The Latest

Dec 7, 2013 / 1 note

50 out of 1000 (50): Douglas Gordon, guest in 1997

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Douglas Gordon, photo © Andrea Stappert

During the 1999 Berlin International Film Festival, the
DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program presented Douglas Gordon’s exhibition "5 year drive-by v. Bootleg (Empire)" at the Neue Nationalgalerie. The artist used two large-scale video screens to start a kind of race against (film) time and the conventions of seeing. Due to more suitable light conditions, this race was best watched at night. Gordon sped up bootleg footage of Warhol’s famous 8-hour recording of the Empire State Building, and juxtaposed this with a clip from John Ford’s Western “The Searchers”. This latter piece was radically slowed down - so much so that, if played from beginning to end, it would have lasted five years, with each second of film taking up around six hours. In 2008, during the Fifa World Cup, the daadgalerie showed Gordon’s three-channel film installation “Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait” (2005), produced together with Phiippe Parreno

What was it like for you as an artist to come to a new country - and a new city? Did this affect your work in any way, or were you able to continue as before?

"Germany was not a new country for me when I came to Berlin in 1990. I had already visited Berlin through girlfriends, through movies, through stories written and tall tales told …

Berlin had already affected me before I even got off the plane in February 1990 - I landed, deaf, through an ear infection, at Tegel Flughafen, after dark, to meet my girl, she took me to Paul-Linke-Ufer, it was a surreal experience. We went to the Berlinale and there was a celebration of Laurel and Hardy … it was perfect for a temporarily deaf Scotsman.

That’s when I knew I had to come back.”

Did you work on a particular project during your time with the Artists-in-Berlin Program? 

"Aye, well, when I came back to Berlin for my first chapter of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program, I lived on Schlüterstrasse and my project was to beat everyone else on the programme - at billards, I should add.

But then when I came back again, for chapter 2, I had a wonderful apartment in Storkwinkel - Mr Meschede [head of the visual arts section of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program from 1992 to 2006] gave me a typewriter as a provocation … because I told him that I wanted to rewrite the bible.

That was my big project for DAAD.

It is, as yet, unfinished.”

Could you perhaps tell us about three of your favourite places in Berlin? Or alternatively, do you have any anecdotes from your time with the Program that you’d like to share with us? 

"I think I’ve done as many anecdotes as my arthritic hands can type.

As for my favored places - the Volksbühne at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, a ‘new’ bar from friends of mine from Glasgow, Das Gift, and of course my Paris Bar, on Kantstraße - i’ve taken my mother, my father, my brother, my son and my daughter to eat ‘entrecote en papillote’ there - over a period of 15 years. I’ll keep going …”

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Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, 2006, Video installation, two projections, sound, Dimensions variable, 91 min, looped, Courtesy Studio lost but found, Berlin; Studio Philippe Parreno, Paris; Anna Lena Films, Paris


Douglas Gordon was born in Glasgow in 1966. After receiving a B.A. at the Glasgow School of Art from 1984 to 1988, Gordon undertook a post-graduate program at the Slade School of Art in London from 1988 to 1990. Gordon has had major solo exhibitions at Tate Liverpool (2000), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001), The Hayward Gallery, London (2002) and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2003). In 2005, he curated The Vanity of Allegory, an exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin and released the film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. Further solo exhibitions include Superhumanatural at the National Gallery of Scotland (2007), Between Darkness and Light at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg (2007), and Timeline at MoMA, New York (2006).

Recent solo exhibitions took place at the Lambert Collection, and the Palais des Papes, Avignon (2008), DOX, Prague (2009), Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich (2009), DVIR Gallery, Tel Aviv (2009), and Art and the Sublime at the TATE Britain, London (2010), Gagosian Gallery, London (2011), Yvon Lambert, Paris (2011), MMK, Frankfurt (November 2011) and MOCA, Los Angeles (2012). His work Henry Rebel was shown at the 43 Basel Art Unlimited, Basel. Solo shows in 2012 included the Akademie der Künste, Berlin and Gagosian Gallery, New York. In 2013 Douglas Gordon had solo exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Blain Southern, Berlin, Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zürich and currently at the Museum Folkwang, Essen.

His film works have been invited to the Festival de Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Venice Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival among many others. Gordon was the 1996 recipient of the Turner Prize and the Kunstpreis Niedersachsen, Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover. In 1997 he was awarded the Premio 2000 at the 47. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice and received DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program Stipend in Berlin. In 1998 he was presented with the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum in SoHo, New York as well as with the Central Kunstpreis, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne and the Lord Provostʼs Award, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow. Most recently in May 2008 he won the Roswitha Haftmann Prize awarded by the Kunsthaus Zürich and he was the recipient of the Käthe-Kollwitz Prize 2012 awarded by the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. In 2008 Gordon was Juror at the 65th International Venice Film Festival, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice and in 2012 he was the Jury president of CinemaXXI at the 07th Rome Film Festival, Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma, Rome. Gordon lives and works in Berlin and Glasgow.

Dec 6, 2013 / 2 notes

50 out of 1000 (49): Jim Jarmusch, guest in 1987

Trailer “Mystery Train”

"Living in Berlin for some months in 1987 was a very interesting experience for me. This was during the last years of the Wall, and the population was of course much smaller than it is now - especially the number of young people. I had been living in New York City for over ten years, and Berlin was both very different, and in some ways quite similar. The differences involved history, location, language, culture, and the physical nature of each city (architecture, urban design, parks, transportation, etc.). But in certain ways the two cities were sisters; both were islands (one surrounded by water, the other by the Wall, and beyond it East Germany) both were/are historically cultural capitals in their own ways. And both were places where young artists lived relatively cheaply and interacted easily with each other.  

During my time there interesting things were going on around me.  Nick Cave was there working on his book “And The Ass Saw The Angel”, and members of Nick’s band The Bad Seeds at this time included Blixa Bargeld from the phenomenal Einstürzende Neubauten as well as Kid Congo Powers and Roland Wolf. My good friend Christoph Dreher (filmmaker, writer, musician) was active with his seminal band Die Haut, and Ellen El Malki was also a close friend. I think I remember that the artist Colette was also living in Berlin at this time. And during my stay visitors in my apartment included my old friend Louis Sarno (writer and ethnomusicologist), Mick Jones (from The Clash and B.A.D.) and his lovely girlfriend Daisy, as well as Sara Driver from New York, and Nicoletta Braschi from Rome. Favorite haunts were the large, post-industrial music club in Kreuzberg, SO36 (still there!) and a small unmarked bar in Schöneberg called Ex´n´ Pop. This was by far my favorite place, where one would often find members of Neubauten and Die Haut hanging out while a video monitor on the bar played old films or loops of Survival Research Laboratories’ exquisite destructive machinery.  

My apartment was in Charlottenburg in a boring neighborhood (I learned that Diamanda Galás occupied it before me after I found one of her black high heels under the bed). But the amazing French actress Solveig Dommartin, who lived with Wim Wenders at the time, would generously loan me her restored VW Bug whenever they left town, which was often, and I would then cruise to Kreuzberg or to The Ex`n`Pop when night fell.  I sometimes amused myself by driving in any random direction until ending up facing the Wall. I visited East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie and even flew at one point from East Berlin to Moscow on a broken-down Aeroflot plane (but that’s another story all together). Once when I was ill with a bad flu, Wim generously took me to his doctor. I wasn’t even charged for the visit!  

Much of my time was solitary though, and at times quite lonely. I remember shouting in English one night from my open window down to the noisy patio of the bar across the street “I am not German!”. For the most part, though, I remained relatively content. I often walked the streets taking black and white photographs with a secondhand half-frame Olympus camera I bought in a Berlin camera shop. I was between projects, having completed my film Down BY LAW a year or so earlier, and I used my time to collect my thoughts. Being away from New York and the familiar downtown scene was very helpful for me at the time.  I had brought a box of cassette tapes to Berlin - mostly containing soul and blues music from Memphis, and it was during this period that I began sketching out my ideas for my next film MYSTERY TRAIN. Somehow being far from Memphis, and in a place where I didn’t even speak the language helped open my imagination and lead me to my next script.  

Looking back, I was very lucky to have this strange experience, and I thank the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program for making it possible.  I can’t exactly analyze how this experience changed me, but I am quite sure that it did.”  

-Jim Jarmusch, NYC, November 2013

Dec 5, 2013

50 out of 1000 (48): Nan Goldin, guest in 1991

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Nan Goldin, Self-portrait in the blue bathroom, © Nan Goldin, courtesy of the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

Nan Goldin, born in Washington DC in 1953, is famous for her intimate and personal portraits of family members, friends and lovers. Her colourful photographs have a natural feel, a distinct sense of immediacy and spontaneity, often seeming to capture a moment. They look frankly and openly at sex, and other potentially transgressive themes.

Goldin grew up in Boston, moving to New York after her graduation from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Boston and Tufts University. Having already produced work on the gay and transsexual communities in her home city, she then began exploring New York’s vibrant, post-Stonewall gay subculture, the post-punk new-wave music scene, and the Bowery’s hard-drug subculture. In 1979, she presented her first slideshow in a New York nightclub. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency - as this show eventually came to be called - developed into a forty-five-minute multimedia presentation of more than 900 photographs, accompanied by a musical soundtrack.

Goldin came to Berlin with the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 1991, and stayed for three years. Her work has been the subject of two major touring retrospectives: one organized in 1996 by the Whitney Museum of American Art and another, in 2001, by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. Recent exhibitions include the slide and video presentation Sisters, Saints & Sybils at La Chapelle de la Salpêtrière, Paris, contributions to the 40th Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2009, and Goldin’s Scopophilia exhibition that was part of Patrice Chéreau’s special 2011 program at the Louvre. Goldin was admitted to the French Legion of Honor in 2006 and received the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in 2007. In 2012 The Macdowell Colony awarded Goldin the Edward Macdowell Medal for her enduring vision and creativity; the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro mounted an exhibition of Goldin’s work. She has also undertaken major commercial projects, photographing Dior’s 2013 1000 Lives advertising campaign. Today, Goldin lives and works in Paris and New York, and kindly agreed to an interview about her time with the Program.

What was it like for you as an artist to come to a new country – and a new city? Did this affect your work in any way, or were you able to continue as before?

It wasn’t really a new city for me – I’d been there a lot in the Eighties. I considered Berlin one of my cities, in a way, and I already knew a lot of people there. I’ve been there a lot in the last couple of years.

My time there affected my work enormously. One of the biggest things was a DAAD trip we took to the Zwinger Gallery in Dresden. It gave me a real revelation about how to set up installations; I started painting the walls in my exhibits and lighting them in a certain way, placing portraits in a small space, in a repetitive manner. And because of that, bigger galleries started to take an interest in me. It wasn’t quite the same as the installations at the Zwinger Gallery, but that had had an enormous impact on me.

I had a lot of fun in Berlin. I became friends with some great people, like Rachel Whiteread. Everyone who came to town, [Joachim] Sartorius [then head of the Program] made a point of introducing me to.

The real sea change for me I think was that I realised my position as an artist. I’d never wanted to be a photographer, and I didn’t like to be stuck in the photo world. The program took me out of the photo world and into the art world, where I felt I belonged.


Did you work on a particular project during your time with the Artists-in-Berlin Program?

My time in Berlin was a bit longer than usual - I stayed for three years instead of one. I wasn’t given a stipend for three years, but the DAAD did give me the most beautiful apartment. Actually, I think the biggest impact the DAAD had on me was to do with real estate – I’d always lived in dark apartments before, with no light, and suddenly realized what it was like to live in a wonderful environment! It really was a revelation for me.

I did two books – no wait, three books! I did a book on drag queens, called The Other Side, with Scalo Verlag, and the exhibition connected with the book was held at the daadgalerie. Then I did another book with my friend David Armstrong, whom I’ve known since I was 14, called A Double Life, tracing our lives from when we were 14 to the 90s. That was published by Scalo too. David wasn’t in Berlin on a DAAD stipend, but had come over from New York to stay with me. And my third book I made together with Joachim Sartorius, who was in charge of the program at the time – that was published by Walter Koenig. It was called Vakat, which means ‘empty’ in Latin – it was a small book made up of Sartorius’ poetry alongside my photographs of empty spaces. I spent a lot of time with Sartorius and he was really important to me – we became best friends.

These books were all different, so it’s hard to pick a favourite. I especially loved making The Other Side, and working with Sartorius too. Those were some of the really happy years of my life. Among the happiest.

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Nan Goldin, Sartorius on a sofa at Bel Ami, © Nan Goldin/Courtesy of the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

Could you perhaps tell us about three of your favourite places in Berlin?

At that time, Berlin was a very different place. Nothing was what it is now, the wall had just come down. Let me think…one of the places that stuck out for me would be the Terrace Bar, in the centre of town, right across from the Adelphi-Palast. I also loved the Kino Arsenal – a small, very experimental movie theatre. It was a tiny little place in Charlottenburg back then, it’s very different now. I like to hang out at movie theatres. I’ve actually been on the jury for the Berlin Film Festival, and also showed my own work there, winning a Teddy Award – I still have the teddy bear!

I wasn’t a wild club kid anymore – I’d pretty much gotten a PhD in clubbing by that point. There were some great bars in the east, though. There was one bar in the middle of all the rubble - all that land over there in the east was just rock, either construction or destruction. It was right in the middle of all that, and you could go down into it and drink these Brazilian drinks they served. I don’t know what it was called, but that bar was one of my favourite places.

Most of all, I liked going to my friends’ apartments, and spent most of my time with them – one of them, Piotr Nathan, is a very talented artist, and we had an exhibition together. Christine Fenzel came to work for me as an assistant, too, and that was a great pleasure. It’s my friends that make a place for me, and my friends are what my work is about also. I don’t remember a lot of places, but I remember the people.

Dec 4, 2013

50 out of 1000 (47): Gábor Bódy, guest in 1982

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Infermental 1982-1991: Sammlung ZKM, photo: Zoltán Jancsó © Bódy, Vera

Gábor Bódy is one of the most important figures of Hungarian cinema. He studied history and philosophy at Loránd Eötvös University and later filmmaking at the Academy for Theater and Film Arts. During his university days he became an influential member of the Béla Balázs Stúdió (BBS). He made his first film A Harmadik (The Third) in 1971. He established various experimental and avantgarde projects at BBS, including the Film Language Series in 1973, and the K/3 experimental film group in 1976, reshaping postwar Hungarian avantgarde film.

In 1975 he completed his debut feature at BBS, which also constituted his graduate thesis for the University. Amerikai Anzix (American Torso) won the Hungarian Film Critics’ Prize for best first film. The film, which decipts the lives of Hungarian 1848 Revolution veterans in the American Civil War, features Bódy’s experimentalism at the fullest. The whole film was re-edited using his own method, called “light editing”, in order to make it resemble a wracked silent film from the late 1800s.

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Infermental lettering © Sammlung ZKM

In 1980 Bódy began to work on the first international video magazine, INFERMENTAL, and managed to publish the first of ten issues (plus one special issue) whilst taking part in the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 1982. ‘Infermental’ was the first international videocassette magazine that published video artworks (in part or whole), trailers, and reports (lasting 1-20 minutes) from around the world. Appearing annually with a total running time of between four and six hours, each issue was compiled and edited in a different location.

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Infermental poster © Sammlung ZKM

From the first issue (Berlin, 1982), which was publicized on a massive electronic billboard during the Berlin Film Festival and co-edited by Astrid Heibach and Gábor Bódy, to the last issue (Skopje and Osnabrück, 1991), a total of 660 works were gathered together for this ‘international recorded imagery project.’ ‘Infermental’ was conceived neither as festival nor gallery, but as a ‘running information memory’ (Oliver Hirschbiegel) that bundled together excerpts, documents and events according to thematic and intellectual context.

Following the death of Gábor Bódy, his wife Vera Bódy was responsible for co-ordinating the project. The complete magazine archive has been on permanent loan to the collection of the ZKM Karlsruhe since 1992.

With his main work, the cult film “Narcissus and Psyche”, Hungarian film director Gábór Bódy built a bridge between the avant-garde movements of Eastern and Western Europe, and established his video magazine “Infermental” in Berlin

Dec 3, 2013

50 out of 1000 (46): John Cage, guest in 1972

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John Cage, New York, 1989, photo © René Block (head of the visual arts section of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program from 1982 to 1992)

"He had finally arrived - John Cage, the American composer whose visits to Berlin has been so often announced, only to be cancelled. Here he was at last, in the Galerie Kleber in Uhlandstrasse, and yet the atmosphere was not one of loud celebration. Instead, almost silently, with frequent, lengthy pauses, Eberhard Blum performed Cage’s Variationes I, adapted for several flutes. And Cage, in a blue drill suit and a Hemingway beard, seemed to draw the concentration of the moment into himself.” This is what the Tagesspiegel had to say about an extraordinary evening, long ago.

That evening was part of a mammoth undertaking for the gallery and the Artists-in-Berlin Program. They were trying to create “a kind of exhibition of Cage’s oeuvre”, a body of work which “has inspired more musicians and sparked more new ideas and controversies than any other in the past twenty years, and yet has no kind of defined central character” (Tagesspiegel).

John Cage (1912 - 1992) is regarded as “one of the most inspiring artists of the 20th century” (DIE ZEIT). Like his close friend Marcel Duchamp, he made a crucial contribution to the dissolution of the old boundaries that had restricted what could be considered art. Cage’s work transcended the supposed differences between various ‘species’ of art - covering music, sculpture, drawing and performance - as well as the gulf between artist, work and audience.  He made a method of the coincidental and unpredictable - take, for instance, his piece 4’33” (1952), for which he directed a pianist to sit silently and concentratedly at an open piano for four minutes and 33 seconds, without playing a single note. The result is composed silence, the taking up of an artistic position based on the realisation that any sound can be music.  

"Found sounds" are an important element of Cage’s work. They make clear the artist’s intention - to leave himself out of his own work. "My feeling is that daily life, if we record it consciously, is more interesting than any celebrated event. That ‘if’ can be assumed, so long as we don’t attempt to pursue any kind of intention" (Cage, 1989).

In order to pursue this ‘intentionlessness’ in a systematic way, Cage developed complex processes, such as the application of chance operations from the I Ching - an ancient Chinese text that influenced  not only his compositions, but also his writings and graphic works.For example, Cage would position a pencil or a specially made copper plate on paper according to the I Ching. Coincidence then took the place of artistic imagination. The work came into being “by itself”, introducing Duchamp’s ready made concept - albeit in an altered form - into music, as well as processing it within the context of visual art.

With this approach, which defines the aesthetic experience anew, Cage became an important figure in the Fluxus movement, and is seen as one of the originators of the happening. In 1972, he was a guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program. 

Dec 2, 2013

50 out of 1000 (45): David Moss, guest in 1991

David Moss is considered one of the most innovative singers and percussionists in contemporary music. He has performed his solo work all over the world. In 1991 he was guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program. He lives in Berlin.

"When my father put his arms around me in 1959 and showed me how to play the drums, I was touched by the power, necessity and mystery that music contains.

Drumming and singing have shaped my life ever since.

As percussion mutated into singing, I came into contact with the voices of powerful singers such as Diamanda Galas, Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk and Demetrio Stratos.

Plus:

a. strong influences from: J.S. Bach, John Cage, John Coltrane, Charles Ives, Tibetan monks
b. intensive collaborations with Bill Dixon, Christian Marclay, Heiner Goebbels, Luciano Berio, Olga Neuwirth, Helmut Oehring
c. performances with hundreds of performers from every genre; thousands of solo and ensemble works (at Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Carnegie Hall, Ruhr Triennale, Whitney Museum, Walker Art Center, Salzburg Festival, etc.).

At crucial times in my development I’ve received the recognition and help of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin grant, an Interweaving Performance Cultures Center (Freie Universität Berlin) fellowship.

Today, as director of the Institute for Living Voice (Berlin) and the MADE Festival (Umeå), and as a vocalist performing around the world, I can embody sound and stages in dramatic and surprising ways.”

- David Moss, Berlin, November 2013

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Poster “Physical Acts: Performance & Sports”, Berlin 1992 

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David Moss, Meredith Monk and Gidon Saks, Institute for Living Voice session, Stavanger, Norway, 2012

"More Voices in Venice", performance by David Moss; electronics by Tempo Reale / SDENG (Francesco Canavese & Francesco Giomi), Biennale Musica Venice, October 2013

Dec 1, 2013

50 out of 1000 (44): Gordon Monahan, guest in 1992

Gordon Monahan at the “Laura & Gordon’s Funny Farm Ost YARD SALE”, Haus Schwarzenberg, Berlin, November 30 2013

In his installations, Canadian pianist and composer Gordon Monahan works with existing technology, adapting it to fit his concepts. His composition “Piano Mechanics” sounds like it was played on a prepared piano - however, the opposite is true. He also makes use of robotics, mechanics and computer systems, playing with the twin ideas of freedom and control - and is especially interested in anything funny, irregular or irritating that serendipitously springs up in the process. Examples of this include his inventions “Piano Thing” (1992) and “Sounds And The Machines That Make Them” (1994).

Installation performance at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, presented by the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program Inventionen festival, 1994

Gordon Monahan is also a prodigious music collector, mostly focusing on pop music. His involvement with various unconventional nightclubs in Berlin during his time with the Program was closely linked with the creative work of his wife, artist Laura Kikauka - particularly her Funny Farm concept. They started off in Brunnenstrasse with Glowing Pickle (a collaboration between Kikauka, Monahan and Bastiaan Maris), which ran from 1993-1995 and specialized in pre-capitalist, DDR-era electronic waste. They later got involved with the Prater site, which hosted Schmalzwald (1996-1998).

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Gordon Monahan, excerp score „Piano Mechanics“, 1981 – 86 © Gordon Monahan

These nightclubs were distinguished by Kikauka’s interior design, with everyday bits and pieces arranged alongside plush fabric and kitsch paraphernalia - bottle caps were a regular feature. Performances of note, defining the musical style of the clubs, include one by the band Fuzzy Love, celebrating pop music between 1920 and 2000, and Monahan’s turn on the electric organ. For both Gordon Monahan and Laura Kikauka, the best thing about post-reunification Berlin was its unprecedented amount of free space, with plenty of room to open huge clubs. An inside tip to begin with, but later popular with tourists too, the couple’s last spontaneous club - Funny Farm East, located in Kikauka’s private atelier - had to be closed in 2007 due to stricter administrative constraints. The concept is being continued in Canada.

Monahan is among the recipients of this year´s Governor General’s Awards for Visual and Media Arts

Nov 30, 2013

50 out of 1000 (43): Cees Nooteboom, guest in 1988

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Cees Nooteboom (re.) im Gespräch mit Joachim Sartorius, Leiter des Berliner Künstlerprogramms des DAAD von 1986 bis 1994, am 27.11.2013 in der Niederländischen Botschaft, Berlin (Foto: Krzysztof Zielinski)

„Sieh da, die Holländer haben einen solchen Autor!“ rief Marcel Reich-Ranicki 1991 im „Literarischen Quartett“ voller Begeisterung, und Cees Nooteboom wurde mit einem Schlag ein beachteter und viel gelesener Autor beim deutschen Publikum. Vor allem seine „Berliner Notizen“ fanden großes Interesse. Sie beschreiben die Stimmung während der Wendezeit 1988/89, die der Schriftsteller selbst vor Ort erlebte - als Gast des Berliner Künstlerprogramms des DAAD. Viele halten es für das vielleicht klügste Buch, das über das vereinte Deutschland geschrieben wurde. Zu Berlin hat Nooteboom eine besondere Beziehung: „Ich bin ein Meister der Vorläufigkeit. Gerade das verbindet mich mit Berlin.“

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Cees Nooteboom, Niederländische Botschaft, Berlin, 27.11.2013 (Foto: Krzysztof Zielinski)

Cees Nooteboom schrieb als 22-Jähriger den Roman „Philip und die anderen“ – eine Bilanz seiner jungen Generation im Nachkriegseuropa, das aus Anlass seines 70. Geburtstages 2003 neu übersetzt wurde. Nach dem Erstling folgten viele Jahrzehnte lang literarische Reiseerzählungen in einer Kombination von historisch-kulturellem Wissen und Erlebtem. Das Reisen wurde Cees Nootebooms Daseinsform. Als Matrose entdeckte er alle Kontinente, später schreibend als Reporter. Er schilderte seine Eindrücke vom Ungarn-Aufstand 1956 und von den Studentenunruhen in Paris 1968. 

Cees Nooteboom im Gespräch mit Joachim Sartorius über seine Zeit in Berlin (ab Minute 11:30!), 27.11.2013, Niederländischen Botschaft, Berlin

Sein umfangreiches Schaffen umfasst Gedichte, Romane Erzählungen und Reiseberichte. Zu seinen bekanntesten Publikationen zählen „Der Umweg nach Santiago“ (1992), „Rituale“ (1985), „Die folgende Geschichte“ (1991), „Der Ritter ist gestorben“ (1996) sowie der Berlin-Roman „Allerseelen“ (1999). 2003 erschienen die ersten Bände seiner Werkausgabe. Die acht Bände seiner Gesammelten Werke enthalten neben den bereits publizierten Büchern zahlreiche erstmals auf Deutsch vorliegende Texte. Zuletzt in deutscher Sprache erschienen die „Briefe an Poseidon“ (2012).

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Cees Nooteboom, Berliner Notizen, edition Suhrkamp

Nov 29, 2013 / 1 note

50 out of 1000 (42): Marina Abramović, guest in 1992

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Portrait of Marina Abramovic, © Nabil Elderkin, 2013

"The DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program was extremely important and beneficial for me to develop my work without economic pressure and without the stress of taking care of my daily existence. During my DAAD residency, I encountered many different artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers who were also part of the program. I had the opportunity to have fruitful conversations and understand their work as well as gain inspiration from the cultural landscape of Berlin.”

-Marina Abramovic, November 2013

Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade during the early 1970s, Marina Abramovic has pioneered performance as a visual art form, creating some of the most important early works in this area. The body has always been both her subject and medium. Exploring her physical and mental limits in works that ritualize the simple actions of everyday life, she has withstood pain, exhaustion and danger in her quest for emotional and spiritual transformation.

From 1975–88, Abramovic and the German artist Ulay performed together, dealing with relations of duality. Abramovic returned to solo performances in 1989. She has presented her work at major institutions in the US and Europe, including the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven,1985; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1990; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 1993, and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1995. She has also participated in many large-scale international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1976 and 1997) and Documenta VI, VII and IX, Kassel (1977, 1982 and 1992).

Recent performances include The House With The Ocean View at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York (2002), and 7 Easy Pieces at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2005). In 2010, Abramovic had her first major U.S. retrospective, performing for over 700 hours in The Artist is Present at Museum of Modern Art, New York.

She was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for the video installation and performance Balkan Baroque. In 2008 she was decorated with the Austrian Commander Cross for her contribution to Art History.  In addition to these and other awards, Abramovic also holds multiple honorary doctorates from institutions around the world.

Ongoing and upcoming projects include the theatre piece The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, directed by Robert Wilson, which premiered and toured Europe beginning in 2011, and which will be performed in 2013 at the Luminato Festival in Toronto and at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.  Her collaboration with the Paris Opera for the restaging of Bolero premiered in May 2013. Abramovic is also planning to open the Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art (MAI) in Hudson, New York in 2014.

Nov 28, 2013

50 out of 1000 (41): Akram Zaatari, guest in 2010

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Akram Zaatari, premiere of Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright, Berlinale Shorts 2011, photo © Heinrich Völkel, Berlinale

Akram Zaatari is a video artist and curator, living and working in Beirut. He co-founded the Beirut-based Arab Image Foundation in 1997, and has been working on the extensive archive of Hashem el Madani’s Studio Shehrazade, in the Lebanese port city of Saida, since 1999. His works have been featured in dOCUMENTA (13) (2012), the Istanbul Biennial (2011), and the Venice Biennale (2007), among others, and he has shown his films, videos, photographs and other documents in institutions such as the MoMA in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Modern in London, Kunstverein and Haus der Kunst in Munich, Le Magasin in Grenoble, MUSAC in Leon, SFMOMA in San Fransisco, MUAC in Mexico City and Videobrasil in Sao Paulo. This year Akram Zaatari presented a major new work, titled Letter to a Refusing Pilot, in the Lebanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Akram Zaatari grew up in the midst of the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990). The conflict forced him to spend much of his childhood and adolesence behind closed doors. Confined to his family home, he began to make notes on what was happening around him, as well as making sound and film recordings. To this day, the main theme of his more than 40 videos and installations remains the effect of war. He also pursues more general questions raised by territorial conflicts, and examines the logic of nationalist and religious resistance movements, as well as the production and circulation of images relating to a geographically divided Middle East. One of his main sources of inspiration is the work of Lebanese photographer Hashem el Madani (born 1928), whose images serve as a kind of register of social relationships and photographic practice.

However, Zaatari does not like to think of his creative output as an “archive”. Instead, he sees his method of working as a kind of field research. He consciously plays with the genres of photography and film, from studio portraits to documentary pieces. His videos revolve around complex phenomena. They are both sensuous and abstract, both impressionistic and strictly conceptualised - and draw their strength from the tension between these polar opposites.

Akram Zaatari spent much of his time with the DAAD in Berlin working on the video installations On Photography, People and Modern Times, 28 Nights and A Poem and Dance to the End of Love. He also developed the screenplay for the film Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright. In this complex love story set in postwar Beirut, a woman commissions a private detective to spy on her lover - only for said detective to fall under the spell not only of the glamorous upper class, but also of the man he is supposed to be shadowing …

"On Photography, People and Modern Times", 2-channel video installation on collected photographic documents, now divided between intimate past moments and a present environment that secures their preservation. A subjective story of the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut. Part of “Told, Untold, Retold”, an exhibition by Till Fellrath and Sam Bardaouil, Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha

28 Nights and A Poem, part of the exhibition “Future of Tradition / Tradition of Future”, Haus der Kunst, Munich, September 2010

"Dance to the End of Love", 4 channel video installation based on YouTube material made by individuals in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Yemen, and Libya. Part of Akram Zaatari´s exhibition: "The Uneasy Subject" @ MUSAC (Spain), dedicated to Liliane Giraudon