Press Recap: Fall – seasonal review on art reviews // non-proof-read

  • 29.11.2017

Egos of the Documenta‘: Die Welt truly believes Annette Kuhlenkampff was not hard enough on the artistic director of the documenta 14, blaming her for a lack of responsibility with the budget. Two months ago, documenta’s shareholders (the city of Kassel and the state of Hesse) had to pull the company out of bankruptcy by stepping in with emergency loan guarantees. The audit places much of the blame for the exhibition’s 5.4 million Euros deficit on the decision this year to hold a satellite location in Athens. Boris Pofalla takes her struggles with the budget as a result of naivety. (‚Den Wahnsinn von Athen hat Annette Kuhlekampff nicht erfunden, sie hat aber offenbar bis zum Schluss daran geglaubt, mit einem minimal erhöhten Budget den Spagat zwischen zwei Ausstellungsorten schaffen zu können).

Victims of the Documenta‘: Kolja Reichert delivers the news on yesterday’s FAZ from another perspective. Kuhlenkampff made two documentas for (almost) the price of one. The fact that she is constrained to step out of her charge, means just more damage to the image of the institution. Christian Geselle, major of the city of Kassel, claims the monetary bond for the documenta mirrors the lacking monetary resources for day-care and facility centers for children. But the FAZ indicates that Geselle counts with a taxes surplus from 13,3 million Euros that his precursor, Bertram Hilgem, ceded from his last term. Does the city of Kassel really thinks the management of documenta is comparable to the management of a kindergarten?

The statement by the Shortlisted Nominees of the 2017 Preis der Nationalgalerie published on e-flux.conversations was meant to highlight and recommend changes to three problematic aspects of the prize that celebrates their work, which they find indicative of broader and growing trends in the art field. The statement manifested itself as a necessary gesture (also published in German language on Reflektor m), and it can be subscribed as the motor for changes in the system: Artists fees are not to be confused with production costs. Artists should be paid for their work. The debt is still high.

The Venice Biennale closed its 57th edition over the weekend, with record attendance figures: 615,000 visitors over six months (the 2015 edition recorded 500,000 visitors), Frieze online reports. It will be remembered as a conceptually weak Biennale. And although I wrote something else about the show, I still believe there were only two possibilities of experiencing Christine Macel’s Viva Arte Viva: (socially) stressed and on psychedelics. Too bad I wasn’t high at all.

'The pressure is high’, writes Zitty, announcing the premiere of [Susanne Kennedy‘s ‚Woman in Trouble]‘ this week. The comments on the Feuilletons on the premiere of the Volksbühne are so far not pleasant to read, and apparently everyone expects Kennedy to save the falling face of the theatre at Rosa-Luxembourg-Platz. The season started as a massive misunderstanding, as an unwelcome surprise. Simon Strauss didn’t wait for the premiere night to end and wrote about how offended he is as an spectator (FAZ). Weeks before him, Dorion Weickmann sent to Munich an enthusiastic report about Boris Charmatz massive performance at the Tempelhofer Feld (SZ), and the audience asks itself, perplexed, why are we bored with things we like to experience in Museums? The limits between performing and visual arts seem to be more clear than ever.

I suffered the entire duration of ‚News Crime Sports‘, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff’s play at the Grüner Salon. I hated it, but i’m still think of it. I can hardly wait for Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s ‚Mysterious Objects at Midnight’ to happen, and even if Tino Sehgal just showed how boring it is, to borrow the theatrical to re-define sculptural and then just bring it back to the stage as if nothing happened, well, what the new Volksbühne is saying, is practically that they are willing to give the house a radical new start. It’s a pity it goes too far away from its own heritage. But I bet the mobbing will stop soon.

Georg Imdahl thinks that the Munich version of Social Synthetic, Seth Price’s solo show at Brandhorst Museum, is boring in comparison to what he did with the Stedeljik Museum im Amsterdam. Peter Richter declares 'Journal’ the best magazine for art in Germany (SZ), and Azzedine Alaïa was globally remembered on the days after his death (November 17th, 2017) as the brilliant faun that turned women into mermaids with his stretchy dresses. The master of curves shall have soon an exhibition? The next fashion designer retrospective is Versace (January 2018).

Both Verena Lueken and Alfons Kaiser interviewed (separatedly) Jil Sander on her retrospective at Museum Angewandte Kunst (Museum for Applied Arts) in Frankfurt am Main. But what Sander accurately hides from Lueken’s elegant questions, reveals itself to Kaiser’s statement Fashion designers‘ always think about the future’. ‚Of course‘, she answered him, ‚but sometimes the future lies also in the past. ‚Jil Sander - Präsens‘ is a show about the the obsession with fashion photography and about a legendary fashion label with no need to renew itself. The future has been, at least for Jil Sander, always female. Too bad the show looks so old fashioned.

Tenzing Barshee interviewed Verena Dengler on her solo show at the Kunsthalle Bern earlier this year. Although each of Dengler’s works loudly asserts its own autonomy, so Barshee, the power of her art does not lie in individual objects but in the polyphonic and contradic­tory stories they invoke. Dengler: ‚It’s more that as an artist my practice is very varied, and I like to say I can do anything’. She is funny.

Hito Steyerl is the most powerful person in the art world, according to the list ‚Power 100‘ by art review, launched at the beginning of november. Jeni Fulton and Karim Crippa wrote on Sleek about five positive (‚delightfully unexpected’) things from this list: 1.Thinking and Engagement Matter More Than Money and Power; 2. There Is a Surprising Omission from 2017’s Biennial Extravaganza (not sure about that); 3. Blue-Chip Isn’t That Sexy Anymore (please, say it louder.); 4. New Models and Discourses Are Rewarded (better late than never); 5. Is the Art Fair a Dying Breed? (the question is based on Vanessa Carlos' idea behind ‚Condo‘, that has inspired people from all over the world to rethink format of collaborations between emerging and commercial galleries.)

Everybody seems to long for an appropriate marketplace in Berlin, writes Stefan Kobel for art agenda. As a city which is not only home to close to 500 galleries—with at least 100 to 150 of them operating on an international level— Art Berlin Contemporary built new alliances with its former competitor, Art Cologne. Kobel reports on a sympathetic atmosphere, completely different than last year’s abc at the same location. The aisles were packed during the fair’s first two days in comparison to a hall that was almost empty last year except for the usual opening crowd, he says. Art Berlin looked way better than Art Düsseldorf this year, in any case. Let’s see how it goes in 2018.

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