Monday, 4 December 2017


I spent the weekend, variously accompanied, strolling round Berlin. Not long enough to see everything, but here’s a pick of sorts:

Elise Florenty and Marcel Türkowsky: Conversation with a Cactus at the Berlinische Gallery. Explores the potential use of a cactus as witness to the possibility that a journalist exposing Fukashima cover-ups did not commit suicide… (plus fine Jeanne Mammen and Monica Bonvicini shows at the venue).
Raymond Hains at Max Hezler. A notably fresh retrospective of the French artist (1926-2005) featured two of his Palissade de Skis from 1997, but not his more widely-shown giant renditions of matches nor the appropriation of fences from building sites, both of which these arrangements of skis call to mind. 

Isa Genzken at König Galerie St Agnes. Spectacular immersion with 50 works filling the nave of the iconic space at St Agnes Church: plenty of mannequins, concrete and tape.


Tomma Abts at Galerie Buchholtz. Not just the 2006 Turner Prize winner's usual small paintings, bronze cast of an ex-painting, and large drawing - but two shaped paintings, one of them 86.5 x 63.5 cm - as large as the drawings! But Lüer, 2017 - above - is the expected 48 x 38 cm. 

Anna K.E. and Florian Meisenberg at WNTRP. A striking four screen presentation of their crisply self-reflexive performance films from hotels high above New York, in which Anna responds via her phone to Florian's film of her movements .

Alvaro Urbana at Chert Lüdde. Subtly uncanny ‘non-place’ installations in which everything which looks like paper is metal, and everything which doesn’t look like it is paper - as in the 'office' above.

Per-so-nae at Klemms (shown, with Francis Upritchard prominent) and XOXO at Soy Capitan – the two most engagingly curated group shows turned out to be next door to each other!  

Richard Mosse at carlier | gebauer. Troublingly absorbing still photographs of refugee camps compiled from hundreds of collassally detailed long- distance exposures by a military thermal imaging camera (as in Tel Sarhoun, Lebanon, 2017, from the series Heat Maps).

The biannual National Gallery Prize for artists under 40 working in Germany has an enviable track record. This time round at the Hamburger Bahnhof Sol Calero's Amazonas Shopping Centre presents a tropically-themed hair and nail salon, cybercafé, dance studio, cinema, currency exchange and classroom, and Iman Issa is also impressive. Oddly, Agnieszka Polska won.


Ahmet ÖğütHotel Résistance at KOW – a wide range of politically charged material unfolds as you descend through the gallery's uniquely designed top-down levels.

Alexandra Bircken: Ping at BQ – inside and outside the spliced interfaces of people and objects, all tied in I presume ping to Samuel Beckett's short story, though the show’s rather obtuse press release doesn’t mention him. 

Hague YangSilo of Silence is the KINDL Centre's annual single work commission: Yang installed 154 of her signature Venetian blinds in the twenty-meter-high Boiler House, where they rotate hypnotically

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About Me

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Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom
I was in my leisure time Editor at Large of Art World magazine (which ran 2007-09) and now write freelance for such as Art Monthly, Frieze, Photomonitor, Elephant and Border Crossings. I have curated 20 shows during 2013-17 with more on the way. Going back a bit my main writing background is poetry. My day job is public sector financial management.