Hopping: Schinkel, Akademie, KW, SAVVY, Julia Stoschek

April 2, 2018


It was my friend A. who took me along the art institutions this weekend. She has a car that runs on electricity, which makes the smoothest sound - the sound of the future really. "Yes," A. confirmed, "In the future every car will run on electricity." 

So A. and I zoomed futuristically from one art space to the other on Friday. It was a marvellous day - with rays of sunshine accompanying us, which made everything so pleasant and I was in an excellent mood. At the Akademie der Künste, such an architectural beauty, I arrived at the opening hour and chatted a bit with the young man at the counter. "I missed out on the Brecht-Benjamin exhibition," I lamented, "How was it?" "A lot of text," he said. I nodded. We started talking about his position at the counter. I suggested he must see a lot happening. The man confided in me that he saw Daniel Richter and Albert Oehlen together. "Na ja, Daniel Richter," I said cranky. A. arrived and joined the conversation. "You're an artist, right?" I asked. "How do you know?" he said. "The haircut," A. said. The young man didn't like that answer but it was true: he was wearing The Cut. 

A. and I sighted when we entered the exhibition Underground und Improvisation. Alternative music and art after 1968. It made a stuffed impression with art works cluttered against the wall next to archival material. The musical instruments were presented like fetishes on pedestals. Not our kind of thing, that was clear from the start but we did give it a little try, walking around twice to check if we could find something that catches the eye and make us excited. Nothing really did. A. has even less patience than I have. The day before we had gone by the Schinkel pavilion to see Jordan Wolfson's exhibition, which is very "platt" to say it in German. We had to put on these huge 3D masks and the video started with a guy beating up another guy. "Do you want to see this?" A. asked immediately. I didn't. 




After the Akademie we zoomed through Tiergarten to KW. I've been reading M Train by Patti Smith and Klaus [Biesenbach] is a close friend of hers who pops up regularly in the book. I'm a bit confused by that because I like Patti Smith and think she must be a nice person but then I always thought of Klaus Biesenbach as arrogant. Maybe I'm wrong but then A. said I'm right and she knows so out of personal experience. 

KW has an interesting exhibition strategy going on under the new director: it always shows artists that are kind of related in their praxis. Like Ian Wilson and Hanne Lippard in their reduced aesthetics and now Judith Hopf and Trix & Robert with their design art. It was weak work. Trip & Robert were trying to pull of a kind of Richard Artschwager and Judith Hopf's red brick sculptures might have been something but then her videos were so bad as are her too funny computer men sculptures, so that also the red brick sculptures were not really doing it. "Zu dünn," A. said. 







We had a wonderful half an hour in the sun on the terrace of KW where A. told me about a basic rule of waitressing: when you have served a table, look around at the other tables before going back inside. We did manage to order in the end. 

SAVVY was our last stop of the day. I was excited to see the work of Julian Eastman in We have delivered ourselves from the tonal - of, with, towards, on Julius Eastman. But we were disappointed by the presentation, which we felt was kind of surprisingly loveless and amateurish. The music video of Annika Kahrs at the start had this bad camera work focussing on the ugly aesthetics of the clothes worn by the choir singers. Eastman's music could be listened to on headphones in the hallway but you had to sit on chairs pressed so closely to one another that they hardly invited to listen and were certainly not  giving the music a space to breath. Next to it was an archive on colonialism that was not part of the exhibition. There were commissioned works by SAVVY, which didn't have the quality of Eastman's work at all. I wish his oeuvre had been in the centre of the exhibition, and not somebody else's. Instead of an archival video material on a small screen, why not a big projection? And the tapes played on little stools, why not beautifully presented on a table? It could have been a magnificent installation. Such a pity. 




It was only the day after that I made it to Julia Stoschek in the Leipziger Straße. It was there that I saw a work that made me excited. Not Arthur Jafa's - although I can see it has importance, it didn't convince me in its aesthetics of cardboard sculptures, collaged videos and blown-up wallpaper photographs. Yet I loved the photographic collages titled Keeping it Together by Frida Orupabo that were exhibited alongside Jafa's work. Orupabo is an Instagram artist who makes small collages. For the Serpentine Galleries exhibition, she blew them up and stuck them together. It worked. They have an amazing power to them. The funny thing is that when I tried to Instagram them, for the first time in my Instagram career, they were refused. I guess I'm not going to be an Instagram art critic. 





It was my friend A. who took me along the art institutions this weekend. She has a car that runs on electricity, which makes the smoothest sound - the sound of the future really. "Yes," A. confirmed, "In the future every car will run on electricity."  So A. and I zoomed futuristically from one art space to the other on Friday. It was a marvellous day - with rays of sunshine accompanying us, which made everything so pleasant an…

It was my friend A. who took me along the art institutions this weekend. She has a car that runs on electricity, which makes the smoothest sound - the sound of the future really. "Yes," A. confirmed, "In the future every car will run on electricity." 

So A. and I zoomed futuristically from one art space to the other on Friday. It was a marvellous day - with rays of sunshine accompanying us, which made everything so pleasant and I was in an excellent mood. At the Akademie der Künste, such an architectural beauty, I arrived at the opening hour and chatted a bit with the young man at the counter. "I missed out on the Brecht-Benjamin exhibition," I lamented, "How was it?" "A lot of text," he said. I nodded. We started talking about his position at the counter. I suggested he must see a lot happening. The man confided in me that he saw Daniel Richter and Albert Oehlen together. "Na ja, Daniel Richter," I said cranky. A. arrived and joined the conversation. "You're an artist, right?" I asked. "How do you know?" he said. "The haircut," A. said. The young man didn't like that answer but it was true: he was wearing The Cut. 

A. and I sighted when we entered the exhibition Underground und Improvisation. Alternative music and art after 1968. It made a stuffed impression with art works cluttered against the wall next to archival material. The musical instruments were presented like fetishes on pedestals. Not our kind of thing, that was clear from the start but we did give it a little try, walking around twice to check if we could find something that catches the eye and make us excited. Nothing really did. A. has even less patience than I have. The day before we had gone by the Schinkel pavilion to see Jordan Wolfson's exhibition, which is very "platt" to say it in German. We had to put on these huge 3D masks and the video started with a guy beating up another guy. "Do you want to see this?" A. asked immediately. I didn't. 




After the Akademie we zoomed through Tiergarten to KW. I've been reading M Train by Patti Smith and Klaus [Biesenbach] is a close friend of hers who pops up regularly in the book. I'm a bit confused by that because I like Patti Smith and think she must be a nice person but then I always thought of Klaus Biesenbach as arrogant. Maybe I'm wrong but then A. said I'm right and she knows so out of personal experience. 

KW has an interesting exhibition strategy going on under the new director: it always shows artists that are kind of related in their praxis. Like Ian Wilson and Hanne Lippard in their reduced aesthetics and now Judith Hopf and Trix & Robert with their design art. It was weak work. Trip & Robert were trying to pull of a kind of Richard Artschwager and Judith Hopf's red brick sculptures might have been something but then her videos were so bad as are her too funny computer men sculptures, so that also the red brick sculptures were not really doing it. "Zu dünn," A. said. 







We had a wonderful half an hour in the sun on the terrace of KW where A. told me about a basic rule of waitressing: when you have served a table, look around at the other tables before going back inside. We did manage to order in the end. 

SAVVY was our last stop of the day. I was excited to see the work of Julian Eastman in We have delivered ourselves from the tonal - of, with, towards, on Julius Eastman. But we were disappointed by the presentation, which we felt was kind of surprisingly loveless and amateurish. The music video of Annika Kahrs at the start had this bad camera work focussing on the ugly aesthetics of the clothes worn by the choir singers. Eastman's music could be listened to on headphones in the hallway but you had to sit on chairs pressed so closely to one another that they hardly invited to listen and were certainly not  giving the music a space to breath. Next to it was an archive on colonialism that was not part of the exhibition. There were commissioned works by SAVVY, which didn't have the quality of Eastman's work at all. I wish his oeuvre had been in the centre of the exhibition, and not somebody else's. Instead of an archival video material on a small screen, why not a big projection? And the tapes played on little stools, why not beautifully presented on a table? It could have been a magnificent installation. Such a pity. 




It was only the day after that I made it to Julia Stoschek in the Leipziger Straße. It was there that I saw a work that made me excited. Not Arthur Jafa's - although I can see it has importance, it didn't convince me in its aesthetics of cardboard sculptures, collaged videos and blown-up wallpaper photographs. Yet I loved the photographic collages titled Keeping it Together by Frida Orupabo that were exhibited alongside Jafa's work. Orupabo is an Instagram artist who makes small collages. For the Serpentine Galleries exhibition, she blew them up and stuck them together. It worked. They have an amazing power to them. The funny thing is that when I tried to Instagram them, for the first time in my Instagram career, they were refused. I guess I'm not going to be an Instagram art critic. 





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