Thursday, December 8
The centerpiece of this show embodies its poetic title, “The Presence of Absence.” Two concrete sculptures in the gallery's main space are all that remain of blocks from the Greenland ice sheet, formed millions of years ago, that Eliasson brought to his studio and left to melt inside concrete cubes. As the ice melted it carved into and punctured the concrete, thus transforming the Minimalist cubes into rugged grottos.
Olafur Eliasson The presence of absence
The French conceptual artist has chosen three historical figures to explore in her current exhibition, “QM.15,” whose title is a reference to nineteenth-century French actress Sarah Bernhardt’s motto “Quand Même” (Even so.) In addition to Bernhardt, Gonzalez-Foerster inhabits two other strong female personalities—Marilyn Monroe and Maria Callas. Costumes from these “apparitions,” as the artist describes her work, are on view concurrently at the Schinkel Pavillon through January 22, 2017.
For her solo debut in Berlin, American artist Stanya Kahn presents new animations, paintings, and drawings characterized by a white-knuckled sense of humor and a fascination with anxiety. The centerpiece of the exhibition, Don’t Go Back to Sleep, 2014, is a feature-length video that describes the negative impacts of so-called First World society on the rest of the globe, as well as allegorical battles between “the people” versus “the state.” Meanwhile, Kahn's deceptively cheery drawings and paintings convey a sobering solitude despite their vibrant palette and cartoon-like animal and human figures.
Two recurring motifs from Barbara Bloom’s oeuvre—absence rendered as traces, stains, and erasures, and the evocation of books and writing—come together in this exhibition, titled “The Weather.” Hovering above the floor, a fleet of carpets is emblazoned with Braille translations of descriptions of the weather as excerpted from texts by Raymond Chandler, André Gide, James Joyce, Gabriel García Márquez, Cormac McCarthy, Haruki Murakami, and Daphne Du Maurier, and the weather statistics of Los Angeles on July 11, 1951, at 2 AM (the place and date of birth of the artist). On the walls, seven photographs of optical illusions are accompanied by another Braille text about the nature of seeing.
Barbara Bloom The Weather
The pioneering Minimalist is showing six works produced over the course of his storied career, with the earliest dating from 1961 and the most recent from 2014. Together, these deceptively simple sculptures—made from diverse materials including mirror, artic birch, and aluminum—underscore Morris’s unconventional approach and create an environment where reflection and reality ricochet off each other.
Robert Morris Refractions
Coinciding with Dominique Gonzalez Foerster’s exhibition at Esther Schipper, this presentation—a collaboration among the artist, the design group BLESS, and the interdisciplinary Studio Manuel Raeder—features costumes from Gonzalez-Foerster’s so-called apparitions, dating back to 2013. Among the garments on view are those the artist wore while incarnating Edgar Allan Poe, Lola Montez, and Carlos Fitzcarrald, who is best known as the inspiration for Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo.
BLESS, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Manuel Raeder Costumes & Wishes for the 21st century
Christoph Büchel’s sprawling installation, a version of which was infamously dismantled prior to a scheduled exhibition at MASS MoCA in 2007, Training Ground for Training Ground for Democracy is a biting critique of contemporary American politics and culture. Seen in the aftermath of the recent US presidential election, the piece takes on a new urgency, raising issues about voting rights and how democratic elections are run.
Christoph Büchel Training Ground for Training Ground for Democracy
Invalidenstraße 50-51 / +4930266424242 / smb.museum/
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