Bojana Pejić


    If I think of art, . . . I don’t even think about making something. Sooner or later, I think about being. So, art stays in touch with its origin, being, for me. In that sense, it’s fragile. It’s also the most radical manifestation of the unsaid you can produce, if not actually be—and the most opposite to us. Perhaps you make what you cannot be. It’s emotionally disturbing that people are capable of making art. Criticizing this possibility is the same as criticizing oneself.
    —Jochen Gerz, 19861

    The Street

    Jochen Gerz started in the street, the site of both revolution and repression, where life


    THE 44TH BIENNALE has left many visitors with mixed feelings. Director Giovanni Carandente had the laudable goal of returning the institution to the artists, and imposed no central theme for them to conform to as the exhibition’s core. But though it’s true that the prepackaged themes of the ’80s Biennales were realized all too predictably, in this version one misses a critical idea, if only as something to disagree with. In the Central Pavilion, in the place of a strong critical or historical subject, is the “Ambiente Berlino”show, a display of (West and East) Berlin artists. Unfortunately this

  • Dalibor Martinis

    The work of Dalibor Martinis dates back to the “open reel” phase of the Video Age, and this retrospective examines the various forms his involvement with the medium has taken over the years. The exhibition includes eight video installations in separate museum rooms, as well as three video sculptures. The work ranges from readymade pieces such as Nature morte, 1974, Cold Kiss, 1977, and Cage, 1990, to a video performance reconstructed here as an installation (Walking together, 1979), to a closed-circuit installation in combination with a video-projected text (On your own, 1990).

    Martinis has always

  • Bojana Pejić

    HAVING SEEN NINE EDITIONS of the Venice Biennale, I know that I should never look to the show for what is never there, and that’s—a center. Yet the idea of a center is everywhere present, for though the Biennale is based on the idea of an internationalism composed of many art world, where art from the Big Centers is usually made far more central than art from the Off-Off Centers. (These are generally the regions of which it is often said, “It’s a nice place to come from.”) A rapprochement of centers and margins has never happened at the Biennale, and in any case the art world shows little sign


    Fragments of. . . rock. . . often present the characteristic forms of the cliffs from which they have been broken. . . . The same causes which produce the small forms fashion the large ones; the same influences are at work.
    —Edward Whymper,
    Scrambles amongst the Alps in 1860–1869

    THE STRENGTH OF JÜRGEN PARTENHEIMER’S images is the strength that comes in powerlessness. The signs he devises are delicate, the shapes expose their own fragility; yet they are vehicles for the energy of directness. When you look at a Partenheimer work you feel that it is addressing you and no one else. Art can be direct