Mario Testino in Berlin

IMG_7089 (Large)Mario Testino. In Your Face

10785 Berlin

Till 26 July 2015

“Mario Testino uses the camera lens to transform the most beautiful moments of fashion into immortal visual moments, which in their splendour, sophistication and perfection of form are reminiscent of the major epochs of painting. Mario Testino also makes a transformation in each of his photographs – from a visual witness to the history of fashion to a visual artist who writes the history of art with his works.”

Moritz Wullen, Director Kunstbibliothek

IMG_7108„In Your Face, for me, represents the most free way of expression. As an image-maker people always want to put you in a box. I believe we are made of many different aspects and not always are we allowed to let all these different aspects show, let alone to live next to each other as they do in this exhibition. This particular hanging style for these photographic works allows all of these different aspects of my curiosity to have a conversation; they not only exist on their own but trigger a reaction when being next to each other.“

Mario Testino

IMG_7091 (Large) IMG_7102 (Large) IMG_7103 (Large)For the first time in Berlin, the Kunstbibliothek – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin presents the work of the influential photographer Mario Testino at the Kulturforum. The show „Mario Testino: In Your Face“ shows the full range of his photographic work, in 125 images, placing particular emphasis on its provocative contrasts. This is the first time „In Your Face“ has been exhibited in Europe following its premiere in 2012 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

It has also been shown at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericana de Buenos Aires (MALBA) and at the Museu de Arte Brasileira (FAAP) in São Paolo in 2014. The exhibition explores and celebrates the innovation and diversity in Testino’s photography, which evokes elegance, irreverence and contradiction. Testino was involved with the selection and layout of the works, juxtaposing formal portraits with private snapshots, nudes with fashion, and black and white with colour.IMG_7092 (Large) IMG_7094 (Large) IMG_7095 (Large) IMG_7105 (Large) IMG_7100 (Large)

From Banana Bunker to Boros Bunker

L1160508 (Large)It’s a place full of history. The Bunker in Berlin-Mitte near Friedrichstrasse was built during World War II as an air-raid shelter. Later, during the time of the Cold War, the East German government stored in it exotic fruits and bananas from Cuba. Since fruits were very rare in East Germany the people called the Bunker “Banana Bunker” or “Christmas Bunker”. After the wall came down the Bunker changed into a place for Techno freaks. It became an illegal hardcore club for young ravers, with underground parties and dark rooms, which soon was the “to be place” for Techno lovers all over Germany.L1160509 (Large)

Christian and Karen Boros bought the Bunker in 2003 as an exhibition place for their private art collection.L1160511 (Large)On show in the Bunker are works from the Boros Collection by diverse figures in contemporary art, including site-specific works by Klara Lidén, astronomical pictures by Thomas Ruff, photographs by Turner prize winner Wolfgang Tillmans, and a six-meter high, newly constructed tree by Ai Weiwei, composed of old, found objects. The cables in Tomás Saraceno’s installation, are strung up like a giant spider web across the space.L1160533 (Large) L1160524 (Large)The exhibition on 3.000 square meters is characterized by the dynamic encounter between a broad array of media, such as sculpture, painting, video work, and photography. Many of the installations work with sound so that visitors are confronted with various, overlapping sounds on each of the bunker’s five floors. The artworks on display have been installed in the rooms by the artists themselves.L1160546 (Large) L1160529 (Large)Using a series of microphones, Alicja Kwade records the humming of the fluorescent tubes that hang on the ground floor and projects the sound onto curved steel plates, while in another work she amplifies the sound of a clock’s ticking, making the Bunker resonate to the passage of time. Michael Sailstorfer’s works, by contrast, are taken from the context of everyday life: The rustling of the leaves of a tree, dragged along the ground, the constant hot puff of a popcorn machine and the audible abrasion of a spinning car tire on the Bunker’s wall.L1160545 (Large)L1160534 (Large) L1160532 (Large)“We are delighted to see that the art that has enriched our lives is also a source of interest for others. We are glad to share with other people the experiences we’ve had with the works.”
Christian BorosL1160523 (Large) L1160522 (Large) L1160517 (Large)“We haven’t seen many of the works for several years. It is an exciting challenge for us to bring together the artists and their works under one roof and to spark a dialogue between the artists and between the visitors. The fact that the artists lend their support in this process means a lot to us.”
Karen BorosL1160514 (Large) L1160515 (Large)The following artists feature in the current show:

Ai Weiwei, Awst & Walther, Dirk Bell, Cosima von Bonin, Marieta Chirulescu, Thea Djordjadze, Olafur Eliasson, Alicja Kwade, Klara Lidén, Florian Meisenberg, Roman Ondák, Stephen G. Rhodes, Thomas Ruff, Michael Sailstorfer, Tomás Saraceno, Thomas Scheibitz, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Danh Vo, Cerith Wyn Evans and Thomas Zipp.

L1160551 (Large)In the last four years more than 120.000 visitors came to the Bunker. All visitors were guided through the more than 80 exhibition rooms by a team of young art historians, in 7.500 separate tours. The guests have had to contend with waiting lists weeks in advance, caused by fire regulations which stipulate that all visitors be accompanied by guides, with a maximum of only twelve persons per group.

The Boros Collection will be open to visitors every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Visits arranged by appointment only: www.sammlung-boros.deL1160516 (Large)

Bowie in Berlin – Between Expressionism and Nightlife

The international exhibition about the pop and style icon David Bowie in Berlin

Brian-Duffy-Aladdin-Sane (Large)This exhibition curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London sees the myth of the exceptional artist returning to the city where he wrote music history at the end of the 1970s. Berlin owes him its links to international pop culture.

Divided Cold War Berlin – which in the 1970s became a refuge for drop-outs, artists, mavericks and draft dodgers – was a safe haven for Bowie and a constant, dynamic source of inspiration. He lived in the city, which was still heavily marked by the War, from 1976 to 1978; these be some of his most productive years, resulting in the three albums of the so-called „Berlin Trilogy“: Low, Heroes (both 1977) and Lodger (1979).

Acoustic-guitar-from-Space-Oddity-era-1969-DB-Archive-orig (Large)The exhibition

Relying on state of the art multimedia technology, David Bowie creates an immersive exhibition experience revolving around the exceptional artist, focusing on the many sidedness of Bowie’s oeuvre and the close interplay of his numerous disciplines and forms of expression. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London was given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the first international exhibition about Bowie’s extraordinary career and celebrate one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times. The exhibition David Bowie explores the creative processes of a musical innovator and cultural icon, tracing his shifting style and sustained reinvention across five decades. The V&A’s Theatre and Performance curators, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh selected more than 300 objects that were brought together for the very first time. They include handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, Bowie’s own instruments and album artwork. The exhibition honours Bowie’s progressive approach through its immersive audio-visual design, which fuses image and sound into a unique exhibition experience.

Origional-lyrics-Ziggy-Stardust (Large)The exhibition David Bowie retraces his career in great detail – from David Robert Jones’
early years as a young London artist until he became the global superstar Bowie. 60
stage costumes are presented, including the Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit designed by Freddie
Burretti (1972), Kansai Yamamoto’s extravagant designs for the Aladdin Sane tour
(1973) as well as the iconic Union Jack coat that Bowie designed together with
Alexander McQueen for the album cover of Earthling (1997).

DavidBowie_Sukita25 (Large)Other objects include photographs by Brian Duffy, Terry O’Neill, Masayoshi Sukita, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts and John Rowlands; album covers by Guy Peellaert and Edward Bell, clips from films and live concerts, including The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and Saturday Night Live (1979); music videos of such songs as Boys Keep Swinging (1979) and Let’s Dance (1983); the stage set for the Diamond Dogs tour (1974); unpublished storyboards, handwritten set lists and song lyrics, word collages as well as drawings, notes and diary entries from Bowie’s personal collection.

Stage-set-model-for-diamond-dogs-tour (Large)David Bowie in Berlin

Due to Bowie’s close ties to the city, the exhibition’s station in Berlin is one of the
highlights of its international tour. The city’s rich cultural past and the buzzing subcultures
of the 1970s provided further inspiration. Exclusively for Berlin, the exhibition’s section on
the German capital has been expanded by the organisers, international communications
agency Avantgarde. Project manager for the exhibition Sarah Zimmermann explains the
idea behind developing the content of the Berlin section: „We never doubted for an
instant that the exhibition David Bowie belongs to Berlin. We quickly realised that we wanted to highlight Bowie’s creative period in the divided city more strongly. The focus lies on his sources of inspiration, the people he met and the places that influenced him.“

Schluessel_zur_Hauptstraße155 (Large)The newly selected exhibits, many of which are on public display for the first time in Berlin, illustrate David Bowie’s artistic development during his time in the German capital. They include sketches for record covers, drawings and paintings by David Bowie, song lyrics and previously unpublished photographs.

bowie_photo_collage (Large)David Bowie was strongly drawn to German Expressionism and the artists of „Die
Brücke“ in particular. He frequently visited the Brücke Museum in Dahlem. Avantgarde is
pleased to be able to show the oil painting Roquairol (1917) and the colour woodcut
Männerbildnis („Portrait of a Man“) (1919) by Expressionist artist Erich Heckel, two
milestones in Bowie’s connection of Expressionist creative forms with his own artistic
endeavours in Berlin. While Roquairol influenced the pose struck on the Iggy Pop cover
for The Idiot (1977, production and cover photograph by David Bowie), the
Männerbildnis influenced the „Heroes“ cover (1977).

Roquairol (Large)A large photo collage of Bowie’s 1970s Berlin, including photographic material that has
never been on public display before, creates a bridge for visitors between the events that
occurred nearly 40 years ago and today’s Berlin. Places and people significant for Bowie
during his Berlin years are introduced, including the Hauptstraße 155 in Schöneberg the
Hansa Studios („The Hall by the Wall“), nightclubs such as Dschungel, Chez Romy Haag
or SO 36, where Bowie and the international bohemian scene honed both their own
myth and the myth of the Berlin nightlife – one of radical constructions of personality, a
radical sound, and a new way of partying.

Heroes_Contact_Print (Large) David-Bowie-and-William-B-terry-Oneill (Large) Striped_bodysuit_for_Aladdin_Sane_tour_1973_Design_by_Kansai_Yamamoto_Photograph_by_Masayoshi_Sukita__Sukita_The_David_Bowie_Archive_2012 (Large)Berlin was also where Bowie filmed „Just a Gigolo“, Marlene Dietrich’s last film. The
exhibition’s extended section will show some of the correspondence between David
Bowie and Marlene Dietrich, which has never been shown to the public before. The
letters date from 1978, when both were working on the film.

CIS: bowie_konrads (Large) Mona_in_Berlin (Large) Brian-Duffy-scary-monsters (Large) Druck_eines_Selbstportraits_von_David_Bowie (Large)

Until August 24, 2014

Text and Photos: Courtesy of Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin.





Ai Weiwei in Berlin

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_portrait_2012_c_gao_yuan (Large)„Modernism is the original creation of enlightened human beings, it is the ultimate observation of the meaning of existence and the misery of reality; it keeps a wary eye on society and power; it never makes compromises and never cooperates.“

Ai Weiwei 1997 (quoted from “Ai Weiwei – Der verbotene Blog”, Galiani: Berlin, 2011)

In spite of all the hostile oppression he has been facing in his own country, Ai Weiwei has decided to put on his largest one-man exhibition yet at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau. Across 3,000 square metres, 18 rooms and in the spectacular Lichthof he displays works and installations that were either designed specifically for the Martin-Gropius-Bau or have not yet been shown in Germany. The name he has given to his exhibition is “Evidence”, a word that will be, a term well known beyond the English-speaking world from American crime series on TV to mean proof that will stand up in court. From his simple but spacious studio on the rural outskirts of Beijing, Ai Weiwei has created a deeply political exhibition for Berlin.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_07_paint_at_summer_palace (Large)Ai Weiwei is an artist, architect and politician. Very few of his works do not contain hidden allusions to internal Chinese affairs or to the subject of “China and the West” in general. One must learn to spot the ironical historical and political references in his works, which he sends out into the world like messages in bottles.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_08_zodiac_heads (Large)Among the works and installations on display at the Martin-Gropius-Bau are a golden copy of the zodiac sculptures (Golden Zodiac, 2011) cast in bronze (c. 1750) by Chinese craftsmen. In 1860, after the end of the Second Opium War, British and French soldiers had conquered Beijing in order to force China to take part in the opium trade. Some of these bronze zodiac figures found their way to Europe, and when they turned up in Paris in 2008 at an auction of Yves Saint-Laurent’s art collection they caused a sensation in the Chinese cultural sphere. Ai Weiwei does not accept the Chinese government’s stance, that these bronze figures are Chinese national treasures, declaring that, rather, they belong to the whole world.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_02_stools (Large)mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_02_stools_ausschnitt (Large)Random arrests and corruption happen to regular Chinese citizens on a daily basis. Ai Weiwei refuses to accept this status quo. He demands freedom of speech, a fair distribution of power, and multiparty democracy.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_05_diaoyu_islands (Large)The infinite variety of forms offered by conceptual art allows him to express his ideas in a country where freedom of expression does not exist.He is also one of the most famous artists in China. In recent years, official Chinese propaganda has attempted to erase him from public consciousness. He is not allowed to exhibit in any museum in China.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_04_souvenir_from_shanghai (Large)mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_03_han_dynasty_vase (Large)Ai Weiwei’s instant response to this tactic was to turn the Internet into his permanent exhibition space: his now banned blogposts are outstanding, as is his current presence on Instagram. Although he is allowed to work in his studio, a dozen surveillance cameras have been placed before his door. His ironic response was to hang red lanterns on them and reproduce them in marble (Marble Surveillance Cameras, 2010). The actions of the regime have been incorporated into his conceptual art. Although he is allowed to travel within China, every step he takes is monitored by undercover agents. His passport has been confiscated to prevent him from travelling abroad.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_08_very_yao (Large) mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_09_very_yao (Large) mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_10_very_yao (Large)

Until July 13, 2014

Text and Photos: Courtesy of Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin.


Entartete Kunst, Kulturspeicher Wuerzburg

Der Berliner Skulpturenfund

P1140211 (Large)Es war eine Sensation: 2010 wurden bei archäologischen Grabungen vor dem Roten Rathaus in Berlin nicht frühgeschichtliche oder mittelalterliche Hinterlassenschaften, sondern Skulpturen der Klassischen Moderne ausgegraben. Nähere Untersuchungen ergaben, dass es sich um von den Nationalsozialisten als „Entartete Kunst“ aus den deutschen Museen entfernte und seitdem vermisste Kunstwerke handelte.
P1140213 (Large)Sofort setzte mit Hilfe der „Forschungsstelle Entartete Kunst“ in Berlin die Rekonstruktion der Vorgänge ein: Wie kamen die Skulpturen in den Keller des Hauses Königstraße 50? Kann man die Objekte identifizieren und ihren Herkunftsort bestimmen? Welche Geschichten verbergen sich hinter jedem einzelnen der vom Brand und Einsturz des bombenzerstörten Hauses versehrten Fragmente?
Diese Fragen standen im Mittelpunkt der Ausstellung der 14 Skulpturen, die aus einem besonderen Grund auch im Museum im Kulturspeicher Würzburg bis 20. Mai 2013 zu sehen war: Eines der Schlüsselwerke aus der Ausgrabung ist die Terrakotta-Skulptur Die Schwangere von Emy Roeder, deren Nachlass im Museum im Kulturspeicher aufbewahrt wird; die im Museum aufbewahrte Holzfassung der Schwangeren kann nun erstmals direkt mit der Terrakotta-Version verglichen werden. Diese nur noch im Fragment erhaltene Figur gehörte ehemals der Staatlichen Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, bevor sie 1937 der nationalsozialistischen Aktion „Entartete Kunst“ zum Opfer fiel. In einer beispiellosen „Säuberungskampagne“ zogen nationalsozialistische Delegationen damals durch die deutschen Museen und beschlagnahmten 21.000 missliebige Kunstwerke. Einige davon, wie zum Beispiel Roeders Schwangere, wurden in der Ausstellung „Entartete Kunst“ in München gezeigt.
06_Roeder Schwangere Würzburg (Medium) 05_Roeder Ausstellung Entartet (Medium)08_Moll Tänzerin (Medium)

Lange Jahre galt die Figur als verschollen. Dass sie und die anderen Skulpturen nun, nach 75 Jahren, wieder aufgetaucht sind, ist ein besonderer Glücksfall der Kunstgeschichte. Dabei haben die Figuren ihre wechselvolle Geschichte nicht unbeschadet überstanden: Gerade die Patina des Brandes und ihre Fragmentierung verleihen ihnen über ihren kunsthistorischen Stellenwert hinaus eine besondere Aura.
P1140208 (Large)P1140206 (Large)Es handelt sich um Werke von bekannten Künstlern wie Emy Roeder, Edwin Scharff oder Otto Freundlich, aber auch von Bildhauern, die heute weniger bekannt sind, wie Karel Niestrath oder Karl Ehlers. Stilistisch reichen die Arbeiten vom Expressionismus über den Kubismus bis hin zu einem wieder stärker realistischen Stil in den 1920er Jahren. So ermöglichte der „Kurator Zufall“ für diese Ausstellung einen Querschnitt durch die deutsche Bildhauerei der Klassischen Moderne.
04_Roeder Schwangere Terrakotta (Medium)P1140219 (Medium)






Das Museum im Kulturspeicher präsentiert die Ausstellung in dem Raum der Städtischen Sammlung, der Emy Roeder gewidmet ist. So wird ihr Werk in den Kontext ihrer Zeitgenossen, aber auch der zeitgeschichtlichen Verhältnisse gestellt. Zeitgleich zur Sonderausstellung Tradition und Propaganda über den Bestand der Städtischen Galerie aus der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus, zeigte der Berliner Skulpturenfund die Kehrseite der Medaille und die Verfemung der nicht systemkonformen Kunst. So war eine differenzierte Auseinandersetzung mit dem Kunstschaffen und der Kunstpolitik im Nationalsozialismus möglich.
P1140217 (Medium) P1140216 (Medium) P1140215 (Medium)
P1140210 (Large)Fotos: Kulturspeicher Würzburg (4), sl4artglobal (9)