The 9th Berlin Biennale: The Present in Drag, art for now

The 9th Berlin Biennale, “The Present in Drag”, is concluding on 18 September, at its five sites — the Akademie der Künste, the ESMT, the Feuerle Collection, the KW Institute and Blue-Star boats. This new edition, curated by the DIS collective, comments on the present and its contradictions — the “post-contemporary” — through the filter of art. We access the 9th Berlin Biennale by entering a small door. After penetrating this entirely commonplace entrance of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, we find ourselves projected into the installation by Amalia Ulman (Privilege, 2016). Grey carpet, grey curtains, three screens, a dance barre, a few red balloons strewn on the ground and a pigeon… this “Black Lodge” atmosphere draws on the colours and themes favoured by the young artist on Instagram — the platform on which she has notched up some 120,000 subscribers. The pigeon, Bob 2.0, is a nod at “Bob the Pigeon”, the omnipresent sidekick in Amalia Ulman’s mythology — a mythology in which lightness fills in the gaps as the artist attacks issues including power relationships, male/female equality, but also the trials of pregnancy — a privilege reserved to women. While this door emphasises the immersive aspect of the installation, the first room of “The Present in Drag” globally sets the tone: a desire to break away from codes, to change the tropes in the showing of art, to promote immersion and to bring the artist back into social dialogue. So where does it lead us? The 9th Berlin Biennale was a biennale… This biennale assembled its classic turn-up of artistis who make the rounds of international exhibitions. Korakrit Arunanondchai, Jon Rafman, Camille Henrot and Simon Fujiwara were part of this contingent. Camille Henrot revealed a double installation (Office of Unreplied Emails and 11 Animals that Mate 4 Life, 2016)....

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The Galerie Max Hetzler no longer working with Mona Hatoum

According to Josh Baer, the Galerie Max Hetzler (Berlin) is no longer collaborating with British artist Mona Hatoum. Born in Beirut in 1952, Mona Hatoum lives and works between London and Berlin. Palestinian in origin, she left Lebanon in 1975 for London where she studied and settled. Her work explores many themes relating to social and political issues, such as violence targeting women. Her work uses different mediums and constantly explores new territory. Initially focusing on performance and videos in the 1980s that marked the start of her career, she turned towards sculpture, drawing and installation in the 1990s. Inspired by kinetics and phenomenology, she uses raw materials for her creations. A major exhibition was devoted to her by the Centre Pompidou in 2015. The gallery is currently presenting two exhibitions on Edmund de Waal, from 29 April to 16 July 2016, in its two Berlin spaces, as well as an exhibition by artist Jérémy Demester in its Parisian space, at 57 Rue du...

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Cornelia Schleime wins the 2016 Hannah Höch Prize

The 2016 Hannah Höch Prize, one of the most prestigious Berlin prizes, awarded every two years, has been awarded to artist Corniela Schleime. Meanwhile, painter Tatjana Doll has won the Hannah Höch Sponsor’s Prize. Born in 1953 in East Berlin, Cornelia Schleime studied at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts under the East German regime. Her work presents landscapes, large-format portraits, figurative paintings and drawings after photographs found in flea markets. She was among the young artists to oppose the Communist regime. In 1981, authorities banned her from exhibiting in Germany. She then decided to cross the Iron Curtain in 1984. Some of her works, remaining in East Germany after her departure, disappeared and were probably destroyed by the Socialist government. The Hannah Höch Prize recognises her entire career and foresees a $70,000 endowment as well as an exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie this...

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Another private museum in Berlin

Julia Stoschek, a German collector and board member of the KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin, will be opening a new exhibition space in the German capital in June. This is her second space following one in Düsseldorf. The museum’s creation has been entrusted to Berlin architecture agency June14. A first exhibition has been announced from 2 June to 18 September, in parallel to the 9th Berlin Biennale taking place at practically the same period (4 June to 18 September). According to Julia Stoschek, the inaugural exhibition will be on the “influences and changes that have occurred since digitalisation in social reality, identity and nature”. The exhibition will be hosting works by Ed Atkins, Ian Cheng, Juliana Huxtable, Jon Rafman and Hito Steyerl. The museum will be located in a former Czech cultural centre in the Mitte district in Berlin, and will hold Julia Stoschek’s private...

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Krist Gruijthuijsen, new director of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art

The KW Institute for Contemporary Art has announced the appointment of Krist Gruijthuijsen as its director. He will be taking up his functions in July after the ninth Berlin Biennale, and will be succeeding Gabriele Horn who also happens to be director of the Berlin Biennale. Krist Gruijthuijsen was director of the Kunstverein in Amsterdam from 2009 to 2012, an institution that he cofounded; he has also previously been artistic director of the Kunstverein in Graz. He also lectures at Amsterdam’s Sandberg Instituut. This appointment occurs in the context of a huge restructuring movement in the Institute as Gabriele Horn shifts her attention on the Berlin Biennale. The KW Institute for Contemporary Art is currently holding two exhibitions, “Secret Surface” and “Magna Carta Shelf Life”, on show from 14 February to 1 May...

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