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Labors of Love: The 2018 Carnegie International Is Buoyant, Beautiful, and Strangely Conservative

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

All sweetness and light: at left, fabric works by Ulrike Müller; at right, a wall by Sarah Crowner. Unlike so many grand contemporary art exhibitions (last years Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel, Germany, for example), this edition of the every-five-years International has no aversion to seductive visual moments, and it approaches politics with welcome humility. It is a thrill to know that huge numbers of people who may not regularly visit commercial galleries will have this considered, succinctly edited show, which runs through March 25, 2019, as their status update on contemporary art.[View photos of the exhibition.]And yet, even while reveling in the exhibitions many fine works, I felt a sense of disappointment, of lingering emptiness. I kept waiting to see artists take ambitious risks, and with very few exceptions, I was left wanting. Much of the work is anodyne and backward-looking conservative, in a word. Not even a Jeff Sessions would find much to be offended by here.Karen Kilimniks installed a bunch of her attractive little paintings of flowers, mansions, and landscapes in the decorative-arts wing of the museum, and on opening day, she presented a campy dance piece, its choreography assembled from bits of preexisting ballets. Art Labor, a group based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is offering tasty coffee from their homeland a couple hours a day. And in the type of ponderous live piece thats de rigueur for these shows, Pittsburghs Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin have tapped professional calligraphers to paint the titles of the more than 10,000 works rejected over the years by the International (initiated in 1896, it was an annual open-call through 1931) onto sheets of paper, which visitors can take home. Its all very twee. On the ceiling, kites made by the father of a member of the Vietnamese collective Art Labor, which Joan Jonas has painted. Below, works by Art Labor, including hammocks and a coffee stand offering sweet Vietnamese coffee. Twee, of course, is lovely in certain doses, but many displays also fetishize canonized history, which grates. Working with the Chicago art dealers John Corbett and Jim Dempsey, the New York–based Josiah McElheny has placed some of his glass sculptures in a show within the show that sports a smattering of record covers, photos, and other ephemera related to avant-gardists like John Cage and Sun Ra, plus a few more obscure figures, like Betty Rockwell Raphael, who ran a free-thinking gallery in Pittsburgh in the 1940s. Similarly, Londons Otolith Group presents a lackluster short film that fixates on the jazz trio Codona recording its first album in the late 70s and the writer Gertrude Stein. It rankles that such valuable real estate and screen time was not given instead to venturesome composers and musicians working today.While one cannot say that the show is out of touch the present moments tumult and trauma, such matters are broached only subtly, guardedly, and not always with success. In the museums Hall of Architecture, amid plaster casts of heroically scaled Western buildings, the Kuwaiti-born artist Saba Innab shows a fragment of a tunnel modeled on one found in Gaza, though visitors will only learn that fact if they read The Guide. There is no explanatory wall...http://www.artnews.com/2018/10/15/labors-love-2018-carnegie-international-buoyant-beautiful-strangely-conservative/

Site-specific exhibition of renowned Japanese artist duo to open at Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix Gallery in Shoreditch

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Museum of Art, Osaka (2017), ‘Tsubaki-kai, Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo (annually from 2013 to 2017), ‘LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, Marc Foxx Galley, Los Angeles (2016), ‘documenta 12, Kassel (2007). Aokis work can be found in the public collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, among others. Zon Ito, born in Osaka in 1971, graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts in 1996. Selected recent solo exhibitions include ‘The Strange Moves that We Make, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo (2016), Galerie Michael Werner, Trebbin, Germany (2016). Selected group shows include ‘Japanorama. A new vision on art since 1970, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France (2017), ‘Asia Corridor Contemporary Art Exhibition, Nijo Castle (Nijojo), Kyoto Art Center, Kyoto (2017), ‘Tsubaki-kai, Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo (annually from 2013 to 2017), ‘The State of this World : Thought and the Arts, Ashiya City Museum of Art and History, Hyogo (2016), 'Primary Field II, The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama (2010), ‘Louisa Bufardeci & Zon Ito, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2009), ‘When Lives Become Form: Dialogue with The Future Brazil / Japan, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (2008). Itos works are included in the public collections at Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among others. Ryoko Aoki and Zon Ito have collaborated and exhibited in many institutions and art festivals including: ‘In Focus: Contemporary Japan, Minneapolis Institue of Art, Minneapolis (2017), ‘Reborn Art Festival, Ishinomaki, Miyagi (2017), ‘Fruitfulness, Toyokawa City Sakuragaoka Museum, Aichi (2015), ‘TWO STICKS, The Museum of Architecture, Wrocław (2015), ‘Re: Quest - Japanese Contemporary Art since the 1970s, Museum of Art, Seoul National University, Seoul (2013). ‘Experimenta Speak to Me, 5th International Biennial of Media Art, Project Space/Spare Room, Melbourne, Australia (2012), ‘The state one reaches by the age of 9, and the sunshine of those days, Taka Ishii Gallery Kyoto (2011), ‘Ways of Worldmaking, The National Museum of Art, Osaka (2011), ‘CAMP, Konrad Fischer Galerie, Dusseldorf, Germany (2009), ‘FUSION: Architecture + Design in Japan, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2004). Hikotaro Kanehira is an independent curator based in Tokyo. Selected curated exhibitions and projects include ‘Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, statements, Tokyo (2017), ‘Troedsson Villa Mountain School 2016, original concept by Tam Ochiai & Anne Eastmanstatements, statements, Tokyo (2016), ‘Nobuyoshi Araki: Love on the Left Eye, co-curated with Toshi Shibata, Mitsubishi Artium, Fukuoka (2014), ‘Futoshi Miyagi: American Boyfriend (2013- ongoing), ‘Takashi Homma: New Documentary, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa / Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery / Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (2011-2012). Kanehira has curated and published artists books and zines as an independent publisher for the works of Yasuto Masumoto, Ryoko Aoki, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, Erika Kobayashi, Nobutaka Aozaki and Shimon Minamikawa. Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix is a contemporary art gallery in Spitalfields, East London that opened in January 2017. The gallery strives to express its ethos of light, space, ambiguity of reality and cultural and social identity through exhibitions by young and mid-career artists. While artists exhibited have come from all over the world, the gallery aims to have half of its yearly exhibition programme showing artists from Japan and other Asian countries. Press Contact: Anna BeketovDamson PRP: +44 (0) 207 812 0645b...http://www.artfixdaily.com/artwire/release/1593-site-specific-exhibition-of-renowned-japanese-artist-duo-to-open-

German state fails completely in NSU case

Thursday, August 2, 2018

How could they have been not stopped? How did they pick out their victims? What was the role of the German state in it? How responsible is German intelligence? Halit Yozgat's murder in Kassel, for example, raises eyebrows in regards to the involvement of the German intelligence. Andreas Temme, a spy for the German domestic intelligence agency (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz), was at Yozgat's internet café shortly after his murder. He left a 50 cent coin on the desk, in front of which Halit was shot dead, and exited the café. Later on, Temme claimed that he did not see anything. The incident, along with others, casts serious doubts on the credibility of the case and pours out further fire into the hearts of the families of the victims. In fact, the credibility crisis throughout the NSU case and the frustrating verdicts concern the Germans as well. Ute, 78, enters the court room in the last half an hour of the six-hour-long trial day. She had to wait in line for eight hours to be able to get in."Thankfully there was a chair in the last two hours of the waiting," she whispered in an attempt to not make a disturbing noise. As the verdict on Eminger was read out loud, Ute shook her head in disbelief."Our state is affected by the verdicts. Now there will be strong pressure. The case should have been resolved," she said. Federal Public Prosecutor Peter Frank admitted that the case failed to bear answers."For us there were also questions during the procedure. Questions, for example, about the many weapons that have been used by the NSU. The relatives had the question: Was there any support networks on the ground?" he said. Germany is a country that prides on its rule of law and judiciary system. For the victim families, though, it is nothing but farce. Abdulkerim Şimşek, son of Enver Şimşek who was the first victim of the NSU as he was killed in front of his flower stand in the German city of Nuremberg, is born and raised in Germany. Abdulkerim's fluent German is evidently better than his Turkish. Despite being a "well-integrated" German as he is, Abdulkerim's trust in the German justice system is in tatters."They claim that Germany is a state of law but it is nowhere close, this trial has proved me this. We were born and raised here. Our trust has long been damaged yet from now on we do not believe in the German justice system," he said. Mehmet Daimagüler, a lawyer for one of the victims, is of Turkish origin. Daimagüler, too, argues that the case was all but a judicial success."The resolution [of the case] does not end today, we have to assume that there are other accomplices and accomplices of the accomplices who are at large," he said. For some, German rule of law bore its fruits on Wednesday after a very lengthy process. For the Turkish community in Germany and Ankara, the reality is far from it. Ali Kemal Aydın, the Turkish Ambassador to Berlin, said in a pause during the trial that the verdict did not relieve the conscience of the families of the victims."This case is not closed," he vowed. From the very beginning of the NSU murders, t...https://www.dailysabah.com/feature/2018/07/13/german-state-fails-completely-in-nsu-case

A brief history of German neo-Nazi group NSU

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Munich, is shot dead. April 2006 Mehmet Kubasik, who runs a kiosk in the western city of Dortmund, is killed. Two days later Halit Yozgat is shot dead in his internet cafe in the central city of Kassel. April 2007 Police officer Michele Kiesewetter is killed in Heilbronn. Her colleague is seriously injured. Their firearms are stolen. November 2011 After robbing a bank in the central city of Eisenach, Mundlos and Boehnhardt are found dead in a camper van in an apparent murder-suicide. Zschaepe sets fire to their hideout in the nearby town of Zwickau and mails videos featuring a Pink Panther cartoon character to the media in which the NSU claims responsibility for the killings. July 2012 The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, Heinz Fromm, resigns following a public outcry over his agency's shredding of documents related to the NSU case. May 2013 The trial of Beate Zschaepe and four men accused of providing support to the NSU begins in Munich. December 2015 Zschaepe's lawyers read a statement on her behalf, in which she acknowledges knowing of the bank robberies and to setting fire to the hideout in Zwickau. She says she only ever learned of the killings and bombings after they had happened. July 2018 The trial, involving 73 lawyers and hundreds of witnesses, concludes after almost 440 days of hearings. Zschaepe is sentenced to life in prison. The group's four supporters receive lesser prison sentences of between 2½ and 10 years. http://www.tampabay.com/a-brief-history-of-german-neo-nazi-group-nsu-ap_world3d1631f7210641a8829f88373565d674

Elvis Presley traffic lights appear in German town of Friedberg - DW (English)

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Why is he there? Presley had a strong connection with Friedberg, a town of around 28,000 inhabitants, located 26 kilometers (16 miles) north of Frankfurt in the state of Hesse. Read more: Without Africans in North America, we would never have had Elvis Presley He was stationed there from October 1958 until March 1960 while serving as a soldier in the US Army. He lived in nearby Bad Nauheim. Elvis Presley in his US Army uniform while stationed in Friedberg It was there he met his future wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, whom he married after a seven-year relationship. Both towns are keen to make sure no one forgets "the King," who died in 1977, or their connections to him. While Friedberg first switched on the new traffic lights on Wednesday, Bad Nauheim holds the 'European Elvis Festival' and is planning a bronze statue of him. Flowers and pictures of Elvis left at his memorial in Bad Nauheim Bad Nauheim has long been a site of pilgrimage for Elvis' fans, and people lay candles, flowers and gifts for him. A little more action According to Götz, it took three months for the police to give the go-ahead and then a local graphic designer to send his ideas to the manufacturer. However, the work appears to have paid off, with the Wetterauer Zeitung reporting positive reviews. "Good idea," "witty," "something a little different," were some of the reactions. One person added, "I did wonder about it, but as always I crossed on green." Following a trend Transforming traffic lights has become something of a trend in Germany. The most famous are the Ampelmännchen in Berlin. Created in 1961 in what was then East Berlin, they now appear all over the united capital. The city of Augsburg now has the Kasperl puppet character in a pointed hat, Mainz has its own Mainzelmännchen, Bonn has Beethoven traffic lights...https://www.dw.com/en/elvis-presley-traffic-lights-appear-in-german-town-of-friedberg/a-46610723

Germany’s new Green divide - POLITICO.eu

Saturday, December 8, 2018

In one of Germanys most prosperous states, the Greens won 18 percent of the vote and became the second-largest party. It then achieved a similar feat in the neighboring state of Hesse, where it won 20 percent of the vote. It remains to be seen whether the party will be able to cement its support and become the champion of Germanys cosmopolitan-liberal camp for years to come. In early November, the Greens overtook the rapidly deflating SPD in nationwide opinion polls. One survey put the partys support at 24 percent, just three points below that of Chancellor Angela Merkels Christian Democratic Union. In a snap election, such a result would establish the Greens as Germanys largest left-wing force an enormous leap for the once marginal party. Buoyed by these recent successes, Greens from across Europe are gathering in Berlin this weekend to rev up their campaign for next May's European Parliament election. In the minds of many German voters, the Greens have established themselves as the polar opposite of the AfD and those who adopt a similar rhetoric. I didnt have to think about it very long, it was crystal clear, says Doris Langer, 45, of her decision to vote Green in the Bavarian election. The communications specialist from Munich used to think of herself as largely apolitical and has voted for various center-left and center-right parties in the past. But when Bavarias ruling Christian Social Union, the CDUs sister party, shifted rightward particularly on migration, a subject she cares about deeply Langer saw the Greens as her only option. They are the only ones who have a liberal refugee policy, she says. Merkels sentence from 2015, that ‘We can do it, the Greens are the only ones who take it seriously. * * * The Green surge could not have happened without the collapse of the SPD. In the birthplace of social democracy, the SPD held out longer than likeminded parties in other places in Europe. But its decline reaches back decades. In a way, social democracy became a victim of its own success. The SPD is Germanys oldest existing party. Since taking on its current name in 1890, it has dipped below 20 percent in nationwide elections only once, in 1933; the party was banned by the new Nazi government shortly after. After the war, the SPD became Germanys leading left-wing force, locked in a battle with the center-right Christian Democratic Union. After abandoning its Marxist tenets in 1959, drawing up plans to reform rather than abolish capitalism, the party gradually expanded beyond its working-class roots. Reinvented, the party attracted centrist and middle-class voters, leading to a series of SPD victories in the 1970s. Back in opposition in the 1980s and 90s, the party led regional governments in several states. The SPD governed once more between 1998 and 2005, together with the Greens. (As junior coalition partners, the Greens were weaker and less influential than now; this seven-year period was their first and so far only time in power.) But even in the SPDs 1970s heyday, its core base was already eroding. The structure of Germanys economy was changing, and with it the countrys workers. img class="wp-image-981725 size-ev-full-width"...https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-green-party-haidhausen-munich-elections-social-democrats-spd-is-the-new-red/

Germany's Greens flourish while mainstream rivals flounder

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Bavaria's state election on Sunday. It is polling strongly ahead in the election scheduled in neighboring Hesse two weeks later. The Greens have clear policies on central issues, including an emphasis on fighting climate change and a largely liberal approach to migration. The party also has a pragmatic approach and become a partner to parties from the center-right to the hard left in nine of Germany's 16 state governments. Nationally, some recent polls have shown them level with the Social Democrats, traditionally Germany's main center-left party. FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2018 file photo the new party leaders Robert Habeck, right, and Annalena Baerbock make their way on stage at the party convention of the Green party in Hannover, northern Germany. While other German mainstream parties flounder in polls and struggle to find an answer to a far-right challenge, the Greens have gone from strength to strength over the last year. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP) FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2018 file photo bucket wheels dig for coal near the Hambach Forest near Dueren, Germany. While other German mainstream parties flounder in polls and struggle to find an answer to a far-right challenge, the Greens have gone from strength to strength over the last year. They stand for climate protection and a largely liberal approach to migration. (AP Photo/Martin...https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-6268489/Germanys-Greens-flourish-mainstream-rivals-flounder.html

Flower-Power für Bayern

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Ouml;ko-Partei - und das längst nicht nur in Bayern. Ein Blick in die bundesweiten Umfragen: Auf Bundesebene bis zu 18 Prozent, nach nur 8,9 Prozent bei der Bundestagswahl im Herbst; in Hessen, wo Ende Oktober gewählt wird, 18 Prozent; in Nordrhein-Westfalen, wo sie letzten Sommer mit 6,4 Prozent aus der Regierung flogen, 17 Prozent. Längst werden die Grünen als mögliche neue Volkspartei gehandelt. Und immer wieder wird der Erfolg vor allem einem zugeschrieben - Shootingstar Robert Habeck, 49, Parteichef und Publikumsmagnet. Der Schleswig-Holsteiner tourt seit Tagen durch Bayern und veröffentlicht im Netz nicht nur Bilder von sich beim Bügeln und beim Fitnesstraining, sondern vor allem von vielen Menschen, die zu seinen Veranstaltungen kommen, reden und zuhören wollen. Was in Bayern passiere sei eine „Frischluftzufuhr für die Demokratie, schreibt er, und meint damit, dass die Alleinherrschaft der CSU wackelt. Für Habeck und Co-Parteichefin Annalena Baerbock ist diese Wahl wichtig, denn es ist die erste, seit die beiden im Januar auf Cem Özdemir und Simone Peter folgten. Seitdem arbeiten sie daran, den Grünen ein harmonisches, optimistisches, fröhliches Image zu verpassen. Scheinbar mit Erfolg, jedenfalls sehen die Umfragen danach aus. Dass mit Dieselkrise, Klimawandel und Braunkohle-Streit Ökothemen Hochkonjunktur haben, dürfte ihnen dabei zugute kommen. „Die neue SPD, „die neue Volkspartei - solche Labels werden den Grünen nun schon eine Weile verpasst. Das Spitzenpersonal genießt das offensichtlich, der schlimme Kater nach dem Platzen der Jamaika-Verhandlungen im Bund mit Union und FDP ist überstanden. Aber wenn es in Bayern wirklich glänzend läuft, könnte das auch Probleme bringen - Koalitionsverhandlungen der beiden Lieblingsfeinde CSU und Grüne hätten es in sich. Ausgeschlossen sind sie trotzdem nicht, wenn es für CSU und Freie Wähler - eventuell n...https://www.sz-online.de/nachrichten/flower-power-fuer-bayern-4029228.html