May 10, 2013 - art-agenda - Reviews: Aleksandra Domanović, Gallery Weekend Berlin, Danh Vo, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, and more
May 10, 2013

Reviews: Aleksandra Domanović, Gallery Weekend Berlin, Danh Vo, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, and more

Buró de intervenciones públicas, Hamacario, 2013. Hammock installed in public space as part of the project “Raw Material / Materia Prima,” Mexico City. Courtesy of Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City and Emiliano Valdés.

April Round up

There’s been plenty of talk over the years about the “professionalization” of Berlin’s art scene. During the ninth Gallery Weekend Berlin in late April, local and regular art-agenda contributor Kimberly Bradley wrote that the march towards a slicker and more polished approach to business and pleasure is palpable, and it mirrors the gentrification and smoothing of rough edges that can be seen all over the city. Whether as a result of these shifts (or in spite of them), many of the city’s galleries served up their best shows of the year so far, and artists, curators, and collectors from around the world made the rounds. Bradley took on the challenge of “doing” Gallery Weekend like the visitors do, seeing close to 50 exhibitions in 72 hours. She deemed the marathon “an important exercise in deciphering where Berlin’s art production and consumption is going.” With so much to see—and talk about—in the coming weeks we add to Bradley’s overall take on Gallery Weekend with individual reviews of four of the best shows in the mix.

But Berlin wasn’t the only locale in focus on art-agenda in April—or the only city where increased professionalization and consolidation of the institutional and gallery scenes is changing the landscape for artists and art viewers, not to mention art buyers. Tobi Maier‘s Brazil Round up took us from Rio de Janerio (where two new institutions—MAR (Museu de Arte do Rio) and Casa Daros—opened their doors) to São Paulo. Focusing on exhibitions which critically engaged with the city’s changing urban scape and rapid gentrification, Maier named Stefan Brüggemann’s installation at Mendes Wood DM @ Pivô “in the city center’s iconic Oscar Niemeyer-designed Copan building” and assume vivid astro focus’s third exhibition at Casa Triângulo highlights. And then there was the Mexico City Dispatch by Gabriela Jauregui. She honed in on Zona Maco Sur, a curated section of the art fair by Juan A. Gaitán, and pointed to the ever-expanding selection of gallery exhibitions and special projects that take place during the fair, providing a snapshot of a scene in transition.

And what’s on the horizon? A month of debuts, seconds, and perennial favorites. First up is Karen Archey, who reports on Frieze NY’s second edition, taking place this week. Can it possibly live up to the success of last year’s debut? Later in May, Venus Lau checks out Art Basel Hong Kong’s inaugural edition. Will it be a game changer for fairs and the regional art market, or just another outpost for a powerful franchise? Last but not least, when Massimiliano Gioni’s much-anticipated 55th Venice Biennale “The Encyclopedic Palace” opens at the end of this month, art-agenda’s three-part coverage by Vincenzo Latronico, Quinn Latimer, and Filipa Ramos will be all you need to get the lay of the land. Pack your bags.

Recently on art-agenda:

Ryan Gander’s “Once upon a Bicycle, not so long ago” at Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam
April 13–May 8, 2013
In the artist’s quirky sculptural reworking of household objects, Arnisa Zeqo discovers a certain “pataphysical wisdom embedded in the cares of the everyday.”

Aleksandra Domanović’s “The Future Was at Her Fingertips” at Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin
April 27–June 30, 2013
What do Ada Lovelace, Borka Jerman Blažič, Sadie Plant, Ray Kurzweil, and something called “The Belgrade Hand” have in common? Stefan Heidenreich unpacks the web of referentiality in Aleksandra Domanović’s latest work.

“I’m Not Involved In Aesthetic Progress: A Rethinking of Performance” at Star Gallery, Beijing
April 13–May 16, 2013
Edward Sanderson writes that the inaugural exhibition at Star Gallery’s new space, a multigenerational survey of performance and body art in China curated by Su Wei, gives welcome “sustained critical attention” to such practices.

Gallery Weekend Berlin
April 26–28, 2013
During Gallery Weekend Berlin, Kimberly Bradley takes in 50-plus exhibitions in one go, and is particularly struck by the “refreshingly gender balanced” selection, which included 24 female artists “some of them icons (Maria Lassnig, Isa Genzken), others rising stars (Aleksandra Domanović, Eva Kotátková, Anna K.E.).”

Katarina Löfström at Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm
April 4–May 12, 2013
Jacquelyn Davis examines the “dissociative freedom” and play with perception that Katarina Löfström’s new trippy collage and video work engenders, finding that “the absence of textual references” has a liberating quality.

Brazil Round up
March/April 2013
Tobi Maier wings his way from Rio de Janiero—where he reports on the highly anticipated opening of MAR and Casa Daros—to São Paulo, checking out gallery openings and events surrounding the sp-arte art fair, including Hans Ulrich Obrist’s show “The Insides Are on the Outside” installed in two buildings by famed architect Lina Bo Bardi.

Danh Vo’s “Mother Tongue” at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
March 20–April 27, 2013
In Danh Vo’s exhibition, “a quasi-archeological project displaying ‘finds’ from a recent Sotheby’s auction of Robert McNamara’s belongings” Arnaud Gerspacher sees an ostensible critique of political power that loses its “bite” in the trappings of the gallery space.

Gert Jan Kocken’s “But We Cannot Speak about the Atoms in Ordinary Language” at Motive Gallery, Brussels
March 23–May 11, 2013
Adam Kleinman writes that Gert Jan Kocken’s spare exhibition, which brings together disparate historical details that trouble official accounts of the nuclear age, reveals how the artist is “interested not only in a review of scientific thought, but moreover, how tangential elements are stratified in the language of written history.”

Haegue Yang’s “Ovals and Circles” at Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
March 15–April 27, 2013
In Haegue Yang’s recent show at Galerie Chantal Crousel, Mara Hoberman is surprised to find freestanding jingle-bell covered sculptures and wall-mounted, rotating constructions that beg to be touched and “appear freed from the domestic sphere,” in contrast to Yang’s earlier works.

Mexico City Dispatch: Zona Maco Sur and Gallery Openings, Mexico City
April 2013
Gabriela Jauregui‘s art week begins with a “gallery opening marathon” and concludes at Zona Maco, where she skips the fair’s general offerings, honing in on Zona Maco Sur, a curated selection by Juan A. Gaitán that fittingly “focused on the idea of migration—not only of people but also of cultural and political movements.”

Guido van der Werve at Marc Foxx, Los Angeles
March 9–April 20, 2013
Andrew Berardini fights back the tears and laughs out loud as he takes in Guido van der Werve’s latest bombastic video epic, in which the artist “again experiments with how much dour Dutch Romanticism one can pour into epically beautiful tableaux and heartbreaking musical scores before it’s too much.”

Brendan Earley’s “In the Midnight City” at Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing
March 2–April 28, 2013
In Irish artist Brendan Earley’s show at Galerie Urs Meile, the product of this time as an artist-in-residence at the gallery, Iona Whittaker sees a visitor grappling with and working through the intense demands and peculiarities of Beijing city life.

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige’s “The Lebanese Rocket Society – A Tribute to Dreamers (Parts II, III, IV, and V) at CRG Gallery, New York
February 28–April 20, 2013
Like detectives who painstakingly follow any lead, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s meticulous research-based practice allows them to “construct a porous, layered narrative from actual events” that are stranger than fiction. In the current exhibition, Kareem Estefan writes, they manage to return a particular, forgotten moment in Lebanese history to the “collective imagination.”

Coming soon, reviews of U.F.O.–NAUT JK (Július Koller) orchestrated by Rirkrit Tiravanija” at Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna; Henri Chopin at Supportico Lopez, Berlin; Zbyněk Baladrán at Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris; Art Basel Hong Kong; the 55th Venice Biennale; and many more.

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