Deathly to-do list: Who’s next, Baselitz or Richter?

Baselitz, Immendorf, Polke, Richter – the names of Germany’s greatest contemporary painters, written in black paint on the concrete wall of an inspection chamber by a pedestrian bridge crossing a massive entanglement of S-Bahn tracks in Berlin’s Wedding district. Two of the names crossed out, in bright if thinly applied orange spray paint…

Apparently the orange paint was not applied by the same person who wrote the names. Even if the names look oddly out of place on that bridge there’s probably a simple reason for their existence, maybe an alcohol-infused art lover put them there on his way to Mauerpark, but with the names of the two already deceased artists crossed out it looks like a to-do list created by some assassin (or even by Death himself?), and that is just as freaky as the question the sight inevitably imposes on the viewer: who’s next, Baselitz or Richter?

And: should we warn them?

Maybe Baselitz and Richter can escape their fate if they start to make sculpture – after all, the name of Günther Uecker is not on the list. And maybe Continue reading

Building the meta house of culture

Currently the new headquarters for the German Federal Cultural Foundation are getting constructed on the grounds of the Franckesche Stiftungen – a stunning architectural ensemble of buildings, situated in the quaint town of Halle an der Saale.

Equipped by The Federal Ministry for Culture with 35 million euros each year, the foundation supports programmes and projects of art, hence representing one of the leading grant-giving bodies for culture and art in Germany. Following a call for architects, neither the shortlisted nor winning proposals seem to give hints to the fact that this is Germany’s META HOUSE of Culture – the financial and political core of cultural politics in this country.  Continue reading

What is this?

As those of our avid readers who have followed this blog regardless of the fact that it has not been fed for more than a year may have noticed, this blog is currently in the process of being revived.

In order to get back into the routine, we have browsed through older posts and found this hitherto unpublished image which at some point at the end of 2010 must have been of great importance to us, at least it seems we had the intention of posting it, and probably it was to be accompanied by a text as is our habit. However, right now all we have to say to this is the following: what is this, and why?

Kunst-Werke looking for English copy editor? Please?

Ellen Blumenstein at the “Klau Mich” talk show, dieklaumichshow.org

Very interesting, the English version of that press release sent out by Kunst-Werke Berlin on Monday announcing the appointment of Ellen Blumenstein as the institution’s new chief curator. Interesting not because of the information conveyed which was already known to about 100% of the recipients anyway, but because of what a funny read it was – we don’t mean that in a good way.

Ellen Blumenstein will have a pretty tough time as it is, wouldn’t it be fair to grant her a decently edited press release? We mean, not zat our Englisch is so great eizer, but then Available Works is not a publicly funded institution with an educational mission, right? We know, judging by its reach and impact on the international cultural landscape, you might think Available Works is a heavily funded enterprise but we assure you, no tax money has gone into the creation of this post or anything else produced by us, and so we can continue to publish posts in flawed English without having to feel guilty about not employing the services of a fine translator or copy editor. Ok, gotta go, have to send that list of English language professionals to Kunst-Werke now.

The art in art production

Producers of art are not artists, but they make art – to explore this ambivalent notion, Available Works have curated a one night show at the soon to be abandoned studio of the art producers Saygel & Schreiber.

Established in 2005, Saygel and Schreiber is a Berlin based production company primarily working for artist as  producers of art works and projects.  Since then, their office space on Linienstraße has become Berlin’s prime destination for artists seeking materialisation of artistic concepts. Over the past eight years, Saygel and Schreiber have provided their services to artists such as Julieta Aranda, Leonor Antunes, Cosima von Bonin, John Bock, Monica Bonvicini, Angela Bulloch, Björn Dahlem, Carsten Höller and Klaus Weber, to name a few.

To mark the closure of their office space on Linienstraße as well as to announce their new office on Wilhelmstraße, Available Works curate a constellation of materials, side products and ephemera which have amassed during their working years on Linienstraße.

Hit that art!

London and New York have Sotheby’s and Christie’s, Berlin has De Joode & Kamutzki, a new auction house that, since it caters more to idealism than ideal art market conditions, has a good chance of surviving more than one season in Berlin. What sets it apart from ordinary auction houses is not just its moderate auction calendar (auctions are planned to be held biannually) and fleeting nature (at changing locations), but also the fact that it has a manifest (“Why We Auction Art”).

First auction to be held Saturday, 19 March, 7pm, at Hackescher Markt 4/entrance Neue Promenade. To register as bidder and preview lots visit dejoodeandkamutzki.com

Based in Berlin

“Based in Berlin” is the title of the controversial exhibition project stemming from the debate around the installation of a permanent Kunsthalle for Berlin. We have expressed our concerns already and were not planning to make any further negative comments, but then we received the press release…

The press release contains a sentence which we herewith declare the most promising candidate for the “most ridiculous sentence in a press release of the year” competition (which doesn’t exist yet but we are planning to launch it soon):

“Die Ausstellung wird zeigen, welche Formen der Produktion und Präsentation Berlin braucht.” (The exhibition will reveal what forms of production and presentation [of art] are needed in Berlin)

Great! Finally! Funny, we were under the impression that for decades, public and private institutions and individuals in Berlin have tried to express their needs and show their concerns and make suggestions and fill voids and so on, and that this has generated a pretty clear picture of what’s needed in this city. But obviously, for decades all these people working in art must have done things wrong big time! And we used to believe that art can’t be told when and where to materialise in what form. And now this: it only takes one exhibition (pictured above: the planned main venue, the former atelier houses at Monbijou park) to determine how much art Berlin needs and in what form it should get presented? That’s brilliant! Obviously the Based in Berlin-team has found a panacea that can cure just about anything that’s been ailing the local art scene – including ignorant exhibition makers or authors of press releases, we hope.

www.basedinberlin.de

It’s a Circus


It’s a circus. That’s right. It’s a circus. It’s also the title of Jonathan Monk’s upcoming show at Yvon Lambert Paris (opening March 10), but above all, it’s a circus. Today is Monday. Have a nice week. And remember: it’s a circus.

The Embedded Artist

Uncle Sam wants you as soldier and artist! With pictures ranging from World War I to the present, the United States Army Art Collection covers all major field operations that have been undertaken by the US Army. With graphic works, paintings and photographies taken by soldiers the aim is to document field operations and to make them accessible via exhibitions and an online archive. As of now new media works have not found their way into the collection but we are curious to see when the first performance or video installation is going to be acquired.

Until then you may browse the following links to view the not so great works of great soldier artists.

www.history.army.mil

wlajournal.com

Jeremy Blake – the mystery continues…

On 17 July, 2007, Jeremy Blake delivered one of the most impressive and most mysterious disappearance performances of all times, when he walked into the ocean, motivated by his woman’s suicide and his failure to cope with a slightly confusing amount of conspiracies involving Scientology and other inexplicable matter. The genre, first introduced by Bas Jan Ader, is not very popular with artists, mostly because a disappearance performance, in order to be valid, prohibits any form of the artist’s re-appearance thereafter, which more often than not results in the end of the artist’s career.

Since Blake’s body was never found, and since no signs of a continued art-making from his side have emerged ever since the day of his assumed death, art historians have come to consider his disappearance performance perfectly valid.

And now this: While googling the artist’s work for reasons too complex to explain right here and right now, we came across a blog, written by none other than Jeremy Blake himself! He’s now a 20 year old web entrepreneur from Utah, and the name of his blog is: Elite Eternity…