Monday, August 8, 2011

Kajsa Dahlberg+Julien Grossmann: Vibrating Revivals+Guillaume Lachapelle: entre-temps+Zuspiel/ Judith Schwinn: planet earth rebirth=29th July-21st Aug

Kajsa Dahlberg

Julien Grossmann: Vibrating Revivals

Guillaume Lachapelle: entre-temps

Zuspiel/ Judith Schwinn: planet earth rebirth

29th July-21st August. Künstlerhaus Bethanien gmbh, Kottbusser str. 10, 10999 Berlin, DE, by craniv boyd.


When a group exhibition fails to be a group exhibition, it, a stage for the artist's work, fragments, splits apart into four single artist exhibitions, as exemplified by the current exhibition at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, in the just barely Kreuzberg area of Kreuzberg, Berlin. Sad when artists elect to indulge in the maxim of: "just me and my work by its own self in one big room, looks best".  Three of the lone "emerging" artists, art installations are titled by the "emerging talent" themselves, and one artist, leaves her name as title enough.


Of planet earth rebirth.


Flower arraignments as miniature anthropomorphic figurative micro sculpture. If making it big is not an option for you, than select to make your sculpture truly small and obscenely light, as German, Judith Schwinn does. Carefully glued shaped flora and fauna are Frankenstiened together into dancing monsters that, due to their small stature would most certainly fail in frightening a rat, or large mouse for that matter. The light of foot, figures stand whimsically on thinly gauged, hand formed wire or a narrow above eye-level pedestal. One extra long blue wire is playfully dangled from ceiling water piping tucked behind one structural cross beam. That blue wire dangles downward then culminates upward bound somewhere above waist level with one of the dancing flower creatures hot glued to its novel shaky support.


Of entre-temps.


Clever scale Model making is driven to a fast paced apotheosis or collision, by Canadian Guillaume Lachapelle, section or rooms of the exhibition. Suggestive Freudian models of libraries and bookshelves that in their chaotic folding in, look both, vulvic and yonic. Knowledge acquisition can be seen as akin to diving into the abyss, learning for the bibliophile a pleasurable experience like chaotic sex, or as for French existentialists like J.P. Sartre for whom knowing and possessing were closely relating.  This digression is unwarranted, for Guillaume Lachapelle, has made technically impeccable decorative objects the look like sets for films never to be filmed. The Vagina or chasm libraries, when set four on a grey wall under high harsh dramatic lighting lead viewers either: into a dark pit, or, down staircases, reminiscent of emergency fire stair for buildings, that end with last step in free floating air. With the aid of hidden smoke machine with timed emissions, a darkened curtain drawn room, a glass vitrine and light emitting diodes in each of the banal north American urban street lamp, Mr. Lachapelle creates an atmosphere for a vague memory of the panic of loneliness in fog covered city nights that the viewer should have.


Of Vibrating Revivals


Droning sonic angst or meditative ambient sound sculpture is what, French artist, Julien Grossmann's contribution to his own one-person exhibition at the artist house, known as Bethanien, is. As per obsolete magnetic tape, audio recorders and playback systems, placed on the floor, used as sculpture, with white plastic turning parts wall mounted to extend, and make transparent one big loop of magnetic tape that feeds and cycles over, and over, through said obsolete sound playback system. It is a sculpture that makes a lot of sound while it is doing its job of looking like current art. In another room a more seductive and elegant display of mini, disc shaped speakers as minimal geometric sculpture. Four ways of showing an old Peruvian recording, has its charm, gold colored thin circular speakers, a few centimeters in diameter, that look like Incan jewelry resting on a three leveled slate table that would perhaps cause any true modernist furniture designer to cry. Each of the "four ways" looks, visual, enough when contrasted with the dark colored table surface and subdued lighting, to overshadow the sound component of this artwork, the instance where the speaker discs lay flat is the most transparent, where viewers can know what those little shiny circles are. The low decibel sound, emitted from the flat laying speakers, causes small vibrations to shake up those golden speaker discs. Less convincing is the grey-scale photographic pairings of departed German scientists and explorers and a digital imaging or visualization of a sound record they made when alive. As characters they look bizarre enough, dressed up with combed blond hair in Inuit, costume but as art works it falls rather too neatly into the substratæ of Natural History or Science hall display.     


Of the works of Kjasa Dahlberg.


The Swedish artist, Kajsa Dahlberg, presents two videos, one pamphlet to take home, and on the upstairs level of Künstlerhaus Bethanien's exhibition spaces, a work of art, about a library book and those who read it that begs for written explanation, for more comprehensive understanding of what, the artwork is exactly, due to the fact that it is made entirely of photocopied sheets of paper under glass panels in pristine white display cases. The two videos on the ground level, are looped video documentation of an un-theatrical project for the theater that, is jam packed full of characters one does not normally see in the theatre, non acting Swedish women between the ages of 35, and 85, and a shorter loop which is an interview with an off camera female Danish language speaker, talking of an underground political lesbian "porno film" with the preconditions of you have to be a woman, in order to see it. All works exhibited, by Dahlberg are resolutely anti retinal, and are in many aspects refusals to see, or to show. The video loop is all sound or all image, silent sun-drenched public square across the street from the Mayors office in winter Copenhagen, is shown or the lens cap is on the camera recording video, recording video as the speaker on audio track says the word platform with a Danish accent. Kajsa Dahlberg, makes a rigid contemporary artwork with the dominant contents of, how north European people talk about what a contemporary work of art is.


To rehash:


The works in each of these four one-artist exhibitions are of artists who for whatever reason are not working together, who each have their own, based solely upon the character of their current artwork shown, myopic focus on a niche agenda. Broad generalist visually rewarding or big and heavy artwork are absent. Standing up to be-counted are however, the Xerox copy behind glass, the video loop, the extra large photo graph, the sound installation, the flower, the singular gesture; framed as work on paper, and last but not least the exacting scale model. The works all rest on the smaller side of small scale. The fact that they are impeccably lighted displayed and installed, brings the care behind the meticulous presentation, to the fore, emphasizing hallmark of a more practical artistic sensibility, that the installation technician team of Künstlerhaus Bethanien, doubtlessly possesses. By craniv boyd.   

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