Daniel Boese

  • Left: Dealers Friedrich Petzel and Gisela Capitain. Right: Artist Candice Breitz, Kunsthalle Berlin director Thomas Eller, and Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit. (Photo: Ralf Kranert)
    diary November 06, 2008

    Wrinkle in Time


    IF MOVIES ARE TO BE BELIEVED, each of life’s junctures deserves a sound track. So it seems worth noting that last week, during the various openings and affairs coinciding with Art Forum Berlin, I often found myself humming Blur’s “Out of Time.” (“To watch the world spinning gently out of time . . .”) Most of the events were oddly out of sync. Last Tuesday night, at the preview of the temporary kunsthalle, a “cube” on the Schlossplatz designed by Austrian architect Adolf Krischanitz, everyone kept asking whether they had been invited to the wrong event. Local hero Wolfgang Tillmans was there,

  • “62 Days, 58 Shows, 212 Artists”

    A crowd was assembled on the sidewalk outside the bar, drinking beer out of bottles. Around the corner, a few young Turkish men had set up a grill right in the street. Inside the long, narrow, gray space known as the Forgotten Bar, you had to squeeze past loudly vociferating artists to find the television screen hidden behind a refrigerator: Onscreen, a man enters a sparsely furnished hotel room, lights a fuse, and then fireworks explode until nothing is left but black smoke. Somehow the video, Room 113 (Royal Monceau), 2008, is reminiscent of those on YouTube in which guys slip Mentos into Coke

  • Barking Dogs United

    Crossing a threshold takes only a single step, but at Schalter your way of walking was instantly transformed, as your feet came to rest upon one of dozens of skateboards covering the floor in long rows. Involuntarily, you bent your knees to keep balanced on the springy boards that rolled out from beneath your feet at each step. As you wobbled your way into the next room, the boards creaked, and you had to avoid stepping on their raised tips. The skateboards were joined in such a way that there was always an entire row of them rolling back and forth underneath as you explored the otherwise empty

  • Left: Peaches. Right: Art Berlin Contemporary artistic director Ariane Beyn.
    diary September 11, 2008

    ABC 123


    Fair was a four-letter word at last Thursday’s opening of Art Berlin Contemporary (ABC). Artistic director Ariane Beyn continually corrected those who called it a fair: “It is an exhibition,” she insisted—yet no one seemed to be listening. Standing around a Tom Burr installation, Cornelius Tittel, editor of German culture mag Monopol, and Alexander Schröder of Galerie Neu, one of ABC’s organizers, expressed cynicism about the difference, what with today’s dealers even selling directly out of the Venice Biennale.

    Beyn had arranged works by seventy-four artists from forty-four Berlin galleries in

  • Seifenblasen (Soap Bubbles), 2008, ink and acrylic on canvas, 110 1/4 x 82 5/8".
    picks June 03, 2008

    Jan Muche

    “Everything allowed—nothing required” is the motto of the most popular German swinger website, joyclub.de, which the young artist Jan Muche has used as the title of this exhibition. Muche is a painter who swings through recent art history. Although he is clearly influenced by stars from the preceding generation (Neo Rauch, Daniel Richter), he creates something all his own. Muche’s painting of a Bolle supermarket—one of which was burned on May 1 over twenty years ago, beginning a tradition of violent, supposedly revolutionary demonstrations—brings to mind Richter’s involvement in the Hamburg

  • Left: A still from the monument's film. Right: (From left to right) Bernd Neumann, Germany's minister of culture; Klaus Wowereit, mayor of Berlin; Linda Freimane, representative for the International Lesbian and Gay Association; Günter Dworek, representative for the LSVD; and Albert Eckert, member of the initiative for the memorial. (Photo: Daniel Boese)
    diary May 29, 2008

    Pride and Prejudice


    Even in the hubbub of Berlin’s political life, such a queer mixture is seldom to be seen: Last Tuesday, the conservative minister of cultural affairs, Bernd Neumann, stood amid hundreds of gay men of all stripes. There were guys in bomber jackets and skinny jeans, in suits and kippahs, in brogues and a bow tie—even one with a neon-red Mohawk. A few lesbians were among the crowd. A special occasion, to be sure, for the culture minister that day had the honor and duty to inaugurate Germany’s national memorial for homosexual victims of National Socialism—a monument, it should be noted, that his

  • Viktoria Binschtok

    It looked as if the gallery had closed up shop. Had the end come for one of the pioneers of Brunnenstrasse, home to Berlin’s youngest galleries? All the other white cubes were brightly lit, but Klemm’s had blacked-out windows. The space looked abandoned. But the door was not locked. Inside, Viktoria Binschtok showed mostly light-gray photographic images that gleamed under spotlights strong enough to blind anyone emerging from the dismal Berlin winter: One can recognize only outlines in these pictures, which look abstract, like Minimalist paintings—gray striations on gray backgrounds. Only

  • Before/After (Unité d’habitation), 2008, paper and Plexiglas, 36 1/4 x 27 1/2 x 1 3/4".
    picks April 18, 2008

    Riccardo Previdi

    At first glance, Kurfürstenstrasse appears to be a typical West Berlin street: Once an elegant, respectable residential area, now German and Romanian prostitutes struggle over control of the strip. Those who come to see the first solo exhibition at this recently established gallery, however, see the thoroughfare in a different light. It is, for them, the Berlin art world’s vanguard outpost, perhaps the farthest venue from Auguststrasse, and emblematic of how contemporary art influences the entire city. Dual perspectives serve as the conceptual scaffolding for artist Riccardo Previdi’s exhibition.

  • Building, Living, Leaving, Living Together—Bedroom, 1999, color photograph, 47 1/4 x 47 1/4".
    picks March 13, 2008

    Christina Dimitriadis

    In her exhibition “Symbioses,” Christina Dimitriadis exhibits disparate large-format photographs: Images of flies and spiders in the blinds of an abandoned university building are juxtaposed with, for example, a self-portrait in which the artist sits on a wooden Art Deco bed. While the black flies are frozen stiffly in front of the white background, Dimitriadis’s naked body is blurred in front of the headboard; her figure appears as a ghostly smear. Nearly indistinguishable from the background, with knees drawn up and brown curls cascading down, the woman calmly meets the viewer’s gaze. This

  • Autos und Fraun (Cars and Woman), 2007, oil on canvas, 19 3/8 x 16 7/8".
    picks February 10, 2008

    Henrieke Ribbe

    The images in this exhibition, among them a snapshot of Paris Hilton in sunglasses in front of her sports car and a glassy-eyed Amy Winehouse in a limousine, would normally disappear quickly. They are products of the glamour industry, made for glossy gossip magazines, to be forgotten a week later. But Henrieke Ribbe captures these moments in oil, interspersing small portraits of celebrities with the fleeting moments of her own life: family celebrations, her friends in their offices, or a dancer in fur at an old Berlin ballroom. Whether global celebrity or schoolmate, for Ribbe everyone is a

  • Deva-Loka, 2007, mixed media on aluminum, 7' 10 1/2“ x 22' 11 1/2”.
    picks February 07, 2008

    Yoshitaka Amano

    There are few artists whose works have been enjoyed by more people around the world than the Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano. More than eight hundred million people have been Amano’s white knights, exploring dungeons he has created and dying in battle with his dragons in the influential and innovative video-game series Final Fantasy, which was created in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The series now stands at twelve games, but it is Amano’s paintings that are on display in this exhibition. They present a fabulous world: Elfin heroines, brutal fighters in full-body armor, and monstrous

  • BUTTERFLYJACKPOT, 2006, four-channel color video with sound, 13 minutes 30 seconds. Installation view.
    picks January 21, 2008

    Pablo Zuleta Zahr

    The exuberant highlight of Pablo Zuleta Zahr’s exhibition “BUTTERFLYJACKPOT” is the video footage of sixteen women, four each on four side-by-side screens, dancing in blue sweaters and jeans. It’s the “jackpot” to which the exhibition title refers. Deploying his customarily rigorous, mathematically based style of directing, the Chilean artist devises a fascinating meditation on the subject of order and chance, and how they interact to form a modern individual’s sense of identity. Over the Internet, Zahr cast four similar-looking actresses who then, in a single day, show one another their hometowns.