Eva Scharrer

  • “Greenwashing”

    Greenwashing, according to Wikipedia, means “misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.” “Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities,” curated by Ilaria Bonacossa and the Barcelona-based curatorial office Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Canépa Luna) at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, positioned itself critically within a history of shows engaging with environmental issues—from eco-positive approaches like “Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art,” organized by Stephanie Smith at the Smart

  • View of “Verhandlungen unter Zeitdruck” (Negotiations Under Time Pressure).
    picks May 20, 2008

    Andreas Siekmann

    Serving as the most recent installment of his ongoing project Pawns, Trustees, and the Invisible Hand, 2004–, Andreas Siekmann’s exhibition “Verhandlungen unter Zeitdruck” (Negotiations Under Time Pressure) focuses on the economic restructuring of East Germany following reunification. This redevelopment was conducted through the Treuhandanstalt (Trust Agency), a kind of state-owned holding company that, aided by several consulting firms, privatized former GDR property after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. During this transformation from a national to an international economy, the Treuhandanstalt

  • Wasserspiel—Ernst Litfaß (Water Fountain—Ernst Litfaß), 2008, wood, synthetic resin paint, silicone, programmable controller, electric pump, 19 nozzles, and PVC foil. Installation view.
    picks May 14, 2008

    Heike Bollig

    Berlin-based artist Heike Bollig is a minute observer and a collector of unthreatening objects and documents—preferably those that demonstrate a sense of imperfection or are used to communicate in public spaces. In her first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, Bollig presents a series of works based on homemade advertisements, often found on billboards or lampposts, which have little strips with telephone numbers for interested parties to tear off. Bollig owns a significant collection of these individually designed notices and uses them as inspiration for abstract works on paper—just some

  • Afasia II, 2008, steel and nitrogen, 27 9/16 x 27 9/16 x 19 11/16".
    picks May 13, 2008

    Arcangelo Sassolino

    In the two main works comprising “Critical Mass,” his first solo exhibition in Germany, Italian artist Arcangelo Sassolino turns engineering devices into uncanny, subversively destructive objects. Sassolino employs physical forces—tension, weight, pressure—in ways that emphasize their destructive potential as partly controllable yet unpredictable. Made with help from engineers, Aphasia II, 2008, for example, consists of two steel end pieces of pipes used to channel gas, welded together to form a small rounded object encapsulating 250 bars of nitrogen (which is equivalent to nearly 750 cubic feet

  • Ján Mančuška

    Ján Mančuška’s recent exhibition, “Only those wild species that appeal to people will survive,” was an unswerving assault on the linearity of audiovisual perception and spatial movement, in which a formally conceptual approach was intertwined with intimate experience. The exhibition opened with a single frame—an oversize painting of one blank frame from a film strip, almost playfully reversing Malevich’s Black Square, 1915. The single frame became the leitmotif of the show, defining not only its content but its architecture. The rectangular format repeatedly appeared diagonal to the L-shaped

  • Paul Thek, Neolithic Porno, 1979–80, oil on canvas board, 9 x 12".
    picks January 16, 2008

    “Neolithic Porns”

    Featuring as it does Delacroix, Linder, Henrik Olesen, and Paul Thek, rather than artists from the gallery’s stable, the exhibition inaugurating Isabella Bortolozzi’s new space (an Alt-Berliner apartment near the Neue Nationalgalerie that, according to Bortolozzi, used to belong to actor Hans Albers) sounded strange but seductive—an impression made only stronger by the show’s title. Greeted by what the press release calls “hard-core sentimental songs” by Italian chanteuse Mina, visitors enter through a hallway into a wood-paneled room in which a gold-framed eighteenth-century painting depicting

  • Rachel Khedoori

    Six years after a comprehensive solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel, Rachel Khedoori returned to Switzerland for her second solo show at Hauser & Wirth Zurich. Interiors—spaces inhabited both physically and mentally—still form her main subject matter, but for this show she abstained from the walk-in film installations she’s become known for and focused on sculptures: small-scale models of rooms, mostly with the same floor plan though otherwise unalike, and sculptures of furniture, such as beds and armoires. These miniature versions of familiar domestic décor seem to be haunted by

  • Ibon Aranberri

    As if questioning if, or how, context changes content, Ibon Aranberri titled his recent show “Integration.” The minimal installation featured three projects from the past seven years—of which only one has actually been realized in its original context, while the other two exist as relics or project sketches, though ones that the artist now regards as works in and of themselves. Aranberri grew up in the Basque country in the post-Franco era, and most of his work uses this specific geopolitical background to show how the decoding of cultural memory—and forgetting—can be translated

  • Lutz & Guggisberg

    The work of the Swiss duo Andres Lutz and Anders Guggisberg, much like that of their predecessors Fischli & Weiss, inspires critics to speak of a “cosmos” rather than an “oeuvre.” Through a kind of encyclopedic indexing, the artists try to make their own sense of the chaos of the world. Lutz & Guggisberg’s over-the-top scenarios make use of almost any medium imaginable in accumulations of innumerable objects that interweave the found with the crafted, the philosophic with the banal, the mystic with the playful and ironic. Their exhibition at Kunstverein Freiburg, a former public swimming pool,

  • Simon Dybbroe Møller

    An ill-fated attempt to fold a paper crane from memory gave the title to Simon Dybbroe Møller’s most comprehensive museum show thus far, “Like Origami Gone Wrong.” The exhibition was curated by Madeleine Schüppli, director of the Kunstmuseum Thun, and organized in collaboration with the Aarhus Kunsbygning in Denmark, where it was first shown. Dybbroe Møller cast his failed effort in steel—State of mind (A permanent sculpture), 2006—and installed it in the garden outside the Kunstmuseum. Although the abstract geometrical form might not closely resemble a crane, it does look very much like a modern

  • “Romantic Conceptualism”

    Though the pairing of Romanticism with Conceptual art is hardly common in art-historical writing, Conceptual art has long been misunderstood as a necessarily dry affair. Even Sol LeWitt, who famously stated in his 1967 “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” that an “emotional kick” would “deter the viewer from perceiving this art,” wrote two years later in his “Sentences” that “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.” From the beginning, artists such as Bas Jan Ader and Robert Barry, among others, have breached the ratio of the conceptual

  • Marcel van Eeden

    For the Hague- and Berlin-based artist Marcel van Eeden, it seems, the word death refers to the time before one’s life as well as after its end. His “Encyclopedia of My Death” (as his body of work was once described by a curator—the name has stuck) is a lifetime’s work in progress: Since 1993 he has made at least one drawing a day, copying images from magazines, books, albums, postcards, and archives, all dating back to between the ’20s and 1965—the artist’s birth year. He intends to continue until his death (or should one call it “second death”?), in a resolute attempt to work against the