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Sebastiaan Bremer

April 30, 2008

I interviewed the artist Sebastiaan Bremer for the last issue of IN Magazine (INCANDESCENT) and his work continues to evolve nearly 5 years later. Swirling illustrations are layered on top of large-scale photos, creating visual worlds filled with the artist’s personal memories. He has an opening on Friday as a part of Berlin Gallery Weekend.

sebastiaan bremer, IN magazine

sebastiaan bremer, Berlin Gallery Weekend

sebastiaan bremer, IN magazine, You've Made Your Mother Cry
Sebastiaan Bremer, You’ve Made Your Mother Cry, 2003. Ink on c-print. 29.5 x 29.2 cm

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Die Wahren Orte

April 29, 2008

Taking its curatorial impetus from Captain Ahab’s observation that “true places” can’t be found on maps, Die Wahren Orte at Alexander Ochs brings together a really quite nice selection of recent work from China. The exhibition marks the gallery’s move to a new space on Sophienstrasse and will continuously evolve during its four month run. The highlight of the show is Yin Xiuzhen’s 15-meter-long van covered with a canopy of sewn garments titled Collective Unconscious.

Yin Xiuzhen, Collective Unconscious, 2007, van and textiles, 1500 x 150 x 300 cm

(artist unknown)

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A Forest

April 28, 2008

Had to take a trip way out into west Berlin this morning. Staring out the window, I kept catching myself thinking about how green Berlin is—parks, plants, forests appear everywhere. Somehow, this is going to segue into a post about a brilliant performance of The Cure’s A Forest from 1980.

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Waterfalls of New York

April 27, 2008

Nice interview with Olafur Eliasson up at Spiegel online. He discusses his $15 million waterfall project in development for New York’s East River, the obfuscation of reality, prejudice in Berlin and why he believes that developing projects for corporate sponsors like BMW without “getting [his] fingers dirty.” Good read.

Four waterfalls will be installed along the East River – this rendering shows one sited for the base of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Up the Yangtze

April 24, 2008

Up the Yangtze is a documentary made by Canadian-Chinese filmmaker Yung Chang about the effects of the Three Gorges Dam in China. Here’s a brief synopsis of the film:

The Three Gorges Dam, gargantuan and hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle, provides the epic and unsettling backdrop for Up the Yangtze, a dramatic and disquieting feature documentary on life inside the 21st century Chinese dream.

Stunningly photographed and beautifully composed, Up the Yangtze juxtaposes the poignant and sharply observed details of the main character’s story against the monumental and ominous forces at work all around her.

We’re looking forward to seeing it in Berlin. In the meantime, we can watch the trailer:

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April 23, 2008

I’m really enjoying Berlin’s Mono-Kultur magazine. The bi-monthly publication features one interview along with related images and a unique format for each release. The current issue is devoted to Miranda July, while the previous one offered a great interview and design concept for Taryn Simon.

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What are Curses?

April 21, 2008

Very Short List guided me to a bizarrely edited clip of Charlie Rose talking to Charlie Rose about technology, which somehow led me to Animal Collective’s new video for Water Curses, directed by Andrew Kuo, whose data visualization of recent Boredoms shows was featured last week in the New York Times.

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Pioneers of Modern Typography

PMT was a Milwaukee-based performance art/rock band from the mid-1980s that incorporated both art and graphic design history and theory into their work. Group members included Frank Ullenberg, Scott Schanke and my former professor and good friend John Luttropp. The group based much of its theoretical approach on an obscure text by Günter Hülzenbuch, a German typographer and philosopher who attempted to fuse the two with his claim that all human knowledge can be viewed as a development and refinement of typography.

Anyway, I recently came across an archive of posters from Milwaukee rock bands from this era that includes some of the PMT material.

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Hamburger Bahnhof

April 19, 2008

So much to see at the Hamburger Bahnhof right now. The Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition, Lighter, is epic, occupying much of the 300-meter-long Rieckhallen, a former warehouse that was renovated and linked to the main exhibition space in 2004. I’ve always thought that Tillmans’ photographs work best in book form, where the collective presentation of related themes and consistent scale seem to strengthen both his casually composed snapshots as well as the more formal, conceptual series (like Concorde), but this exhibition has made me think otherwise. The experience of the multiple formats, subjects and modes of presentation that Tillmans explores is quite affective. Here are a few shots to give an idea of the variety of formats on display:






The remainder of the Rieckhallen features more work from the controversial Friedrich Christian Flick collection, offering a broad overview to large-format, post-Becher photographic practice.

Rodney Graham, Flanders Tree, 1989/2001

Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Sichtbare Welt, 1997

Axel Hütte, Vescona 1, 1991

A third exhibition of photographs from the endearing husband and wife team Anna and Bernhard Blume features work from the 1970s through 2004.






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April 18, 2008

I’ve been curious about the massive, graffiti-covered, Soviet-styled statue across the street since we arrived at our sublet on Greifswalder Strasse. Walking to the train this morning, I noticed that there was a crew out with pressure washers wiping away the layers of paint. Turns out that the statue is a DDR-era commemoration of Ernst Thälmann, leader of the German Communist Party (KPD) during the Weimar days and twice a candidate for German presidency. His opponent—Paul von Hindenburg, who after winning his second term handed the chancellorship to, well, you know…

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