. Her sculptural work is mostly made of food or it is related to food products, eating and cooking habits. While usually ephemeral, the objects perform their own fleeting process either through their consumption or through their evident, limited sustainability. Strong smells of food, such as cheese, are paired with materials, interfering the perception of other pieces through multi-sensory manipulation and thus sabotaging the common anticipation. Elizabeth stages food as as solid material, but, always with a wink, she also wittily reveals our complicate relationship to the moral politics and the ethics of food.

3 April 2015


Portrait-M-Krzykowski Craft-&-Bling-Bling--Fake Depotgrafie-by-Emyl-Depot-Basel-Moritz-Lehner From the top: Portrait Matylda Krzykowski; Depot Basel - Ort für kontemporäre Gestaltung; Depot Basel inside (Depotgraphy – a display system by Emyl / Moritz Lehner)

The small German word "Tausendsassa" describes a person who has many talents and possibly makes use of all these abilities. Matylda Krzykowski is one of these rare all-rounders: Open-minded and articulate, she works as a designer, curator, publisher and artist, while her  practice involves creative production, as much as exhibition making and developing of educational programs, giving workshops and holding lectures. She is a creator, an organiser, an educator, a collaborator and a net-worker. She interviewed designers, who were asked to draw their answers, and coupled other designers with her lecture format Design Date. While she frequently travels between London and Basel, where she co-directs the design space Depot Basel - Ort für kontemporäre Gestaltung, Matylda just spend one year in Maastricht at the Jan van Eyck residency among many other creative producers. Her research about the display in a context of art and design along institutional strategies of representation now culminated in a hand-printed publication, a new exhibition format in Depot Basel's shop windows and an installation that Matylda exhibited during the open studios at Jan van Eyck.