until 19.01. | #2293ARTatBerlin | KOW shows from 24th November 2018 the exhibition His Master’s Voice by the artist Alice Creischer and in parallel the exhibition Crusoe by the artist Eugenio Dittborn.
Alice Creischer’s third exhibition at KOW is a snapshot of contemporary German politics, as well as an illustration of political and creative continuity. In the gallery’s downstairs showroom, the works make for a choppy survey of social developments of the past thirty years and more, developments that have been subjected to so much critical analysis that it’s almost impossible today to keep talking about them, to think of new ways to talk about them again and yet again. Meanwhile, seemingly unstoppable shifts of the social climate time and again, and yet again, leave critical thinking at a loss for words. All these things can’t be happening. And yet they are. And they’re plain for all to see.
Creischer’s exhibition conveys her bemusement and bafflement over her own German history and presumably also over the habit of constantly mulling it over. In a war against France, the Germans finally found a crown to bow to. They founded their empire in 1871 as the occupying power sitting in Versailles. Among the young nation’s first heroic deeds was aiding the French reaction in crushing the Paris Commune, one of the most progressive political movements of its century. It was finally defeated by mass executions carried out with Prussian assistance. Then came the German colonial adventures with their genocides and deportations. A pattern was set.
Most pictures fade away only moments after they see the light of day. Unnoticed, they sink into insignificance, like a joke we are apt to forget once we have heard its trivial punch line. Or like some people, who have left no traces except in the filing cards of an administrated life that somehow slipped through the cracks. Several recent series of drawings by Eugenio Dittborn, who has been one of the most influential voices in Latin America’s art scene since the 1980s, are dedicated to the brief and ephemeral appearance and disappearance of pictures, people—and jokes.
Dittborn gathers the debris along the highways of visual culture: photographs and illustrations from second-rate magazines, anonymous drawings, found scribbles. Under the draftsman’s hand, the gleaned motifs resurface in variations. Tracing lines on the paper, Dittborn builds a new presence and history for them. Black ink and white “liquid paper” reveal and conceal themselves on the surface of the composition, forever approaching a figural definition that is never assured and that will be transmuted in the next step.
Opening: Friday, 23rd November 2018, 6 – 10 pm
Exhibition period: Saturday, 24th November 2018 – Saturday, 19th January 2019Zu KOW
Image caption: Alice Creischer, Für Camille B., 2016
Exhibition Alice Creischer + Eugenio Dittborn – KOW | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin