Entertainment Park Art

July 29, 2018



At the Rundgang of the University of Arts Berlin, a student is shaving her long hair off. "She wants to shock," I tell my friend A. "Kann man auch mit einer guten Gedanke," she says deadpan. ("You can also do that with a good thought.") A. isn't in the best of moods. "Loveless," she nodds her head to a class room we walk by. It's looking untidy and junk-like, as if the students didn't care. "Musty and unfree," A. continues. I laugh. "Unfree" is like the biggest criticism you can say to an artist. "Hilflos," A. says gesturing to the art works we're passing by, "So viele Themen und es muss verkaufen." ("Lost. So many topics and it has to sell".)  In the garden an inflatable Karl Marx is bopping up and down. Inflatable is doing well, as is wallpaper. 

I have some déjà-vus at the Rundgang. Hito Steyerl's class is doing karaoke as it did last year. Zipp's class always looks as if the party went too far and Monica Bonvicini has managed to create some clones. My favourite class this year is Manfred Pernice's. The students' works are presented on a concrete platform in the form of that thing that is attached to window blinds (I don't think the thing has a name), which is funny. There're other subtle humorous references to the exhibition space (for instance, cookies on a plate that have the same pattern as the grid on the floor).

The night before I had a drink with Ming Wong, celebrating the end of his guest professorship at UdK. We did so in Reinickendorf -  a neighbourhood I had never been to so far and a real discovery. It's a up North of Wedding. I went to Schnee Eule, a project space run by Silke Nowak in Paracelsus Bad where it looks as if time stood still in the 1970s. Ming had a green coloured beer. A sound performance in different rooms, moving objects like chairs, started off really well until it ended up sounding like a concert of STOMP. 

Window blinds also play a role in the Philippe Parreno show at Gropius Bau that everyone's been talking about. Both his show and the one curated by Tino Sehgal, Welt ohne Außen, are part of the Immersion Programme of Berliner Festspiele. I'm very suspicious of anything called "immersive" in the arts. If you do portfolio viewing for art students nowadays, everything is immersive: they not only show a photograph but also have audio to it and preferably also some smell. It makes me crazy. One seems to think immersive art has more impact. And everyone wants to have impact nowadays. 

In Philippe Parreno's show the window blinds are going up and down, revealing the phosphorescent ink drawing on the canvas. Plastic fish are floating in a sunlit room. In the flyer I read that "live sounds, emanating from somewhere in or beyond the city, leak inside the museum walls and spread from one room to another. " Luckily, I don't notice them. What I do hear, is the rumor that ridiculous amounts of money were spent on this Philippe Parreno show - the latest I heard was 15 million, which seems outrageous. It could be true though. The show is like an art entertainment park, with all the latest tricks and some rip-offs from Pierre Huyghe's art. Who or what is behind this Philippe Parreno show, I wonder. A corporation? 

Upstairs in Gropius Bau, Tino Sehgal continues the entertainment in Welt ohne Außen, offering you attractions in each space: 3D, tea ceremonies, etc. Cyprien Gaillard and Carsten Höller are in it: do I have to say more? I'm there at the wrong moment: most shows have already started and I would have to wait till five pm. I look downstairs into Parreno's black pond in which "sonic water lillies" appear. Time to leave, I decide. 




At the Rundgang of the University of Arts Berlin, a student is shaving her long hair off. "She wants to shock," I tell my friend A. "Kann man auch mit einer guten Gedanke," she says deadpan. ("You can also do that with a good thought.") A. isn't in the best of moods. "Loveless," she nodds her head to a class room we walk by. It's looking untidy and junk-like, as if the students didn't care. &qu…


At the Rundgang of the University of Arts Berlin, a student is shaving her long hair off. "She wants to shock," I tell my friend A. "Kann man auch mit einer guten Gedanke," she says deadpan. ("You can also do that with a good thought.") A. isn't in the best of moods. "Loveless," she nodds her head to a class room we walk by. It's looking untidy and junk-like, as if the students didn't care. "Musty and unfree," A. continues. I laugh. "Unfree" is like the biggest criticism you can say to an artist. "Hilflos," A. says gesturing to the art works we're passing by, "So viele Themen und es muss verkaufen." ("Lost. So many topics and it has to sell".)  In the garden an inflatable Karl Marx is bopping up and down. Inflatable is doing well, as is wallpaper. 

I have some déjà-vus at the Rundgang. Hito Steyerl's class is doing karaoke as it did last year. Zipp's class always looks as if the party went too far and Monica Bonvicini has managed to create some clones. My favourite class this year is Manfred Pernice's. The students' works are presented on a concrete platform in the form of that thing that is attached to window blinds (I don't think the thing has a name), which is funny. There're other subtle humorous references to the exhibition space (for instance, cookies on a plate that have the same pattern as the grid on the floor).

The night before I had a drink with Ming Wong, celebrating the end of his guest professorship at UdK. We did so in Reinickendorf -  a neighbourhood I had never been to so far and a real discovery. It's a up North of Wedding. I went to Schnee Eule, a project space run by Silke Nowak in Paracelsus Bad where it looks as if time stood still in the 1970s. Ming had a green coloured beer. A sound performance in different rooms, moving objects like chairs, started off really well until it ended up sounding like a concert of STOMP. 

Window blinds also play a role in the Philippe Parreno show at Gropius Bau that everyone's been talking about. Both his show and the one curated by Tino Sehgal, Welt ohne Außen, are part of the Immersion Programme of Berliner Festspiele. I'm very suspicious of anything called "immersive" in the arts. If you do portfolio viewing for art students nowadays, everything is immersive: they not only show a photograph but also have audio to it and preferably also some smell. It makes me crazy. One seems to think immersive art has more impact. And everyone wants to have impact nowadays. 

In Philippe Parreno's show the window blinds are going up and down, revealing the phosphorescent ink drawing on the canvas. Plastic fish are floating in a sunlit room. In the flyer I read that "live sounds, emanating from somewhere in or beyond the city, leak inside the museum walls and spread from one room to another. " Luckily, I don't notice them. What I do hear, is the rumor that ridiculous amounts of money were spent on this Philippe Parreno show - the latest I heard was 15 million, which seems outrageous. It could be true though. The show is like an art entertainment park, with all the latest tricks and some rip-offs from Pierre Huyghe's art. Who or what is behind this Philippe Parreno show, I wonder. A corporation? 

Upstairs in Gropius Bau, Tino Sehgal continues the entertainment in Welt ohne Außen, offering you attractions in each space: 3D, tea ceremonies, etc. Cyprien Gaillard and Carsten Höller are in it: do I have to say more? I'm there at the wrong moment: most shows have already started and I would have to wait till five pm. I look downstairs into Parreno's black pond in which "sonic water lillies" appear. Time to leave, I decide. 




1 comment:

  1. "One seems to think immersive art has more impact. And everyone wants to have impact nowadays. " so true. haha

    ReplyDelete