14 December 2016


Standard_Tokyo1 Standard_Tokyo2 Tokyo HILTON hotel room and view in "Standard" © Roger Eberhard

Not many encounters between hotels and art have been so thoroughly and meticulously executed as Roger Eberhard's recent photo project "Standard". The book of the Swiss artist juxtaposes a room and the corresponding view of 32 international HILTON hotels on each double page. The location is first revealed by the end of the book. A publisher himself (bfrankbooks.com), Eberhard has a particular eye for the printed image, and uses repetition to force the reader of his book to discover patterns, familiarities and 'standards' in the hotel room. Having previously created other photo projects on hotels, we spoke about his relationship to dwellings and housings, and about "Standard".

29 November 2016


Foto 5 Hajnal Németh, installation view, Galerie Patrick Ebensperger, Berlin, 2016
Courtesy of the artist

In her artistic practice Hajnal Németh creates musicals, operas, performances, films and photographs but most of all, through slight modifications of poems, songs and texts she encourages political statements. In her current exhibition “White Song – Among Others” at Galerie EBENSPERGER in Berlin, Németh discusses political systems and prevailing normative beliefs in current Western societies without framing the topic in a heavy format, but rather by bobbing and weaving with a bitterly humoristic approach coated in cultural and historical references.

13 November 2016


"Sublime" © Yoğunluk

There is a thin line between an architecturally influenced art installations and experienced based installations using the architectural space. Yoğunluk is an art initiative from Istanbul including a team of 8 people working and experimenting on relations between “time”, “space” and “experience” in art. They force the viewers to stand alone in the moment and experience the space they step into, questioning everything around them. Their spatial installations are impossible to record or photographed – a fact that makes them more unique, especially in a generation that is used to consume and archive everything. One might say they create new spaces in old surroundings, or one might say they create a way of seeing the actual space we live in. We met İsmail Eğler, one of the co-founders of the initiative, and talked about how they started their journey and what they are planning for the future.

25 October 2016


2002bc 2012
all works © Willem Weismann

Willem Weismann paints chaos. The narrative scenes that the Dutch artist creates stem from his own imagination. Like stages, they present interiors and extras, revealing layers of flooring, stapled props and set design constructions. In this imperfect world, the perfect façade is always already crumbling. While his paintings often reflect aesthetics from films or even computer games, he returns to the painterly and analogue medium by embedding his entire palette of colours on top of the motif. These could be books, anonym reading figures or simply chaotic interiors, tempting one to get lost in details. Born in 1977, Willem studied at Goldsmiths College in London, where he currently lives and works. His upcoming exhibition "Basement Odyssey" at the ZABLUDOWICZ COLLECTION in London opens the 10th of November.

19 September 2016


Performance Iteriations in VELLFERDEN; Photo © Hans Edward Hammonds Henning Christiansen (6) Untitled, poster print, 1969_foto Thomas Gunnar Bagge_2703
Curator Nico Anklam and curatorial assistant Mai Dengsøe Hansen during the performance Iteriations in VELFERDEN (August 2016), photo © Hans Edward Hammonds; 
Two paperworks by Henning Christiansen at Kunsthal 44 Møen, photo © Thomas Gunnar Bagge

"Henning isn't a member of FLUXUS. Henning is FLUXUS"*, the Danish artist Bjørn Nørgaard wrote about his friend and artist colleague Henning Christiansen, who passed away in 2008 but left a giant archive of FLUXUS artefacts and a legacy of experimental music compositions. For Christiansen life and art merged fluently – he dedicated his practice to nature, its sounds and colours. "Unlike the complexity of musical modernism so far, my vision thus tends towards extreme simplicity"**, he stated, envisioning a transformation from complex to pure, from eye to ear, from visual to auditive. 

Having established an isolated and rural, but nonetheless fruitful artist community on the Danish island of Møn, Christiansen, his wife Ursula, Nørgaard and the curator René Block jointly founded what is known today as Kunsthal 44 Møen – an ambitious art institution that is located just across the house of the Blocks and Christiansens. The Berlin-based curator and art historian Nico Anklam, who teaches art theory at Universität der Künste in Berlin, has been involved in the institution's exhibition and research making for a few years, and is currently organising a project that reflects Henning Christiansen's notions on nature and its affect on language through a small selection of Christiansen's art works in an exhibition at the Kunsthal in Møn and through a travelling performance program with international artists. 

14 September 2016


ekw14,90, Imperativ (l'individu dans l'image), 2016
HD video, courtesy ekw14,90

The artist collective ekw14,90 was founded in Graz in 2000 by Moke Klengel, Christoph Rath, Marlies Stöger, and André Tschinder. Together they conceived numerous exhibitions and projects working in the fields of video, photography, music, theater, drawing and publishing.

In their current exhibition “eh ben” at Künstlerhaus – Halle für Kunst und Medien, in Graz, the collective presents a new kind of artistic avant-garde, the “Zu-Realisten” – a pun that combines the concepts of being “too realist” and moving “toward realism”– and their approach in perceiving reality. In Graz we talked about the potential of the subjunctive, the imperative, art manifestos and how this influences the perception of reality.

9 September 2016


Domingo_Despotico_II All works courtesy and © Gorka Mohamed

The work of Spanish artist Gorka Mohamed is of a both humorous and disturbing nature. Offering a concrete allusion to the pictorial language of cartoons, his protagonists often bend the boundaries between reality and fiction, between a yearning for infinity and the set rules of their everyday lives. With great sensitivity towards the shifts within modern day society, Gorka analyses sharply, while introducing a refined imagery that thrives on a unique use of colour, character and form. His current exhibition at Peter von Kant "Raise ravens and they will pluck out your Eyes" introduces his latest body of work while revealing a distinct take on the current state of cultural reality.  

20 July 2016


6.PostFluxDogGames "PostFluxDogGames", 2014, photo by Ayşe Kaya © Istanbul Queer Art Collective

Founded by the three artists Tuna Erdem, Seda Ergul and Onur Gökhan Gökçek in 2012, the Istanbul Queer Art Collective is a performance collective based in Istanbul. Recently, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu and video artist Burak Serin have joined the collective and opened it to further collaborations. Having performed more than 20 performances around the world, their recent project “Fluxus Remakes” re-stages and "queeryfies" fluxus happenings, inviting participants and viewers to try, experience and – most importantly – to fail with them. This is because neither perfection or virtuosity, but incompetence and failure is what the collective explores. Engaged in political and social discussions, it's possible to come across their happenings in a nightclub, a park, an ancient site or simply anywhere around Istanbul. Moreover, the founders Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergul are not only engaged in Istanbul's offline art world, but they also run the art blog sanatsepeti, in which they write about their experiences through exhibitions and performances. In our interview, I talked to the co-founders Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergul about how clichés of orientalism and of being queer merge and meet in their practice, about how the Turkish occupy movement influenced their performances and what it exactly means to practice a "queer art of failure".

27 June 2016


Sebastian Neeb_artfridge_5 "22 sausages to stare at, praise and worship" (2015) © Sebastian Neeb

A few weeks ago "Praise and Trophy“ opened at Berlin art space Dzialdov. The show dealt with the question of how a certain symbolism can be held accountable for moments of sublimity, majesty and superiority. It asked how much these sentiments are rather a matter of traditions and emotions than of an actual expression of reality. Three different positions, Lars Bjerre, Max Dickhaus and Sebastian Neeb were invited to participate; I sat down with one of them. 

With a diverse body of work, Berlin-based artist Sebastian Neeb (b. 1980) surveys how certain media can be used to guide, influence and control individuals as well as the mass and how closely real and fake values are linked together. In his idea, the awarding of trophies and titles is rather a matter of manipulation, a loose promise of a value that only exists in people’s head without having an actual materialistic counter-value. Following this concept, a new kind of character head is courting for leadership within his series "New Leader", while "Trophies for Outstanding Performance Over Decades" awards rather nonsensical achievements like the finding of an already emptied jug of wisdom.

2 June 2016


Untitled "This is not a smile" © Florian Kuhlmann

Florian Kuhlmann is not merely a digital artist. The challenges, the ambiguity, the changes and the opportunities posed by digital technology are central to all of his countless projects, uniting his interests under the key of digitalism. Working as an artist, curator, organiser of festivals and conferences, blogger or researcher, but also as a web designer or coder, 1975-born Florian currently runs the project space Digital3mpire and the art blog perisphere.de, both of which emphasise digital art in the area in and around Düsseldorf, where he lives. Having exhibited and curated internationally, his current project "this is not" returns to the material of the canvas and explores how the relation of text and emotion have altered in a time of digital every day conversations. His sharp reseach in these new social phenomena, that we are all a part of, are worth taking a closer look. In our interview he explains why digitalism is such an urgent matter to him and how art is a part of this discussion.

18 May 2016


Groundworks6proposal “Demonstrations of Patterns in Flow” (2016) @ Oliver Griffin

"Yes, you did meet Oliver Griffin and yes he was boring," it says on the business card of the conceptual photo artist. This little, sarcastic wink with the eye is quite representative for both, his art and his character. Originally born in 1983 in Boscome, UK, Oliver now lives between London and Berlin and takes one photo a day. It's one out of many routines that he established since becoming an artist. A dedicated photo camera and bicycle-lover, he often incorporates autobiographical items and collections of things into his exhibition and book projects. On display from the 20th May 2016 at Peckham Refreshment Rooms in London, his photo project "Insecurity of Wealth in layers of paint" (2016), which is inspired by Rihanna's "Umbrella" lyrics "Baby cause in the dark, you cant see shiny cars", depicts a series of black cars in dark nights. Oliver has also been set the task of looking over Artfridge's Instagram account as part of Photo London this week. In our interview he told me about what photography means to him, the importance of its technical aspects and why art needs to be international.

15 May 2016


2. Installation view
Installation View "The State of Having Left":  Jean-Marie Appriou (front) and Melike Kara (back)

There is something fascinating about the atmosphere of abandoned buildings and areas, because the architecture's decay reveals something about the past, about people and objects who used to have a certain place at a certain time. It's a particular absence, a "State of Having Left", which we become aware of. In a group show with the same title, co-curators Lisa Offermann and Pauline Seguin installed works by Jean-Marie Appriou, Violet Dennison, Stefanie Heinze, Melike Kara, Benjamin Lallier, Michail Pirgelis and Carsten Tabel in an abandoned bowling center in Leipzig to address these remains of society. The show, however, is exclusively accessible online. Offermann, who originally studied veterinary medicine and later changed to art history, is based in Berlin. She previously curated exhibitions in project spaces, such as Archiv Massiv in Leipzig and has worked for several contemporary art galleries. In our interview she speaks about exhibitions as stages, the remains of corporate society and ‘The State of Having Left’.

19 April 2016


"Cosmic Latte" exhibition at Galerie im Turm, © and courtesy Moritz Frei; photo: Trevor Good

What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Moritz Frei must have asked himself that question, when planning his current exhibition COSMIC LATTE at Galerie im Turm in Berlin. The central work, a half-hour long film, shows Frei forcefully cuddling a rooster while another scene displays an ostrich egg slurping milk in a stop-motion-aesthetic. The film primarily documents the process and development of Frei's show, for which he hired seniors to paint minimalist paintings for him. The exhibit is monotonously beige, it is dedicated to the integration of an older and perhaps forgotten generation, and it eventually questions the value of artistic genius. Frei, who was born in Frankfurt, studied at the HGB Leipzig and now lives and works in Berlin, is an artist working on the threshold between performance, photography and conceptual intervention. Each of his projects tell another narrative and seduce his audiences with irony and sharp social criticism. I spoke to him about his current show and past projects.

15 April 2016


Little Warsaw "Fence", 2012; at ART COLOGNE 2016
– In Collaboration with Deutsche Telekom AG –

At this year’s Art Cologne a well curated booth greets the visitors right before they are entering the main hall: The Art Collection Deutsche Telekom. With a focus on Eastern European Art, this collection takes a rare stand in the collector’s market and is actually one oft he few booths at the whole fair hinting into the direction of how current political events are affecting artists around Europe. Two newly acquired positions are being presented: Nevin Aladağ who was born in 1970 in Turkey, but grew up in Berlin and the artistic duo Little Warsaw, born in 1970 and 71, who are both originally from Budapest although the name might suggest otherwise. Growing up in different surroundings, both positions deal with their backgrounds diversely. However, they find common ground in their mutual artistic focus on matters of heritage and cultural identification.

While Nevil Aladağ, who is mainly known for her multi-channeled video installations and sound elements, concentrates on subjects of external perception and self-awareness shaped through her Turkish-German heritage, Little Warsaw create objects and pieces that process the transformation of the post-socialistic society after the cold war in Hungary. Although both, Aladağ and Little Warsaw, often confront cultural matters with regards to their respective countries’ histories, traditions and heritages, their work has gained a particular up-to-dateness during the latest political events. We sat down for a chat with Antje Hundhausen, Vice president for marketing communication at Telekom and Nathalie Hoyos, curator of the collection alongside Rainald Schumacher.

7 April 2016


“3’2,2m3” (Sound) by Miriam Hamann at DZIALDOV, Berlin

Having grown up in Austria and studied art in Paris and Vienna, the installation and sound artist Miriam Hamann reacts to her respective, direct urban surroundings and employs the inspiration to form minimalist, re-contextualised works. Air ducts, light bulbs, light switches, steel and concrete are repetitive materials that she frequently relocates. While currently spending time at the TITANIK residency for sound-based art practices in Finland, she recently moved to Berlin and continues capturing forms and sounds found in industrial design and every-day life in her sketchbook. In an interview we spoke about the tradition of minimalism, about the beauty in urban landscapes and her participation in the current group show "New Skin for the Old Ceremony" at the project space DZIALDOV in Berlin.

4 April 2016


Elmgreen & Dragset_Tel Aviv Museum of Art_2016
All works © Elmgreen & Dragset; Courtesy Tel Aviv Museum of Art; all photos © by Elad Sarig 

Having worked together since 1995, the Danish artist Michael Elmgreen and Norwegian artist Ingar Dragset established a collective practice in which they typically sabotage social desires and rituals in public spaces or corrupt the choreography of art institutions and exhibition through interrupting aesthetic expectations. An imaginary dead art collector floating face-down in a pool at the Venice Biennale in The Collectors (2009), Han (2012) a male answer to Copenhagen's little mermaid placed by the seaside in Helsingør or, famously, Prada Marfa (2005), a fake Prada Boutique set in the middle of the Texas' desert – the interventions of the artist duo reveal a satirical and critical view on problematic conditions of power and capital, on social injustice, gender inequality and queer culture, but also on ordinary symbols of society's everyday lives. Their current exhibition Powerless Structures at Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel gave reason to speak with Elmgreen & Dragset about denying the audience's desires, demystifying art institutions and a need for unspectacular images in an era of selfie culture.

31 March 2016


Bahar Yürükoğlu_Bahar_Hedes_2015
all works © Bahar Yürükoğlu

These days it's really hard to stay positive about Istanbul and its vibrant art scene. Thanks to Istanbul-based artists such as Bahar Yürükoğlu, who was born and grew up in Washington DC, we can take a moment, celebrating the idea for other possible lives. Her current solo show "Flow Through" allows forgetting everything about reality for a while. Despite being located at ARTER, an institute for contemporary art centrally located at Istiklal Street, where an attack just happened a few days ago, the bright pink light shining from the gallery's entrance promises a travelling through time, to a space where there is still hope. This is because Bahar Yürükoğlu literally brings bright lights to our dark times. Her videos, site-specific installations and geometrical landscapes transfer us to completely other corners of the world, such as the Arctic. In our interview, we talked about how she started this journey and where she is heading. 

14 March 2016


Untitled(to)_PatricSandri13 - Titelbild
all works © Patric Sandri

Patric Sandri is sometimes being asked about the Zurich Concrete Art group, which was founded in the 1930s. With their vivid colours and reduced vocabulary of form, the works of the young Swiss artist, who studied in Lucerne and at the Royal College of Art in London, do indeed evoke associations with Max Bill. Sandri sees himself first of all as a painter, who seeks to break with tradition through examination of objecthood. Here especially the materials that he uses for his works play a major role. If Sandri does not invade the space by layering, his works seem to retain flatness in terms of the media specificity. But because his examination of colour takes place at the edges, the illusion of three-dimensionality does not happen on the surface of the painting but outside its particular body. 

16 February 2016


Jonas Maria Droste_featured on artfridge.de
all works © Jonas Maria Droste

A large flag pole, dozens of hand-made wooden frames, a large scale of monotonous colours on paper. The installation Preussisch Blau by recent UDK-graduate Jonas Maria Droste is not only sleek and beautiful in its approach to a design-inspired formal language, it also comprises a critical notion about the formation of identity through the mere concept of nationality and artificially empowered objects, such as the national flag. Jonas, who grew up in Berlin in the 90s, moved to Vienna to study at the art academy and returned to Berlin a few years back to continue his practice in sculpting and to add another artistic medium: dance. He told me how performance and sculpture do and how they do not merge, what physicality means in regard to his work and why seduction is such an important component to his art.

2 February 2016


Jon Pilkington_Two Loops_V1 Gallery_featured on artfridge11
all works © Jon Pilkington at V1 Gallery Copenhagen, 2016

There is a playfulness attached to the surface of the colourful paintings by 26-year old British artist Jon Pilkington: circles, drops, stains, leafy and ornamental forms cover both small and large works. They deceive the eyes for a moment, preventing the sight to realise that the game is in fact a quite ritualistic, almost manic experiment of repeatedly producing similar motifs into a new surface on a canvas with the basic tools of painting: colour, form, composition. Chance and failure play a large role in this process. Jon, who works in a small studio space in London's busy art district Peckham, currently has his works on display in a group show at Rod Barton gallery, around the corner of his studio, and in the solo show 'Two Loops' at V1 Gallery, which is based in Copenhagen's meat-packing-district. We talked about what he does and what he doesn't consider essential in paintings.

17 January 2016


Stumblers_video_2014_FullHD_1sec All works © Erdal Inci

The art world can be a chaotic place, in which countless artists have simultaneous shows at the same time, making it impossible to catch them all! A few artists, however, you just cannot miss: Appearing frequently in various formats, from social media to fairs, from festivals and exhibitions to performances, media artist Erdal Inci from Ankara, Turkey presents his works broadly and keenly. While he originally graduated at Hacettepe University in Painting in 2005, Erdal has since been practicing with paint, photography, new media and video art between Istanbul and Berlin. Having thus strong bounds to Berlin, Erdal explained me his new work called `Berlin Wall- a data visualization` and he spoke about his thoughts on the future of new media art in Turkey.

6 January 2016


Steffen Bunte_artfridge_12
All works © Steffen Bunte; Photos © Hugard & Vanoverschelde

Steaming machines, buzzing exhaust pipes, shining lacquers – the German installation artist Steffen Bunte regularly incorporates automotive elements as his aesthetic template and material. Born in 1987, most of his recent shows merged clean designs of display formats with different media, always staging the automotive imagery as an ambivalent ground to play on: neither fully in its masculine cliché, nor exclusively as a producer of either pure adrenaline fun or dirty emission. His last show "Shell; Fiction (Trailer)", which took place at Galerie Jeanroch Dard in Brussels, literally wrapped a non-linear and deeply poetic narrative around fragments of urban life, and the questions that seem to come with it. A road to nowhere. A road from nowhere. In our interview Steffen Bunte speaks about his exhibition, its cinematic format and the role of cars for his art and his life.