I am staying one month at Kerstin Niemann's Filter Detroit artist residency in Hamtramck, continuing collecting material for our book project No Story - A Life in Architecture about Minoru Yamasaki, that I am co-authoring with BB Mak. The project is partly funded by the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky award of the Federal C hancellery of Austria.
HERTIE GOES CLOUD
„The cloud services companies of all sizes…The cloud is for everyone. The cloud is a democracy.“
Marc Benioff, 2010
Dear friends and acquaintances,
In 2009 I managed to salvage a part of the facade of the Hertie department store in Berlin-Neukölln with the help of a grant from Stiftung Kunstfonds. I turned these 80 ceramic elements together with brass plates into a monumental wall piece called Hertie.
Last year the work was on display in the exhibition Radikal Modern at the Berlinische Galerie. With the recovery of the facade I took the responsibility for this historic artifact, although I am not interested in possessing the material. I want to transfer it into a cultural context. Because of storage problems it was not possible to integrate Hertie into the collection of the Berlinische Galerie. I have stored Hertie now for several years, but have to clear my storage by the end of this month.
Therefore I need your help with storing the work.
If there's no central storage space for the work anymore, the idea of cloud computing can help!
First the facade hung at Karl-Marx-Straße for more than 40 years.
Then it was transferred into the art world.
Now the facade is disintegrating again and becomes domesticated.
I am giving away the 80 ceramic – and 32 brass elements to people, that want to take responsibility for them and hang them above their sofa or place them next to their bed.
Every new owner gets a certificate.
If the work is ever going to be exhibited again, the respective institution can recollect the pieces from different consignors.
Please react quickly, if you're interested. The work will be transported to a storage space at Naumannpark on Wednesday, June 22. There it will be temporarily stored. It would be perfect if you could pick up a piece on location on Wednesday. Otherwise we'll find a different solution.
You can also forward this email to other interested persons.
I am looking forward to meet you for dinner and support you with the hanging of your Hertie elements.
All my best,
mail (at) berndtrasberger.de
I am giving a lecture at the Burmantofts conference in Leeds organized by the Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society (TACS)
Since April I am conducting a research about the former Burmantofts Teracotta works in Leeds. The research is commissioned by East Street Arts and should lead to a proposal for a public art piece about Burmantofts. Apart from various examples of architectural faience in Leeds, there is no evidence of the history of its important site of production close by. The factory was closed in the 1950ies, the whole area was demolished and an neighborhood with tower blocks with vast open grass fields inbetween was built on the site. This would be an interesting location for a public sculpture commemorating Burmantofts' history. The slight hills on the location seem to give a hint to the former mining activity and the history of Burmantofts, that is hidden away, buried underground. During the earthworks for the towerblocks a lot of ceramic shards were found. One idea is to create a series of sculptures that would „emerge“ from the underground (although looking like submerging ruins at the same time) Each sculpture would be crafted in a different technique associated with Burmantofts ceramics. (salt-glazed, brick stone, architectural faience and decorated pottery.) I think to place sculptures on the vast empty lawns would activate this area and create a new focal point on the now empty and unused site.
Another aspect of the hidden history of the Leeds Fireclay Company struck me during my research: At the Leeds Discovery Center various clay molds are stored. (Just small ones, since the larger examples of architectural ceramics were destroyed along with the factory.) Particularly interesting to me was a set of animals, ranging from domestic ones (dove, squirrel etc.) to more exotic ones (lion, monkey etc.) I think these animals could become the protagonists in telling the story of the hidden Burmantofts history.
The molds are very fragile and would disintegrate when being opened, therefore the animal forms can just be adumbrated when glancing into the holes of the molds. (Due to copyright issues, I cannot show these photographs here.) I was wondering whether there might be any technology, that could 3D scan into the forms to reveal the hidden animals inside. After talking to several specialists, this proves to quite difficult. (apart from expensive and complicated procedures like CT scanning etc.) I would very much like to test out the limitations of contemporary digital molding in comparison with the classical way of casting. At the moment I am discussing copyright issues with the Discovery Center about the digitization of the forms, but am very confident that we'll find a way of either scanning the molds or opening them up in collaboration with a specialized conservator. Once I have succeeded in generating the digital files, I can see how they look and if or how they are going to be intergrated into my proposal for a public sculpture. Technically these 3D files can be modified, scaled and altered and finally being printed or milled in any material from wood, metal to ceramics. This way, the historic forms could be reproduced with contemporary techniques.
Nachmieter für Lager/Produktionsfläche gesucht!
ab Mitte Juni 2016
trocken, hell, Deckenhöhe über 5m
Berlin-Tegel (Nähe Autobahn 111)
Laderampe, großer Lastenaufzug (340 x 160 x 220 cm)
24 Std. Wachschutz
Monatsmiete: 234,- € netto
Abstand für Trockenbauwände, Regale etc.: 100,- €
Schwerlastregal (Platz für 9 Europaletten) 250,- €
The website of REFUSE magazine is online!
working on REFUSE magazine together with Olfa Ben Ali
For our project about Minoru Yamasaki No Story - A Life in Architecture on which I am collaborating now with Barbara-Brigitte Mak as co-author we were awarded the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky project grant by the Federal Chancellery of Austria. This enables us to plan our next travel to Detroit this fall on which we will continue surveying the Yamasaki collection at the Michigan State Archive. Furthermore we will record our collection of voices for the book, for which we will meet several companions of Yama.
The BerlinBritzenale 2016 dedicates itself to contemporary art in the semi-public space.
14 artists embark on this quest in a 400m2 large garden plot in the garden colony "Morgentau" in Berlin-Britz.
Fences are elementary objects for allotments, as they describe the visible and sometimes insuperable separation between the private own, the neighbors and the public space. This demarcation and security is of great importance for the functioning of an allotment, which also explains the high density of flags and rims inside the garden colonies.
The BerlinBritzenale wants to highlight, among other things, these territorial claims artistically and to open the garden for visitors. The well-known stereotypes of allotments, the behavior of the tenant farmers and the specialty about gardening and harvesting is examined under the magnifying glass.
The BerlinBritzenale is made possible through the commitment of the participating artists and curated by Christof Zwiener.
Flora (I & II), 2016
In the exhibition „Culture Cannibalism“ at Ateliers89 the results of my workshop were presented. I brought a portfolio with images of contemporary sculptures, mostly taken from various art ranking websites. These images served as starting point for the participants to reproduce those Western masterpieces. In the course of this adaptation the works were cannibalized and gained a specific carribbean attitude. Discussions about the transfer of artistic ideals and post-colonial cultural policies were fostered during the making.
installation view of the exhibition:
left: Vera Croes (Franz West), center: Nuris Lampe (Aaron Curry), right: Lily Peterson (Alicja Bielawska)
There will be lectures at the black box at Ateliers89, Dominicanessenstraat 34, Oranjestad, Aruba
lecturers will be:
ALVA MOOSES and TROELS, NEW YORK
BERND TRASBERGER, BERLIN
ADI MARTIS, ARUBA
I made two works for the show. The show deals with cliche images of tropical paradise and the fake promises of this romantic escapism.
Eden Ahbez (1908 - 1995), who is considered to be the first hippie ever, lived an extraodinary life, detached from society and its materialistic needs. The anecdote is, that he lived under the "L" of the hollywood sign for quite a while. He was vegetarian, lived outside without money and just a few belongings and wrote songs and poems. All this was in the late 1950s and early 60s. Years before anyone would talk about something like the hippie movement. His song nature boy was successfully covered by Nat King Cole.
I wanted to introduce this guy to the show and made a life size silhouette of him. Furthermore I show a piece Have You Seen My Iguana? consisting out of cut up touristic beach towels and performed the song nature boy on the opening.
I am staying one month at Ateliers89 in Oranjestad, Aruba. I will give a workshop called Super-Masterpiece as a follow up of my 2014 workshop. I took a selection of contemporary sculptures from different art ranking websites. These sculptures serve as a starting point for the participants of the workshop. The sculptures are being reproduced, imitated, but cannibalized and transformed to a Carribbean version. I am curious how the results will be.
Almost exactly one year ago, during a stay in Detroit, I was watching the renovation of Woodward Avenue, the central one of the 5 principal Avenues of Detroit, that stretch out like fingers of a hand, apparently still marking Native American trails. Woodward Avenue was also the location of the first paved roadway in the US.
Last year the ramshackle pavement of Woodward Avenue was broken open and underneath old rail tracks appeared. The car industry shut down the Detroit street car system in 1956, replaced it by buses (as in many other North American cities). The people working in the automotive industry were motivated to buy a car of their own. This ultimately led to a new mobility and urban sprawl, that finally caused the decline of downtown Detroit. The Detroit street cars, sold to Mexico City, continued running there until most of them were unfortunately destroyed in the 1985 earthquake. Already before I had noticed long straight, parallel cracks in the middle of Woodward Avenue as a result of the subjacent tracks. I met a few friends at the roadside and we talked about the city of Detroit, that has started to rebuild the rail tracks along Woodward Avenue. We chatted about Mexico City, the decline of the so called North American rust belt, earthquakes and White Flight and had some beers.
History was inevitably making its way to the surface.
On Friday, December 18 at 6:00pm, I would like to invite you to meet at the cemetery wall on Naumannstraße (opposite nr. 32) have a Glühwein and chat about the Rote Insel, graffiti, Hitler, the new Ramesh Album and Russia.
encounter between Karl Marx and a putto on the facade of a "Schnäppchenmarkt"-discounter on Karl-Marx-Strasse, Berlin
Beautifully weathered chip-wood panels fencing the BND (German national intelligence agency) construction site on Chausseestraße, Berlin.
A billboard on the outer wall of my studio building was recently removed, revealing political slogans from Berlin's Cold War times in the early 1980ies.
"Down with Breshnev, the Hitler of today"
Protagonists changed, but there's still some awkward actuality in the graffiti...
Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 4pm
I will have a public talk with architecture theorist Kenny Cupers in the exhibition Radically Modern at Berlinische Galerie.
We will stroll around 1960's Berlin and visit iconic buildings and invisible ones, Hiroshima and Istanbul, the Fernsehturm and Upper West. We will talk about the future of the past, tabula rasa and critical reconstruction, Western global capitalism and riots of the 1980's, Karl Marx and Biedermeier, skateboarding and Mies van der Rohe.
My work Hertie is still on display in the exhibition.
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
Alte Jakobstraße 124 – 128
Since a while I am taking pictures of different locations in Berlin to document the change, that these unspectacular places undergo. One building, that I regularly photograph is a building on the corner of Mehringdamm / Gneisenaustraße with a sculpture on its facade. Now someone hung a bicycle (!) into it and added "AUS SCHEISE (sic) WIRD GOLD GEMACHT"
Doppelgängeradmiral, 1985 by Ludmila Seefried-Matejkova
my favorite sculpture in Berlin's public space.
I gave a tour along some artist-run project spaces in Berlin for East Street Arts from Leeds.
the dialogic city:
Neue Nationalgalerie meets Haus der Kulturen der Welt
the dialogic city. Helmut (?) Kohlhaas
Martin and Till are pleased to invite you to the book launch of
TILL CREMER, BERLIN ARTISTS
Thursday, September 17
BERLIN ARTISTS is a project by Till Cremer produced over a five-year period, during which time he photographed 500 contemporary artists in Berlin. The portraits show the artists in their working environment or a place consistent with their work and visually explore the individual artistic personality. The artist book presents 300 selected portraits.
I will give another workshop at Ateliers89 in Aruba in February 2016.
The workshop will build upon my 2014 workshop and will be titled Super-Masterpiece
Bernd Trasberger "Mehr Berlin" in Tagesspiegel, Berlin, July 25, 2015
The gigantic Kraft durch Freude (Strength through Joy) Third Reich architecture in Prora (on the German island Rügen) is finally turned into luxury condominiums. Built 1936 – 1939 by the Nazis as a holiday resort by the sea the 4,5 km long complex was never used as such due to WWII and GDR post war military use.
Thanks to various investors the coloss of Prora now finally can be enjoyed by wealthy homeowners and not just by Arian mass tourism. Even if all historical traces of GDR history might disappear and the site might not be entirely accessible anymore for the public, the completed structure should be seen as a monument for Third Reich Gigantism.
I gave a short lecture about Yamasaki at the Gasthaus of the RWTH Aachen.
some architecture is just so ridiculous, it makes you laugh wholeheartedly.
The new Stadtschloss?
Kommandanten / Alte Jakobstrasse
fake Schinkel meets fake fake Schinkel meets Centre Pompidou
new advertising of the Hornbach hardware store
the so called Bierpinsel in Berlin-Steglitz. Built 1976 by Ralf Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte.
Since 2010 covered with street art.
The Funkhaus am Raderberggürtel in Cologne, built by Planungsgruppe Stieldorf is going to be demolished soon. With its 138 m it will be the tallest building ever to be blown up. Till now the J.L. Hudson building (134 m) in Detroit was the tallest building that was brought down with explosives.
In the entrance there is a large mosaic signed Z Prolozzi
Maybe I'll come up with an idea for a re-use or recycling of that piece.
Till now I couldn't find out any information about that artist.
Oel-Früh Residenz 2015 – im Rahmen von 60 JAHRE KUNST IN HAMBURG
Preview: Freitag, den 12. Juni, 19 – 22 Uhr
Eröffnung: Samstag, den 13. Juni, ab 19 Uhr
Dauer: 14.06. – 11.07.2015
Donnerstag – Freitag: 17 – 21 Uhr
Samstag – Sonntag: 14 – 18 Uhr
Die Galerien Feinkunst Krüger, Helium Cowboy, Mikiko Sato, Oel-Früh, Kramer Fine Art, sowie die Affenfaust Galerie stehen seit (zusammen) 60 Jahren exemplarisch für die Vielfältigkeit der Hamburger Kunst.
Auf Initiative der Affenfaust Galerie werden vom 13.06. bis zum 11.07.2015 Künstlerinnen und Künstler aus dem Programm dieser sechs Hamburger Galerien zu einer übergreifenden Gruppenausstellung zusammen kommen.
Neben der Vernissage am 13. Juni wird die Residenz der Galerie Oel-Früh jeden Donnerstag eine neue Ausstellung in einem Raum im Raum eröffnen.
Der Raum im Raum, der für diese Ausstellungsreihe als Display dient, ist eine Referenz an das Haus Seepferdchen in der vorpommerschen Boddenlandschaft, genauer Dierhagen-Ost. Hier gastierten letzten Sommer acht Künstler. Jeweils zu zweit, im ‚Dialog’. Die dort begonnene Reihe Positionen im Salon des Hauses Seepferdchen wird als Teil von 60 Jahre Kunst in Hamburg fortgeführt.
In der Datscha werden Künstler im Wechsel präsentiert. Der Skulpturengarten, der den Raum umgibt, bildet hingegen permanentes Begleitbild. Eingeladen sind Konzept-Künstler/innen, die ohnehin bewusst mit Kontexten umgehen. Der programmatische ‚Dialog’ mit einem temporären Partner verstärkt diese Auseinandersetzung. Das gemeinsame Distanzieren auf ein Gesamtbild prägt immer auch das Ergebnis – und Blicke auf einzelne Werke. Als hätten sich Positionen noch einmal gefestigt. Mit dem Ausstellungskonzept folgt Galerie Oel-Früh der Betonung auf Umgebung, Prozess und (räumlicher) Intuition. Um das einordnen zu können: Die Aufnahme des Grundrisses der Datscha an einem anderen Ort, ist nicht der Versuch einer ‚Übertragung’. Vielmehr entstand die Idee dem Grundriss der zu bespielenden Räume und verfügbarem Altmaterial des Discounters folgend.
Teil V - Gesche Karnick / Anna Nero
Eröffnung: Sa, 13.Juni 2015, ab 19 Uhr
Teil VI - Birgit Brandis / Susanne Hopmann
Eröffnung: Do, 18. Juni 2015, ab 19 Uhr
Teil VII - Stella Geppert / Thea Timm / Bernd Trasberger
Eröffnung: Do, 25. Juni 2015, ab 19 Uhr
Teil VIII - Sebastian Kubersky / JE Oldendorf
Eröffnung: Do, 02. Juli 2015, ab 19 Uhr
Teil IX - Rekerb Sauer
Eröffnung: Mi, 08. Juli 2015, ab 19 Uhr
Garten – dauerhaft vom 13.06. bis 11.07.2015
FH Breker, Jay Gard, Annika Hippler, Marcel Mieth, Alexander Raymond, A Sauer, Marcel Tasler, Katharina Trudzinski, Hannes Uhlenhaut, Malte Urbschat, Hans-Chistian Saylors
Wir freuen uns auf Euch!
Frank Breker I Anna-Carla Brokof I Christopher Müller I Antje Sauer
Büro: Wendenstraße 45B, 20097 Hamburg
Ausstellungsraum: Klosterwall 23, 20095 Hamburg
Öffnungszeiten: Mo–Fr 12:00–23:00h, Sa 17:00–23:00h
phone: +49 163 3125421
GDR highway restaurant
see the interview published on bpigs.com today!
review of Vanitas Extended at Nieuwsblad
starting the installation of Hertie at the Berlinische Galerie for the show Radically Modern
PLANNING AND CONSTRUCTION IN 1960S BERLIN
Berlinische Galerie Museum of Modern Art
Architecture and urban design from the sixties still set their stamp on the Berlin townscape. Many key planning decisions were made in the sixties and some striking buildings were constructed during that period. The Berlinische Galerie will present the first ever comprehensive overview of this architectural heritage in both East and West Berlin. Historical documents, some familiar and others of more recent origin, illustrate political, social and technical visions for developing a city that had suffered severe destruction in previous decades and was then divided by the Wall. Alongside themes such as the objectives, common denominators and distinguishing factors that define a selection of these developments, such as Stalinallee, Alexanderplatz, Breitscheidplatz and the Märkisches Viertel, the exhibition explores features of these architectural designs that reveal international networking between those involved or else illustrate how knowledge of international trends was reflected in concrete designs. About 300 works by some 30 architects, planning partnerships, photographers and artists will be on display.
Architects (selected): Werner Düttmann, Fehling + Gogel, Walter Gropius, Georg Heinrichs, Josef Kaiser, Roland Korn, Ludwig Leo, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Klaus Müller-Rehm, Ulrich Müther, Hans Scharoun, Manfred Zumpe
Artists (selected): Beate Gütschow, Karsten Konrad, Hendrik Krawen, Bernd Trasberger, Stephen Willats
Exhibition architect: David Saik, Berlin
Catalogue with the kind support of Wüstenrot Stiftung.
With the kind support of Kulturstiftung des Bundes
475 x 85 x 85cm
installation view: Vanitas Extended, Lakenhal, Ypres, B
starting building up my work Sykes-Picot at the exhibition Vanitas Extended in Ypres, B
I took another walk through town, looking for ideas and locations for my participation in the exhibition Vanitas Extended in April.
WW1 still is omnipresent in this town, which was one of the cruelest battlefields of the Great War.
I am planning to make another column, a monument for the oil as the fuel of Modernity.
WW1 was the first war in which the access to the oilfields of the Middle East played an important role as Western European and Russian leaders watched the decline of the Ottoman Empire.
The portfolio Work which can be downloaded as a pdf is updated. Text and CV will follow soon!
Mystery and Melancholy of a Street
Bernd Trasberger & Małgorzata Szandała
In 1914, right before the beginning of WWI, Giorgio de Chirico painted a murky picture, which atmosphere carried the foreboding of future, tragic events in Europe.
Four hundred years earlier, in 1514, Albrecht Dürer created his famous copperplate titled Melancholia I – equally dark and saturated with symbolism.
At the end of December 2014, five hundred years after Dürer’s graphic creation the DOKP building in Katowice – a characteristic and monumental office designed by Jerzy Gottfried – is being demolished.
The connection of these three dates is the point of reference for our collaborative project.
We observe how the space around us is changing. Successively, construction is followed by deconstruction, modernism and post-; the phenomena take place one after another, like always, they run in cycles. History makes circles following the trajectories of the rings of Saturn.
With a strange and awkward feeling – a feeling of some undefined loss – we ramble through the streets, stumble over traces of what existed once, what happened once. We are accompanied by both striking and obvious awareness, that none of the places is innocent.
Like W. G. Sebald, in his melancholic journey, we move on the circle’s perimeter cutting time and space. Pulled by the inertial force. Without aim.
In Mourning and Melancholia, Freud shows and plainly differentiates two reactions to loss.
“Mourning is regularly the reaction to the loss of a loved person, or to the loss of some abstraction which has taken the place of one, such as one’s country, liberty, an ideal, and so on. In the same circumstances the place of mourning, in the case of certain people who we suspect of having and inclination towards illness, is taken over by melancholia (…) equally melancholia can be reaction to loss of the loved object.; in other cases we can observe that the loss has more idealistic nature. Therefore the object didn’t die but has been lost as the object of love. In some other cases it seems to us that we should hold on to the hypothesis of such a loss but we can not univocally tell what exactly has been lost (…) which is why the sick is not able to realize what he lost.” Thus mourning opens the way out of the process of working through a loss, melancholia – on the contrary. In the melancholic state we do not know what we've lost, or what the meaning of that loss is for us. So, melancholy has its geometry – and that is a circle. It lasts and lasts, circles and circles infinitely or until spontaneous loss of its momentum. With no reason.
This way, the lost object is beyond our consciousness, it remains a mystery. What is visible is only a symptom, a state. Melancholy is a phantom that hurts. One can imagine it as an “unreal” object or devoid of form, ephemeral and ungraspable. Having a nature of a shadow.
In antiquity, the Greeks (Hippocrates wrote about it) associated melancholy with the black bile. This liquid, according to that proto-scientific view, had its source in a spleen and was one of four liquids of the human body corresponding with four humoral states – temperaments. Disequilibrium of these liquids with dominance of black secretion of a spleen was supposed to be a reason of a bad mood of the melancholic. What is interesting, black bile’s patron is none other than Saturn.
Saturn – a gas giant with the beautiful and strongly visible rings. Ephemeral celestial body; the most distant planet known to the Ancient, however for the first time Galileo precisely observed it through his telescope in 1610. And he admired the set of rings the planet was surrounded by. Extremely strong hurricane winds in the atmosphere of Saturn in conjunction with the heat produced by its interior cause the golden-yellowish-brown coloring of the planet.
Roman Saturn, Greek Cronus – a hot-tempered god with hair torn by the wind is a complex symbol. Although, he is commonly associated with agriculture, he is also a personification of time. If we take it further, he is identified with the beginning of history. History which, as we know, runs in circles. Saturn is a god exceptionally cruel. He devours his own children, he destroys everything he had created. The cycle of destruction and creation is repeated infinitely. Although it is dramatic, it provides a certain stability and reference, a ritual.
There are things which exist today only as phantoms or shadows. However, despite its ephemeral nature they are imprinted in our memory. They resemble the trace of a lead–cast type pressed onto the paper.
The buildings disappeared, disappear, will disappear from the cityscape. Perhaps they reappear once again in another place at another time.
A version of my work Fade To Grey, originally from 2012, is presented at the architectural department of Lawrenche Technological University in Southfield, MI, a suburb of Detroit.
The work will become an exchange project between architectural academies in collaboration with Charlie O'Geene of Lawrence Tech.
Fade to Grey II, 2015
Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, USA
laser prints on paper, 540 pages of A4 format sheets
3,7 x 11,87 m
Textured rubbing of the wall frieze on the lateral façade of the former Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Court of Auditors) (1953-2000) in Frankfurt/Main. The frieze was made by the architect Friedel Steinmeyer, who designed the building in collaboration with Werner Dierschke. The building, part of which is under historic preservation protection, was forcibly sold at auction in 2010. Subsequently a public debate on the question of satisfying historic preservation protection criteria in the case of this building was set in motion by several expert opinions assessing the building fabric and its historic value. For the work series Fade to Grey the surface structure of the wall frieze was transferred to A4 format paper by rubbing with graphite, which was then scanned, inverted, and printed again on 540 pages of A4 format sheets. Fade To Grey II is presented on a curved wall in the architectural department. Of the University. In exchange the second wall one floor below will be rubbed and transferred to US letter standard format papers. This digitized rubbing will also be sent to me as a pdf file and I will also print it out and paste it to a wall of a German architecture academy.
The iconic Steymneyer frieze thus will be exchanged with a generic white wall of an architectural academy. This curved wall of Lawrence Tech will soon be translocated to a most likely straight wall in another architecture school.
photos by Malgosia Szandala
Simultaneously with the building-up of our exhibition, the demolition of the DOKP building has begun. Surprisingly, in contrast to what was communicated before the demolition workers told us now, they have order not to destroy the sculpture. Did our action finally contribute to the rescue of the sculpture, or will it also be demolished alongside with the building in the end?
Whatever happens: The frottage and the salvaged fragments will be part of the exhibition in Centrum Kultury Katowice.
covering the crack surfaces of the DOKP sculpture fragments with gold leaf and gold powder lacquer
working with my own Yama archive...
release of Wie wollen wir leben? - 50 Jahre Halle-Neustadt the catalogue of the exhibition außer-planmäßig
I have left Detroit. Though being quite occupied with my research, I got to know the city a bit during my last four weeks. There are so many clichés about „the D“, but the city has been the setting for a lot of extraordinary events, novelties and contradictions between boomtown and shrinking city. Detroit, in the 19th century final destination of the underground railroad for escaped slaves, became a highly segregated city in the 1960ies, resulting in massive riots. Today Detroit has still one of the highest murder rates in the US. Urban developments like the first US freeway, the largest shopping mall and a huge suburbanization were spearheaded in Detroit. It's the birthplace of Motown, Techno and the assembly line and of course the story of Motor City can not be told without the automobile. Whereas a lot of other post-industrialized cities in the American midwest have undergone a similar decline, the story of Detroit is surely is the most symbolic. After the Great Depression in the 1930ies the city's decline was temporarily averted as it became the arsenal of democracy, switching overnight from automotive production to weaponry. Though after WWII an incredible blast of consumerism tried to fuel the American dream the downfall of the city was irreversible. Race riots and suburbanization disected the city, money was drained to the suburbs and after the oil crisis of the early 1970's the automotive plants started to shut down. Today Detroit's population has shrunk to less than half of its size of the 1950's leaving large areas of the inner city destroyed, vacant or boarded up. But there is much more than ruin porn and Detroit's media image bewteen Only Lovers Left Alive and Brick Mansions. There are so many incredible cultural initiatives from urban farming to neighborhood workshops, that all try to establish very carefully, being very concerned about their neighborhoods and a grass roots approach. In vast contrast to this stands an institution like the Red Bull House of Art, which I found shocking. If I had to direct a movie in which one scene would be called „the grand contemporary art opening“, I would choose such a warehouse location, cast these type of people and hang such art, that is easily recognizable as such, but doesn't require any further thought. Whereas I see a lot of potential in the emerging local Detroit art scene, where welded metal sculptures and street art still seem to prevail, Red Bull House of Art seems to position itself at the other end of the range: A contentless imitation of the contemporary art lifestyle, throwing thousands of dollars worth of booze at suburban hipster kids, whereas homeless people roam in the vicinity. I hope, that the art scene in Detroit can resist these kinds of commercial temptation, just as the inner city dwellers should resist the temptation of the suburbs. Culture is a great hope for the city. Hopefully the process of gentrification and renewal will be continued in a sensible way. There are already enough Ibizas and Miamis in the art world and Berlin's Tacheles ruin porn has made way for countless hostels to accommodate the global party hipsters.
My Yamasaki research proofed to be extremely prolific. I have done an thoroughly survey of the Yamasaki collections at Walter P. Reuther library and the Michigan State Archive. Due to my all-over-artistic-survey of the archives I was a bit overwhelmed by their scope in the beginning, but then I developed a sense of the archives on a greater level and I get more insight into the person Yamasaki.
Also a lot of new questions arose. I made hundreds of photographs and found some very interesting yet unpublished drawings, letters, manuscripts and photos. Although having developed some new ideas for installations, I am now strongly inclined towards making a publication as a „dialogue with Yamasaki“. I would not show any photographs of buildings - only drawings, models, construction sites, interiors and images of sites of former Yama buildings. like the current Pruitt-Igoe forest, the 9/11 Memorial and the construction site on the lot of the destroyed Yamasaki and Associates office. Yamasaki would „speak" through letters and quotations of lectures (all facsimile). It’s gonna be an artistic book with a lot of associative connections between the archival material. I would have to come back and examine the archives more and make proper reproductions. Even in 4 weeks I seem to just having scratched the surface. Last week I was able to have dinner with Prof. Dale Gyure, who currently writes a book on Yamasaki and two architects that have worked in Yamasaki's office: Keith Allen Brown and Henry J. Guthard. It was extremely interesting to hear anecdotes and receive a lot of new information.
The car industry shut down the Detroit street car system in 1956, replaced it by buses (as in many other North American cities). The people working in the automotive industry were motivated to buy a car of their own. This ultimately lead to a new mobility and urban sprawl, that finally caused the decline of downtown Detroit. The Detroit street cars, sold to Mexico City, continued running there until most of them were unfortunately destroyed in the 1985 earthquake.
Now the city of Detroit has started to rebuild the rail tracks along Woodward Avenue.
In the course of construction work, the old railtracks, that were covered with asphalt are being excavated and removed. On a large stretch Woodward Avenue showed pretty straight cracks. Apparently these result from the subjacent tracks, as if history is inevitably making its way to the surface.
I visited Northland Center shopping mall in an inner-ring suburb of Detroit.
Built in 1954 by Victor Gruen the mall was the first of its kind and it was praised as the future of shopping in post-war America. The residents, mostly having well-paid jobs in the automotive industry could afford to buy a car themselves. This enabled them to commute between the city and the suburban dwellings, where they now also found possibilities for shopping. Followed by many other shopping centers in the following years this suburbanization finally lead to the decline of inner city Detroit. Today with even bigger malls in the outer suburbs Northland Center made a quite deserted impression.
I was able to survey the Yamasaki collection at the Michigan State Archive in Lansing for one week. It was extremely interesting and I looked through various binders with transparencies, photographs and slides, boxes with miscellaneous project files, drawings, books etc.
The staff at the archives was extremely helpful and supportive.
State archivist Mark Harvey and his staff were the ones to save the files out of the Yamasaki & Associates office in 2010 after they were alerted of the imminent destruction of the office records by county workers preparing the indebted firm’s equipment for auction to recoup overdue taxes.
Though I have examined various archival goods, I have the feeling of just having scratched the surface. I will definitely need more time (and funding!) to be able to return and complete my research thoroughly. My ideas at the moment are strongly heading towards a publication in which I would combine files of the Yamasaki collection with current photography and texts.
All images courtesy of the Yamasaki collection at the State Archives of Michigan
the images are just snapshots and no proper reproductions yet
My installation fingerprint is almost dissolved as the original guard-house approaches the Wendemuseum.
all photos of fingerprint by Christof Zwiener
On my way to the Michigan State Archive in Lansing, MI, I went to see the site of the office of Minoru Yamasaki and Associates.
The large office building designed by Yamasaki himself and built 1967 was situated on a property, covered with many large mature trees. The building was demolished earlier this year. Now there is a construction site for a new children's hospital and another important Yamasaki building ceased to exist in the material world.
photos: Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, Steve Vorderman taken from michiganmodern.org
The banners at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City have been exchanged.
The new ones show don't show the design of the Memorial anymore, but the new skyline of New York with One World Trade Center in the middle.
Today I went into the Michigan Theatre, built by Cornelius W. and George L. Rapp in 1926 on the site of the birthplace of the Ford automobile. In 1977 it was converted into a parking garage.
It seems to be one of the very symbolic stories of Detroit.
I attended a highly interesting "downtown-skyscraper-tour" given by Michael Farrell arthousetours.com
In Detoits waterfront skyline you can find skyscrapers of all eras from Beaux-arts-style to Deconstructivist.
(in the middle the former Michigan Consolidated Gas Company building - now Woodward One, by Yamasaki)
In the foreground the Hart plaza with the Isamu Noguchi fountain: a well-known skateboarding site.
Minoru Yamaski's McGregor Memorial Conference Center at Wayne State University
I started surveying the Yamasaki files at the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University starting with office communication of the 1950s, slowly working my way through the large amount of papers.
Even by reading official letters at a certain point the character of the person Yamasaki shines through and I found some interesting statements about Pruitt-Igoe and great notes on his vision about a humanistic architecture in general.
Detroit ruin porn
Back home I started to prepare for my Detroit residency which is soon to come.
Read the synopsis of my Yamasaki project below:
Minoru Yamasaki's invisible buildings
Publication/exhibition about Minoru Yamasaki, bringing elements of his archives into a contemporary art context. focusing on the imaginary aspects of his work.
The challenge of our times philosophically, politically, is tremendous; and the challenge of architecture is an integral part of the total challenge. Whether we, the architects of this time, are able to meet it remains to be seen.
Minoru Yamasaki, A Humanist Architecture for America & Its Relation to the Traditional Architecture of Japan, Zodiac 8, 1961
As a tragic coincidence the American architect Minoru Yamaski (1912 - 1986) built two significant pieces of Modern Architecture that have become best known through the iconic images of their destruction - Pruitt-Igoe (1955-1976) and the World Trade Center (1973-2001).
Both mediatized destructions mark paradigm shifts. Struggling over representation in our digital age, we have affirmed images as part of reality. Although these buildings don't exist anymore, they are still highly present to us because they are globally being consulted about their collision with history. The sites of these vanished Yamasaki buildings remain commemorating voids: Pruitt-Igoe has become a forest between the housing project's streets. The 9/11 Memorial leaves the Twin Towers' foundations open as reflective pools. Both sites, represent crucial points and yet completely different aspects of American history, and seem to relate to Yamasaki's ideals of humanist landscape design. The Pruitt-Igoe site is an informal monument for the so-called death of modernism, but also for its connected social and economic change of post-industrialized cities.
Yamasaki though is relatively unknown. There is no academic publication or biography and the majority of his abatement still has to be made accessible. All of Yamasaki's watercolors are lost. I am in contact with the relevant archives, his associates and family to elaborate my research.
I want to stress the topicality of Minoru Yamasaki's work and shed a light on his biography. Yamasaki was raised in poor conditions, suffered restrictions during WW2, becoming famous in the 1960s, his fame culminating in the commission for the WTC. But in the post-modernist discourse of the 1970s Yamasaki's New Formalism was buried in oblivion.
Do the destructions of his buildings symbolize the tragedy of his career or does his work and his ideals still resonate into our present times, making Yamasaki a central figure in the history of Modernism?
After first concentrating on formal characteristics of Yamasakis architecture, my focus shifted to more biographical features. Some aspects of my research are more inclined to be shown in an exhibition, whereas others would lend themselves better for a publication. I know, that profound examination of the archives and meeting people in person will reveal information that can become the project's center of gravitation. I would focus on Yamasakis personal sketches, watercolors, photographs, notes and letters.
Through the examination of Yamaski's personal and professional abatement in the Reuther library at Wayne State University in Detroit and the Michigan State Archive in Lansing I wan't to discover records, that portray Yamaski's lifework and diversify and replenish his architectural heritage - still physically existing or not.
My project investigates the imaginary qualities of Yamasaki's work by incorporating his invisible buildings, unbuilt designs and his imaginary watercolors (Yamasaki mentions them extensively in his autobiography A life in architecture) into a series of contemporary art installations. My aspiration is to create an artistic biography of Yamasaki, revealing his personal approach to architecture and the rupture lines in his biography. Hence my work would correspond with the only hitherto existing book about his life: His self-published autobiography.
One artwork will be a combination of original Yamasaki landscape watercolors with film footage of the Pruitt-Igoe forest. Another installation deals with the vanished shadows of the WTC.
I would love to create a book that appears to be a formal revenant of Yamasaki's autobiography but replenishing the story of his architecture with unpublished documents and anecdotes.
I am confident, that the meetings and my survey of the archives will be necessary for the further conception of my project.
Workshop Masterpiece at Ateliers89, Oranjestad, Aruba
02.09. – 05.10.2014
I enjoyed very much having the opportunity of giving a workshop at Ateliers89, since I always think, that it is very much enriching to teach or exhibit in a different cultural context.
I actually had the chance to do both during my month-long stay on the island.
I took the assumed cultural differences bewteen Aruba and thel Western-European artworld, that I usually belong to, as starting point for my workshop.
I brought a folder with photographs of contemporary Western-European sculptural work, out of which the participants had to choose one to reproduce.
Hereby the point of departure are the given photographs. The scale, materials, colors and the technical construction of the works have to be interpreted solely from the images. Some photographs only show a detail of the sculpture, their backsides are not visible, installations might include sound or smell and some internet-images are in low resolution. All this information and deficiency can be taken into account while starting to reproduce the artwork. Hereby a lot of interpretation and translation takes place and might spark off own trajectories in re-creating the „masterpiece“, although the appertaining title of the work and the name of the artist are not being provided.
My idea was, that this approach could be suitable for the heterogenous group of participants that I was expecting. (ranging from young scholars preparing for art school to adults that want to indulge into an artistic practice next to their regular jobs.) The assignment could be approached from a strictly practical site by just re-making the artworks, but there is also opportunity to engage in a discourse about contemporary sculpture, appropriation art and the value of the original piece in comparison to its reproduction.
This starting point though, proved to be more difficult, than imagined. It seemed, that most of the participants had a strong urge to create something of their own, something „nice“. The examples I brought, were mostly trashy, seemingly carelessly asembled installations like works by Isa Genzken, Manfred Pernice, Aaron Curry, Thea Djordjaze and others. I wanted to spark off a post-colonial discussion about an import of a typically Western, ironic attitude in visual arts. I wanted to challenge my position, coming over from Berlin – a contemporary, cultural hotspot – to an academy on a small Carribbean island, funded by the Dutch government.
The participants quickly chose an artpiece, that appealed to them intuitively and immediately imagined, what could be altered to make it „nicer“. One student told me, she didn't like most of the pieces, because they were so abstract and colorless. An interesting point of view, that in the end lead to some surprising results, like a Vedova sculpture with a fragmented female portrait instead of abstract paint strokes on it, a teenager-diary version of a Franz Ackermann installation and a remake of a pyramid shaped sculpture by Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan displaying dragons and Mexican luchadores' wrestling masks. Interestingly the urge of self-expression can sometimes be in the way of an elaborate contemplation on visual arts. I also remember this vividly from my own studies in art school, when the most difficult class for me was the painting class, although painting was the reason, why I had started art school. But since I was painting a lot and felt quite secure in that medium it seemed impossible for me to break the constraints of my practice and achieve something new.
For an advanced examination on sculpture it can be quite challenging to restrain ones own urge for creation and limit yourself to the pure copying of an existing piece. By doing so it becomes apparent how many decisions still have to be made if the starting point for imitation is just a photograph. One has to read the 2-dimensional image and translate it into a 3-dimensional object.
So, after having to make the students stick more to the original photograph in the beginning, we had to go on a quest for material, which is the basic requirement for working sculpturally.
At this point it has to be mentioned, that without the immense energy and commitment of Elvis Lopez almost none of the sculptures would have come to life. Elvis drove around the island in the van to look for and pick up material, to buy new supplies when needed and to help and motivate the students next to accomplishing all the organisational tasks. He proved to be more than schizophrenic, being the driver, director, technician and secretary all in one big person. After a rather sagging start the students got into the working mode for their projects as soon as all the tools and materials were gathered. For a sculpture-workshop, this is of course more difficult, than working in media like painting, drawing or photography, since a lot more materials, space and tools are being required. Every student found its way into the production of a sculpture, that was more or less losely based on the initial photograph. In some cases the technical challenges of finding a suitable construction for a particular idea took some time, energy and efforts. I believe, that every technical decision also influences the aesthetic outcome of a piece and vice versa. So I think it is important to guide the students in looking at their piece and carefully considering every decision being made, however small and marginal it might seem even if that made me being called „Pietje Precies“.
Quite a number of students joined the workshop, although unfortunately some of them dropped in quite late or had to leave the workshop before its final, due to some job-related obligations.
I was very pleased and surprised with the outcome of the individual works. They had become something far more interesting, than just a reproduction of a „masterpiece“, but the works managed to merge a Western debate about contemporary sculpture with the Carribbean Way of Life.
The last task of the workshop was to assemble a show together. For most of the participants it was the first time ever to exhibit. It was a challenge for everyone to stop working on their individual pieces and shift their focus to a collaborative presentation in which the works together start to have a dialogue. As I also have experienced while coordinating the final exams at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, for the participants it is a new way of looking at their sculptures, when they accept another work in their vicinity and learn to look at the presentation as a whole. This surely also includes moving the walls, hanging the name tags and sweeping the floor in the end, if not Elvis had already done so himself.
The opening of the exhibition was a beautiful feast, with a lot of interested fancy dressed visitors, families, exciting talks, drinks, food and dance. A truly Carribbean evening illuminated by lampions that Elvis had made me hang up high in the trees.
The Monument For The Lago Colony
I was also able to produce a work of my own. The Monument for the Lago Colony This work was inspired by the history of the island. One day Elvis toghether with local artist Glenda Heijliger took me on a tour through San Nicolas, where a large abandoned oil refinery dominates the town. Now defunct, the refinery once has brought wealth to the island. Downtown, in what is now a rather dodgy redlight district you can find a vast amount of early modernist buildings, now painted and renovated in hilarious ways. One building has several stucco escutcheons from a local hardware store on his facade.
Another architectural element that you can find all over the island are fake plaster columns. (mostly of doric or ionic order)
These columns represent the colonial history as well as the local need for decoration and beauty. In the case of the modernist buildings at San Nicolas this is a rather absurd combination.
All this observation inspired my own version of a classical monument for the history of the Lago refinery and its now also abandoned appertaining colony.
With the help of Elvis and local craftsmen I created a column of oil drums with a concrete base and capital poured by a local sculptor, specialized in creating these domestic decorations. Unfortunately there was just little money to be able to create such a site-specific piece. With a lot of help of the locals I was able to erect the column and donate it to Ateliers89 as a permanent piece for the courtyard.
I hope that I'll have the chance to come back one day and research more into the history of the Lago Colony. It would be fantastic to erect a column (if not a whole temple) on the cliffs at the very site of the former colony, overlooking the sea towards Venezuela.
I had a very fruitful and inspiring stay, thanks to Elvis Lopez and other local cultural producers, that I had the chance to meet, like especially Osaira Muyale and Renwick Heronimo and their interesting project Studio O and striving for the establishment of a local Museum for Contemporary Art, joining artistic forces of the Carribbean region and connecting the contemporary culture with the very fascinating local cultures of carnival in which a lot of the passion and creativity of the Arubian people is eminent.
On my last day on Aruba I visited the site of the former Lago Colony, now called Seroe Colorado, still partially surrounded by a brick wall.
Most of the former colony buildings are demolished. Empty streets run through wasteland with cacti and shrubs. A lot of the remaining houses are empty. Just the villas of the former higher officials, overlooking Rodgers beach and the refinery are mostly renovated.
The Monument for the Lago Colony, 2014
oil drums, concrete
92 x 92 x 325 cm
after some difficulties during transport we erected my Monument for the Lago Colony which will stay as a permanent piece at ateliers89
I will give a lecture in the black box at ateliers89 on Wednesday, Oct. 01 at 6:30 pm
invitation (in Papiamento)
Invitación Personal Charla Bernd Trasberger,
Bernd Trasberger ta e artista y maestro den residencia actualmente na Ateliers '89 Academia di Bellas Artes Aruba.
Cu lo duna un charla Diaranzon awor ariba su trabou cu ta masha interesante mes.
Bernd ta traha den espacionan publico y tin un bista conpletamente diferente ariba con y kiko di trabounan publico.
Pero principalmente su bista ariba obranan di arte actual y di su mes ta uno único.
Bin e lezing fantastico aki Diaranzon y experencia un arista masha apart den su genero y comparti bo obra cu esun di dje.
Tambe Bernd ta un persona hopi amabel y diferente cu ta origina di Berlin Alemania pero tambe di Belgica.
Charla special Renwick Heronimo.
Bini y engrandese no arte Diaranzon atradi pa 5.30pm te cu 7pm. Black Box Atelierts '89 . INFO Elvis 5654613
ADN Pförtnerhaus presents #10
IN COLLABORATION WITH THE WENDE MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES
BERND TRASBERGER : FINGERPRINT
Opening: Sunday September 28 from 4 PM - 6 PM
at the Armory, 10808 CULVER BLVD, CULVER CITY
Buildings usually don`t travel. It even seems to contradict the nature of architecture. On the other hand, it is unnatural for people not to travel, yet for most inhabitants of the GDR, this was the case.
In August 2014, the ADN Pförtnerhaus went on a journey that no GDR guard could ever have dreamt of. A former Berlin-Mitte guardhouse will be installed, after an exceptional exhibition series in Berlin, at four different locations in Los Angeles, Culver City and El Segundo close to the Hollywood dream factory.
Beginning on September 28 the ADN Pförtnerhaus (guardhouse) project will appear in front of the Armory building in Culver City, the new home-in-progress of the Wende Museum.
For this setting Berlin-based artist Bernd Trasberger developed FINGERPRINT, a graphic rubbing of the original guardhouse facade. While the house itself is crossing the ocean between Europe and America, Trasberger reacts to this symbol of control and surveillance of public space. At first sight, the genetic fingerprint appears abstract and mysterious. Resembling a Hollywood backdrop, the immaterial picture manifests itself on site until the arrival of the actual guardhouse.
FINGERPRINT can be downloaded on the website www.adn-pfoertnerhaus.de and can be printed out as a document.
After a twelve-month long exhibition series in Berlin, the ADN Pförtnerhaus, a project initiated and curated by Berlin artist Christof Zwiener, is traveling to Los Angeles for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The guardhouse will be on view in various locations throughout Los Angeles county for an additional two months curated by Zwiener, in cooperation with the Wende Museum in Culver City. The ADN Pförtnerhaus project will conclude with the ceremonial transfer of the former East German guardhouse to the Wende Museum where it will reside on permanent loan in the Wendes sculpture garden.
From 1971 until its closing in 1992, the headquarters of the General German News Service (ADN) of East Germany in the precinct Berlin-Mitte (Mollstraße, on the corner of Karl-Liebknecht-Straße) was guarded by a gatekeeper who monitored the entrance to and exit from the parking lot. His base was a two-square-meter guardhouse, purposefully fashioned in a typically stark East German design. Mass produced starting in the 1970s, these aluminum shacks were positioned in front of or behind every government agency and ministry in East Berlin, in order to monitor people with or without vehicles. At the same time these standard control stations were used for mass surveillance of public spaces in East Berlin as well as for monitoring border crossings.
When the former ADN building was sold to an investor in 2012, the guardhouse was slated for destruction. With the acquisition of the guardhouse and the beginning of the and Pförtnerhaus project in June 2013, the artist Christof Zwiener saved the only remaining GDR monitoring station in the public space of East Berlin from destruction and eventual disappearance. On the former grounds of the motor pool of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in Lichtenberg on Herzbergstraße, the guardhouse found a new home in September 2013. There the guardhouse was made available as a temporary exhibition space for 10 invited artists who engaged with themes including the legacy of the GDR, state surveillance in general, public space in Berlin and its constant transformation.
The exhibition series in Los Angeles will further this discourse. International artists including Bernd Trasberger, Sonya Schönberger and Friedrich Kunath will grapple with the consequences of social and political changes, working together with Christof Zwiener. Finally, in the new sculpture park of the Wende Museum on the former grounds of the National Guard Armory in Culver City, the ADN Pförtnerhaus will take its place as an independent installation.
The ADN Pförtnerhaus is a project of the artist Christof Zwiener, with the generous support of the Wende Museum, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Villa Aurora, El Segundo Museum of Art (ESMoA), the cities of Los Angeles, El Segundo and Culver City.
Exhibition FINGERPRINT from September 29 until November 7
Further information about the history, the current and past exhibitions of the ADN Pförtnerhaus
can be found under www.adn-pfoertnerhaus.de.
WENDE MUSEUM / ARMORY
10808 CULVER BLVD,
CULVER CITY, CA 90230
PHONE: (310) 216-1600 EXT. 307
PRESS CONTACT EUROPE:
PHONE: +49.30 62736102
PRESS CONTACT USA:
The Wende Museum
PHONE: (310) 216-1600 EXT. 307
We drove around the island to find a capital and a base for my oil drum column. When you start looking for such, you see, that almost every house on the island seems to be decorated with cement columns. After not finding columns with the right measurements, we went looking for a local craftsman, that could cast the required elements. Finally we found someone and I am really curious wether the final result will look like my description.
invite for the exhibition of my workshop on Aruba
digital sketch for a sculpture, that I am planning to make here on Aruba: Monument for the Lago Colony
some more modernist buildings in Oranjestad
Last night I went to San Nicolas together with two Aruban artists, Glenda Heyliger and Elvis Lopez. The town is dominated by a large immured oil refinery, now defunct. The site was established as a transshipment facility by the Lago Oil and Transport Co. Ltd and in 1928 a refinery was built by Standard Oil. It was at time the largest refinery in the world. Up on a hill, where now illegal immigrants and drug trafficking enters the island by night, the Lago colonoy for the higher employees of the company was situated. Apart from dwellings most of its facilities are demolished now.
Downtown, in what is now a rather dodgy redlight district you can find a vast amount of early modernist buildings, now painted and renovated in hilarious ways. One building has several stucco escutcheons from a local hardware store on his facade.
I am staying at ateliers89 in Oranjestad, Aruba for one month. I have a studio residency here and will give a workshop called Masterpiece for local art students. (See my introductory paper below). Ateliers89 is situated in a beautiful old colonial hospital from the 1920 in the middle of Oranjestad.
Workshop Masterpiece Ateliers89, Aruba
"Make copies, young man, many copies. You can only become a good artist by copying the masters"
Mon, Sep 08: start, introduction, choice of artworks
Thu, Sep 11: group presentation and discussion of individual works
Thu, Sep 18: group presentation and discussion of individual works
Thu, Sep 25: works finished. Discussion about set-up of the exhibition
Thu, Oct, 02: opening of the exhibition.
Throughout the weeks: individual discussion and coaching
In an initial meeting all the participants (or groups of participants) choose one (or more) artworks out of my Masterpiece-portfolio to reproduce.
Hereby we will depart from the given photographs. The scale, materials, colors and the technical construction of the works have to be interpreted from the images. Some photographs only show a detail of the sculpture or more works that might belong together or not, their backsides are not visible, installations might include sound or smell, some internet-images are in low resolution, scans of books show folds, page numbers and captions. All this information and deficiency can be taken into account while starting to reproduce the artwork. Hereby a lot of interpretation and translation takes place and might spark off own trajectories in re-creating the masterpiece.
The acquisition of materials will be the first step and in some cases improvisation will be needed. A stainless steel sculpture could also be made from wood etc.
While working and in group discussions a vivid discourse can arise about the technical conversion, the authenticity of a copied artwork, appropriation art and last but not least the real authors of the works.
I chose a variety of contemporary sculpture, mostly colorful, sometimes thrashy and ironic in its gesture and not site-specific (e.g. an indoor sculpture could be placed outside and vice versa). All the artists of the chosen images are succesful in the Western contemporary artworld and artmarket. I also want to raise the post-colonial question, which importance it has, if an artist from the so-called art-capitol Berlin comes to Aruba with a portfolio of contemporary art to teach how this has to be made.
I hope, that through the appropriation of these works an interesting discussion will be fostered and the local Aruban view and approach onto these works will lead to fruitful results.
Finally we will talk about how to curate an exhibition with our produced artworks. So we will finally introduce the space as an artistic topic. Do we need to stage a classical white-cube setting? How do our re-made artworks finally appear in photographic representation again?
Together with Nathalie Vanheule I visited the Belgian city of Ieper, where she will organize an exhibition called Vanitas Extended in April 2015. 100 years ago Ieper was at the frontline of WW1, furthermore it was the site of the first attack with lethal gas by the German army. Nathalie invited me to participate in the exhibition and I briefly visited some locations throughout the city.
I saw these fragmented gravestones casted in concrete on the backside of the cathedral, one of them half hidden behind a gate. I have to return and have a closer look at the locations and the city to develop an idea for the show.
some tests inverting the scans of the DOKP frottage
I went to Katowice to make a frottage of the sculpture next to the DOKP building, before it most likely will be demolished in September. The frottage will be part of a duo-exhibition (together with Małgorzata, Szandała who helped with the frottage) in Centrum Kultury Katowice in January 2015.
The show will be about Melancholia (linked to Saturn in mythology), the longing for vanished, missing objects and the polyhedron (philosopher's stone) depicted in Durer's engraving Melencolia.
I rubbed off a large circular part of the sculpture with A4 format papers. Doing so, I noticed all the different textures of the chisel on every limestone block. Most likely I am the only person, that almost touched every square millimeter of the sculpture, apart from the person who sculpted it in the 1960ies. While we were working the homeless guy, that lives behind the sculpture turned up and went to sleep, taking no notice of us, just as we didn't take notice of the passers-by, that didn't take notice of us. All in all we were able to work very undisturbedly. Spontaneously I decided to scan and invert the frottage afterwards, so it resembles the view of planet Saturn in front of a black background. Therefore I had to make the frottage in complementary colors. After hesitating shortly, I used several pastels out of a box from 1930, which belonged to my grandfather, since I didn't bring the right colors for an inverted frottage.
Dear friends and colleagues,
due to some travels I will sublet my studio in September, October and November.
about 40 qm studiospace in studio-building in Naumannpark Berlin-Schöneberg/Kreuzberg (near Victoriapark, S-Bahn: Südkreuz or Julius-Leber-Brücke)
shared kitchen next door.
various tools and e-drum-kit
ground-floor, quiet, nice studio neighbors.
200,- / month
you can forward this offer to reliable and friendly persons!
I made a frottage of the ADN-Pförtnerhaus.
I managed to reassemble the salvaged fragments from the sculpture outside of the DOKP building in Katowice.
I am invited to do a short-term project based residency at fortress studios in Detroit from Oct. 22 - Nov. 22, 2014
I purchased three Saudi Arabian banknotes all depicting buildings conceived by Yamasaki.
One riyal, 2007, showing the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency building.
Five riyal (rare note), 1968, showing the Dharan Air Terminal.
One riyal, 1976 also showing the Dharan Air Terminal.
Die von Menschen beherrschten Kräfte von Natur und Technik a large ceramic mural by Josep Renau can still be seen on the facade of an administrative building in Halle-Neustadt. Its counterpart Marsch der Jugend in die Zukunft (youth' march into the future) was demolished in 1998. Pieces of its ceramic rubble are installed in the new building along with some newspaper clippings.
I purchased various press photographs from a Seattle newspaper archive showing Minoru Yamasaki.
The original b/w prints have notes and the corresponding press clippings on the back. Some of them are manually retouched, others were never published, like this beautiful Yamasaki portrait with the note "no story" on the back. This seems to be almost symbolic for Yamasaki's biography.
After Yamasaki being quite famous in the 1960ies (he was on the cover of Time magazine and the World Trade Center was commissioned etc.) his fame vanished in the 1970ies when Postmodernism was on the rise.
Yamasaki has built the worlds' best-known building (The World Trade Center through the iconic images of its destruction during the 9/11 attacks). He has also built another building - the Pruitt-Igoe housing project - known for the images of its destruction, that was said to mark "the day that Modern architecture died" (Charles Jencks). Although he has conceived these very important buildings which destructions mark a shift of paradigm in both cases, his person is not well known at all. The only notable book on him that has been published until now is "A Life in Architecture", which is his self-published autobiography from 1979.
Yamasakis' life, from a childhood under very poor conditions, repression during WW2 due to his Japanese ancestry to architectural stardom, seems to be a very typical American story. His involvement in both - Pruitt-Igoe and the World Trade Center - make him a very central, but tragical figure in the history of Modernism.
Together with Lorenzo Bruni I visited Piero Frassinelli in the archivio Superstudio in Firenze.
We had a long conversation about the status of Superstudios' legacy in current times of crisis, Il Monumento Continuo as a pop-hit and the anthropological view on the essence of housing.
The interview will be transcribed and translated soon!
AUßER/PLANMÄßIG, Burg Galerie, Halle
installation view: HaNeu - 1851/1970/2009 (isometrisch)
TV coverage of the show at mdr aktuell
Underneath the facade of the Escados Steakhouse at Karl-Liebknecht Strasse, Berlin a Socialist mural by GDR artist Willi Neubert is hidden. The mural is called Presse (press) and decorated the facade of the Haus des Berliner Verlags (Berlin publishing house). Currently there is a debate, whether the remaining socialist buildings surrounding Alexanderplatz should be put under historic preservation protection.
I called the owner of the Escados Steakhouse today.
notes taken from memory:
BT: Yes, hello! I would like to talk to Mr.-----.
O: That's me!
BT: My name is Bernd Trasberger, I am an artist living in Berlin and I am researching for an art-project of mine. You are the owner of the Escados Steakhouse, right?
BT: I am interested in the work of the artist Willi Neubert, whose frieze Presse seems to be hidden underneath the facade of your restaurant. Is that actually true? Did you ever see the frieze, when it was covered in the mid 1990ies?
O: Well, let's say I have a vague memory of it. What do you want?
BT: I would actually like to reveal a little part of the frieze and make it visible again temporarily, now that it's the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall.
O: You can forget about that!
BT: Well, I was afraid already you wouldn't be happy about the idea of altering the advertisement on your facade.
O: No, every intervention on the facade we strictly refuse!
BT: So, you don't have any interest in publishing the fact, that Willi Neubert's frieze is underneath your advertisement?
O: No, we rather have the opposite interest and don't want to undertake anything that could remind of that frieze!
BT: But it is not a secret, that Neubert's work is hidden underneath and I thought, that a mindful handling of it, could be a very positive publicity for you.
O: No! I am not interested at all!
BT: Last question: How is your future planning? Is there a chance, that Presse will be revealed again one day?
BT: Is the building actually considered a monument?
O: I don't know...
BT: Are you the owner, or is it still owned by the Berliner Liegenschafsfonds?
O: Listen, I don't know, why I should answer you these questions.
BT: Oh, you don't have to! I just ask out of an artistic interest in that subject matter.
O: Well, you won't get any answers from me!
BT: That's a pity. I hoped you would be a bit more willing to cooperate.
O: No Have a nice day! (hangs up)
I am preparing a work for the show ausser/planmaessig in Halle/Saale.
Ettore Sottsass meets Don Xuan market Berlin
I will be a guest teacher at the Art Academy ateliers89 in Oranjestad, Aruba in September 2014.
asian contemporary grid-facade
Habitat 67, Moshe Safdie, 1967, Expo 67, Montreal, Canada
Marina Bay Sands, Moshe Safdie, 2010, Singapore
DOKP building in the center of Katowice, built 1974 by Jerzy Gottfierd.
The building is going to be torn down after a plan for renovation (Helmut Jahn, Rondo Towers ) is abandoned. The public sculpture (author unknown to me yet) along the Southern façade of the building serves as a shelter for homeless people. One piece of a limestone block was broken off. I took the smaller pieces before they are lost even though the back of the sculpture smelled like a public restroom. I am happy to return the pieces, in case the sculpture is going to be renovated, but most likely it will also be demolished soon.
We visited the Superjednostka (Superunit) in the center of Katowice. Built in 1972 by Mieczysław Król it resembles an an extreme version of Le Corbusiers unité d'habitation and Superstudios Continuous Monument becoming real. The Superjednostka is one of the largest housing complexes in Poland and accomodates about 2000 tenants in more than 700 apartments.
The entrances are secured, because drug-addicts used to enter the complex frequently in former times. After discussing with the security we were brought to the administration office in which an unfriendly lady answered our request to be allowed to look around the building with This is not a museum! However after a short discussion, the security guy came back and gave us a very nice tour through the building which is almost like a village on ist own. The hallways and staircases are quite narrow, there are no communal spaces and almost every door is exchanged by the tenants with a new individual one, displaying various designs in rustic oak. Behind one door, we were told, secret pleasures could be bought.
Unfortunately we couldnt enter the roof, but the view from the 15th floor shows the panorama of Katowices inner city with ist socialist arterial street and the former coal mines in the back.
lecture at the Art Academy Katowice, Poland
March 12, 2014 at 1pm
ul Koszarowa 19
concrete slab buildings refurbished euro-remont style. soft versions of Tbilisis kamikaze-loggias.
Wrocław, Cemetery of Polish soldiers
Wrocław, Centennial Hall, 1913, Max Berg
See my updated presentation about my work, on which I will base my lecture at the art academy in Katowice.
On a trip to Bologna I visited the studio of Giorgio Morandi in which he worked ascetically throughout his entire life, painting still lifes. The rest of the apartment which he shared with his sisters is turned into a museum, just his corner room is left untouched in the original state, separated from the rest by a glass structure.
I made a skype-video work in which shots of a classical American roadtrip are shown on a phone with broken display.
Today I hung the frottage of the grave stone of Mies van der Rohe. It consists of 32 A 4-sized papers in glass frames. I am planning to make a larger wall work, consisting of different frottages of modernist architects and other elements. I made the frottage at the Graceland cemetery in Chicago November last year.
I am giving a lecture at the art academy in Katowice, PL on March 12, 2014
There is work of mine being shown at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary in Vienna
I made more paper works like the ones I show in Chicago. I used drawn maps of the same unbuilt Amsterdam city planning. I wove 2 different versions of the same map into each other isometrically. One map shows the original 19th century houses, the other map shows the shape of the modernist housing projects. The result resembles a piece of fabric or a carpet. The hanging is still provisional.
I moved into a new BBK studio at Naumannstrasse in Schöneberg.
I am giving a presentation of my work together with Heide Nord at Künstlerdorf Schöppingen, Haus der Literaten at 8pm
Shortly after having visited the Pruitt-Igoe site I visited the 9/11 memorial in New York City.
Although the difference between these two sites of destroyed Yamasaki buildings could almost not be bigger
- a neglected urban wasteland in St. Louis and a highly secured site of one of the most important national monuments in New York - I see a lot of similarities.
Both sites represent the turn of an era. - The history of the industrialized city and its decline, the end of modern architecture and the turn towards post-modernity at Pruitt-Igoe and the shift of paradigm after the traumatic 9/11 attacks with its so called war on terrorism and a restructuring of international relations.
Both sites are empty lots of former Yamasaki buildings. In Pruitt-Igoe, the buildings were removed, but the course of the streets is still visible as an imprint in the urban forest. Similarily the foundations of the two towers of the World Trade Center, are left open as two black square reflective pools.
Just as the row of oak trees, that survived amidst the rubble and dust of the explosion of the C15 building in Pruitt-Igoe and that are now still growing between bushes and birch trees, there is also a so called survivor tree at the 9/11 memorial.
The Suburban Presents:
Living and Sustaining a Creative Life:
Essays by 40 Working Artists
Sunday, November, 17th, 2 - 4 pm
exhibitions on view through January 10th, 2014
125 N. HARVEY AV.
OAK PARK, IL 60302
Dana DeGiulio (born 1978, Chicago Heights, IL, lives and works in Chicago) is an artist and writer who teaches at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is co-founder and co-operator of Julius Caesar, Chicago: juliuscaesarchicago.org
Bernd Trasberger (born 1974, Mönchengladbach, lives and works in Berlin) deals with the transformation of urban space in his sculptural works, installations and collages. The utopias of post-war modernism form an important reference point in the artists work. By appropriating and recycling architectural fragments and relocating them, Trasberger examines the value we place on this disappearing habitat and the legacy of modernism and the place it occupies today.
Supported by the Berlin Senate Cultural Affairs Department
Living and Sustaining a Creative Life:
Essays by 40 Working Artists
Edited by Sharon Louden
Published by Intellect Books
Distributed by University of Chicago Press
Conversation and book signing of "Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists." Meet the editor and contributors Melissa Potter and Laurie Hogin.
I went on a trip to Detroit.
After an elaborate tour through the city experiencing the mind-blowing extent of decay and vacancy, I visited some of Yamasaki's buildings in the city.
It was great to experience the refined use of materials for example in the former Consolidated Gas Company office building (now One Woodward Avenue). Furthermore I visited the Federal Reserve Bank annex building, McGregor Memorial Conference Center, College for Creative Studies and the Prentis Building and DeRoy Auditorium Complex.
As a tragic coincience, Yamasaki did not only design the World Trade Center, but also the Pruitt-Igoe housing complex in ST. Louis.
PruittIgoe was a large urban housing project first occupied in 1954 in the U.S. city of St. Louis, Missouri. Living conditions in PruittIgoe began to decline soon after its completion in 1956. By the late 1960s, the complex had become internationally infamous for its poverty, crime, and segregation. Its 33 buildings were demolished in the mid-1970s, and the project has become an icon of urban renewal and public-policy planning failure. Nowadays the failure of Pruitt-Igoe is regarded much more complex, than just to blame the architecture. The decline of many American Cities, caused by a cobination of a lack of inner-city jobs in the post-industral era, the massive flight of the middleclass to the suburbs and the bad maintenance standards of social housing projects due to a shortage of budget lead to the downfall of Pruitt-Igoe. A lot of these circumastances are described in Chad Freidrichs 2011 documentary The Pruitt-Igoe myth
Yamasaki distanced himself from Pruitt-Igoe. In his autobiographie A life in architecture, he doesnt mention the project with a single word.
In 1972 the city officials of St. Louis gained permission to demolish the Pruitt-Igoe housing complex.
To mark an ending of the unsuccesful project and to regain control of this inner-city neighborhood.
The first two buildings were destroyed with explosives. This event was broughtcasted live on
television and is now mostly known, because the images are also shown in the movie Kooyanisquatsi, 1982 by Godfrey Reggio with music by Philipp Glass.
The PruittIgoe housing project was one of the first demolitions of modernist architecture; postmodern architectural historian Charles Jencks referred to the event to proclaim the end of modern architecture. Modern Architecture died in St. Louis, Missouri on July 15, 1972 at 3.32 pm.
I visited the Pruitt-Igoe site in St. Louis, Missouri.
I was surprised by the extent of vacant, boarded up houses in North St. Louis. Entire blocks are cleared and used for urban farming or are just left empty. In contrast to this the fenced about 30 acre large Pruitt-Igoe site developed into a blooming secret garden. It apparently is one of the largest forests that emerged on inner-city wastelands in the US. After the completed demolition in the mid 1970ies, the rubble was cleared, but all the ground level infrastructure was just left as it is. The curbs, sewers, streets, hydrants etc. are being overgrown by a forest that could develop nearly undisturbed within the last 40 years. Having entered the inner area of the site, there are hardly any traces of people. I was lucky to enter the site on a beautiful day in fall, with all the leaves colored, flowering sumac and plenty of berries. After having explored the site on my own, I met Michael Allen a St. Louis architectural historian, activist and director of the Preservation Research Office. He was so kind to give me an extremely interesting tour through the site, explaining me a lot about the Pruitt-Igoe housing and its dynamics for the surrounding neighborhoods. He also showed me the last remaining lamp post in the bushes and a few oak trees that can be seen standing in front of the C15 building on the iconic images of its destruction. On his website about the competition Pruitt-Igoe now, Michael Allen states about the site: Despite the relative tranquility of the remaining 33 acres of the Pruitt-Igoe site in their current state, there are a host of psychological forces haunting it. Some of these forces finally are being unleashed, explained and analyzed through documentary films, books and articles. Yet for the site itself the physical body left behind no design intervention has ever been staged that would reconcile the remains of Pruitt-Igoe with our contemporary consciousness. If the site registers, it registers as an emptiness whose meaning is ripe but unarticulated to those who live or pass near it. Shall the site ever be liberated? Or is its current condition already an important monument to the memory of the site?
Right now an investor plans to redevelop a large area of North St. Louis turning the site of Pruitt-Igoe into an office complex. This seems to be a quasi modernist approach to clear the site again and to superimpose another large structure onto it, this time not with a social impetus like in the 1950ies, but with a capitalistic urge for profit-maximization. Looking at shrinking North St. Louis with all its vacancy, this seems very absurd short-term thinking.
I think the Pruitt Igoe site should be declared listed monument, since it is not only a pivotal site to the history of modernism and social housing, but it also tells the story of the shrinking cities in the post-industrial rust belt of the American midwest.
Since 2 years I am researching about the two buildings most known through the images of their destruction the Pruitt-Igoe housing project, St. Louis, MO (1956 1976) and The World Trade Center, New York, NY (1976 2001), both designed by Minoru Yamasaki.
The Pruitt-Igoe site turned into an abandoned urban wilderness and the site of WTC into the 9/11 memorial. I will travel to the US in November for a show in Chicago and take the opportunity to visit both empty sites after each other. I am really fascinated to research the parallel existences of these 2 monuments of American history.
I visited the 1962 worlds fair grounds in Seattle 2 years ago. Looking down from the Space Needle I was struck by a particular architectural detail of the Federal Science Pavillion - the structural ribs on the outside of the wall panels, resembling gothic arches. These arches strongly reminded me of photographs of Ground Zero after the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, in which remains of the tridents, that had formed the arches ringing the bases of the twin towers, stick out of the debris. I was familiar with the fact, that, Minoru Yamasaki, was the architect of the World Trade Center in New York, so I started to research more about his work. The arches, that have become such an emblematic image for the 9/11 attacks are a prominent feature in most of Yamaskis buildings. Because of the images of the 9/11 attacks the arches of his his buildings resonate the tragic events.
lecture and talk at Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Aachen
Thursday, Oct 31, 2013, 6pm, Lehrstuhl für Bildnerische Gestaltung, R 216
T ++49 241 80 95095
F ++49 241 - 80 92207
The Berlinische Galerie collects art produced in Berlin since 1870. The focus in our current presentation lies on painting, graphic art, sculpture, photography and architecture from the end of the Second World War to the present day. By contrast to the previous, largely chronologically arranged exhibition concept Art in Berlin 1880 to 1980 the current exhibition approaches outstanding artistic tendencies after 1945. Key works in the collection will be gathered thematically in four stylistic blocks: Expressive, Constructive, Realistic and Conceptual.
The second half of the 20th century can no longer be presented as a sequence of styles; it is characterised instead by a simultaneity of numerous artistic approaches. Representational and abstract art exist in parallel, documentary and socially critical strategies stand alongside works that no longer reveal any visible reference to external reality. This presentation of the collection shows central works in an interdisciplinary fashion, interwoven to create exciting reciprocal dialogues. Due to the large number of international artists working in Berlin, the result is a comprehensive survey of art developments in the last decades pointing far beyond the citys boundaries.
Artists (selected): Diether Appelt, Frank Badur, Horst Bartnig, Angela Bulloch, Rainer Fetting, Tacita Dean, Peter Eisenman und Richard Serra, Johannes Geccelli, Nicholas Grimshaw, Ulrike Grossarth, Johannes Grützke, Beate Gütschow, Werner Heldt, Edward Kienholz und Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Via Lewandowsky, Walter Libuda, Jeanne Mammen, Marwan, J. Mayer H., Hans W. Mende, Harald Metzkes, Eduardo Paolozzi, Manfred Schiedhelm, Cornelia Schleime, Eugen Schönebeck, Bernard Schultze, Walter Stöhrer, Katja Strunz, Fred Thieler, Bernd Trasberger, Wolf Vostell, Lois Weinberger, Markus Wirthmann
I moved out of my studio in Naunynstraße 68.
Gentrification continues to modify Kreuzberg and turns my studio into luxury lofts. (pay attention to the motorbike in the living room!)
image from the expose "Liebling Kreuzberg" by Orco GSG
I am invited to stay at the residency Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen in December 2013.
I am organizing the graduation show of the audiovisual department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam
GRADUATION SHOW 2013
3 JULY 7 JULY 2013
OPENING JULY 3TH 4PM- 9PM
BY JAN ROTHUIZEN AT THE PATIO
THURSDAY TILL SATURDAY 11AM-8PM
ANNOUNCEMENT GRA AWARDS WINNERS: SATURDAY JULY 6TH 4PM AT THE PATIO
On the street of my studio there were a few marks of burnt containers to be seen.
The containers were burnt as barricades in the riots on May 1st 2002, when Naunynstraße was one of the centers of the protests.
Now the neighborhood is changing and is gradually being gentrified. I saw some spray paint marks encircling the burn marks, foreshadowing a restoration of the pavement to come.
I made a frottage of the burn marks.
A few weeks later, the marks are removed and Naunynstraße is covered in shiny, new asphalt.
installation view of my work at the exhibition DEFINING SPACE at Die Bastei, Cologne.
I will be in conversation with art students about making an artist book at the Berlin office of Kerber Verlag on May 07.
NEUZEIT book launch at Bar Babette on Monday, April 22 at 8pm.
Severeal publications will be presented.
Thursday April 11 at 7 pm
food and drinks will be served
1012 JB Amsterdam NL
+31 20 6229434
LAUNCH OF PUBLICATION ABOUT COPENHAGEN ART FESTIVAL 2012
Mark your calendar Thursday 11 April and come to the launch event for the publication of Copenhagen Art Festival 2012
Copenhagen Art Festival took place in 2012 with an extensive program of exhibitions at the city's five major art centers and in urban spaces, performances, film programmes, talks and much more.
Now we invite you to the launch of the festival's publication that in texts and images looks back on the program in 2012 and discusses the festival format. The publication contains an introduction to the festival concept, format and theme by the festival manager Lene Crone Jensen as well as texts by art historian and advisory board member Lars Bang Larsen, who reflects on Copenhagen Art Festival 2012 and the larger social and cultural context, and art historian Malene Vest Hansen, who describes the festival genre as exhibition and event.
The event takes place
On: Thursday 11th April at. 5-8pm
At: Kunsthal Charlottenborg
5:30pm: Introduction by Lene Crone Jensen, Festival Manager and Stine Bosse, Chairman of the Board
DJ: Karsten Loud
We look forward to seeing you!
Stine Bosse, Chairman of the board
Lene Crone Jensen, Festival manager
see the blog on the exhibition DEFINING SPACE
check out gallery walk at Schleifmühlgasse by theartview with images of "Städtebauliche Prosa" at Kerstin Engholm gallery.
HENDRIK KRAWEN - DOMINIK LOUDA - BILLIE MESKENS - BERND TRASBERGER
Opening: 14/03/2013, 6 pm
Exhibition: 15/03/2013 - 05/05/2013
kerstin engholm galerie
The groupshow Städtebauliche Prosa borrows its title from the corresponding book written by Roland Rainer in which he tries to describe the human and earthly aspects of different cities. In the exhibition the text is placed among other books that broach the issue of modern architecture and complements those. The glass cabinets, in which the books are shown, operate with two functions: they work as a classical form of presentation of books, but at the same time they also intervene with the room and modify it. Exhibiting the works of four artists, different perceptions come together that create a dialogue and interplay of subjective impressions on space, the city and architecture.
I am staying at Künstlerhaus Lukas in Ahrenshoop for the month of February.
This series of collages is for sale to raise some extra money for financing my catalogue "Neuzeit", which will be published in early 2013.
112 pages, hardcover, with texts by Jule Reuter and Ludwig Engel, Kerber publishing house
The catalogue is supported by the Berliner Senate
THE FUTURE OF THE PAST, 2012
series of 20 paper-collages, each 17 x 25 cm
Please support the production of the catalogue!
The collages will be shown in the book and the people supporting the production with a purchase will be named. (If you want!)
German press release
Die Serie von Collagen besteht aus einem großen gerasterten Papier, auf dem, wie auf einer Matrix oder einem Koordinatensystem, Aufkleber und verschieden Ausschnitte aus Zeitungen, Magazinen und Büchern angeordnet sind. Auch wenn die Komposition auf den ersten Blick beiläufig wirkt, zeigt sie sich bei näherer Betrachtung doch genau durchkomponiert und setzt die verschiedenen Elemente in spezifische Beziehungen zueinander.
Die einzelnen Blätter enthalten meist nur am Rand Teile der Bildausschnitte. Auch die Textelemente werden fragmentiert, sodass sich ein Gesamtbild erst ergibt, wenn man alle Collagen zusammenlegt.
Die Motive der jeweiligen Ausschnitte stellen einzelne Aspekte von Trasbergers Arbeit dar und zeigen Dinge die den Künstler in seinem Werk besonders interessieren. Die unterschiedlichen Bildmotive stammen aus ganz verschiedenen Zeiten vom Anfang des 20 Jahrhunderts bis heute. So sieht man an den vier Eckblättern einen Rahmen aus einem Buch aus den 1920er Jahren, der die Komposition fasst und die Elemente aus einem scheinbar endlosen Koordinatensystem isoliert.
Schließlich repräsentiert die Serie der Collagen auch Trasbergers Buchvorhaben. Wenn man eine Collage kauft, übernimmt man ein Teil der Gesamtarbeit und finanziert somit einen kleinen Teil von Trasbergers Katalog, der im Frühjahr 2013 erscheint und in dem die Edition abgebildet sein wird.
Der Katalog (112 S., Hardcover) umfasst Trasbergers Werke seit 2000. Er erscheint im Kerber Verlag und enthält Textbeiträge von Jule Reuter und Ludwig Engel.
On our last day in Azerbaijan, we went to a village at the very end of the Absheron peninsula. Shortly before the fall of the Soviet Union the building of a concrete-slab holiday village was started, but never completed. The orientally decorated concrete-slab structures were completed by new inhabitants. One old men lived in a barrel-house, which was used for Soviet arctic expeditions before.
Next to the historic Baku railway station from 1926 a modernist version was built in the Soviet Union.
Today the old building houses a fast food restaurant.
There is incredible building activity in Baku. A lot of old quarters are being torn down, replaced by a fast growing amount of oriental-style luxury condos.
Banners are surrounding the construction sites, depicting either the picturesque historic past or the bright future buildings to come. Unless the shiny imagery on them, the banners are in quite poor conditions...
The biennale is an extremely mediatized event. The international art crowd is carried throughout the city from opening to opening in neon-lit vans with oriental interior. At every venue there is a speech and a large crowd of journalists.
Another day we were taken on a sightseeing tour, visiting the ancestors of an islamic faith healer, some artists studios and a former soviet bronze foundry in which they showed us a large sculpture, that will be placed in the village of Annenfeld in Azerbaijan. A village, that was founded by German settlers before the Russian revolution.
I am participating in Aluminium, the 5th Internation Biennale of Contemporary Art in Baku, Azerbaijan.
opening on Dec 11, 2012.
check out photographs of the opening of EXPANDING THE GRID
photos: Barbara Herrenkind
I am participating in the groupshow ILOVIT, organized by Jeppe Hein at the Copenhagen Art Festival.
participating artists: après-nous, Kenneth Balfelt, Massimo Bartolini, Kaspar Bonnén, Rune Bosse, Søren Engsted, Thilo Frank, Max Frey GI/IGA - Geographicall Iindeterminated/Interscandinavian Group of Architects, Dan Graham, Jeppe Hein, Marianne and Christian Jørgensen, Jacob Dahl Jürgensen, Claus Larsen, Florian Neufeldt, Rodrigo Maltez Novaes, Mie Olise, Poul Pedersen, Kristian Sverdrup, Pilvi Takala, Talku, Tika, Alexander Tovborg, Mino Trafeli, Bernd Trasberger, Ulrik Weck, David Zink Yi
The show is situated at Hojbro Plads and opens on August 24.
My soundwork "Wir bauen eine neue Stadt" is broughtcasted on Amsterdam FM in Inspector Casino's Detective Show on August 25 between 15:00 and 16:00 pm.
You can inscribe for a studiovisit (Maarten Janssen, Michael Markwick, Bernd Trasberger) organized by arthistorian Jurriaan Benschop on Aug 16.
group show, I SAY WE, De Service Garage, Amsterdam, NL
opening: Saturday, June 09
exhibition: June 13 - July 07
participating artists: Bernd Trasberger, Anna Hoetjes, Christof Zwiener, John Körmeling,Cedric van Turtelboom, Arik Visser, Helmut Dick
curated by Arik Visser
DE SERVICE GARAGE, Cruquiusweg 79, 1019AT Amsterdam, NL
exhibition view with work of Christof Zwiener and Bernd Trasberger
I say We
Instead of asking the obvious stupid question: Is the idea of communism still valid today and can it still be used as a tool for political practice and analysis? one should ask the opposite question: How does our predicament today look from the perspective of the communist idea? Ziek in his debate at Marxism 2009
How do artists work with systems that used to provide an alternative/ for capitalism? This exhibition investigates how certain artists critically reflect on contemporary social and political structures by re-investigating socialist and communist structures in a critical and non-nostalgic way.
Due to the disappearance of communism in central Europe and in the largest parts of Asia, capitalism has lost its concrete opponent; another system doesnt seem realistic. The slogan develop yourself! both on a personal and financial level, is embraced almost everywhere. Ideals that are being supported by large groups, or a pre-defined identity to which you belong, seem to be official history in this time of capitalist globalism.
The last years however, it seems that the quest for a shared identity and solidarity is finding its way to the foreground again, both in politics and in society. Large amounts of European inhabitants are being drawn to populist political parties, which are based on emotions and group identities, rather then on administrative reliability. But on the other hand people are occupying the western streets as well in large amounts (inspired by the recent events in the Arab world). In times of economical crisis and political insecurity, it seems that also the capitalist world is capable again of questioning its systems as they are and have been; imagining alternative political structures for a different global future.
In a time where collectivity and individualism are engaging in a new problematic and ambivalent relationship, the Service Garage wants to explore how contemporary artists relate to old collective ideals or political tendencies and how they translate this into their work.
Is there a contemporary take on almost lost ideologies like communism and socialism, or are these ideologies out-dated and unchanged?
I am organizing the final exam exhibition of the audiovisual department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam.
In today´s Austrian newspaper "Der Standard" is a (german) review of the show "riptide" at Kerstin Engholm gallery, Vienna.
at the parkhaus
Invited by Michael Kutschbach
Exhibition Opening on Friday, June 1, 2012 - 8 pm onwards
Reiner Maria Matysik
Say Nono, Funny Fun & Laura Weider
Tom Früchtl & Thomas Jocher
Performance by Tom Früchtl & Thomas Jocher (from Aftermars) at 21:30
Hope to see you there!
Strassburger Strasse 6-8
group show RIPTIDE, Kerstin Engholm gallery, Vienna, AT
opening: Thursday, May 10
exhibition: May 11 - June 16
participating artists: James Ferris, Sebastian Freytag, Hedwig Houben, James Prevett, Bernd Trasberger, David Ben White
curated by Alex Lawler
Kerstin Engholm Galerie, Schleifmühlgasse 3, A-1040 Wien
installation view Kerstin Engholm gallery photo: Karl Kühn
...like the wind in the storm like the ocean at dawn as it disappears, with the riptide.
What you gonna do with your emotions
The ones you barely recognize
-Lou Reed, Riptide, 1996
Riptide brings together objects and images of six artists that trace the gestures of different modes of practice that seek to construct languages through which to relate to knowledge and history in order to understand the world of lived experience and constructed space.
Riptide as a term is incorrect. Whilst its common use designates the phenomena of water streaming quickly out to sea from the waters edge, it ultimately is a free or speculative signifier. Such a term might more accurately articulate a misunderstanding of the natural world, or an understanding of a world built on fragments of empirical forces, flows or sensations.
Many works of this exhibition operate through recovered or remembered images of surfaces and treatments of public, often civic space. Many of these treatments of material investigate discords or dislodged unity in regards to seriality and rational treatments of organised space. In a number of works Modernism and its legacy appears and is reconfigured. Strategically each of these works offer a ground upon which new notions of subjectivity emerge through the reconstruction of the façade of modernism as an active image.
These works can be understood as objects that position themselves against an imagined image of modernism as a semi-deceased subject; a ongoing active memory that flows through culture, visual production and exchange.
solo show NEUZEIT, Galerie Lena Brüning, Berlin
opening: Wednesday, April 25
exhibition: April 26 - June 02
Galerie Lena Brüning, Almstadtstraße 50, 10119 Berlin
photos: Henning Moser
In seiner dritten Einzelausstellung Neuzeit in der Galerie Lena Brüning zeigt Bernd Trasberger eine raumgreifende Installation. Über zwei schwarz gestrichene Wände des Ausstellungsraumes erstreckt sich eine Struktur aus Metallprofilen, an deren Schnittstellen sich rote Leuchten aus Metall befinden. Diese sind so programmiert, dass sie unabhängig voneinander in einem unregelmäßigen Rhythmus auf und abdimmen. Betrachtet man das Motiv der Einladungskarte erkennt man die Konstruktion wieder. Diese ist nun jedoch nicht mehr wie auf der Abbildung als orthogonales Raster unter der Decke organisiert, sondern mäandert netzwerkartig in einer Moleküle oder Sternbilder evozierenden Struktur über die Wand. Das unhierarchische Muster der Deckenkonstruktion wird im Kunstwerk in eine singuläre Struktur überführt und in ein individuelles Objekt transformiert.
Die Leuchten stammen von der Decke der Aula eines inzwischen umgebauten Berliner Gymnasiums. Auf den ersten Blick erscheint das auf der Einladungskarte abgebildete Beleuchtungsraster der Aula als typische abgehängte Decke im Stil der Nachkriegsmoderne. Darüber befand sich jedoch ein mehrere Meter hohes schwarz gestrichenes Tonnengewölbe. Die abgehängte Decke wirkte nur oberflächlich solide, tatsächlich handelte es sich um ein schwebendes, transparentes Raster. Vor dem Umbau barg Trasberger alle 200 Leuchten der Deckenkonstruktion mitsamt dem dazugehörigen Gitter aus lackierten Metallprofilen.
Die in der Galerie gezeigte Version stellt nur ein kleines Element dieser Rasterdecke dar, die Trasberger nun modular als Ausgangsmaterial für Ausstellungssituationen verwendet. Ein solches Modul besteht aus mindestens fünf und maximal fünfzehn Leuchten. Wie schon in anderen Arbeiten thematisiert Trasberger auch hier den Umgang mit dem architektonischen Erbe der Moderne und zeigt, wie Elemente dieses Erbes neu betrachtet und in einen zeitgenössischen Kontext überführt werden können.
Die gegenüberliegende Wand ist vollständig mit bedruckten Seiten aus Flipchartblöcken behängt, die einen Druck des Holzschnittes Wanderer am Weltenrand zeigen. Der wahre Urheber dieses Motivs, das zum ersten Mal 1888 in Camille Flammarions Schrift LAtmosphère. Météorologie Populaireerscheint, ist unbekannt. Es handelt sich bei dem Bild höchstwahrscheinlich nicht um ein Original aus dem 16 Jahrhundert, sondern um eine Reproduktion die Flammarion oder ein unbekannter Zeichner im historisierenden Stil schuf, um das mittelalterliche Weltbild zu illustrieren. Im 20. Jahrhundert wurde der Stich jedoch immer wieder für eine authentische frühneuzeitliche Arbeit gehalten, die das, ebenfalls historisch nicht nachweisbare, mittelalterliche Flacherdweltbild belegen sollte.
Trasberger hat die Vorlage, die schon Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts in kolorierten Fassungen reproduziert wurde, in einen Linoleum Druckstock lasern lassen. Das Resultat sind individuelle Drucke in unterschiedlichen Farben und Farbverläufen. Traditionelle, handwerkliche Technik steht hier im Kontrast zu leichter Reproduzierbarkeit. Die Farbverläufe der Drucke folgen weniger dem Motiv, als dass sie dessen Strukturen ignorieren oder sogar durchbrechen.
Das pulsierende Leuchten der Glühbirnen und die unregelmäßige Farbgebung scheinen die Drucke in Bewegung zu versetzten. Nicht nur Licht und Farbe oszillieren, auch die historische Abbildung schwankt in ihrer Natur zwischen retrospektiven Authentizitätsanspruch und der gewollten Konstruktion eines nicht historisch nachweisbaren Weltbilds und erscheint im zeitgenössischen Kontext aufgespalten in eine Ansammlung verschiedener Variationen.
solo show FADE TO GREY, Ozean, Berlin
exhibition March 15 - April 04
Ozean, Schleiermacherstrasse 31, 10961 Berlin
photos: Marike Schuurman
Press Release Fade to Grey at OZEAN
In seiner Einzelausstellung Fade to Grey präsentiert Bernd Trasberger den Abdruck eines vom Verschwinden bedrohten Flachreliefs. Es stammt von der Außenwand eines Verwaltungsgebäudes in Frankfurt am Main, das seit Jahren leer steht und derzeit trotz Denkmalschutzstatus vom Abriss bedroht ist. Das abstrakte Motiv des 12 Meter breiten Reliefs aus den 1950er Jahren besteht aus unterschiedlich großen Rechtecken, die sich überlagern. Trasberger hat davon eine Frottage angefertigt, welche die Wandgestaltung in über 500 DIN A4 Blätter aufrastert.
Bei Ozean zeigt der Künstler allerdings nicht das Original, sondern eine digital bearbeitete Version. Die Frottage wurde Blatt für Blatt gescannt und anschließend invertiert. Die mit Graphit abgeriebene Rauhputzstruktur erscheint so als Ansammlung von weißen Punkten und Schlieren auf schwarzem Grund. Dadurch wirkt die grobkörnige Oberfläche des Reliefs wie ein sich in unendliche Tiefen erstreckender Bildraum, die er auf die Außenwand des Ausstellungsraums plakatiert. Damit bringt er das ursprüngliche Relief in veränderter Form wieder in den Stadtraum ein und zeigt gleichzeitig eine entmaterialisierte Version des Zementbildes, das als pdf immer wieder ausgedruckt und plakatiert werden kann wenn das Original schon längst verschwunden sein wird.
As a guest lecturer I am organizing a workshop called The Presence of the Past at the art academy Burg Giebichenstein in Halle/Saale.
I am giving a lecture on April 05 at 3:30pm.
Il Monumento Continuo Revisited II snowed in
I found someone who went to Lakeville Cemetery, Lakeville, Oakland County, Michigan, USA to make a frottage of the tombstone of Minoru Yamasaki and his wife.
I am looking for someone who happens to be in Michigan (close to: Lakeville Cemetery, Lakeville, Oakland County, Michigan, USA) in the near future.
I need someone doing me a favor for the production of an artpiece, namely making a frottage (graphite rubbing) of a particular tombstone on that graveyard.
Sounds spooky, but is quite easy - more details follow, if I get in touch with someone!
Thanks for any responses! Please feel free to forward this message!
I started working on the frottage that I made of a frieze on the former Bundesrechnungshof in Frankfurt/Main.
I am scanning all the 540 A4 papers and reversing the color.
We are having a party in our studios on Naunynstrasse 68
See you there!
I started to work with the lamps and the metal grid, that I saved from the demolished auditorium of the Paulsen-Gymnasium in Berlin-Steglitz.
new photos of my installation "To Realize the Need for Monuments", Paradise Lost Paradise, Kortrijk, B, 2011 by Peter Willems.
check out and download the updated pdfs (work, text and cv) on my start-page.
I am giving a lecture + tutorials at Bergen National Academy of the Arts, NO
lecture: Oct 25, 2011
You can sign up for studiovisits organized by the dutch art magazine Kunstbeeld.
Oct 15, 2011
check out this short TV broughtcast in Belgian TV about the show Paradise Lost Paradise, Kortrijk, B
final exam show at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, NL
I am organizing the exhibition of the audiovisual department
Gerrit Rietveld Academy
you can inscribe for studio visits with the dutch art magazine Kunstbeeld
Kunstbeeld studio visits
check out new design for Bernd Trasberger by Wouter van der Sluijs
Wouter van der Sluijs
The Cluster website is relaunched as an archive website with interviews and essays by:
Stefanie Böttcher, Barbara Buchmaier, Hans-Jürgen Hafner, Ines Lindner, Sönke Kniphals, Susanne Köhler, Jule Reuter, Eva Scharrer and others