Monday, July 25, 2011

Basic Instincts:Villa Elisabeth Invaliden St. 3, Berlin by craniv boyd.

Basic Instincts: creative direction: José Klap & Sandor Lubbe, artistic curation: Luca Marchettie & Emanuele Quinz, exhibtion design: Henrik Vibskov.  Alexandra Leykauf, Amie Dicke, Anne de Grijff, Anne Holtrop, Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek, BCXSY, Blommers/Schumm, Bo Reudler, Daphna Laurens, David Jablonowski, Doeple Strijkers Architicts, Erwin Olaf, Frederike Top, Freudenthal/Verhagen, Georgios Maridakis, Gionata Gatto, Hester Scheurwater, Iris van Herpen, Jo Meesters, Joost Vandebrug, Klavers van Engelen, Lab van Abbema, Lex Pott, Marcel van der Vlugt, Matthias Vriens, Monique van Heist, Morad Bouchakour, Natasja Kensmill, Navid Nuur, Oda Pausma, Pascal Smelik, Paul Kooiker, Paula Arntzenm Petrovsky & Ramone, Pieke Bergmans, Powerhous Company, Sandor Lubbe, Scholten & Baijings, Sharon Geschiere, Siba Sahabi, Stealth Unlimited, Studio Glithero, Whim Architecture,Juli 1- 31. 2011, Villa Elisabeth Invaliden St. 3, Berlin by craniv boyd.


A building in a green square near a church in Invaliden Street, in center city Berlin, is where this multi-floored, exhibition titled Basic Instincts takes place.


Artists, photographers, designers, fashion designers, industrial designers, architects and glass blowers all from, educated, or active in the Netherlands are the diverse creators included and exposed in this month long exhibition, that although jam packed with different artworks, scale models, and products, is surprisingly uncluttered and deftly organized. No small feat.


Lex Pott has a series of metal shelving that might make a natural scientist or chemist smile. His pallet is of oxidation, there are a few metal panels and the chemistry of the rust inducing reaction is named on the plate of wall-mounted metal, acting like color chip. Directly before it stand shelves made of the respective Zinc, Copper, Aluminum, Bronze or Steel, and their corresponding acids. There is a wondrous array of how metal can change color.


Artist Anne de Grijff created a series of irregular shaped wooden triangular puzzle pieces that when tied together with plastic zip ties, form a modular display platform. Taking out the Utopian teeth of Bucky Fuller, and his geodesic and triangle designs. 


Jo Meesters, contributes chairs vessels and tables made from reused and cast paper pulp. The chair shown is solid carbon black and sturdy and weighty. The inside of the large basic formed bowls are varnished and have a semi reflective surface.


Doeple Strijkers Architects, show a scale model and an animated presentation of a sustainable tequila brewery and community development project. The plan develops further the traditional Hacienda, and in its program and cycle production like proffers other reusable functions for the by products of Agave fibers, for their clients in the Jalisco region of Mexico.


Powerhouse Company, in a video coupled with plaster model retrospective of their Villa portfolio, set-forth what both architects dub a pleasure principal. Their interview has an obnoxious funk-music track. Lamentably you cannot hear the architects speak about what that principal might be, because of the blaring background music. Yet Flood house, funnel-shaped with a roof patio with four stair cases in a cross that lead up to a rim looks stunning. Other homes like villa Neo, although with novel settings in the topography look like further, accessible meditations on the Barcelona Pavilion, by that ex Bau-hauser Mies van der Rohe.


Fashion designer, Iris van Herpen, has decided to show one of her recent collections by commissioning a short video, by artist Zach Gold. The clothing looks of many black rubber bands creating swishing porous sleeves for knotty, gnarly textured corsets producing an impractical neo baroque underwear look, for clothing that is barely there or easy access. The video has a couple man and woman covered in flour pillow fighting on a bed, their staged battle and grappling suggestive of what the clothing can do. Youthful bodies on a bed, which are barely clothed. Their clothing that is mutable, and shredded paper reminiscent, is one more proof in the sex sells canon.    



Hester Scheurwater takes black and white photographs both objectifying, and abjectifying her-self that look like a spirit of Japanese photographer Daido Moriama possesses her. She lies in the mud and with a cell phone and large mirror takes an up skirt photograph that, clearly a dirty girl would take. The compressed space and contorted athleticism of the seen camerawoman looks like alcohol fueled Glastonbury, Roskilde, or Woodstock experience gone wrong, but it is also could remind like mystery the unseen sadist, revealed to be drug addled woman chauvinist in the "controversial" prodigy music video of the early 'aughts titled "smack my b?*$% up".


There is a funny comprehensive formalistic look at specific types of sub sets or subheadings of people in disparate locations. Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek Take pictures of "carry daddies" "formers" "French touch" and "girls of the 7emm Paris" in front of white or neutral backgrounds, presenting the joys of conformity. All people start looking the same and like one another and the clothing it seems would make the man or woman if they chose to be an eco-punk in Rotterdam or a Muslim man past 50 years of age in Rabat.


What made this exhibition so lively apart from the wooden platforms on wheels on rails you could lay-back, and roll around on the second level, was an attention to craft and material sensibility that rewards the senses. There was one room with one artwork in it that had so much anise, nutmeg and cumin that you could smell their fragrance on entering. At one point you had to touch the exhibition design elements grey woven elsatine bands over conduit, to pass through the barrier that hundreds of these bands imposed between spectators and the objects. Seeing is what people are accustomed to doing in a situation like this, yet with optical art that, at first look, seems like black and white stripes to give you a migraine headache, contains after staring blankly a hidden image of a three quarter length portrait of a Dutch model wearing a pale gauzy designer blouse. 


The venue of Villa Elisabeth, which housed Basic Instincts, is a centrally located largish building with character and charm in its many levels. The Villa looks like it could very-well function as a Municipal arts center or home for a public contemporary art museum collection, although it is a parish, might have the makings of a great smaller museum building. By craniv boyd.    

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