Galerie NEU
15.11.2014 – 10.01.2015

In fairy tales and myths the trip is often synonymous with change and metamorphosis. In Fighting Gravity by Claire Fontaine at Galerie NEU the uneventful journey Moscow-London, London-Moscow is filmed from the cockpit of a private jet and projected in real time on a double-sided screen. Underlining the shapeless temporality of business and the insignificance of distances by the abstract landscape of the sky, which is reduced by money and technology. Since the last monetary crisis, we are left with the feeling that the only law that remains un-negotiable is the law of gravity. But ‘gravity’ is also a word with a moral resonance: a synonym of weight indicating the evaporation of people and their money during the last crisis. Here these images float too portraying a journey that isn’t submitted to border formalities and constraints of mobility of ordinary people. Additionally, the animated neon sign, Untitled (I‘ve stolen it) displays four different sentences, inspired by a chapter of the historical book Knots by R.D. Laing. It explores recurrent double binds and vicious circles imprisoning our free will and condemning us to compulsive repetitions.

Credit: Claire Fontaine, Fighting Gravity: Moscow/London-London/Moscow, 2011
Galerie Guido W. Baudach
15.11.2014 – 10.01.2015

Taking its title from the eponymous British celebrity magazine, Yves Scherer’s Closer occupies both the physical gallery space of Galerie Guido W. Baudach and its virtual environment. Scherer has taken over the gallery’s website and, for the duration of the exhibition, it will display paparazzi images of the actress Emma Watson during her free time. This play on private and public codes continues in the physical gallery: images of celebrities pasted on the walls, floor and ceiling make the gallery a hybrid of domestic and virtual space. A grey-blue carpet covers the entrance, indicating a pond of water with artificial lotus flowers. In the middle of the pond stands a female figure: a digitally modelled Emma Watson, stemming in theme from an internet meme trend of posting alleged “leaked” or nude images of a celebrity that are in fact only their head collaged onto another female’s body. Several of these figures populate the gallery space, showing the actress in moments of assumed privacy, which could be at the same time they could be characters in the fantasies of the other resident: Sharkoon T9, an inhabited computer tower which is spread in varied forms over the room in careful proximity to the Emma Watson-sculptures. The scenery is surrounded by a series of wall-based sculptural works, Sirens, comprised of Japanese Tatami flooring mats. Presented here in a shifted context, the mats are defaced or marked with gestures of an activity that has occurred, and are kept within Perspex boxes. Rather than acting just as containers, however, the Perspex boxes show traces of interaction, dabs, fragments of words and language written on it – cryptic messages seeming to answer the Sirens’ call.

Schinkel Pavillon
15.11. – 21.12.2014

How Can We Tell the Dancers from the Dance presents the visitor with a haunting sensory experience: a white dance floor occupies the space of the Schinkel Pavilion, from which the ghostly sounds of invisible dancers echo – footsteps and footfalls taken from movements choreographed by the late Merce Cunningham, and performed by dancers of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Around the dance floor, a wall is continuously turning. Throughout his practice, French artist Philippe Parreno has fundamentally redefined the exhibition experience by exploring its possibilities as a coherent ‘object’ and a medium in its own right, rather than as a collection of individual works. To this end, he conceives his shows as a scripted space where a series of events unfold. His exhibition at Schinkel Pavillon resonates with the concentric architectural structure of the glass pavilion and delineates the space’s expanses and proportions by performing a choreography of its own. Recorded in New York in 2012, the dance movements that appear as aural revenants of the dancers’ bodies were selected from five different choreographies by Cunningham. As like Cunningham Parreno is fascinated by the potential to create structure via the incorporation of random phenomena. In his work, the method of chance allows the boundaries of the artwork to evolve and change over time, permitting it to almost take on a life of its own. Simultaneous with How Can We Tell the Dancers from the Dance, gallery Esther Schipper will present Philippe Parreno’s solo exhibition quasi-objects.

Credit: Philippe Parreno, How Can We Tell the Dancers from the Dance, 2013, Courtesy: The artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin, Photo: © Andrea Rossetti
08.11. – 20.12.14

Berlin Local is a reiteration of Stephen Willats’ view that the art gallery can operate in a different way, and intends to stress the local – the importance of community and neighborhood as a focus for art practice. Involving interdisciplinary methods deriving from sociology, cybernetics, semiotics and philosophy in his work since the late 1950’s, Willats has developed an interactive, collaborative practice that explores art as a social phenomenon. He assigns the public/audience the role of observer and participant and uses their urban everyday as a site of investigation. For Berlin Local, Willats involved a couple who runs an antiquarian bookshop and a woman who runs a market garden in the immediate neighbourhood of MD72. Over eight months, Willats worked with the participants to engage with their social relationship and their own creative potential and perception of their environment. Interviews, photographic and film material, signs and symbols which surround the participants in their everyday life are streamed together in the form of films and diagrammatic panels. The result is a series of works presented as installations at the MD72 space, the book shop and garden, and also at an Italian restaurant and a car showroom, both reminiscent of West Berlin times. A map showing the sites of the installations around the MD72 accompanies the exhibition, emphasizing the neighbourhood connections that are an essential part of the work. To coincide with Berlin Local at MD72, the daadgalerie is staging the exhibition How Tomorrow Looks From Here by Stephen Willats, featuring works on the themes of the model, simulation, and interaction.

Credit: Stephen Willats, Berlin Local, 2014, Courtesy of the artist and MD72, Berlin
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