“based in Berlin” at Montbijou Park: last call for viewers before closing for ever

By Manuela Castiglione on June 24, 2011 in Art
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It´s June but the temperatures here in Berlin remind to autumn. The weather changes hundreds times a day. Between pouring rain and a sunny spell I decided today to give a look at the new exhibition based in Berlin, of which I see posters scattered all over the city.

Based in Berlin is the title of the controversial exhibition project stemming from the debate around the installation of a permanent Kunsthalle for Berlin. Berlin is known as a city with a magnetic attraction and in order to promote some of its talents, the city has organised a free exhibit to showcase the work of 80 young Berlin based artists. The Atelierhaus in the historic Monbijou Park is the main exhibition venue, the one bringing a high symbolic value. The building, which has been refurbished for the exhibition, will for the last time host this 1,500 m2 contemporary art exhibition before its demolition in August.

It may be because of the sad weather, because of the fact that I know this place won´ t be existing anymore when I come back from my summer holiday, because of the basement rooms smelling musty or rather because of the theme of some artworks, but here I feel very near to the concept of decadence!

The five curators responsible for the concept and the selection of the artists wanted to give all through these exhibition an overview of the “city´s art scene” but except for some good works unfortunately I couldn´t find anything really brilliant!

I liked a lot the work “Oil Painting 2010” by Rocco Berger consisting of used oil flowing out of a gas can through a drip irrigation system onto a plastic sheet that is loosely attached to the wall. The sheet is slightly inflated and moves by the wind of a fan so that the oil runs over it in irregular rivulets, creating a black “drawing” reminding to a concept of unexpected beauty.

Then I enjoyed watching again the video clip by Matthias Fritsch “We, Technoviking”. From 2007 the video had become an icon of success. Posted on YouTube it received 30,000,000 hits. Incredible! It shows a muscular dancer at the Fuckparade in Berlin in 2000, a Viking of the present time!

I found interesting also the work “Mom” by Trevor Lloyd who with a lot of humour handles with human despair. When he moved from California to Berlin he realised that he did not have any photo of his mother. So he tried to fill the  absence with a series of drawings in which the artist draws his mother from memory, with his eyes closed, while balanced on his head. Funny!

The exhibition is on until July 24th, the programme is very rich and interesting. If you happen to be there do not miss a drink at the cafeteria – post industrial style, very rough, very Berlin – and then go over the top of the building, 13 m in the air where you can admire a beautiful view on the Museuminsel and … the sky over Berlin.

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