Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Our first day looking at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, the main site of the BB5 Berlin Bienalle #5 http://www.berlinbiennale.de and former site of a margarine factory located in the center of town north of Museum Island. 4 floors and basement of installations including sculpture. photography and video with barely a painting in site.
A highlight is people one is NOT familiar. From the asphalt covered room of Ahmet Öğüt, the framing devices, slides projections & audio of Tris Vonna-Michell inspired by a fictional Detroit as seen in RoboCop to the street scene video of Zhao Liang; night & day underbelly violence both of residents and landscape of Beijing as it prepares for the Olympics.
The general feeling is one of being stripped away, grounded in a sober moment of reconstruction and redevelopment of urban culture without clamor of glitz and glamour that is hyping the Neu Berlin.
Afterwards we have the pleasure of dinner with our colleague Elke aus dem Moore formerly of the Shedhalle in Zurich where we had been invited back in 2000/01. Due to the drizzle of rain and lack of umbrellas we skipped "Crazy Horse" the outdoor screening and live concert by Cyprien Gaillard and Koudlam about the building of what may become the largest sculpture in the world dedicated to the Lakota chief Crazy Horse located in the Black Hills of South Dakota that is wrecking havoc on the environment.
Thinking again of the Skulpturenpark installation by Kateřina Šedá, a circle of walls & fences that invites at ones own risk; I chanced the opportunity and orated for an amused crowd of artgoers less agile to follow and climb over and view on an inner hightop table the text situated lamenting the building of walls that cannot be seen through and how the hope inspired by the removal of the Berlin Wall has only been transfered to constructing more secure walls around oneself.