Bowie Croisant Ceramic Artist Weblog

January 27, 2011

Berlin! part 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — bowie croisant @ 7:21 pm
I will be teaching a workshop this weekend at Red Star Studios.

Saturday will feature demonstration of mold making, slip casting and assembly techniques.

Sunday will be hands on and participants will complete their own crack mold.

For more info, visit Red Star’s Upcoming Workshops


After my time in Denmark at Guldagergaard, I flew down fto berlin for a few days.  Berlin is truly an amazing city!

The Berlin Cathedral looks onto the courtyard where there were lots of Nazi rallies is near the Old Museum, one of the first museums built in Berlin.\

This is a Kathe Kollwitz WW2 monument of a mother holding her dead son.

The panels of this Trabi car are made from some kind of rice compound.  If pigs are allowed access to one of these they will eat the panelling!

This is one of the longest standing sections of the Berlin wall.

The Berlin Institute for Contemporary Art (Kunst Werke) had an incredible exhibition.  This is the first comprehensive solo exhibition of Israeli artist Absalon.    Unfortunately Absalon died in 1993 at the age of 28, but fortunately this impressive work lives on.

Interior space from one of the large structures shown above.

Four floors of exhibition space showed wonderful basic geometric abstractions in various scales.  The shifts in scale experienced provided a very interesting feeling as I physically related to the simplified units that were sometimes small enough to fit many inside a shoe box and other times large enough to walk inside.

This is part of the featured exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin’s major contemporary art museum.  The exhibition, “Soma,” by artist Carsten Holler asks questions such as “How do we achieve enlightenment? What role is science given in our society, and what role myth? Do we need to find alternative categories for experience and alternative approaches to awakening consciousness?” (from HB site)

The enormous installation featured live reindeer, birds and mice.  The animals were separated into two groups along the centrally divided space of the exhibition, creating the sense that an experiment was being taken place.

Coolers of fly agaric mushrooms in various growth states were displayed in coolers as part of the exhibition.  Holler hypothesizes that the fly agaric may be part of the source for the mystical enlightening brew soma.

These giant blocks of animal fat were cast by Joseph Bueys.  Bueys begain using the animal fat for conceptual reasons as well as for it’s material properties.

This is part of an installation from a group show of Fluxus artists.  All very interesting, but I loved the candy coated bomb!

There were some incredible examples of 20th Century work in the permanent collection space of the HB.  This painting and sculpture by Anselm Keifer are enormous!

They had many of the most aesthetically pleasing Robert Rauschenberg ‘s that I have ever seen.

There were also many very impressive examples of Andy Warhol.

Fassbender and Rausch used to be the royal German chocolatier.  Now they work on their own and make incredible treats, and possibly more impressive chocolate sculptures!  I brought several kinds of chocolate and other treats back for Shannon.  Yum!

This piece, from one of the many galleries I visited, made me think about how effective it was at introducing content through simple shapes, color, text, line and photo transfer.

These seemingly digitized landscapes were also on display at the same gallery.  They were actually quite small (around 8 inches wide).  This created an interesting effect by seeing them small and then approaching the image to “zoom in.”

Really cool cardboard device sculpture.

This exhibition really made me think about how routinized most exhibitions are.  Here the artist has placed organ pipes on pads on the floor of the gallery.  The mostly empty gallery creates an immense space.  Perhaps the thing I like the most about this show is how most objects were not lit directly, and some lights (like the one on the wall) are used just to cast light onto the wall.  In this photo, I am standing directly underneath the spot light, it’s light barely makes it to the object on the floor.

What I really began to take away from many of the things I was seeing is that all aspects of our processes and decisions made during those processes should be questioned and challenged.  In this case the lighting of the space was used in a way that truly integrated it into the space, allowing it to really become a concrete part of the exhibition.

At the Caprice Horn gallery there was an amazing solo show by Chul-Hyun Ahn, who uses mirrors and lights to create scenes of infinite space.  This one rested on the floor and really created the feeling of standing next to a bottomless well.

This sculpture is just outside of the Berlinische Galerie.  I went by just to see if I would be able to catch some an exhibition, and there happened to be an event going on.  I missed the lecture (no big deal since it was given in French), but I got some free wine and tasty hors d oeuvres.

Believe it or not, this is a line to rebook flights at Berlin Tegel Airport!  On the first day that my travel was delayed I stood in a line for about 9 hrs.  Absolute insanity.  I did free cab rides from and back to the airport and a few nights in a hotel for my trouble.  The second time my flight was cancelled I simply left the airport and went back to viewing the city!  The third time I didn’t even go to the airport.  While it was a bit stressful almost not making it home for Christmas, I did get about 5 extra days in Berlin!  I will post pics from the rest of my time in Berlin soon!

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