Isa Melsheimer ‘false ruins and lost innocence’ at Esther Schipper Berlin

Opened on December 6th, 2020, Esther Schipper presents Isa Melsheimer’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Entitled ‘false ruins and lost innocence,’ the exhibition includes three large-scale ceramics, textile works, and a suite of gouaches. The three large-scale ceramics draw on existing buildings: the artist gives these landmarks an “interior” life that evokes theoretical debates in architectural discourse. One work, for example, juxtaposes Le Corbusier’s Villa Shodhan (Ahmedabad, 1951–56) with a horse’s head from the pediment of the Greek Parthenon, circa 438 BC, thus suggesting an organic element in the “machine for living in” as Le Corbusier famously referred to a house. The works in the exhibition play with the tenuous borders between the built environment and nature. In this video, Isa Melsheimer speaks about her inspiration for the works in ‘false ruins and lost innocence’ as well as her process and preoccupation with the history of architectural styles, from inside the exhibition room at Esther Schipper gallery.

Video by MONA, Produced by Anna Russ, Filmed and Edited by Robin Thomson

Majhi Art Residency 2020 in Berlin

This year, Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF) hosted the second edition of the Majhi International Art Residency Program in Berlin, from August 24th to September 12th. The Berlin edition of the Majhi residency was the second in a series of brief artistic residencies, which DBF plans to initiate annually over a ten year period. Conceived by curator Zippora Elders, this year’s iteration of the program asked seven international artists to reflect on the question: “How to shape a society of care? On kinship and multiple homes.” This year's participants—Orawan Arunrak (Thailand/Germany), Johannes Büttner (Germany/Netherlands), Omar Chowdhury (Bangladesh/Australia), Rajkamal Kahlon (USA), Belle Phromchanya (Thailand/Netherlands), Bussaraporn Thongchai (Thailand/Germany) and Umut Yasat (Germany/Turkey)—offered a public presentation and closing exhibition during Gallery Weekend and Berlin Art Week at Der Bogen. The public program also included performances and artists talks by three of the discussion-round guests, Nguyễn + Transitory, Tonny Nowshin and Soy Division.

Video by MONA, Produced by Monica Salazar, Filmed and Edited by Peter Cairns

Exhibition ‘Urbainable – Stadthaltig’ at Akademie der Künste

The exhibition 'urbainable – stadthaltig. Positions on the European City for the 21st Century', presented at Akademie der Künste from September 5th to November 22, 2020, looks at overarching themes in our conceptions of the "social city", including issues relating to climate change, digitalization and wealth disparities. The title of the exhibition 'urbainable – stadthaltig' follows the hypothesis that sustainability and the city cannot be seen in isolation from one other. It addresses the role of the European city in the age of global warming, demographic change and the breakdown of traditional social networks. We spoke to the curators Tim Rieniets, Matthias Sauerbruch and Jörn Walter about the concept behind the exhibition, the contributions and the surrounding program.

Ugo Rondinone: ‘nuns + monks’ at Esther Schipper Berlin

Stones have been a presence and recurring material and symbol in Ugo Rondinone's practice for several years. In 'nuns + monks', Rondinone continues to address the dual reflection between the inner self and the natural world through this material exploration, while presenting a pure sensory experience of color, form, and mass that aims to offer a contemporary experience of the sublime. 'nuns + monks' is on view at Esther Schipper, Berlin from September 11th to October 17th, 2020.

Video by MONA, Produced by Anna Russ, Filmed and Edited by Robin Thomson

Philippe Parreno: ‘Manifestations’ at Esther Schipper Berlin

‘Manifestations’ is Philippe Parreno’s eighth solo exhibition with Esther Schipper. It includes works spanning various media: a granular soundtrack, a CGI film, atmospheric sensors, robotic systems, computer code, ice and water. For this show, which opened during Berlin Art Week 2020, Parreno transformed his exhibition into a “sympoïetic system”, produced collectively by the assembly of objects. Every element of the exhibition has been conceived to be connected to one another, to look at, perceive, or see one another.

Video by MONA, Produced by Monica Salazar, Filmed and Edited by Peter Cairns

Andreas Greiner: ‘Jungle Memory’ at Dittrich & Schlechtriem

Opening during this year's Gallery Weekend Berlin, Andreas Greiner's solo exhibition ‘Jungle Memory’ at Dittrich & Schlechtriem recreates nature, representing his research into endangered forests in Germany and Poland. In his broad practice, Greiner probes the relationship between ecology and technology. Amid a simulated forest and light scenario that transforms the main gallery space at Dittrich & Schlechtriem, Greiner presents a large-format video work made with the aid of artificial intelligence. We interviewed the artist inside his immersive show, as he walked us through the process behind the exhibited works.

Video by MONA, Produced by Monica Salazar, Filmed and Edited by Peter Cairns

An Interview with Frank Ekeberg: ‘No Man’s Land’

Drawing on natural ecosystems for inspiration and material, Frank Ekeberg’s audio compositions have a cyclical quality akin to the habitats they capture. Field recordings play a crucial role in Ekerberg’s practice and, for him, an environment’s sound quality reflects its overall health. Ekeberg’s sound piece ‘No Man’s Land’ is part of the current exhibition ‘The White, the Green, and the Dark: Contemporary Positions from Norway’ presented by the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin. Tracing the extinction of natural pollinators from the rainforest of Norway, ‘No Man’s Land’ is a critical reflection on the rapid and devastating effects of climate change in the region. We spoke to Ekeberg about this work, as well as his evolving practice and the process behind his audio compositions.

Video by MONA, Produced by Monica Salazar, Filmed and Edited by Peter Cairns

‘Under Earth’: Interview with Ingrid Torvund & Jonas K. Mailand

In the exhibition ‘The White, the Green, and the Dark’, presented by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, artists Ingrid Torvund and Jonas K. Mailand currently exhibit all three films from their ‘Under Earth’ trilogy: ‘Magic Blood Machine’ (2012), ‘When I go out, I bleed magic’ (2015) and ‘I found you under earth, under blood’ (2019).

Torvund and Mailand have collaborated on the creation of these visionary narratives, which are rooted in the natural landscape of Telemark. The pair’s unique cinematic storytelling mixes Christian mysticism with magic and folklore. Often, Torvund’s costumes, props and sets are exhibited alongside the films themselves, creating a holistic picture of the universe built up in and around these stories. The intricate embroideries and hand-carved creatures are part of a wider sci-fi vision that underlines the trilogy. We spoke to Torvund and Mailand about their process, the evolution of characters and how their films have been received in the art world.

Video by MONA, Produced by Monica Salazar, Filmed and Edited by Peter Cairns

Jonas Wendelin at Dittrich & Schlechtriem

Berlin and Los Angeles-based artist Jonas Wendelin’s first solo exhibition at Dittrich & Schlechtriem, titled ‘Only,’ engages in manufacturing an alternative reality, pursuing futuristic narratives and themes of hope in dystopia. A fictional architectural installation made up of found objects and jarred preserves gives the illusion of a space quickly abandoned in the aftermath of a life-changing event. Using collaboration as a tool to build the exhibition, Wendelin's show also includes the exposed archive of the gallery, a publication compiled and edited by the artist, called ‘The Allusion,’ as well as a series of otherworldly ceramic sculptures. Wendelin walked us through the exhibition, now showing at Dittrich & Schlechtriem until August 29th, 2020.

Video by MONA, Produced by Monica Salazar, Filmed and Edited by Peter Cairns

Dhaka Art Summit 2020: Seismic Movements

‘Dhaka Art Summit 2020: Seismic Movements’ was the fifth edition of the Dhaka Art Summit, which brought together artists, curators and thinkers from different points of the globe to discuss, reevaluate and created work surrounding issues within the normative structure of the art world. This year’s theme of ‘Seismic Movements’ alludes to the inherent connection between culture and place that goes beyond geological and geographic constraints. The exhibition was divided into seven groups: geological, colonial, independence, collective, spatial, modern, and social movements and feminist futures.

Video by MONA, Produced by Monica Salazar, Filmed and Edited by Peter Cairns