reviews

  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel und Otto Mueller beim Schach (Erich Heckel and Otto Mueller Playing Chess), 1913, oil on canvas, 14 × 15 7⁄8". From “1913: The Brüke
    and Berlin.”

    “1913: The Brücke and Berlin”

    Brücke Museum

    It was a momentous year, not just in the wider history of modernism—with the publication of such landmark works as Blaise Cendrars and Sonia Delaunay-Terk’s Prose of the Trans-Siberian and of Little Jehanne of France and Guillaume Apollinaire’s Alcools—but in particular for the Expressionist collective known as Die Brücke. Having relocated to Berlin from Dresden, Germany, two years previously, in 1913 three of the group’s remaining protagonists—Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff—were preparing a chronicle that was to serve as both a catalogue and

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  • Simon Fujiwara, Empathy I, 2018,
    5-D simulation with motion, water, wind, and video (color, sound, 3 minutes 49 seconds). Installation view. Photo: Andrea Rossetti.

    Simon Fujiwara

    Esther Schipper

    Rules are made to be broken, they say, but sometimes obeying is just as good a way to cop a thrill. Entering Simon Fujiwara’s installation Empathy I, 2018, you had to draw a number, then sit down on an airport-style chair and wait your turn. The room was totally non-descript, furnished only with the chairs, a table, a water cooler, and some reading material: two dozen copies of E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey (2011), all bookmarked at the page listing the rules of engagement between the novel’s submissive protagonist and the dominant Mr. Grey.

    What visitors were waiting to enter, two at a

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  • Michael Rakowitz, The Ballad of Special Ops Cody, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 14 minutes 42 seconds.

    Michael Rakowitz

    Barbara Wien

    If the literary theorist Viktor Shklovsky were alive today, Michael Rakowitz might be one of his star pupils. Over the years Rakowitz has received great acclaim for projects that push gestures of ostranenie, or estrangement, to operatic dimensions: In New York he once served an Iraqi-inspired dish on plates looted from Saddam Hussein’s palaces (Spoils, 2011), and for Documenta 13 he presented copies of books that were burned in the Fridericianum in Kassel during World War II; the copies were carved from travertine collected in the hills of Bamiyan, Afghanistan, where the Taliban blew up two

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  • Hélène Delprat, Mes invités (My Guests), 2015, acrylic and pigment on canvas, 88 5⁄8 × 102 3⁄8".

    Hélène Delprat

    carlier | gebauer

    The title of Hélène Delprat’s first solo exhibition in Berlin, “TO SLEEP TO DIE, NO MORE,” can be understood as a reflection of the ways in which we are touched by our cultural past without necessarily knowing it. It sounds like a misremembered line from Shakespeare or some other poetic phrase we no longer fully understand but still recognize as part of our linguistic heritage. This type of slippery relation to our past is also found in Delprat’s phantasmagoric painterly compositions, which take historical and cultural references and distill them into an idiom uniquely her own, yet somehow

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