Dienstag, 26. August 2014


Hommage to Otto Piene at the Neue Nationalgalerie and the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin 2014

Photo: Mathias Schormann  
Sky Art Event, 19th July2014 
Installation view Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

They say the sky is the limit, yet the oeuvre of artist Otto Piene proves the contrary. The two exhibitions Otto Piene. More Sky and The Proliferation of the Sun currently on at the Deutsche Bank KunsHalle and the Neue Nationalgalerie are all about expansion of space, breaking the conventional modes of seeing and artistic experiment.

Both exhibitions offer different formats of showing the artists work that explores the cross-disciplinary spheres in art inspired by natural sciences: movement, the medium, the sun, the light in Marschal MacLuhan's sense of “medium as the message.” In Deutsche Bank KunstHalle Otto Piene's installation with rotating lights piercing through sieve-like grids dissolve the traditional white cube into a dynamic space. Optically dematerialising the contours of the form the light projections are set in constant movement putting to test spectators' bodily perception of time and space.

It's not only Otto Piene's work but also the way it's presented that is essential. Piene's installations are autonomous spaces for artistic freedom – and are presented as such highlighting the artist's multimedia, performative approach, dialogue with the exhibition space, technological and scientific aspects. While the exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie, the re-staged slide show entitled “Proliferation of the Sun” focusses on the interaction with Mies van der Rohe's modernist architecture. The original installation dating back to the 60-ies has been specially re-staged adjusted to the exhibition site's scale. The show at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle allows an overview of the artist's multidisciplinary, process-based approach, his exploration of kinetic and mechanical movements. It displays works created between 1952 – 1975: from the early black and white works on paper, the raster pictures emphasising the medial support of the picture surface to the paintings created with burning fire and culminating with the light installations that dissolve space.

The two exhibitions in two different environments complement and draw upon each other emphasising the diversity of Otto Piene's visionary work. Last but not least the outdoor project - Sky Art Event outside the Neue Nationalgalerie demonstrated the spectacular character of Piene's ephemeral actions - his temporary “inflatables” - star-shaped sculptures floating high above, first shown in Berlin at the Technical University in 1984, were as fascinating as ever.

Together with Heinz Mack and Günther Uecker Otto Piene was the founder of the art movement ZERO strongly shaped by multi-media actions and performative exhibitions. Otto Piene has had an enormous influence on contemporary art. According to Svenja Gräfin von Reichenbach, head of the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Otto Piene's works like most of works by ZERO artists offer various formats of display and their reading depends largely on the environments and contexts of presentation. Keeping this in mind all the more interesting are the upcoming retrospectives of the ZERO artists scheduled for 2014-2015 at the Guggenheim New York and at the Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin.

Otto Piene. More Sky is an exhibition cooperation between the Neue Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle. The exhibition is on till the 31st of August, 2014.

Photo: Mathias Schormann 

Installation Shot: “Otto Piene. More Sky” at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin

Dienstag, 19. August 2014

Exhibition Unsere Tiere at the Tieranatomisches Theater of the Humboldt-University, Berlin

The exhibition allows to trace the cultural history of animals with contemporary artistic positions drawing upon the various aspects of animals representation, animals heraldic, as well as the archetypal mythological  metaphors related to animal symbols.

The curatorial approach offered insights into the subject matter of the exhibition. From animals at large to "our animals" (Unsere Tiere) - there' re spaces to gap. Our perception, interpretation,  animal related research, exploitation/consumption, and mechanisms of remembrance of animal related cultural phenomena were thoroughly explored.

The organization of exhibition space examined the possibilities of representation modes: scientific charts, comparative tables, overhead projections, glass vitrines, video presentation, spaces arranged by artists. Diverse as it were: art in context approach, involving the emotional impact, along with the traditional scientific mode of representation as in museums of natural history complemented each other providing as complete information about the exhibition topic as possible. In fact it had something of Marcel Broodthaers' experimental attitude of institutional critique,  from his 1972 installation "Musėe d' Art Modern, Dėpartement des Aigles, Section des Figures". 

The positioning of a scientific chart next to a glass vitrine containing animal related drawings neighboring with art installations dedicated to certain animals or animal groups mythological or real, next to examples of animal imagery use in commercial/label contexts - explained the complexity of the theme in question, verging on the impossibility of exhaustive analysis. The elements of institutional critique questioning traditional modes of representation in museum and archival contexts were evident in the organization of the exhibition space.

The exhibition at the Tieranatomische Teater was organized by curators team of Prof. Dr. Michael Fehr, Direktor Institut Kunst im Kontext, Universität der Künste Berlin (Konzept, Leitung), 
Dr. Frank Steinheimer, Leiter Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen (ZNS) der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, 
Dr. Renate Schafberg, Kustodin Museum für Haustierkunde, ZNS der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, 
Felix Sattler, Kurator Tieranatomisches Theater, Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

For more on the ARE artists and researchers, please, see: 


Freitag, 1. August 2014

Coverage of the Exhibition Series curated by the ARE on the Centennial of the First World War in Georgian Press

We're happy to present the link to the interview with Dr. Nino Dolidze from the Tbilisi State University who visited the exhibition "Körperschriften" curated by the ARE at the Museum of the Alte Berliner Garnisonfriedhof. The interview for the Georgian Liberal Magazine is now online and the paper version will be issued later in the week.


Dr. Nino Dolidze teaches at the Department of Arabic Literature at the Tbilisi State University and met  us for an interview for  the Liberali Magazine during her visit to Berlin as guest Professor at the Freie Universität Berlin.

 Preparations are made to organize a special exhibition on Georgian War Prisoners of the World War I at the main building of the Tbilisi State University in 2015 to cover the centennial of the First World War.


Documents from the Archive at the Humboldt University Berlin, that were exhibited at the exhibition series "Kriegsgeschten" and "Körperschriften" 7th Februatry - 25th  June, 2014

ARE/Artistic Research Encounters

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