Sonia Gomes: I Rise
I'm a Black Ocean, Leaping and Wide
7. September 2019 - 22. February 2020
Upside-down, intertwined bodies reminiscent of lynchings or shriveling vegetables. Nervetracts, internal maps, dream-catchers: Sonia Gomes' biomorphic sculptures have an eerie, almost magical presence. Gomes was born in 1948 as the extramarital daughter of a black mother and white father in Caetanópolis, a center of the Brazilian textile industry. Following the death of her mother at a young age, she grew up in the white, Catholic family of her father, a textile businessman. The African culture and spirituality of her mother and grandmother and a great interest in rituals, processions and myths were to have a lasting influence on her life and later work. As a teenager, Gomes had already begun to deconstruct textiles and clothes with a view to inventing her own style and creating new items of everyday use or works of art and craft. However, it was not until she was 40 years of age and attending the Guignard art school in Belo Horizonte, encouraged by her teacher, that she decided to devote her work to contemporary art. Today, following her involvement in the 56th Biennale in Venice in 2015, she counts among the most influential artists in Brazil.
by Olaf Heine
7. September 2019 - 22. February 2020
Almost a million people fell victim to the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, around 250,000 women were raped. Today, perpetrators and victims live as next-door neighbors. And while women have become more influential within Rwandan society over the past 25 years, the rape victims and their children are still often marginalized, living with the stigma of widows and orphans. Today, it is the daughters of the raped women in particular who support their traumatized mothers and fight against this stigma—with incomparable courage and boundless optimism in a society marked by major trauma and authoritarian rule. Rwandan Daughters is a tribute to the power of these women. In these expressive pictures, German photographer Olaf Heine (born 1968) has made portraits of the mothers and daughters of Rwanda—side by side at the scene of the crime. Sometimes the gaze of mother and daughter goes in different directions, sometimes they touch each other gently. Even a slight smile would be a lie. But the resemblance between their faces speaks of their connectedness and thus their shared hope of being able to leave the past behind. The natural settings often feel peaceable, while the urban space keeps the deprivation and the hurt alive. Nonetheless: crimes took place in all of these locations.
JR – ADRIAN PIPER – RAY JOHNSON
25. April - 5. August 2019
“Mail-Art has no history, only a present.” This statement made by Ray Johnson in 1977 has probably never been more true than in the context of today’s correspondence and communication behavior, specifically concerning social networks. Online, everything exists in the present moment. The information we create and circulate is transported by media without hierarchy or centrality, developing the artificial intelligence of tomorrow. Social networking as facilitated by the internet has restructured global society. In this exhibition, Salon Berlin ofMuseum Frieder Burdabrings together three artists from different generations, with different roots and strategies, who share a common focus: an appeal to the viewer to become actively involved in the artwork, allowing it to fulfil its true purpose: only this “pact” between artist and audience brings the often ephemeral artwork to its intended completion.
Gregory Crewdson – Isa Genzken – Chris Jordan
February 9–March 23, 2019
Dark streets and lonely houses, hardly anyone on the move. The literally “eerie” pictures of the American photographer Gregory Crewdson(born 1962) from the series “Beneath the Roses” could have been taken from an old Hitchcock film in the best Hollywood manner. Here, the places and scenes also become mirrors of the soul –and an oppressively sensed emptiness of existence. A house as the home of a searching, lonely soul, mysterious and disquieting: Crewdson stages his large-format images with the greatest cinematic effort and lets abysses cautiously shimmer through everyday facades and their delicately illuminated windows. What exactly happens insidethese houses? Are the ever-so-common skeletons in the closetproduced here, then lying dormant, omnipresent? Crewdson's father was a psychotherapist. The artist was familiar with interpreting the things that surround people as expressionsof their inner beings, immersing himself in the depths of the soul and making subconscious processes visible early on. Beyond the conciliatory surfaces, his pictures thus function as perfectly staged metaphors of fears and desires.
Candice Breitz: Sex Work
im Dialog mit Werken von William N. Copley aus der Sammlung Frieder Burda
21. September 2018 — 5. Januar 2019
Since it erupted into mainstream discourse, the #MeToo movement has sought to analyse and expose the systemic nature of gender-based violence, giving rise to one of the most urgent and charged debates ofourtimes. In seeking to map the dynamics of gender and power that determine relationships in the workplace(and in the world at large), the movementhas arguably focused a disproportionate amount of attention on incidents of harassmentand abuse reported by privileged and/or media-favoured individuals. Though thevideo workspresentedin Candice Breitz: Sex Work were shot shortly before #MeToo went mainstream in October 2017, they resonate poignantly within the debate, re-focusing questions thatarecentral to the movementin order toaddress the rampant gender-based violence that sex workerscontend withon the joband beyond. As a whole, the exhibition spans a discursive arc from thework ofAmerican artist William N. Copley(1919-1996), arenowned outsider figureof the twentieth century, to thework of Berlin-based South African artist Candice Breitz (born 1972), a leading contemporary voice. In the works included in the exhibition, both artists vehemently contest the stigmatisation of sex work, albeit from radicallydifferent perspectives.
Zurück zur Natur?
13. April – 18. August 2018
New Nature –Super Human? Digitization is demanding its tribute, the Anthropocene has long since begun –and God has served his purpose: mankind shapes the earth, ourbodies become modular construction kits .Now, when we humans experience ourselves as the creators of our own reality, will we be able to continue to cultivate our own liveliness and thus keep alive the connection between all life on our planet, as the famous naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) once formulated for our understanding of nature?
Dark Matter (MM)
14. Oktober 2017 — 17. Februar 2018
Bharti Kher’swork not only blends different techniques,materials, and media, it also fuses the male and the female, animal and human, the sacred and the profane, tradition and technology. Inviting associations with alchemical or magical processes, her art at once conveys the idea that human identity, too, is always transforming and perpetually under construction. The core of her work, she emphasizes, is “the body hybridized, defied, glorified, questioned and often even completely absent.”Against the backdrop of a globalized world in which civilization and nature are increasingly out of balance, Kher’s works impart a positively physical experience of convulsion, uncertainty, and sweeping change. At the same time, they portray the continuous quest for conciliation and union. Kher is interested in that moment when ostensibly antagonistic forces enter a state of equilibrium and engender novel experiences and meanings. In creating her sculptures, installations, and pictures, she experiments with highly divergent materials: fiberglass, wood, steel, shattered mirrors, but also bindis, the dots Hindu women paint or stick on their foreheads—between the eyebrows, at the location of the “third eye”—as a spiritual symbol.
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg
30. Juni – 30. September 2017
Djurberg & Berg’s “dreadful” women, seductresses, demons, witches, and overweening mothers are reminiscent of de Kooning’s famous “Woman” cycle from the early 1950s.As in de Kooning, the artistic transformation and deformation of the body brings repressed psychological states to light—but the premises are very different. Djurberg employs disfigurement for a very deliberate reflection on stereotypical roles and power relations in a male-dominated world. Djurberg & Berg’s creative process, like de Kooning’s, is informed by intuition, by the immediate and physical engagement with the creative medium.
The show opens with works from the series of installations “A Thief Caught in the Act (Flock of Birds),” 2015.Various birds modeled by Djurberg are about to steal colorful pills. Spotlights picking them out at intervals suggest a police operation, making the beholder a witness to what would seem to be the enactment of a forbidden desire. On view in the first gallery are three more recent videos by Djurberg & Berg, including the animation “Worship” (2016), in which modeling-clay figures use various objects with sexual connotations—bananas, donuts, corncobs, sausages—to satisfy their urges. These objects also feature in the eleven-part wall installation of the same title.
SIGMAR POLKE / ALICJA KWADE
4. Februar — 6. Mai 2017
The starting point of the project, which is curated by Patricia Kamp, is represented by Sigmar Polke’s fluorescent painting Amerikanisch-Mexikanische Grenze (American-Mexican Border), which he made in 1984.Employing the grid technique he had been using since the 1960s, Polke transformed a newspaper picture of illegal Mexican migrants trying to overcome the steel fence to get to the US, into a shimmering composition. While the neon paint seems like poisonous acid, screen dots and the grid pattern of the fence cut through the layers of the picture. Given the current plans of the new US president, Donald Trump, to erect a wall along the entire length of the 3,141 kilometre-long border between the south-western US and Mexico, Polke’s image appears almost prophetic. At the same time, Polke stayed away from the emotional charge of the issue. With his ironic blending of politics and pop, he keeps his distance from the subject and instead, questions both the effects of media images and the observer’s stance.
Das Schöne, das ich suche
15. Oktober 2016 — 21. Januar 2017
Closely connected with its parent museum in Baden-Baden, Salon Berlin, under the curatorial direction of Patricia Kamp, presents the diverse aspects of the museum programme and the Frieder Burda collection. The exhibition space also sees itself as a forum for international contemporary art. It simultaneously represents a display window and an experimental room for the Museum Frieder Burda. Topical thematic exhibitions, solo presentations and events place the Salon Berlin in dialogue withthe capital’s vibrant art scene. Its opening revives an old and proud tradition in the city –in contemporary form at a historical place in the midst of Berlin’s most lively art quarter.
Salon Berlin is located in the former School for Jewish Girls in Auguststrasse. The complex, located directly opposite the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, has already been introduced in an artistic context at the 4thBerlin Biennale 2006. It has been home to a range of art institutions and galleries for several years. The bar and restaurant on the premises and its direct proximity to various other artistic outlets in the neighbourhood make the place perfect in terms of location and space. Following on from the culture of the salon, Salon Berlin sees itself as a space for exchange and inspiration –both between historical and contemporary artistic positions, between museum and artists and not least between Baden-Baden and Berlin.