Jakob Kudsk Steensen ‘Ephemeral Lake’ at Hamburger Kunsthalle

‘The Ephemeral Lake,’ Jakob Kudsk Steensen’s latest art project presented at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, combines landscape painting with 3D painting, virtual worldbuilding and ambisonic sound in an extraordinary spatial installation, featuring musical contributions from experimental sound artist Okyung Lee. Examining the natural phenomenon of the ephemeral lake, the exhibiton draws inspiration from Caspar David Friedrich and is presented as part of the celebration of the Romantic painter’s 250th birth anniversary.

‘The Ephemeral Lake’ is on view until October 27th, 2024. Watch the video for an overview of the show as well as behind-the-scenes insights into the artist’s practice.

Video by MONA, produced & directed by Monica Salazar, filmed & edited by Peter Cairns

Highlights from ‘Hallen 4’ during Berlin Art Week 2023

See some of the highlights from the opening days of ‘Hallen 4’—including performances by Göksu Kunak and Nik Nowak⁠—in this video produced by MONA for Berlin Art Link as part of our media partnership with the fourth edition of the art festival. Presented on the occasion of Berlin Art Week, ‘Hallen 4’ is open until September 17, 2023, every day from 11am–8pm.

On view across 9,000m² of the former iron foundry are showcases by Berlin galleries alexander levy, Esther Schipper, ChertLüdde, NOME, carlier|gebauer, HUA International and Capitain Petzel, among others, as well as a group exhibition curated by angels.sc3 and presentations of artworks from collections of Art’Us Collectors Collective, Art Collection Telekom and HK Art Collection. In addition, Berlinische Galerie shows a program of video works by Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau.

Video by produced by Anna Russ, filmed and edited by Frank Zerban

Yahon Chang’s ‘Floating Poetry, Meandering Mindscape’

During Gallery Weekend 2023 ‘Yahon Chang: Floating Poetry, Meandering Mindscape,’ curated by Manu Park, took place at St Elisabeth Church. Chang, a leading Taiwanese calligrapher, began in the middle of the huge, blank canvas that was stretched out across the church floor. The artist moved conscientiously across it, with movements swift and graceful. Each footstep was considered. As the artist navigated his way across the canvas Chang exchanged brushes, making thick dashes of ink at certain moments and trailing thinner lines at others. The performance was accompanied by Adele Bitter on violoncello and Holger Groschopp on piano, who played compositions by Isang Yun.

Dhaka Art Summit 2023

“বন্যা/Bonna” or the Bengali word for “flood” forms the context of the 6th Edition of the Dhaka Art Summit (DAS), a biennial, international, and non-commercial showcase of art and architecture focusing on South Asia. Far from just meaning natural disaster, Bonna holds positive connotations to ecological cycles and to water as a metaphor for life. It is also a common girl’s name in Bangladesh, and this year, it is with her voice that the summit spoke to the world. Bonna asks us to consider the consciousness-shaping power of language, and the consequences of transcultural mistranslation. What happens when old vocabularies are applied to unfamiliar contexts? Why are words for weather gendered? And most importantly, how do you tell a story of ecological crisis while facilitating empathy and hope?

Simone Leigh in the U.S. Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale of Art

The sculptural work of the celebrated artist Simone Leigh explores ideas about history, race, gender, labor and monuments. For ‘Sovereignty,’ the exhibition in the U.S. Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale of Art, she has created a new body of work: sculptures in bronze, ceramic and raffia placed inside and outside the pavilion that highlight the often unseen and unacknowledged labor and resilience of Black women.

Leigh employs a strategy that she calls “the creolization of form,” combining disparate cultural languages linked through histories of colonization. With this series of works, she brings together references to 19th-century West African art, early Black American material culture and the colonial history of international expositions. The architecture of the pavilion itself has been "creolized" with the installation of a thatched roof, thus transforming the neoclassical building into a structure resembling a 1930s West African palace.

The exhibition’s title addresses notions of self-governance and independence⁠—both individual and collective. Leigh’s ‘Sovereignty’ is about authoring one’s own history and filling the gaps in the historical record by proposing new hybridities. With a singular visual language derived from vernacular architecture and the female body, using materials and processes associated with African and Afrodiasporic artistic traditions, she articulates a powerful and expansive view of the Black femme experience.

In this video, the pavilion’s co-commissioners Jill Medvedow (Ellen Matilda Poss Director, ICA/Boston) and Eva Respini (U.S. Pavilion Curator) speak about Leigh’s historic exhibition, which can be viewed from April 23rd to November 27th, 2022 at the Giardini della Biennale in Venice.

For more detailed information on the artist and the show, visit the 2022 U.S. Pavilion’s dedicated website.

Video by MONA productions. Produced by Monica Salazar and Kris Wilton (ICA/Boston). Filmed and edited by Peter Cairns. © The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.

Studio Visit with Elmgreen & Dragset

This video was commissioned by Henie Onstad for their Art Channel ahead of their presentation of Elmgreen & Dragset’s work ‘Aids Is Good, Business for Some’ (2011/2022) across Norway via 736 Clear Channel digital advertising platforms. Elmgreen & Dragset will also show their series ‘Stigma’ in the exhibition ‘Every Moment Counts–Aids and Its Feelings’ on view at Henie Onstad from February 18, 2022.

Watch the video with the Berlin-based artist duo in their Neukölln studio, where they talk about their collaborative practice as well as their particular interest in the AIDS epidemic and its continued relevance today.

Video by MONA productions. Produced by Anna Russ, Filmed by Frank Zerban, Interview by Alison Hugill, Edited by Peter Cairns, Music by Frank Zerban

Guglielmo Castelli at Galerie Rolando Anselmi

Italian artist Guglielmo Castelli takes us through his exhibition at Galerie Rolando Anselmi in Berlin. The show presents his large-scale paintings alongside tapestries made in collaboration with Giovanni Bonotto. Drawing from his background in theatrical scenography, Castelli’s artistic interest revolves around the relationship between the body and the space. In his work, scenographic tensions emerge from intricate palimpsests of characters and decor.

Video by MONA productions. Produced by Esenija Bannan, filmed and edited by Greg Bannan.

Más Allá, el Mar Canta (Beyond, the Sea Sings) at Times Art Center

The group exhibition ‘Más Allá, el Mar Canta (Beyond, the Sea Sings)’ at Times Art Center Berlin explores the Chinese diaspora in Central America and the Caribbean as a starting point to consider systems of kinship and ontologies of encounter. Learn more about it in this video featuring participating artists Mimian Hsu, Anna Matteucci (Colectivo Hapa) and Zink Yi, along with the exhibition curator, Pablo José Ramírez.

Video by MONA productions. Produced by Monica Salazar, filmed by Peter Cairns and edited by Talin Seigmann.

Nicholas Grafia ‘Free Verse Spirit’ at Peres Projects

Peres Projects presented Free Verse Spirit, Nicholas Grafia’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. In this exhibition, which we documented as a walk-through video, Grafia invokes the free verse poetic tradition – a genre known for breaking down the structures and rules of poetry, moving the medium closer to vernacular speech.

Video created by MONA productions for Peres Projects. Produced by Monica Salazar, filmed and edited by Peter Cairns.

Exhibition Tour ‘Hella Jongerius: Woven Cosmos’ at Gropius Bau

Hella Jongerius takes us on a tour of her solo exhibition ‘Woven Cosmos’ at Gropius Bau, on display from April 29–August 15, 2021. At the heart of Hella Jongerius’s artistic practice is the connection between industry and craft as well as traditional knowledge and technology.

Video courtesy of Gropius Bau