Saturday, June 12, 2010

6th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, AC Update

DAY ONE

what is waiting out there


4 out of 6 venues visited. Great show thus far, well worth the trip from NYC. Not including the fact that my path crossed with Nicholas Serota at 3 venues. No, I didn't witness anyone asking for an autograph from the said director of the Tate. Can't say that I wasn't tempted, nonetheless, when my path intersects with the likes of Nicholas Serota or when I find myself shoulder to shoulder with Larry Gagosian at 3am in Miami, the binary aspect of myself (something that I consciously attempt to resist) concludes that my journey is well worth the effort and deemed successful.

Nevertheless, what I most enjoy is the force felt while viewing and engaging with a tightly curated exbhibition that compels thought. That force that ignites one to consider components of the social, personal, and public that are often violently suppressed or blatantly ignored by institutions that unscrupulously preach and promote deceptive images of neutrality, peace, and justice. A force that invites the reconsideration of 'common' beliefs that rest on a sacred pedestal, and quite frankly, need shattering.

Thankfully, many of the art works in the 6th Berlin Biennale successfully curated by Kathrin Rhomberg and her team confront this crisis contemporaneously. One of my favorites, a video produced by Andrey Kuzkin does precisely that. A video of someone literally scrubbing away at representation as posited by many within the publishing and fashion industry.

This video of a performance by the artist who dons health-care green plastic gloves is using some form of dissolvent, caustic acetone, to erase the front covers of several highly circulated fashion magazines. This erasing is poetically productive, it at once confronts and erases reductive, and deceptive modes of representation, while evoking a more powerful and affirmative notion, difference in action.

It is as if our dear artist is perhaps representing something else, at some level represent those excluded, on the margins, those outside the fringes, who are proudly inhabiting their singularity while taking much needed action, which we must remember, this act presupposes an acknowledgement of what's at stake, this isn't blind resistance.

This affirmative gesture of resistance, an opening, an act from and by Otherness, playing the game by dictating and questioning the paradigm from outside the domain but reaching in it and erasing the illusion of unattainable and fabricated representation as purported by the powers that be, calling into question both the pedestal and what's on it. Propelling into crisis a frighteningly complex and restricted system built on fashionable closure that embraces difference only on the conditions of profit and political approval (there are exceptions but we must admit they are rare).

I have more to say about this great work, appropriately titled Resistance, and others, and will update this post later providing more commentary.

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3 comments:

Canvas Prints said...

Great update from Berlin, look forward to hearing more from the contemporary wall art world

dan johnsons said...

Great post. Seeing the works of other artists always inspires me. im into face painting myself. right now im trying to figure out how to do a particular style of Devil Face Painting . Anyway, good job. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

The Biennial offers new art stars like the Simon Oldfield Gallery. New, fresh approach