a blog about poetic creativity*******************ALL IMAGES © Stephanie Reid for HaikuFlash

Berlin

Dissolve – A collection of photography on the theme Imperceptible Self

This summer, in Berlin, the Transart Institute is hosting an art festival, the Transart Triennale, with artists from far way presenting works that speak to the theme Imperceptible Self, a term coined by philosopher Rosi Braidotti. For the TI Triennale Media Tent, I have curated a blog post, entitled Dissolve, featuring three photographers’ works which I feel poetically embody this theme. (*Not for viewing by children*). To visit this work on the TI Triennale site, view it here: http://www.transarttriennale.org/blog/dissolve

 

In a world full of chaos we must search inside ourselves for orientation. Our motivations towards material success, desires, and status melt away as we access the internal realms. Once ego has dissolved, we tap into the flow of potentialities where we find beautiful and bizarre revelations beckoning us to give birth to them as art, stories, and sound. Those who can translate the meaning of what they have discovered inside their psyches, give us a better understanding of their imperceptible selves. Their identities become more closely aligned with their purpose as embodiments of an eternal life-force. In this exhibition, three photographers have done just that. By tuning into what is beyond the visible, they have brought psychological and emotional impact back into the physical realm using symbolic gestures, props, and movement. Stephanie Reid – curator.

 

Raphael Umscheid

Ghosts

Approaches to art that are perpetually bright and sunny lack dimension as they ignore the darker aspects of life. The Surrealist André Breton coined the term “l’humour noir”, also known as black comedy or gallows humor, which takes a cynical approach to sensitive topics. It often makes light of them, sometimes in offensive ways, in order to prompt serious contemplation. L’humour noir writing usually concludes that life is meaningless, yet absurdly comical.

Similarly, in Umscheid’s “Ghosts” we might coin the term gray comedy. Here he represents the mental blind spots where our motivations are still secreted away from consciousness. This is the stage where we function as shades of ourselves. Yet the apparitions he depicts are sympathetic characters. Some are caught between oblivion and manifestation / ego and spirit, not quite ready to surrender to the mystery of becoming-imperceptible. Like small children trying to find their way, he keenly describes their awkwardness. Their grasping at the invisible strings of the world as if it were a puppet is futile. Their imbalance and uncertainty causes them to collide into delicately gorgeous and vaguely humorous consequences. Even the “Made in Korea” marking sewn onto the borders of the fabric are part of the haphazard nature of these ghosts’ encounters. In Falter, a ghost drags its paint covered foot as if it had accidentally stumbled into it and is now attempting to wipe it off. In Fallen Petals, the apparition props up a dead flower on its hip as a final protest to fading away. The two almost seem to empathize with each other. In Pool’s Bottom, the phantom gives a shudder and impulsively fights to maintain muscular control in the final throes of losing corporeality.

Others in his series appear as if they have finally succumbed to their dissolution. In Becoming the Other, individual personalities are lost as they merge to become new forms. In To the Heavens, lets its limp limbs float with the stars. Finally, in Uncloaking, it appears as if one is already levitating, and about to be unveiled after an incubation period. It has touched the invisible and is now prepared to function with a new mind state perpetually open to flux.

Painted Leg

Falter

Floating with the Stars

To the Heavens

Fading Petals

Fallen Petals

Uncloaking

Uncloaking

Shudder

Pool’s Bottom

Becoming Other

Becoming the Other

 

(Models: Dandie Doyle, Kate Kubala, Heather Sanford, Mechelle Gonzales, Rachel Theobald, and Jordan Schiappa)

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George Angelovski

Post Morality

How can men learn from the feminine Jungian archetype, the anima, theorized to be inside them all? She is said to visit their dreams to guide them towards enhancing intangible abilities such as intuition, receptivity to the irrational, and depth of emotion, all of which will balance their lives. In his Post Morality series, Angelovski has done just that by listening to his inner visions and dreams about how to proceed with a portrait session requested by the pregnant model.

Despite the collection seeming to be influenced by Joel Peter Witkin, after getting to know the model better, Jan Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring suddenly came to the photographer’s mind. That famous painting is sometimes considered a tronie, a 16thand 17thcentury term for Dutch and Flemish paintings of heads of universal character types, usually wearing costumes, and portrayed to show distinct expressions descriptive of those characters. A youth might be making a funny face or a witch might appear to be laughing hysterically. Sometimes the faces were obstructed by shadows to create a more dramatic image.

A subsequent dream of the model wearing one of artist Polly van der Glas’s “facebags” became the catalyst for the costume in these photos. Similarly to the ploy of shadows in tronies, the woman’s face is totally covered here leaving the expression to be found on the mask itself, which might be indicative of what she is representing or feeling such as in the warrior-like characterization on the mask in organ of corti, where she is standing confidently. If one can overlook the alarming, almost grotesque images, the fact that the figure wears masks with no way to look outwards, reveals to us that she embodies the skill of looking inward in contemplation. Perhaps even better able to communicate with the child in her womb. Angelovski then, has shown in these images a potent connection between spirit and flesh, not only of one’s self, but with others. What better archetype to embody this ideal than a mother, a woman who is willing to sacrifice so much in life and become so vulnerable for her child-to-be?

Finally, it is very fitting that while trying to find a third person for this exhibition, I had a daydream vision of George’s face in a dark stairwell with a spiral staircase. A few days later, I saw this Post Morality series and it dawned on me that it was the missing link between the other two artist’s works here.

with god under me

pilli

organ of corti

virgins milk figure 2

socrates bar

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Analia Sirabonian

(in collaboration with her brother, Andrés

Where is the beginning and ending of our flesh? When we empathize with another? When we are outsiders who do not function by the status quo? When we build our lives around genuine passion and devotion to our work? When we commune with our environment?

Here, Analia explores these questions by seeking the answers in the story of the unusual life circumstances of herself and her brother, Andrés. Although they have the same parents, he was first born with a natural genetic alteration causing physical disfigurements and a mental disorder, whereas she was born after genetic adjustments were made to ensure she was healthy. In opposite ways, how they were brought into the world is very different from the majority of humans. Together they are outside of societal norms. Their portrait below shows Ani tenderly expressing her attempt to empathize with and protect him, hiding his protruding rib cage and face, while at the same time gently placing her hand on his.

In her second piece the gyroscopic panorama of the kitchen in a restaurant where Andrés is a potato peeler, he again only shows his lovely, dedicated hands to us.

The final photograph, from her series of misshapen potatoes, represents the ones he discards at work, almost tragically revealing his self-image by imitating of the majority of society who compulsively reject that which is not uniform.

Autorretrato II (Self-Portrait)

**Below is a still image from a 360 degree interactive gyroscopic image, entitled José, after the owner of the restaurant where Andrés works.

To view it, click here, then scroll left, right, up and down, for the full view: http://analiasirabonian.esy.es/jose/

Jose detail

Misshapen potatoes (1 of a series of 3)

 


Berlin Urban Art and Architecture

Single click thumbnails to enlarge and view as slideshow. All images copyright © 2014 by Stephanie Reid


Transart Institute Course Sampler – World as Sculpture, Wild Urbanity, and Double Lens

All images copyright © 2014 by Stephanie Reid

The Transart Institute for Creative Research is a low residency school offering three Summer residencies in Berlin, two Winter residencies in New York City, and virtual meetups in between. My studies started in Berlin during this three-week residency, which was incredibly fast-paced, challenging, and rewarding. Workshops took place at Uferstudios in the Wedding district. The school is interdisciplinary, but more topical than technique based. It is expected that technique is already honed or can be self-guided. This allows the students to choose courses that they feel will help them expand the content of their praxis. PhD and MFA students attended the workshops together and work in a wide range of mediums, so that dancers, painters, sculptors, photographers, and others can grow from watching each others’ processes. At the bottom of this post, I have given an overview of the workshops I attended. I am primarily a photography and film maker, but I took classes on expanding the definition of sculpture, nature in the city, and film. My studio advisors was a performance artist / film maker. My research advisor was a photography curator / writer.

The classes typically ran from 9AM-6 PM, then students and staff reconvened at 7:00 for an hour and half presentation session. For these, the student body split into two rooms where three students gave a 15-minute overview of their work and goals for their studies, followed by a ten minute Q&A Session. In addition, each Friday morning, practicing professional artists and curators from around the world would give a 7-minute presentation of their work (Pecha Kucha). Afterwards, groups of eight students would go with one of the presenters to get feedback on their project plan.

On the weekends, gallery and studio tours, and vernissages of student exhibits around Berlin took place. To learn more about those events, see my other posts:

https://haikuflash.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/berlin-gallery-and-studio-tour-summer-2014/

https://haikuflash.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/mila-kunst-and-linder-project-transart-institute-mfa-and-phd-student-works-summer-2014/

https://haikuflash.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/somos-gallery-berlin-open-frame-popup-show-august-2-2014/

studio courtyard

Uferstudios courtyard facing NW. The complex used to be a rail yard for horse drawn carriage rail, then eventually a depot for electric street cars and cable cars. The architect, Jean Krämer, designed them using using a combination of expressionist and Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity, or without ornamentation) styles.

studio courtyard2

Uferstudios courtyard facing SE.

Michael Bowdidge’s, The World as Sculpture, course for MFA and Certificate students

Our instructor also teaches at the University of Glasgow. Inspired by the book The World as Sculpture: The Changing Status of Sculpture from the Renaissance to the Present Day by James Hall, Mr. Bowdidge exposed our  class to methods of making our work more sculptural. The course was exciting and felt very productive. By default, we received a thorough survey of the history of sculpture. Not only did the professor bring examples for each discussion, but asked us to also bring images and physical work to enhance the conversation. The following examples of some of the reading assignments and activities we did in the four day course.

 DAY ONE:

1) Discuss reading assignment : Sculpture and the sculptural by Erik Koed

2) Work with a partner to combine two objects together in as many ways possible. Photograph the different iterations. Several minutes into the exercise, classmate and dancer, Jeca Rodriguez suggested giving a theme to the juxtapositions such as to make one the oppressor and the other the oppressed. My partner Claire Elizabeth Barratt, also a dancer, and I came up with over 20 ways to combine her hand with my umbrella.

3) Bring an example of artwork that is not sculpture but has something sculptural about it. I brought the links to Gabriel Dawe’s string installations:

Gabriel Dawe's plexus no. 5

Gabriel Dawe’s plexus no. 5

Gabriel Dawe's plexus no. 8

Gabriel Dawe’s plexus no. 8

Gabriel Dawe's relic from plexus no. 4

Gabriel Dawe’s relic from plexus no. 4

4) Select an artwork from the previous class discussion and make a piece inspired by it that is in some way sculptural.

  Classmate Nethery Wylie shared Laleh Mehran’s installation Entropic Order http://www.lalehmehran.com/Entropic-Order, in which a programmed machine moves around a track on the ceiling, all the while, dragging a pendulum with it to draw traditional Islamic patterns in black “sand” on the floor. A motion detector senses people entering the room and moving about, which disrupts the action of the pendulum so that the perfection of its efforts is thwarted. Straight lines become wavy, shaky, and distorted. Therefore, this artwork functions as a way to comment on the futility of attempting to enforce a dogma, religious or not, because once human interaction comes into play, the static nature of “rules” is replaced by dynamic forces. It also reflects the instability of the Middle East.

  I chose to do an exercise that was both subtractive and additive at the same time. I imagined adding spices commonly used in Persian cooking – paprika, cinnamon, and cumin to “draw” outlines to the negative space in the designs. Then using a piece of paper covered with double sided sticky graphics film to do a “rubbing”. What would hopefully remain on the adhesive tape would be an impression of the design from its sand and spices. The red and brown hues represent spilled blood of those who suffered within a turbulent and violent landscape. By transferring the image onto the graphics tape, the new image can also represent those who have migrated to flee the regime. They are only able to take a fraction of their culture with them. I have made sculptural work by using additive (spices), subtractive (taking away with the tape), and replicatative (a copy of the original design) steps. It was not unlike forming a sand mandala, and the same ideas of displacement and lost culture expressed in my response to her could be said for Tibetans and Native Americans who make sand drawings that are wiped away after their completion.

photo taken during the process of filling in the gaps of Mehran’s design with paprika

paprika and black “sand”

transfer of paprika and black “sand” to another surface

DAY TWO: Additive processes. Discussions of Modeling vs. Assembling.

1) Bring a sculptural artwork you have made but feel is not quite complete, then discuss how to make it more sculptural using modeling. I had previously made a set mixed CDs for a Leo friend in Los Angeles. I titled the compilations, The Moon and a Lantern for more mellow tracks and The Sun and a Lion for more upbeat tracks. The compilation titles were named specifically after the cover art illustrations I drew for them, using scribbled circles for the heavenly orbs and the origami folding line pattern for the object not seen in the drawing, but referenced in the title (lantern and lion). To see those images, visit: https://haikuflash.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Other-Illustration-and-Mixed-Media/G0000xdw0IFgWFaE/I0000qtO9L770Cqw/C00000PRsirHYLFo

and

https://haikuflash.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Other-Illustration-and-Mixed-Media/G0000xdw0IFgWFaE/I0000v75gIs.daRA/C00000PRsirHYLFo

  Along the same lines, I created this illustration created for a world music compilation I also selected the songs for. I infer three-dimensionality by layering origami fold lines for a pine tree on top of the world map image. In response to the exercise, I stated that to make it more sculptural, I would fold (model) the illustration into its intended shape. The pine tree can then be set upon the circular song list that normally lies under the CD, to transform from packaging design to sculptural artwork.

CD close The Earth and a Pine Tree 150dpi OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2) Assemblage is a term used by curator William Seitz for a MOMA show in 1961, called “That Art of Assemblage”, featured works by Duchamp, Schwitters, Cornell and others who combined things like trinkets, household objects, newspaper clippings, and train tickets to create compositions, combined with or without traditional mediums like paint. Seitz felt the term was more descriptive than “collage” for that particular body of work.

Reading assignment: Assemblage by George Marcus and Erkan Saka.                                                                                                             

Summary: Assemblage as a way to talk about chaos of modern world despite the daily structure which most of us live by. There are many possible ways to approach investigation into realms beyond clearly defined boundaries. Discourse on temporary societies, a self-reflective description of an object, or a stage in a process are all examples of how assemblage can be used to explain intangible concepts. The ability to materialize such abstract ideas has had an influence on areas outside of art such as anthropological research. Marcus and Saka credit the success of the integration of post-structuralist ideas into social sciences to analytically detailed writings by theorists Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. This essay goes on to quote several social scientists who discuss how their work has been influenced by the theories of Deleuze and Guattari.

Finally, the writing expresses urgency that assemblage be handled carefully as to not become too structural or it runs the risk of losing it’s ephemeral quality. It is noted that during our current phase of globalization and rapid technological advancements, which are creating new behaviors in society, assemblage has a great deal of material to refer to and in a unique way from its original use in the early to mid 20th century.

3) Create an artwork based on Guattari and Deleuze’s philosophy, sometimes called “assemblage theory”. In layman’s terms this process refers to the laying out, arranging, and piecing together of components. In theoretical terms these are called or coding, stratification, and territorialization. Many conceptual artists develop their works by decoding, then recoding / deterritorializing, then reterritorializing these relationships, so that the stratification of the subjects in the assemblage is likely to change. So there is an analysis of the aspects (coding) of each component in a relationship and how those aspects create categorization (territorializing) of the subjects, which in turn cause them to be organized (stratified) in such a way. The goal of a contemporary artist working inside this loosely knit framework is essentially to recontextualize the subjects and present them in a new way that opens up discussion about the previously coding, territory, and stratification of the subjects. By causing the audience to think about the new assemblage of components, it opens up the reality that what we thought to be static has other possible states of being and/or meaning.

  For this exercise, I thought about the process of making and consuming coffee. The goal of coffee drinkers is to be more awake and sharp thinking. Therefore, I coffee stained a square piece of paper, making it reminiscent of an unbleached coffee filter, and folded it into a crystal/diamond shape. Further discussion was spurred regarding the fortune made by coffee moguls who do not practice fair trade and how the diamond is not “clear”. It is brown, or “muddy” representing the possible side effects of drinking coffee vs. other types of beverages such as matcha tea, herbal supplements, or physical practices which render us more alert such as yoga, improving our diets, or simply getting more sleep. It also speaks to sugar addiction, which is often the main reason people drink coffee – to get their dose of sugar and milk.

4) In the vein of Allan Kaprow’s 1967 installation “Yard”, which was a room of tires for people to interact with by jumping through, sitting on, standing on, or even throwing them, the class did a performative installation. First we each passed a piece of paper around that we had written one word that reminded us of the Transart summer residency, and then passed it to the person next to us until everyone had written their word on our paper. We chanted the following list in rounds during the performance: succinct, iconoclast, join, concepts, humid, tsunami, pleasure, becoming, awake, microcosm, fluid, flux, coffee, turnip, tinted, sprudel. To view the performance, visit: https://vimeo.com/106896282

DAY THREE: Subtractive processes. Carving, deleting (what this means in the digital vs. analog world), erasing

1) Inspired by Rauschenberg’s “Erased de Kooning” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGRNQER16Do), bring an artwork you have made and are willing to allow a fellow student to practice a subtractive technique on. After receiving each artwork, we parted for about 45 mins. then reconvened for our destructive surprise.

I built a diorama landscape study and my partner was the dancer, Jeca Rodriguez, who is originally from Puerto Rico. She turned my diorama into a performance! She was really nervous to do her idea, but I assured her whatever she wanted to do was okay. She took the assemblage outside and mangled it something fierce to make it look like her home after a hurricane. Then she had everyone take turns, like the community on her island, to try to repair a little bit at a time. It was really touching and even brought a tear to my eye.

 

diorama study

Photos below taken by Michael Bowdidge.

destruction Jaye Gabriela2 Clare Ana gabe recovery

  The piece I was given to deconstruct was a silk scarf by artist, Dana Zurzolo, who silkscreens guns into clothing as a way to prompt conversations about guns in America. There are magazines and catalogues about guns with cover photos clearly intending to make them look “sexy”. I cutout machine gun spray shapes resembling those found in comic books, drew hearts, blood, and tears in glitter pens, then also cutout bullet holes in the heart. Because this clothing was meant to appeal to a woman, just as hot chicks with guns are supposed to make women feel empowered, or appeal to the violent urges of machismo in either sex, I changed the text about a school shooting that was printed on the scarf to read as if the atrocity was made by a woman. The text was also changed to draw attention to the language of guns and their reference to female body parts.

subractive and additive

2) Inspired by John Cage’s 4”33, bring ‘nothing’ to class, but in a meaningful way that can be justified with regard to size / quantity / duration. The best example was someone shining a projector’s light on the screen with no image or text.

DAY FOUR: Replicative processes. Copying, casting, copying, sampling

1) Replicate something in the nearby surroundings.

Bullet Wounds and Fissures

a pitted, fissured, and chipped brick wall

The crumbling wall

pencil rubbing, razor cut, and punctured paper

2) Replicate another artist’s work without directly copying it. Taking a que from Lawrence Yuxweluptun’s painting below, I sketched a still from a scene in a short film I am making.  In the video, my friend Laura is dancing in front of a graffiti wall, but in the drawing, I started to draw the graffiti on her body.

Walking in the Spirit World

Walking in the Spirit World by Lawrence Yuxweluptun

Laura

graffiti skin

unfinished sketch

3) Reading: The Precession of Simulacra by Baudrillard, which gave the four phases of abstracting an original object as the reflection of a basic reality, the masking and/or perversion of a reality, the masking of the absence of a basic reality, and the absence of any relation to reality.

4) Work from an image/sound/clip/movement and find ways to replicate it which allow you to traverse or reference the four phases of simulacra. The scan of the image I created will not translate well here. There are aspects of the piece that are dependent on moving around it and reflective light that have to be experience in person.

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Caroline Koebel’s, Wild Urbanity, course for MFA and Certificate students

Inspired by her sighting of wild foxes in Berlin, Ms. Koebel designed a course around combing art with nature in the city.

1) discussion of Joseph Bueys hare and wolf performances

2) viewing of the film “A Rabbit in Berlin”

3) readings from Darwin, da Vinci, and the thoroughly enjoyable The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature by David George Haskell

4) Tour of the archives of the Naturkundmuseum. Here are some of the horrifying and fascinating remnants from the days of when humans had no qualms with capturing vast numbers of animals for research. Seeing Charles Darwin’s signature in one of his journals; blown glass sculptures of medusozoa and other small flowery looking sea creatures; rooms of skulls, skeletons, horns, and taxidermied animals, in cardboard boxes, some with holes cut in the side so that stiff legs of a fast running feline can poke through; plastic bags of bats; weight lifting a fossilized dinosaur bone that must have been about 20 lbs. although only 1.5 ft; a 4 ft long narwhal tooth; a glass room displaying fish, snakes, and foxes preserved in jars of alcohol.

 

tubes of dead snakes

Images from the archive cannot be made public, but I took these photos in the public area.

5) lectures by scientists who study the wild boar and fox population in Berlin. FUN FACTS! Some of the boars have been seen waiting at the traffic lights, for cars to stop, before crossing the street. They are notoriously difficult for hunters to find in the woods as well, but because the critters like to dig up people’s lawns for bugs, many have been shot down.

 

wild boars 150

I found this postcard by Tatiana Witte in a shop the day before I left Berlin.

6) an excursion in the city to create work in response to nature found there. I’m a fan of all corvids, so admired these beautiful, monochromatic Hooded Crows since I arrived in Berlin. 

crows on train rail crows staring at pizza

Hooded Crows eat Pizza on the Tram tracks

grey and black Hooded Crows eat Pizza on the Tram tracks

stump study3 stump study5stump study8

stump study6

tiny green tree beetle tears

tiny green tree beetle tears

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Anna Faroqhi’s, Double Lens, film essay workshop for MFA and Certificate students

We weren’t sure if this class were going to be able to take place. Originally, the instructor was scheduled to be Harun Farocki, the prolific German filmmaker known for experimental documentary short films. Our course was cancelled when it was revealed that he had passed away. Then after a week or so delay, we were informed that his daughter, Anna who is also a filmmaker, would be teaching us in his stead. She informed us that The Hamburger Bahnhof Museum happened to have several of Harun’s politically charged films, Serious Games, Inextinguishable Fire, The Creators of the Shopping Worlds, and Workers Leaving the Factory, installed into an exhibition. Several of us went to view it as a way to learn more about him and to pay our respects.

2) Screening and discussion of several historial film essays: “Ghosts for Breakfast” by Hanz Richter; “11 Variations on Rain” by Joris Ivens; “Night and Fog” by Alain Resnais; “Les Mains Négatives” by Marguerite Duras; and “Serious Games” by Harun Farocki, the instructor’s recently deceased father.

3) Each student was given a line from the German Expressionist poet, Jakob van Hoddis, to film a 30 second to three minute clip to be edited together. Some lines are missing from the film or slightly altered to suit the artists. My line was, “Into the tender green of the trees”, which starts at 10:22 here: https://vimeo.com/106867894

In the Morning
A strong wind sprang upwards,
Opens the bloody gates of iron heaven,
Beats on the towers.
Brightly ringing loud and sinuous over the brazen plane of the city.
The sooty morning sun. Thundering trains on dams.
Golden angel-ploughs plow through the clouds.
Strong wind over the pale city.
Steamboats and cranes awaken by the dirty, flowing stream.
The bells of the weathered cathedral beat sullenly.
You see many women and girls going to work.
In the pale light. Wild from the night. Their skirts flutter.
Limbs made for love.
Into the machine and tedious labor.
Look into the tender light.
Into the tender green of the trees.
Listen! The sparrow is crying out.
And outside, in the wild fields,
larks are singing.


Mila Kunst and Lindner Project – Transart Institute – MFA and PhD Student Works – Summer 2014

Selected works from Mila Kunst Intermezzo #1

photography by Gabriela Gusmao

photographic works by Gabriela Gusmão

beautiful wooden floor inlay at Mila Kunst Gallery

Sylvia Adamcik2

photographic work by Sylvia Adamcik addressing our disjointed experience of the natural world

Sylvia Adamcik1

photographic work by Sylvia Adamcik

Drawing by Julia Hyde inspired by La Forêt de Soignes (The Healing Forest) in Belgium.

landscape painting by Christopher Huck

Selected works from Mila Kunst Intermezzo #3

sculpture by Lisa Osborn

sculpture by Lisa Osborn

Laurel Terlesky4

Installation (sound, smoke, video, and vinyl cutout walkway walls) by Laurel Terlesky. Several women poignantly discuss the loss of their mothers and the gradual process of being able to grasp the finality of her passing away. For example, One woman remembers that took her two months to accept the fact that her mother was not just on vacation.

Laurel Terlesky6

Installation (sound, smoke, video, and vinyl cutout walkway walls) by Laurel Terlesky

Laurel Terlesky8

Installation (sound, smoke, video, and vinyl cutout walkway walls) by Laurel Terlesky

Laurel Terlesky7

Installation (sound, smoke, video, and vinyl cutout walkway walls) by Laurel Terlesky

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Selected works from

Lindner Project Space

July 27, 2014

Lindner Project courtyard

Lindner Project Courtyard

Jamie Hamilton install

Jamie Hamilton book installation documenting his learning how to tightrope walk in New Mexico

Mikkel Niemann1

film installation by Mikkel Niemann. This film diptych explores man’s competition with nature. On the left we see the artist fighting with his opponent. On the right, he sits in an outdoor installation and films periodically over a period of time so that the imposition he has created in the environment is eventually completely overcome by the elements which tear away at the homey looking wallpaper and wild animals who come and eat his apples.

Mikkel Niemann2

Mikkel Niemann3

Lindner basement

remnants from a performance installation by Rosina Ivanova. The artist practiced a feat of strength and endurance by holding up weights, with both arms outstretched to her sides, for a long period of time. Occasionally, she rings an encouraging bell. She likens the experience to the efforts of travel and immigration. All the while, a boat travels through the water on the screen behind her to emphasize the connection.

Rosinas wts

Selected works from Lindner Project Space

Alternative Maternals

August 9th, 2014

a beautiful dance performance with a rocking chair about motherhood by Jeca Rodriguez

amongst other objects, book artist and Columbia College professor, Miriam Schaer displayed throughout the gallery, baby clothes embroidered with stinging quotes such as, “Your child is the best art work you have ever made. You don’t need to make any other art,” and “Your not having children is the biggest disappointment of our life. These clothes were put on baby dolls and photographed for her book, “The Presence of Their Absence”. To see more of her work, visit: http://miriamschaer.com/

a haunting performance, “The Maternal Line” by Valerie Walkerdine which is about learning to speak with ghosts by allowing them to have a way to speak, even if they do not exist, their memory still exists within us. Her work posits how art can help us what is being transmitted to us. How can we feel with the other as the womb conveys sound? She often uses threes in her work, for example a performance will begin with 1) a lost spirit not at peace,  2) entering the underworld as a half-being, 3) release. Her opening to this performance was to slowly walk through the gallery towards the winding staircase leading to the basement, all the while singing solemn atavistic sounds similar to Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance. When she reaches the ground floor, a projection of close ups of dancers moving around on the ground is screened behind her. Suddenly, the image is flipped to look like they are crawling around on the ceiling. Valerie sings and shouts eerily as if in turmoil. A new scene forms and the focus is on a torso shot of a young woman in a red leotard being pushed back and forth between other dancers in black. They gradually work her into a frenzy until Valerie screams and pleads for it to STOP! STOP! The scene fades away into white with a blurred figure dancing there.  Now in a white leotard, Valerie dances in front of the screen, which creates strange juxtapositions between her brightly illuminated limbs and her silhouette. The mood lifts as she boisterously sings, a song about her Chiquita being sweeta, singing to her burro and how people will think her a fool.  She stated that she uses songs that are important to her mother and grandmother in her works, so maybe this playful song was one of their favorites.

photo collages created by Deborah Dudley  ~

Deborah Dudley

postcards from Brain Candy series by Deborah Dudley working in conjunction with her daughters


Hamburger Banhof Museum, Berlin – July 31, 2014

Hamburger Banhof facad

All images copyright © 2014 by Stephanie Reid

We didn’t see the entire museum, but instead spent a good deal of time in the upstairs film installation room and the following exhibition:

The End of the 20th Century. The Best Is Yet to Come. A Dialogue with the Marx Collection (part of the museum’s permanent collection from Erich Marx)

Warhol of Joseph Beuys with diamond dust

Landscape of Beuys’s basalt sculptures

a giant Mao painting against Mao wallpaper in a room of violent images – Elvis with guns, electric chairs, knives, a car accident death, pointy-toed spiked-heeled pumps

Warhols Mao

 A film room 1920 William Kentridge from South Africa “Journey to the Moon” brought back to mind the films that inspired me to begin film making in the early 90’s. Special effects in the pre-digital era required a great deal of experimentation and imagination. Almost a century later, they are still effective as poetic storytelling devices. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPf63b6Glz8

A variety of Rauschenberg’s works such as Pink Door, Mule Deer, and collage prints described by John Cage as looking at several TV screens, on different channels, simultaneously

A Cy Twombly room featured several works including “The School of Fontainebleau” and “I am Thyrsis of Etna”, but my favorite of his works being shown was, “Empire of Flora” with its exciting treatment and colors of flowers. It has the sense of playing in a garden, getting ones hands dirty, pulling weeds, bumblebees, blooms and water streaming from a hose.

Full Empire Cy floral Cy signature Empire of Flora

This wing ended in an Anselm Kiefer gallery where the astounding “Lilith amroten Meer” commanded serious attention but only after visiting his less weighty work “Ways of Worldly Wisdom: Armenius’s Battle” on the side wall.

Lilith am roten Meertiny dressLilith textLilith backing detail Lilith cement detail

Ways of Worldly Wisdom

 

Rachel Whitereed – Untitled with Thomas Struth – San Zaccharia time lapse photograph

Whiteread and Struth

ceiling detail neon

The last exhibition we visited was the reason we came to the museum that day. Our film teacher, Anna Faroqhi, had to bow out of instructing our film workshop because her father, the film essayist, Harun Farocki, had died during the residency just a couple of days before the class was scheduled. We wanted to honor his memory by going to see his exhibition. The Hamburger Banhof was showing several of his works at the time, so instead of class we went to see some of his projects. On either side of the viewing room entrance two small monitors, and a viewing bench with headphones, invited visitors to relax and take in the show. However, the first essay was “Inextinguishable Fire”, a disquieting reenactment of the development of napalm at the Dow Chemical Plant and the atrocities committed by its use. **WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK. It gets a gory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JBbgWSBTdA

That foyer lead to a large room with four screens staggered throughout and showing the shorts from his, “Serious Games” series. These films explore different phases of soldier training from video game simulation, a live action simulation which took place in a small fabricated village with actors pretending to be the inhabitants, the creation of the video games, and post traumatic distress therapy. I found the post traumatic distress therapy to be useful in developing a conversation to have with my teenage brother should he still be considering joining the military.

Upon exiting, a compilation segments of at least three of films could be filmed on the other monitor. of his 1995 film “Interface”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsA5E5qIgm4 , which gives a first hand look at how the artist worked in his editing room while comparing and contrasting film and video; “Workers Leaving the Factory in Eleven Decades” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPGSmvtmaWY, which touches on the historical uses of the factory as a control mechanism for the population; and “zwischen zwei Kriegen” (between two wars), which can be ordered along with his other works at the online video data bank http://www.vdb.org/artists/harun-farocki. I urge you to take some time to familiarize yourself with the catalogue of this prolific artist and eloquent, insightful writer.


SomoS Gallery Berlin – Transart Institute MFA Students – Open Frame Popup Show

All images copyright © 2014 by Stephanie Reid.

SomoS is on the 1st floor of corner building in the Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin. It is a large space flooded with soft natural light and a relaxing gathering room with bar in the back. The show on August 2, 2014 featured artists from 1st, 2nd, and graduating MFA classes, as well as, work from artists represented by tète gallery in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. Putting work in the show was optional for students and were were asked to bring simple, fun works. First year students were told about the show shortly before it happened, so our work was either  made in Berlin or was work that had already been brought for presentations at school. Considering how impromptu it was, I think it turned rather well! Sadly, I did not get images of all the work in the show, but this is a sample.

SomoS bldg

SoMos corner

1st floor

SoMoS entry

SomoS buzzer

Here is the description of my piece (first of images below) which I created for the TI workshop, World as Sculpture. The assignment was to bring a sculptural artwork you have made but feel is not quite complete, then discuss how to make it more sculptural using modeling. I had previously made a set mixed CDs for a Leo friend in Los Angeles. I titled the compilations, The Moon and a Lantern for more mellow tracks and The Sun and a Lion for more upbeat tracks. The compilation titles were named specifically after the cover art illustrations I drew for them, using scribbled circles for the heavenly orbs and the origami folding line pattern for the object not seen in the drawing, but referenced in the title (lantern and lion). To see those images, visit: https://haikuflash.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Other-Illustration-and-Mixed-Media/G0000xdw0IFgWFaE/I0000qtO9L770Cqw/C00000PRsirHYLFo

and

https://haikuflash.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Other-Illustration-and-Mixed-Media/G0000xdw0IFgWFaE/I0000v75gIs.daRA/C00000PRsirHYLFo

  Along the same lines, I created this illustration created for a world music compilation I also selected the songs for. I infer three-dimensionality by layering origami fold lines for a pine tree on top of the world map image. In response to the exercise, I stated that to make it more sculptural, I would fold (model) the illustration into its intended shape. The pine tree can then be set upon the circular song list that normally lies under the CD, to transform from packaging design to sculptural artwork.

 

The Earth and a Pine Tree, CD compilation and foldable cover art by Stephanie Reid

Layered and cutout paper illustration of Earth with pine tree origami folding lines

Track list

The Earth and a Pine Tree, song selection and folded cover art

 

Lindy's painting

painting by Lindey Anderson

Lizs prints

prints by Liz Carré

Beauty Baco

positive film by Beau(ty) Baco

Ani

photo montage by Analia Sirabonian

translation = bad dog. This installation shows all the products the artist used to try to get the smell off of her dog after it had bothered a skunk.

translation = bad dog. This installation shows all the products the artist, Deborah Dudley, used to try to get the smell off of her dog after it had bothered a skunk.

marriage

marriage cocoon performance by Mariana Rocha and José Drummond

back of dress

marriage cocoon performance by Mariana Rocha and José Drummond

brides face

marriage cocoon performance by Mariana Rocha and José Drummond

unraveling the marriage cocoon performance by Mariana Rocha and José Drummond

unraveling the marriage cocoon performance by Mariana Rocha and José Drummond

Marions rocks

gold painted lava rocks by Marion Wasserman

skeletal watercolors

watercolors by ? with ivy dance performance by Claire Elizabeth Barratt

Clare as Ivy

ivy dance performance by Claire Elizabeth Barratt

Creeping

ivy dance performance by Claire Elizabeth Barratt

Jayes drawings

mixed media works expressing a turbulent sibling relationship by Jaye Moscariello

Kelly

embroidery and oil on paper by Kelly Reyna Mackh, whose work expresses the experience of raising an autistic young son

KJs sign responses

markings by KJ Schumacher

remote crucifix

remote crucifix by ?

Nicolas Cage talk

Andrea Spaziani and Allen Ferguson talk Nicolas Cage

Ethiopian funerary robe

Ethiopian funerary robe installation by Konjit Seyoum

Asher and Konjit connect

Asher Mains and Konjit Seyoum share experiences relating to her installation

Gabriel's landscape

landscape print by Gabriel Deerman

Joses film still

film still by José Drummond

intentional water

Intentional Water by Honi Ryan

Honi and Abdul

Honi Ryan and Abdullah Khan review their notes after playing a relational game together

bar

SomoS bar

VW fun

colorful VW car outside the gallery


willows

willows on the Spree

Andrea Spaziani sent postcards to participants who had previously expressed interest in her community dance project. Each card had a one sentence description of a type of dance that could be performed. During the course of the opening at SomoS gallery in Berlin this summer, she performed her own versions of each instruction.

To end the night, attendees were treated to a live performance by Transart advisor, Lynn Book, of the Dada vocal sound piece Ursonate (primeval sonata) written and developed by Kurt Schwitter between 1922 and 1932. The poem was a favorite of Transart Institute co-founder, Klaus Knoll, who suddenly fell ill earlier this year and passed away just before the summer residency began. Book honored his memory by flawlessly guiding us through sublime and sometimes comical soundscape.


Berlin Gallery and Studio Tour – Summer 2014

During the Transart Institute MFA Summer Residency in Berlin, we were given insight into the art world there by going on a gallery and studio tour on July 26th. The tour was organized by the school’s Initiatives Coordinator, kate hers RHEE. This was an excellent way to begin the program. Most Berlin galleries set up at the major art fairs such as Cologne, Miami, Basel, and Hong Kong. All images copyright © 2014 by Stephanie Reid.

Gallery Tour

Gallery Stop 1: Esther Schipper

Exhibit: “Paper Work” featuring works by Ceal Floyer and Karin Sander created with office supplies. The former artist created a series of gradated circular ink blots make by pressing grey pens onto the center of blotting paper sheets until the pens are out of ink. Whereas the latter artist utilizes objects such as a hole punch, clips, or tabs on A4 paper to design patterns.

ink blot walls ink blots close ink blots wall

tabs walltabs seriestabs closeup

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Gallery Stop 2: Kühlhaus Berlin.

This is an approximately 18,000 sq feet historical building that was a cooling station before refrigerators were readily available. The courtyard in the photo below, with the whale hovering in the air, used to be a market and train station where people could come and buy foods that had been kept fresh in the kühlhaus. Several people recently purchased the warehouse for cultural activities and are remodeling the building to code, for example, by building cement stairs vs. wooden ones. The Berlin Art Prize, an annual art competition between local contemporary artists, was held at the Kühlhaus earlier this year.

However, the four-story exhibition on display while we were there was of student works from the school of high art, Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee in the GDR (German Democratic Republic), or East Germany. It was explained that arts funding is highly competitive since the conjoining of East and West Germany because now there are two major art schools in Berlin, the other being Akademie der Künste, in the West, which has a history going back to the 1600’s. None of the works had labels, therefore I am unable to provide the names of the artists whose works are shown here, except for a sculptural installation in front of the building which is the result of a performance given by Elena Kaludova. Elena wore a t-shirt with the slogan “STOP BORING ART!” printed on the back so that it could be read as she drilled holes through the wooden sign. The sign had the words “BORING ART” carved out of it. The artist drilled through most of the letters until only the “O” and “R” were left intact.

construction Kuhlhaus facade

drive thru gate scriptfloating whale


Boring Art

plant elementals

old technology landscape2

old technology landscape

cassette deck with joystick

strips montage

light and dark

grass drawing

musical drawing

musical drawing closeup

bird lady full

bird lady

embroidery

embroidery closeup colored glass projection

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Gallery Stop 3: Schwarz Contemporary run by Ann Schwarz

This exhibit was of works by several artists represented by the gallery.

Schwarz Contemporary

Monika Goetz_2200 K

Postcard of outdoor installation, 2200 K, by Monika Goetz

cyanotype

photograph of paper by Holger Neihaus

pink paper

painting by Fee Kleiss (left) and photo of paper by Holger Neihaus (right)

spray paint on nylon

delicate “stencil” paintings on white kite fabric by Henrik Eiben

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Gallery Stop 4: Wentrup Galerie by Jan Wentrup

 The gallery currently represents 13 artists. Works by several of those artists were on display.

Wentrup

Main gallery - Axel Geis's photo realistic chandeliers painted from different angles on highly glossed canvases. The viewer stands in the middle where the light fixture would normally be so that the experience of the installation refers to itself.

Main gallery – Axel Geis’s photo realistic chandeliers painted from different angles on highly glossed canvases. The viewer stands in the middle where the light fixture would normally be so that the subject and object are reversed. How strange to be scrutinized by a light fixture! This is an excellent example of “assemblage” mentioned in the World as Scuplture Workshop section of my post here: https://haikuflash.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/course-sampler-transart-institute-mfa-and-certificate-summer-residency-2014/

Gregor Hildebrandt creates many of his artworks from cassette tapes. In some cases, as with this piece, he glues the tape to a canvas and before peeling the audio tape back off again, he applies pressure through footsteps, scratching, etc, so that the emulsion stays on the canvas where he has effected it. Those works are names after the music that was recorded on that tape, which he was most likely listening to while making his marks on them. This one is titled “Neues vom Trickser (Toco) IV” by the band Tocotronic.

Gregor Hildebrandt creates many of his artworks from cassette tapes. In some cases, as with this piece, he glues the tape to a canvas and before peeling the audio tape back off again, he applies pressure through footsteps, scratching, etcetera, so that the emulsion stays on the canvas where he has effected it. Those works are named after the music that was recorded on the tape. This one is titled “Neues vom Trickser (Toco) IV” by the band Tocotronic.

Gregor Hildebrandt creates many of his artworks from cassette tapes. In this case, he cut still frames from movies into small rectangles that will fit inside of cassette case spines. The image here is from “Eyes Wide Shut”.

Another piece by Gregor Hildebrandt. In this work, he cut a print of a still frame from the movie “Eyes Wide Shut” into small rectangles that fit inside of cassette case spines then displayed them in a wall organizer.

Peles Empire are two female artists, Katharina Stöver from Germany and Barbara Wolff from Romania who both currently work in London. The goal of their collaborative team is to copy the rooms of the Peles Castle in Romania and present it in the new ways. The castle already consists of copied, mismatched styles from Baroque to Art Deco. A photograph of marble is used as paper mâché landscape on another cement sheet.

Peles Empire are two female artists, Katharina Stöver from Germany and Barbara Wolff from Romania who both currently work in London. The goal of their collaborative team is to copy the rooms of the Peles Castle in Romania and present it in the new ways. The castle already consists of copied, mismatched styles from Baroque to Art Deco. The artists are then creating copies of copies to a microscopic level. The replicative nature of their work can then be described as sculptural as discussed in my World as Sculpture Workshop blog linked above. Here, a photograph of marble is used as a paper mâché landscape onto a cement sheet.

Peles Empire are two female artists, Katharina Stöver from Germany and Barbara Wolff from Romania who both currently work in London. The goal of their collaborative team is to copy the rooms of the Peles Castle in Romania and present it in the new ways. The castle already consists of copied, mismatched styles from Baroque to Art Deco. A photograph of marble is used as paper mâché landscape on another cement sheet.

another angle of the Peles Empire slab

Peles Empire are two female artists, Katharina Stöver from Germany and Barbara Wolff from Romania who both currently work in London. The goal of their collaborative team is to copy the rooms of the Peles Castle in Romania and present it in the new ways. The castle already consists of copied, mismatched styles from Baroque to Art Deco. After using photographic images as wallpaper on cement sheets, layers appear to be torn away to reveal another texture and shade underneath.

Here photographic images of Peles Castle are used as wallpaper on cement sheets. Layers appear to be torn away to reveal another texture and/or image underneath.

Peles Empire are two female artists, Katharina Stöver from Germany and Barbara Wolff from Romania who both currently work in London. The goal of their collaborative team is to copy the rooms of the Peles Castle in Romania and present it in the new ways. The castle already consists of copied, mismatched styles from Baroque to Art Deco. After using photographic images as wallpaper on cement sheets, layers appear to be torn away to reveal another texture and shade underneath.

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Studio Tour

HB 55 (Herzbergstrasse 55) Räume der kunst (rooms of art). This historical set of buildings used to be a margarine factory.

HB55 Räume der Kunst

1909margarine factoryKunstfabrik studios

1) Aleks Slota was our tour guide and has a studio here. He explained that he uses a megaphone to recite speeches that were written but never read, out of his studio window. One example was the speech written in case the U.S. astronauts never returned from their first trip to the moon.

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2) Art photographer, Ivonne Thein, makes commentary on the fashion world and beauty, sometimes through jarring imagery. http://www.ivonnethein.com/

wisps

from Ivonne Thein’s Thirty-two Kilos series

toothache

from Ivonne Thein’s Thirty-two Kilos series

faceless

from the Second Skin series
plastic and human

video of a woman dressing into and undressing from a second skin

video of a woman dressing into and undressing from a flesh colored body suit

A hidden camera behind the black box on the wall projects a light portrait of the person standing in front of it, rendering them indistinguishable.

A hidden camera behind the black box on the wall displays a live action, out of focus video of the person standing in front of it, thus rendering them indistinguishably.

postcard from Ivonne Thein’s Proforma series which appears to be human bodies seamlessly joined with mannequin heads or possibly just their faces. This is the most subtle and effective commentary on airbrushing / Photoshopping models that I’ve seen to date.

Her work was one of the primary inspirations for my first post-graduation project, Dissolve, here: https://haikuflash.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/a-collection-of-photography-on-the-theme-imperceptible-self/

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3) Louise Gibson is a sculptress from Scotland currently working in Berlin at a studio near a scrapyard. She recycles discarded clothing and electronics by embedding them in resin castings, then when dry, she cuts them into shapes. She also melts, morphs, and varnishes large appliances and building materials into blobs of color and sheen (see bottom shelf in image below). trio

jeans

faux fur

green fabric

plaid

purples

filled boots melted appliances  fuse boxes

resin windowThe Clawsunflowers zink und kabel  stoves fence

scrapyard and students colorful scraps