“I’m ok”. Moments later, he was shot

© David Ostrowski

© David Ostrowski

Peres Projects is opening the new location at Karl- Marx-Allee 82, Berlin with a solo exhibition by the young German artist, David Ostrowski entitled ‘I’m OK.’ Moments later, he was shot.

Jerry: You want to go with me to NBC?

George: Yeah, I think weʼve really got something here.

Jerry: What have we got?

George: An idea!

Jerry: What idea?!

George: An idea for the show!

Jerry: I still donʼt know what the idea is.

George: Itʼs about nothing.

Jerry: Right…

George: Everybodyʼs doing something, weʼll do nothing.

Jerry: So we go into NBC and tell them weʼve got an idea for a show about nothing.

George: Exactly.

Jerry: They say, “Whatʼs your show about?”, I say “Nothing”.

George: There you go.

Jerry: I think you may have something here.

(Seinfeld Season Four Episode Three)

© David Ostrowski

© David Ostrowski

David Ostrowski (b. 1981, Cologne) lives/works in Cologne, Germany. In 2009, he graduated from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf where he studied under Albert Oehlen. This is his debut solo show with Peres Projects and on March 7, he opens another solo show in Cologne at Artothek, Raum für Junge Kunst, entitled “F”.

Ostrowski is the latest addition to Peres Projects roster, and the almost 500 square metre space has been dedicated to his recent works of large, abstract paintings made of oil, lacquer, spray paint, paper, cardboard, cotton and dust on canvas or burlap. Ostrowski’s method is interesting; he is constantly trying to reduce his own decision making and let his physical actions speak, in an ongoing struggle to unlearn and rediscover. He is interested in painting for painting’s sake, and often refers to a quote by Seinfeld’s George Costanza to describe his idea for the show: “Everybody’s doing something, we’ll do nothing”.

© David Ostrowski

© David Ostrowski

Bureau N

Peres Projects

Selected by Ingrid Melano

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Re-made // Re-used

© Reh-Kunst

© Reh-Kunst

Have a look at the first exhibition of this year at REH Kunst. The group exhibition Re-Made // Re-Used traces the transformation from trash, everyday articles, or industrial materials to art work. The shown works are all created from materials or objects which were originally made for another purpose or existed in an art-unrelated context. The exhibited artworks are less Ready-Mades in the sense of Duchamp, but rather Re-Mades – artifacts taken from their origin context and completely reconstructed by the artists.

The participating artists show different approaches and positions in regard to the motif of reutilization. Often the artists draw on their immediate surroundings and incorporate elements of their everyday reality, with the accessibility of materials making out a not unimportant aspect. Among the applied artistic strategies are the re-contextualization of used or thrown-away items as well as the aestheticizing reinterpretation of everyday objects.

© Christian Henkel

© Christian Henkel

The exhibition space itself – the GDR Raumerweiterungshalle (REH, literally, space-extending building) – is a construction originally made for another purpose and context, which is now being re-used as an art and project space. REH refers to a modular architectonic system whose individual elements can be telescopically extended to form a multi-functional space that remains transportable despite its solid roof, floor, and walls. The REH was a part of everyday life in East Germany and long helped shape its architectural landscape.
In the summer of 2011, Valeska Hageney founded REH Kunst in the Kopenhagener Strasse in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg as a space for art and experiments. In the last one and a half years, she has organized and curated several exhibitions there. Since January 2013, Marie Arleth Skov and Laura Haaber Ihle have joined Valeska Hageney to run the program contents of REH Kunst. RE-MADE // RE-USED is the first jointly curated exhibition by the new team.
© Reh-Kunst

© Reh-Kunst

The Body Score

© Damir Ocko

© Damir Ocko

Last minute visit for me at Yvon Lambert project space. The Body Score is the title of the latest solo show of Damir Ocko, Croatian artist born in Zagreb in 1977. The complex and seductive “score for the body” takes the form of works on paper, collage and artist’s books. The works on display at the project space Yvon Lambert, Paris, are a record of his research and his original form of writing, composed by letters, shapes, and lines following the flexible bodies in several yoga positions.

© Damir Ocko

© Damir Ocko

Očko’s artistic production, which besides the film works encompasses series of visual and graphic elements, such as collages, typographic music sheets, concrete poetry, and artist’s books, is structured around film as its central place; film is conceived as a construction that gathers and generates several formal elements, so as to produce meaning, associations, and emotions. We “read” Damir Očko’s works as complex and layered orchestrations, meeting places of various narratives and texts, pointing to their multi-layered riches. Očko emphasizes that it is precisely in multi-layeredness, in structure of surgical precision, where the essence of his work is to be found. The artist often puts the viewers in the role of explorers, ready to absorb the layers of meaning, either rationally or intuitively and suggestively, as new systems of knowledge articulation.

© Damir Ocko

© Damir Ocko

Damir Očko has been presented in the following solo exhibitions: The Kingdom of Glottis, Palais de Tokyo (2012), The Body Score, Yvon Lambert, Paris (2013), On Ulterior Scale, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (2011) ); he also had solo shows in Tiziana di Caro Gallery (Salerno), Kunstverein Leipzig, Kunsthalle München. He participated in collective exhibitions in the MSU Zagreb; Villa Romana, Florence; Kunsthalle Wien; HIAP Helsinki, and in festivals: Videoformes Clermont Ferrand, 25FPS, Zagreb; Videobrasil.

Damir Očko

Yvon Lambert

Selected by Ingrid Melano

Asymmetry

© TENT

© TENT

It is still possible to see, until May 2013, the first comprehensive solo exhibition in the Netherlands by the Rotterdam-Berlin based Spanish/Icelandic artists Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson. Their survey exhibition in TENT gathers video-based, installation, sound and sculptural projects from the last decade. The presentation is curated by Adam Budak. A three-part symposium has been organised to accompanying the exhibition (9 February, 13 March, 17 April) and is concluded with the publication and distribution of a newspaper.

The multimedia and interventionist work of Castro and Ólafsson can be considered as an on- going investigation into the way in which life, society, and the individual are influenced by socio- economic, cultural, and political factors. Asymmetry is a guiding principle in Castro and Ólafsson‘s work. They address injustice and inequality, and portray the rejected subject as well as the authoritative subject. On their journeys, the artists’ research into the workings of inequality attempts to decipher laws on the distribution of power. In a quest for a universal vocabulary their installations bring together texts, languages, and traditions. Asymmetry is a 10 year overview of their past installations, video works, photographs and objects.

© Jan Adriaans

© Jan Adriaans

© Jan Adriaans

© Jan Adriaans

‘ThE riGHt tO RighT’ launched during the 7th Liverpool Biennial in 2012. A monumental neon sign reads alternately ThE riGHt tO RighT and ThE riGHt tO WrOnG, thus questioning the essence of the (human) right itself, its habit and rhetoric as well as its ownership and belonging. ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ blur as if producing yet another paradigm of political behaviour, discipline and ethics. Castro and Ólafsson’s neonwork is a provocative gesture which points out paradoxes of law and freedom. The project’s Liverpool iteration is accompanied by a free newspaper ‘ThE riGHt tO RighT/WrOnG which features an essay by British writer and philosopher Nina Power, who, in a dialogue with the artists, comments upon the current global political upheaval by deconstructing a ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ and replacing it with a philosophy of wrong and its brand new manifesto – ‘The Partial Declaration of Human Wrongs’.

Alongside the exhibition is a three-part symposium with a film program related to the port of Rotterdam. The symposium concludes with the publication and national distribution of a newspaper (printed and digital) to accompany this new episode of ‘ThE riGHt tO RighT’ project. The symposium reflects on important themes in the artists’ work. The speakers will discuss legal issues, protest, and unequal power relations. The first part of the symposium will be held on 9 February with a lecture by philosopher Nina Power followed by a roundtable discussion with curator Adam Budak and the artists. In her lecture, Power addresses the contemporary.

© Jan Adriaans

© Jan Adriaans

© Jan Adriaans

© Jan Adriaans

TENT

I want your name and my name on a flyer

I have just received the invitation to the art project I want your name and my name on a flyer at Galerie Tatjana Pieters, Gent. The artists participating are not only active in visual arts, but also in music, theatre, performance and printed matter. Together they created an exhibition that reflects on the idea of synesthesia.

© Koen Delaere

© Koen Delaere

In the framework of Interpunction program, Belgian painter Koen Delaere (1970, BE) will take over the front window space of the gallery, creating an in situ installation that includes his most recent experiment, The OCE-Project. The OCE-Project is a recent chapter in his ongoing series of his research project Solidaire-Solitaire. Commissioned by The OCE- Art Foundation, he produced a limited amount of works using the facilities of the research department. For his works he uses the possibility to print UV-inks in combination with oil paint and spray paint.

Koen Delaere’s work focuses on freedom and restriction of freedom. ‘By imposing strict rules in advance I need to fight for my own freedom while working. I use a system of variables and invariables. The invariables could be the frame of the canvas, the variables may be the way of smearing the paint on the canvas, within the constraints of this structure.’

Kim Gordon (1953, USA) is mostly known from the noise band Sonic Youth, but is also an established visual artist and curator. A frequent musical collaborator with the Conceptual artist Dan graham, she is deeply involved with both acoustic and visual mediums. It was through an artistic investigation in the rock band as a site of male bonding that she got caught up in the music. gordon’s work deals with the dichotomy between public & private, fantasy & reality, image & perception. The titles of her works often reveal the conceptual background, as is the case with the work on show.

Gallery artist Dennis Tyfus (1979, BE) is known for an oeuvre that is difficult to categorize. It consists of a constant and unceasing practice that ranges from drawings, videos, installations, collages to magazines and books published & distributed under his own label ‘Ultra Eczema’, as well as music, vinyl record productions and radio shows on air at ‘Radio Centraal’, or concerts & performances at the artist initiative ‘Stadslimiet’ in Antwerp.

© Vaast Colson

© Vaast Colson

Tyfus runs this space together with Antwerp-based Vaast Colson (1977, BE). Although educated as a painter, Colson has developed a conceptual interest in the meaning of ‘artisthood’, taking advantage of his artistic freedom and his urge to create without limiting himself to a certain context, medium or material. Interested in the relation with the viewer, Colson breaks out of the artists workspace. He uses performance, music, installations or intervention to the maximum, entertaining, ‘tutoring’ or surprising the audience.

Peter Fengler (1964, NL) is a visual and performance artist. He is the founder and spindle of the Rotterdam stage annex production platform ‘DE PLAYER’. ‘We try to excite the visitor and inspire him so that he will participate.’ Fengler considers his craving for the anti-aesthetic as a position against the institutionalisation of social development in general and art in particular. The urge for standardisation deprives new artistic expression from finding its way.

Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson (1977, IS) exhibits his paintings & drawings internationally but is probably most known for his energetic performances at a wide array of venues. His approach is that of the trembling artist, struggling to make sense and direction out of a creative impulse. Regardless of the medium, there is a continuous search for order and chaos throughout his body of work. With his series of drawings Sigmarsson distorts the normal, daily life by drawing very common objects in an abstract way.

Joris van de Moortel’s (1983, BE) sculptures and installations contain both the urge to create and to destruct. While the (re)construction of his works seems very deliberately, his installations also embody an organic energy within its own boundaries. Van de Moortel deals with the opposite poles of energy through the act of sampling, cutting, collapsing, constructing.

© Joris van de Moortel

© Joris van de Moortel

Galerie Tatjana Pieters

On the rise: Andrea Romano

© Andrea Romano

© Andrea Romano

We met in Paris the Italian artist Andrea Romano, currently having his solo show in at Gaudel de Stampa gallery, in Belleville. As explained by art critic Michele D’Aurizio:”On the occasion of his first solo exhibition at the gallery, Andrea Romano (b. 1984; lives in Milan) presents three art works—a felt-pen drawing on paper, a nylon sculpture, and a granite-framed pencil drawing on paper—all of which can all be seen as illegible signs aspiring to acquire the status of an icon. On this purpose, the artist’s deployment of beauty is meant less as a proof of skill than as a strategy for pleasing the viewer: behind his delicate shapes and mesmerizing pictures, the artist pursues a remarkable boldness in its creative process, aiming to undertake an active position within the history of visual culture. The notion of legacy, on one hand, and the strive for novelty, on the other, are the poles between which the terrain of the exhibition is defined.

© Andrea Romano

© Andrea Romano

The nylon sculpture Highlight (2013), is manufactured through a 3D printer and then varnished with the most innovative paint employed in car refinishing. It is the first outcome in a series of sculptures to mark the passage of time. By employing the newest materials and technologies, each sculpture establishes a strong symbolic attachment to its present time; and yet embodying a record achievement, it is doomed to reincarnate itself into an object with better performance.

© Andrea Romano

© Andrea Romano

The felt-pen drawing belong to the series Untitled (2012-on going). Details of the encounters between men and dinosaurs in Hanna-Barbera’s cartoon sitcomThe Flintstones, this picture render the clash between a prehistorical scenario and a modern lifestyle: the signs hint at gestures that the viewer is asked to interpret, like an archaeologist with discovered findins. The pencil drawing is part of the series Claque & Shill (2011-on going), in which the artist attempts to establish a symbiosis between pictures and their supports. The drawing and its stone frame are to be interpreted as two figures that manipulate the reception of a phenomenon, by infiltrating the audience and orientating its taste. A certain degree of theatricality is also pursued in the choice of characters that convey an emotional impact, in an attempt to overcome the border between stage and life into a reality of representation”.

© Andrea Romano

© Andrea Romano

Andrea Romano has already exhibited in numerous, group and solo exhibitions, including, in 2012, Sotto la Strada la Spiaggia, at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.

Gaudel de Stampa 

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Selected by Ingrid Melano