A Friday Night Out

November 4, 2019



Neugerriemschneider meant well, I guess. Let's put the ready-made industrial machines by both Mike Nelson and Simon Starling together, combined with photographs of workers during their break by Sharon Lockhart. It has a common topic so it looks like an exhibition. And I'm sure Nelson's industrial machines must have looked impressive in the Tate Britain. And Starling's early printing machines readymades must have come about out of a sincere interest and research. Same for Sharon Lockhart's photos of workers during a break. But put together it looked like a showroom for the rich using worker's culture and it had a perverse touch to it of nostalgia for the industrial age. "It's a showroom", so my friend, the artist A. saying the naked truth. And artist P. added: "The "Butterpause" of the workers might have been better performed than photographed." Also true. 

Second stop is at Klemm's. A collaboration by Sven Johne and Falk Haberkorn. It's been three days ago and I have no recollection about it anymore. Third stop is next-door at Soy Capitan Gallery: a collaboration between Lisa Herfeldt and Kristin Loschert. A friend warns me not to be critical about it because he thinks it's beautiful. Well, if anything, it was trying to be too beautiful. Its beauty had no rupture, which made it empty. The harmony was deadening - it brought up a sweet taste in my mouth. My suggestion would be to add a third person to mess things up. 










Neugerriemschneider meant well, I guess. Let's put the ready-made industrial machines by both Mike Nelson and Simon Starling together, combined with photographs of workers during their break by Sharon Lockhart. It has a common topic so it looks like an exhibition. And I'm sure Nelson's industrial machines must have looked impressive in the Tate Britain. And Starling's early printing machines readymades must have come about out of…


Neugerriemschneider meant well, I guess. Let's put the ready-made industrial machines by both Mike Nelson and Simon Starling together, combined with photographs of workers during their break by Sharon Lockhart. It has a common topic so it looks like an exhibition. And I'm sure Nelson's industrial machines must have looked impressive in the Tate Britain. And Starling's early printing machines readymades must have come about out of a sincere interest and research. Same for Sharon Lockhart's photos of workers during a break. But put together it looked like a showroom for the rich using worker's culture and it had a perverse touch to it of nostalgia for the industrial age. "It's a showroom", so my friend, the artist A. saying the naked truth. And artist P. added: "The "Butterpause" of the workers might have been better performed than photographed." Also true. 

Second stop is at Klemm's. A collaboration by Sven Johne and Falk Haberkorn. It's been three days ago and I have no recollection about it anymore. Third stop is next-door at Soy Capitan Gallery: a collaboration between Lisa Herfeldt and Kristin Loschert. A friend warns me not to be critical about it because he thinks it's beautiful. Well, if anything, it was trying to be too beautiful. Its beauty had no rupture, which made it empty. The harmony was deadening - it brought up a sweet taste in my mouth. My suggestion would be to add a third person to mess things up. 










The Arbuthnot Road Series

October 29, 2019

A. and I are staying in an apartment in New Cross, in a street called Arbuthnot Road. A. tells me that it’s a Scottish name and suggest to write “The Arbuthnot Road Series.”

Arbuthenot Road



















In the park on Telegraph Hill, the young man next to me on the bench says he’s on half a pill of LSD. We’re both watching the tennis game. The tennis courts are for free on Telegraph Hill. My neighbour says he can recognize good from bad tennis players as soon as they enter the tennis court. “How is that?” I ask. “Those who bring water, are mostly good players” he says.  


View on the city from Telegraph Hill


My bench neighbour shows me the book he's reading. "Unlikely Stories, Mostly" by Alasdair Gray. It reminds me of "Misadventures" of Sylvia Smith. 

I'm reading the Kate Atkinson book "One Good Turn." Atkinson describes “afternoon tea” as two words that together sound better than on their own. A. comments that the same goes for “morning coffee.”

At the Tate Britain there is a William Blake exhibition. I only get really excited afterwards when I visit the bookstore. I buy a postcard of a watercolor titled "The Sea of Time and Space" and a children booklet by William Blake called The Gates of Paradise. “I want! I want!” a man calls out in 1793, trying to climb a ladder to the moon. I didn't know the distance to the moon was already an issue back then.


The Sea of Time and Space



My favorite is “The Traveller hasteth in the Evening”.



When I take the ferry on the Thames, a man in front of me explains to his visitor that when you go “down the river”, you move towards the sea. When you go “up the river”, you are city-bound.  

To get to New Cross I switch trains at London Bridge where I see The Shard, the tallest building in London, also called The Shard of Glass. I have moved on from reading Kate Atkinson to Patti Smith’s dark novel "Year of the Monkey". It says: “Shards of love, Patti, shards of love.” 

Near New Cross, in Nunhead, there is the 19th century Victorian All Saints Cemetery. It is huge and since the 1960s it has no longer been maintained and it's now a heaven for wildlife. It's a nice example of how it's often better for humans to be inactive rather than active. 




It's the first time I visit the V&A. My favourite object: the “Stay Alive In 85” T-shirt by Katharine Hamnett. 





At the Tate Modern I can see the importance of Kara Walker’s  monumental fountain but I’m much more charmed by the poetry of Lygia Clarks Matchbox Structures, small enough to be held in the hand.











A. and I are staying in an apartment in New Cross, in a street called Arbuthnot Road. A. tells me that it’s a Scottish name and suggest to write “The Arbuthnot Road Series.” In the park on Telegraph Hill, the young man next to me on the bench says he’s on half a pill of LSD. We’re both watching the tennis game. The tennis courts are for free on Telegraph Hill. My neighbour says he can recognize good from bad tennis players as soon as they enter t…
A. and I are staying in an apartment in New Cross, in a street called Arbuthnot Road. A. tells me that it’s a Scottish name and suggest to write “The Arbuthnot Road Series.”

Arbuthenot Road



















In the park on Telegraph Hill, the young man next to me on the bench says he’s on half a pill of LSD. We’re both watching the tennis game. The tennis courts are for free on Telegraph Hill. My neighbour says he can recognize good from bad tennis players as soon as they enter the tennis court. “How is that?” I ask. “Those who bring water, are mostly good players” he says.  


View on the city from Telegraph Hill


My bench neighbour shows me the book he's reading. "Unlikely Stories, Mostly" by Alasdair Gray. It reminds me of "Misadventures" of Sylvia Smith. 

I'm reading the Kate Atkinson book "One Good Turn." Atkinson describes “afternoon tea” as two words that together sound better than on their own. A. comments that the same goes for “morning coffee.”

At the Tate Britain there is a William Blake exhibition. I only get really excited afterwards when I visit the bookstore. I buy a postcard of a watercolor titled "The Sea of Time and Space" and a children booklet by William Blake called The Gates of Paradise. “I want! I want!” a man calls out in 1793, trying to climb a ladder to the moon. I didn't know the distance to the moon was already an issue back then.


The Sea of Time and Space



My favorite is “The Traveller hasteth in the Evening”.



When I take the ferry on the Thames, a man in front of me explains to his visitor that when you go “down the river”, you move towards the sea. When you go “up the river”, you are city-bound.  

To get to New Cross I switch trains at London Bridge where I see The Shard, the tallest building in London, also called The Shard of Glass. I have moved on from reading Kate Atkinson to Patti Smith’s dark novel "Year of the Monkey". It says: “Shards of love, Patti, shards of love.” 

Near New Cross, in Nunhead, there is the 19th century Victorian All Saints Cemetery. It is huge and since the 1960s it has no longer been maintained and it's now a heaven for wildlife. It's a nice example of how it's often better for humans to be inactive rather than active. 




It's the first time I visit the V&A. My favourite object: the “Stay Alive In 85” T-shirt by Katharine Hamnett. 





At the Tate Modern I can see the importance of Kara Walker’s  monumental fountain but I’m much more charmed by the poetry of Lygia Clarks Matchbox Structures, small enough to be held in the hand.











Eine Schlossgeschichte

October 28, 2019

On Sunday, I'm invited to the Galerie im Marstall, which is part of Schloss Ahrensburg in Ahrensburg, a city near Hamburg. When I arrive, I'm excited to see that the castle of Ahrensburg is on an island - ein Schlossinsel - surrounded by the river Hunneau.



Schloss Ahrensburg consists of three buildings. Entering one of them, the Galerie in Marstall, Katharina Schlüter, the artistic director of the Galerie, tells me they call it an "ensemble" - ein Schlossensemble.


I'm invited to talk on a panel about "the female gaze". It's the final day of the exhibition, which makes it into a Schlussveranstaltung in einem Schlossensemble. It turns out the female gaze doesn't exist, but the feminist one does. 




It is the first time I am in Ahrensburg. I make some small talk and ask my panel neighbour, who is a professor of theory, if the same counts for her. She affirms, saying: "I only knew Ahrensburg theoretically." 




On the flyer of the castle Ahrensburg a question is posed: "Und wann kam die Ananas nach Ahrensburg?" On my way back home, talking to an English designer, I find out not when but why.





When I am back home at night in Berlin, I watch Poirot. "Hold the castle!" Poirot says to Miss Lemon when leaving the apartment together with Hastings to pursue a murder case.







On Sunday, I'm invited to the Galerie im Marstall, which is part of Schloss Ahrensburg in Ahrensburg, a city near Hamburg. When I arrive, I'm excited to see that the castle of Ahrensburg is on an island - ein Schlossinsel - surrounded by the river Hunneau. Schloss Ahrensburg consists of three buildings. Entering one of them, the Galerie in Marstall, Katharina Schlüter, the artistic director of the Galerie, tells me they call it an "e…
On Sunday, I'm invited to the Galerie im Marstall, which is part of Schloss Ahrensburg in Ahrensburg, a city near Hamburg. When I arrive, I'm excited to see that the castle of Ahrensburg is on an island - ein Schlossinsel - surrounded by the river Hunneau.



Schloss Ahrensburg consists of three buildings. Entering one of them, the Galerie in Marstall, Katharina Schlüter, the artistic director of the Galerie, tells me they call it an "ensemble" - ein Schlossensemble.


I'm invited to talk on a panel about "the female gaze". It's the final day of the exhibition, which makes it into a Schlussveranstaltung in einem Schlossensemble. It turns out the female gaze doesn't exist, but the feminist one does. 




It is the first time I am in Ahrensburg. I make some small talk and ask my panel neighbour, who is a professor of theory, if the same counts for her. She affirms, saying: "I only knew Ahrensburg theoretically." 




On the flyer of the castle Ahrensburg a question is posed: "Und wann kam die Ananas nach Ahrensburg?" On my way back home, talking to an English designer, I find out not when but why.





When I am back home at night in Berlin, I watch Poirot. "Hold the castle!" Poirot says to Miss Lemon when leaving the apartment together with Hastings to pursue a murder case.







Guest Blogger Claudio Cravero on Golf Futurism / 3

October 26, 2019


Abdul Rahman/Gulf News - From left: Virgin and Child, France, Normandy, about 1500, painted stone; Section from a Quran, last volume, Juz’ 30, Mamluk dynasty, Syria, Damascus, 1250-1300, ink, colour and gold on paper, leather binding. 

3. TOWARDS A UNIVERSAL NARRATIVE

We have said that to work as curators in such a challenging scenario means contributing to creating a universal narrative. If time perception between past and present is blurred in favor of the future, the newborn Louvre Abu Dhabi is the case in point of a museum that wants to level hierarchies when we look at history. History at Louvre Abu Dhabi represents the polyphony of multiple stories and voices that transcend geographies.
But, what does “being universal” mean? For Louvre Abu Dhabi, it means focusing on what unites us: the stories of mankind’s achievements that go beyond geographical classification, times, or places. It means to bring different cultures together to shine fresh light on the shared stories of humanity.
The galleries at Louvre Abu Dhabi cover from Prehistory to the present day, and — as it has just been said — they are not separated by geography but in chronological order. The artifacts and works of art are juxtaposed, and somehow, they overlap what happened in several regions of the world at the same time aiming at grabbing their specific Zeitgeist.


What stands out in this new presentation is that what was previously considered a specialized area of study deemed as ‘marginal’ is now investigated as a central narrative amongst the others.

This approach expands on the assumed canons and allows us to avoid ghettoizing themes such as “black art”, “queer art”, “women art”, and so forth. For instance, in their gallery number four, named “Universal Religions”, in the same room we find a statue of the Virgin Mary with Child, a copy of the Blue Qur’an, and a gold statue of a Buddha. The symbols of the three main religions and philosophies are in dialogue one with another under the overarching theme of “Divine Light”. Light has been symbolically chosen as a link with spirituality and since time immemorial. In the gallery, light becomes the common thread for all great religions and philosophies that associate it with revelation: whether it is in the Surah of the Qur’an or the Halo of the Saints represented in Christianity, both as impalpable expressions of the divine, or up to the “Enlightened One”, namely the presence of the statue of Buddha made of gold, which is a tangible manifestation of the radiant light.




What Louvre Abu Dhabi teaches us about curating in the 21st Century is that our approach is a constant struggle to oppose cultural structures of domination. We, only we – art professionals – can imagine alternative perspectives for a transformed future by interrogating our work in terms of curatorial activism. The civic dimension in the role of today’s curators plays a pivotal part in giving voice to unheard artists, as well as in questioning the functions that museums have to fulfill to close the gap between policy and practice in Western and non-Western art institutions.





3. TOWARDS A UNIVERSAL NARRATIVE We have said that to work as curators in such a challenging scenario means contributing to creating a universal narrative. If time perception between past and present is blurred in favor of the future, the newborn Louvre Abu Dhabi is the case in point of a museum that wants to level hierarchies when we look at history. History at Louvre Abu Dhabi represents the polyphony of multiple stories and voices that transce…

Abdul Rahman/Gulf News - From left: Virgin and Child, France, Normandy, about 1500, painted stone; Section from a Quran, last volume, Juz’ 30, Mamluk dynasty, Syria, Damascus, 1250-1300, ink, colour and gold on paper, leather binding. 

3. TOWARDS A UNIVERSAL NARRATIVE

We have said that to work as curators in such a challenging scenario means contributing to creating a universal narrative. If time perception between past and present is blurred in favor of the future, the newborn Louvre Abu Dhabi is the case in point of a museum that wants to level hierarchies when we look at history. History at Louvre Abu Dhabi represents the polyphony of multiple stories and voices that transcend geographies.
But, what does “being universal” mean? For Louvre Abu Dhabi, it means focusing on what unites us: the stories of mankind’s achievements that go beyond geographical classification, times, or places. It means to bring different cultures together to shine fresh light on the shared stories of humanity.
The galleries at Louvre Abu Dhabi cover from Prehistory to the present day, and — as it has just been said — they are not separated by geography but in chronological order. The artifacts and works of art are juxtaposed, and somehow, they overlap what happened in several regions of the world at the same time aiming at grabbing their specific Zeitgeist.


What stands out in this new presentation is that what was previously considered a specialized area of study deemed as ‘marginal’ is now investigated as a central narrative amongst the others.

This approach expands on the assumed canons and allows us to avoid ghettoizing themes such as “black art”, “queer art”, “women art”, and so forth. For instance, in their gallery number four, named “Universal Religions”, in the same room we find a statue of the Virgin Mary with Child, a copy of the Blue Qur’an, and a gold statue of a Buddha. The symbols of the three main religions and philosophies are in dialogue one with another under the overarching theme of “Divine Light”. Light has been symbolically chosen as a link with spirituality and since time immemorial. In the gallery, light becomes the common thread for all great religions and philosophies that associate it with revelation: whether it is in the Surah of the Qur’an or the Halo of the Saints represented in Christianity, both as impalpable expressions of the divine, or up to the “Enlightened One”, namely the presence of the statue of Buddha made of gold, which is a tangible manifestation of the radiant light.




What Louvre Abu Dhabi teaches us about curating in the 21st Century is that our approach is a constant struggle to oppose cultural structures of domination. We, only we – art professionals – can imagine alternative perspectives for a transformed future by interrogating our work in terms of curatorial activism. The civic dimension in the role of today’s curators plays a pivotal part in giving voice to unheard artists, as well as in questioning the functions that museums have to fulfill to close the gap between policy and practice in Western and non-Western art institutions.