Philipp Kleinmichel

  • picks April 28, 2017

    Jasmin Werner

    Jasmin Werner’s exhibition features mechanical staircase constructions and windows taken from industrially produced garden pavilions. Four of these cheap-looking plastic sheets, which imitate the arc of church windows, are stretched over plastic foil that features ink-jet prints of a biblical couple for the series “Sara and Tobias,” 2017. In ancient times, social status—already defined by money and sexual prowess—was perceived as God-given and sacred. However, not unlike in modern secular times, status could also be achieved by faith and the right investment of erotic energies: While Sara’s

  • Anna-Sophie Berger

    The digital age has caused a peculiar problem: Out of an excess of images, information, and memories, one has to select and preserve what seems valuable. The exhibition “Anna-Sophie Berger: Places to fight and to make up,” can be understood as a formal analysis of the specific subjectivity that is confronted with this task. Indeed, while any set of subjective choices, and, hence, the subjectivity applied in the sorting-through of digital content, remains necessarily invisible and cannot be exhibited, Berger shows that it can be traced through various differences of semantic connotations. Thus

  • picks March 31, 2016

    Matthew Barney

    In a famous critique, Friedrich Nietzsche attributed Richard Wagner’s international success to his ability to endow his work with “brutality, artificiality and innocence.” These “great stimulants for exhausted people” can doubtlessly also be found in Matthew Barney’s film works. In the context of this retrospective, “The Cremaster Cycle,” 1994–2002, and Drawing Restraint 9, 2005, are screened together with the artist’s latest River of Fundament, 2014, at the Cinemateket in Oslo. Yet the neutral presentation of objects, which originate from his films, in this museum space emphasizes that Barney’s

  • picks December 11, 2015

    “Regarding Spectatorship”

    At first one cannot help but wonder about the datedness of an exhibition that takes as its theme the role of the spectator. To wit, the show assembles Ken Lum’s 2007 installation House of Realizations, which turns visitors into unwitting observers of one another, as well as Sharon Hayes’s reflection on audiences in her video 10 Minutes of Collective Activity, 2003, in which a group watches a restaged speech from the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Elsewhere, one is confronted with documentation of more recent political events, such as footage of Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park, and with

  • picks September 16, 2015

    Camille Henrot

    After stops in Copenhagen, Paris, and Münster, Camille Henrot’s installation The Pale Fox, 2014, is now on view in Berlin. The deep, stratospheric blue of the four walls and the carpet, reminiscent of Yves Klein’s monochromes, brings to mind a blue-box television studio. The objects displayed in this setup range from photographs and watercolors, bronze sculptures and books, magazines and newspapers, to telephones and tablet screens. Placed on modern design shelves that run through the whole installation in a sort of timeline, the images and objects reference the evolution of nature as well as

  • picks April 03, 2015

    Yngve Holen

    For his exhibition “World of Hope,” Yngve Holen presents six identical, industrially produced casings of SOMATOM Force CT Scanners, the latest high-end product of its kind by Siemens. Holen does not present these objects in a neutral way, but dresses them fetishistically with custom-fit black, white, or yellow mesh of stretch fabric, which he produced with Claus Rasmussen. In the Freudian tradition, fetishes are generally understood as supplements, allowing subjects to stabilize their ideals and fantasies. If Holen’s sculptures are commenting on this phenomenon as it relates to technology—a

  • picks February 20, 2015

    Louis-Philippe Scoufaras

    Louis-Philippe Scoufaras’s ninety-minute 3-D video projection Panic, 2014, is kitschy in a particular way: Kitsch, traditionally understood as a break with good taste, is today widely accepted as high art. Scoufaras returns to it at a moment when it is no longer possible to use it effectively on an aesthetic level. Thus, it is not the appearance of Panic that is kitschy. In fact, the installation, which shows two men having peaceful sex in front of a deserted mountain landscape that overlooks the sea, with a trance-inducing sound track, is neither pornographic nor more or less kitschy than many