A Monthly Digital Diary
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Letter From Berlin

Willkommen: Hier finden Sie die deutsche Fassung des Briefes aus Berlin

Welcome to the Letter from Berlin!

This Letter from Berlin begins with our current exhibition L'Invitation au voyage. The focus here will be on the notion of travel, which is one of the unifying themes of the exhibition.

As exhibitions are opening and re-opening, we are presenting a number of projects. Two artists included in our gallery exhibition have presentations elsewhere: Isa Melsheimer at the Berlinische Galerie and Sarah Buckner at the Westfälischer Kunstverein. A work by Sarah Buckner is also presented on Galerieplattform_DE.

In Venice, 2038 has just opened at the German Pavilion as part of the 17th architectural biennale. A large-scale vinyl work by Liam Gillick at Cologne’s Sankt Peter is introduced by the curator in context of our series All Access.

A sculpture by Angela Bulloch will be on view at Schlossgut Schwante, 45 minutes outside of Berlin. In Brussels Gabriel Kuri has a presentation at the Saint Martin Bookstore. Berlin's Schinkel Pavillon has reopened Sun Rise | Sun Set, its stunning exhibition on the ecological crisis, with works by Pierre Huyghe.

On June 11th, the first part of 30 Years KW Auction in cooperation with Grisebach will take place with works by Ceal Floyer and Tino Sehgal.

We conclude with a roundup of recent spotlight presentations, publications—among them the forthcoming exhibition catalogue for L’Invitation au voyage, and Simon Fujiwara’s Instagram takeover of the Hamburger Kunsthalle’s account.

We hope you enjoy our Letter from Berlin!

L'Invitation au voyage

L’Invitation au voyage opens with the invocation of music, setting the mood for the soothing and troubling effects dreams can evoke.
Exhibition view: L'Invitation au voyage, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
L’Invitation au voyage spans multiple generations and artistic approaches, inspired, influenced, and expanding on representations of dream and fantasy. Beginning with pioneering avant-gardist Hannah Höch, and established figures such as Paula Rego, Almut Heise, Leiko Ikemura, and Yeesookyung, the exhibition continues into the practices of younger generations with works by Sarah Buckner, Cui Jie, Cordula Ditz, Tala Madani, Isa Melsheimer, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Shahzia Sikander, and Tsai Yi-Ting.
Drawing on the motif of Roman charity, Rego’s monumental Caritas (1993) depicts highly charged scenes of parents and their children in a fantastical wooded landscape, while Olga (2003) invokes psychological disturbance and trauma, suggesting at once tenderness and inherent danger.
Exhibition view: L'Invitation au voyage, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
The idea for an exhibition on storytelling and the role of dream and fantasy in painting preceded 2020, and yet the realities of that year significantly shaped what has become L’Invitation au voyage.

Taken from Charles Baudelaire’s volume of poetry Les Fleurs du Mal, “L’Invitation au voyage” is the title of a poem in which the author invites his mistress to travel with him in their shared imagination, and suggests a parallel between Flemish painting, the landscape of the Netherlands, and his lover’s body. Its famous closing lines gave the title to Henri Matisse’s 1904 painting: Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté / luxe, calme et volupté. (There, all is order and beauty / luxury, peace, and pleasure.)
When the title emerged as the conceptual backbone of the exhibition, it represented an instance of literary escape, the possibility of traveling within the imagination to a distant land. It was the summer of 2020 and travel in real life had become fraught. The ease, even recklessness, with which we took this liberty for granted had come into question. Subsequently, the concept for the exhibition both expanded n order to look more closely at the history of such imaginary travels, and also narrowed, as it became clear that L’Invitation au voyage would focus exclusively on painting.
Hannah Höch, who was an avid traveler, is represented by rarely exhibited watercolors produced during trips in the prewar years, a major painting, Aus dem blühenden Tal (1937), and a later collage, Garten (1948). During World War II she "traveled in her garden," as Höch put it.
Exhibition view: L'Invitation au voyage, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021.
In 2020, after the onset of the global pandemic, isolation and confinement were experienced on a scale unprecedented in modern times. Dream and fantasy appeared to gain renewed importance as forms of liberation from the strains of the persistent uncertainty of everyday life. To some extent, it seems, dreams had in recent years been relegated to nightmares, but what of the dreamworlds that could be experienced as liberation from the rules of law, or from time and space? What of the liberating effects that had characterized, for example, the work of Surrealist artists, especially the women, who in their work sought to unravel the conventions restricting their existence as girl, woman, independent citizen, or artist?
Hannah Höch, Garten, 1948, collage, 23 x 22,5 cm (unframed), 42,9 x 36 x 1,5 cm (framed) Photo © Andrea Rossetti © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021.
L’Invitation au voyage gathers artists whose work has a strong emotional resonance and creates the peculiar sensation of a dreamlike state or fantasy. Yet importantly, the selection deliberately expands beyond depictions of Surrealist-inspired iconography or style, or even an exclusive attention to dreams.

Rather, the role of travel brings into focus the relationships between real-life journeys and imaginary ones, between seeking adventure in distant lands or within quotidian existence.

Including artists working across a broad spectrum of historical and contemporary practices that include the negotiation of historical and cultural identities, conceptual and discursive approaches, representations addressing the role of gender, the body, real-life events, and dystopic visions, L’Invitation au voyage is at its core about narrative. Dream and fantasy thus signify not only imaginary locations waiting to be discovered, but the very process of storytelling becomes the subject’s destination, holding us enthralled.

—Isabelle Moffat
Fusing figures and landscape, Ikemura’s three works, Genesis, Tokaido, and Tokaido, obliquely refer to Hiroshige’s groundbreaking series of woodblock prints capturing the journey along Japan’s Tokaido road.
Exhibition view: L'Invitation au voyage, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021.
The text is abridged from an introductory essay in the forthcoming exhibition catalogue, available June 4, 2021.

Richly illustrated, the publication includes especially commissioned and existing texts on the artists in the exhibition by Gayatri Gopinath, Karoline Hille, Matthew Hyland, Marco Livingstone, Isabelle Moffat, Tobias Peper, Andy St. Louis, Wenny Teo, Marie-Catherine Vogt, Wim Wenders, and Chung Wei-Tzu.

Information on pre-ordering the exhibition catalogue can be found below.
Watch now - L'Invitation au voyage, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2021
Video © MONA Productions

Isa Melsheimer, Berlinische Galerie

Exhibition view: Anything Goes? Berlin Architectures of the 1980s, Berlinische Galerie, 2021.
Photo © Roman März ⁠⁠
Anything Goes? Berlin Architectures of the 1980s
with Isa Melsheimer
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
through August 16, 2021

Berlinische Galerie re-opened on May 21, 2021.

⁠⁠At the center of this wide-ranging exhibition on realized and unrealized urban development projects in Berlin, Isa Melsheimer has installed a large-scale presentation of sculptures, gouaches and textile works. Anything Goes? Berlin Architectures of the 1980s will remain open through August 16, 2021.⁠⁠

Please check the institution's website for up to date visiting information.

Sarah Buckner, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster

Exhibition view: Sarah Buckner, Head Over Heals, ⁠Westfälischer Kunstverein, 2021
Photo © Michael Trier
Sarah Buckner
Head Over Heals
⁠Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster
through June 1, 2021

Open through June 1, 2021, Sarah Buckner’s solo presentation at Westfälischer Kunstverein. ⁠
Buckner, who is currently exhibiting in our group exhibition L'Invitation au voyage, is one of the first scholarship holders of the NRW+ young talent development program, launched in 2020 and based in the Kunsthalle Münster.⁠

'Epilog' is a series of four exhibitions by the Residence NRW+ fellows, hosted by the joint project space of Westfälischer Kunstverein and LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur.⁠
Admission free, Tuesday-Sunday 11 am-7 pm, by appointment.

Please check the institution's website for up to date visiting information.

Galerieplattform_DE - Online

Photos © Jens Ziehe, © Jenny Ekholm, © Lothar Schnepf
Art Cologne Online Sales
through June 4, 2021

Esther Schipper is pleased to participate in Galerieplattform_DE, an initiative of ART COLOGNE.

Part of the concept of Galerieplattform_DE is to represent one artist with one work in each of three different categories, "Emerging Art", "Contemporary Art" and "Modern & Post-War Art".

The artists in our presentation are Sarah Buckner,"Emerging Art", whose works are currently on view at the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster and at Esther Schipper as part of L'Invitation au voyage; "Contemporary Art" is represented by Rosa Barba, whose exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie will open in Berlin in August 2021; Romanian avant-garde artist Stefan Bertalan is shown in the category "Modern & Post-War Art".

From May 28 to June 4, 2021, the platform is open to all interested parties. The visit is free of charge and only requires registration.

2038 The New Serenity
German Pavilion, 17th International Architecture Exhibition
La Biennale di Venezia, Venice

2038 – The New Serenity © Federico Torra for 2038
2038 The New Serenity
with Christopher Roth
17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
German Pavilion
Giardini, Venice
Through November 21, 2021
Virtual Pavilion

2038 The New Serenity, Christopher Roth's collaborative project for the German Pavilion of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, invites you to discover a story between fact and fiction. In a series of films, it tells the history of a better world in which everything, though imperfect, is better in some pretty profound and radical ways.

Based on the knowledge and visions of a collaborative team of international experts from Architecture, Art, Ecology, Economy, Philosophy, Politics, Science and Technology, team 2038 strives to explore our future society through prefigurative politics, illustrating modes of organization and social relationships to come.
2038 is an international team of architects, artists, ecologists, economists, scientists, politicians and writers, including Deane Simpson, Diana Alvarez-Marin, E. Glen Weyl, Erik Bordeleau, Evgeny Morozov, Joanna Pope, Keller Easterling, Leo Altaras, Ludger Hovestadt, Ludwig Engel, Mara Balestrini, Mark Wigley, Meghan Rolvien, Mitchell Joachim, Mohamed Bourouissa, Oana Bogdan, Omoju Miller, Patrik Schumacher, Sandra Bartoli, Sonja Junkers, Suhail Malik, Vanessa Yeboha, Vint Cerf. Initiated in 2019 they aim to tell a (hi)story that today we call future. A full list of contributors can be found at www.2038.xyz.
2038 – THE NEW SERENITY, German Pavilion at the 17th Architecture Biennale © 2038
To “burst the bubble” and open the discourse for an audience beyond the field of architecture, 2038 introduces a diverse set of formats and fosters collaborations beyond disciplines. The common goal of all formats is to create a platform to meet, exchange and negotiate the future.

At the heart of the virtual formats is the Cloud Pavilion. It allows to playfully explore 2038, meeting people from all around the world, discussing the expert’s visions from the future. The pavilion is built on the open source platform MOZ://A HUBS and enables an open-access experience of 2038 for everyone from anywhere at any time.

Press for the German Pavilion,
17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia


Liam Gillick, Sankt Peter, Cologne

Exhibition view: Liam Gillick, Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies, Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne, 2021
Photo © Christopher Clem Franken
Liam Gillick
Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies
Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne
through June 6, 2021

In his large-scale wall graphic Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies for Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne, Liam Gillick brings together abstract thought and figurative representation, pain and rationality.

Over the past twenty years, Liam Gillick, known for both his sculptures and his critical-reflexive "dematerialised" ways of working as a writer and critic, has built an extensive archive of medieval prints. In large-scale vinyl graphics, he supplements woodcuts – illustrations from medieval manuscripts – with commentaries on consumption and conditions of production: A friar toasts the arrival of the first car to be produced with computer-controlled robots. Saint Sebastian thinks about the Return on Capital Employed. And a chivalrous knight dreams of hard-edged abstraction (A Depicted Horse is not a Critique of a Horse..., 2018).
At Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Gillick displays the motif of the wound man, familiar from medical-surgical manuscripts and prints of the late Middle Ages. At the very spot where Peter Paul Rubens' Crucifixion of St. Peter depicts the most agonising moment of martyrdom, Gillick's wound man muses with a stoic expression on the basis of a formula from classical mechanics about the kinetic energy of rigid bodies. On his naked body, the portraited figure displays his gruesome injuries produced by numerous knives, spears and other tools and weapons, although his face is marked by a strange expression of indifference.

Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies is a play on the oppositions of modes of representation, expectations and patterns of thought in science, religion and art. Gillick's contribution is the third part of the “Replace Rubens” series, in which artists such as Gerhard Richter and Walid Raad are displaying their works on the southern east wall where Peter Paul Rubens' Crucifixion of St. Peter (1638–1640) normally hangs, which is currently restored.

Liam Gillick

in conversation with Prof. Lilian Haberer
June 4, 7:30pm CET

Join via Zoom
Meeting-ID: 876 3057 7541
Access code: 84pXXJ

In this digital talk, Liam Gillick and Lilian Haberer, professor of art history in the context of media at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, will discuss his work in the context of architecture, modes of representation and medieval illustrations.

The conversation will take place in English via zoom and will be followed by a Q&A.

Photo © Liam Gillick

Curator Anne Mager on Liam Gillick at Sankt Peter

All Access is a series of online visits to exhibitions that currently have limited access to the public. The series takes us into these spaces with the artists and curators as guides.
Exhibition view: Liam Gillick, Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies, Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne, 2021
Photo © Christopher Clem Franken, Video © Bozica Babic

Angela Bulloch, Schlossgut Schwante, Oberkrämer

Sculpture Park
with Angela Bulloch
Schlossgut Schwante, Oberkrämer, Brandenburg
Opening June 4, 2021

On June 4th Schlossgut Schwante will open for visitors again. The Schlossgut Schwante Sculpture Park provides a rare environment to explore sculpture in Northern and Eastern Germany, located only 25 km outside of Berlin and 45 minutes from Berlin-Mitte. The sculpture park opened to the public in 2020.

Please check the institution's website for up-to-date visiting information.

Gabriel Kuri, Saint Martin Bookstore, Brussels

© Gabriel Kuri
Gabriel Kuri
Saint Martin Bookshop, Brussels
June 3 – July 8, 2021

Gabriel Kuri's Offering is a multi part sculpture commissioned by Saint-Martin Bookshop. This will stem from an array of sculptural props (some found, some purchased, some fabricated by the artist) snugly nestled in a crate lined with customized foam.

Every week over a period of one month, two or more of these elements will find their way out of the device, and onto the display tables, visible from the street through the shop windows. These elements will be used by the artist to compose an unscripted series of pieces, light in touch and involving gestures such as wedging, balancing or holding.

These weekly artworks will spark from the contrasting informational content of the elements, or else result from the consonance of their rhyming forms. These forms could be seen as references to systems of coding, accounting, valuation and exchange, tokens of fortune and desire shifting in scale and wear, and never far from the artist's hands. Like in much of Kuri’s work, Offering is a sculptural exercise in which material qualities and semantic implications become actively engaged in one circular statement.

Pierre Huyghe, Sun Rise | Sun Set, Schinkel Pavillon

Exhibition view: Sun Rise | Sun Set, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, 2021
Photo © Andrea Rossetti
Sun Rise | Sun Set
with Pierre Huyghe
Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin
Through July 25, 2021

Schinkel Pavillon re-opened on May 19, 2021.

Sun Rise | Sun Set brings together contemporary and 20th century artists to form a multi-layered response to the fast unfolding ecocatastrophe. The selected works permeate one another, creating small organisms and turning Schinkel Pavillon into a surreal landscape, highlighting the interconnectivity between humans, animals, plants, inanimate objects, technologies and non-beings.

The exhibition includes two works by Pierre Huyghe. The video tour focuses on the room in which Circadian Dilemma (Dia del Ojo) is installed. The work is part of a series of aquarium works in which the artist creates cyclically-oriented underwater scenarios. The landscape of the water basin is modelled on a Mexican cave and is populated by six fish of the species Astyanax mexicanus, along with microscopic bacteria and algae.

Circadian Dilemma (Dia del Ojo) forms an independent biosphere that reacts autonomously to the respective climatic conditions of its surrounding. The transparency of the dimmable glass panes is controlled by a geolocation program while the lighting conditions inside the aquarium are adjusted according to the weather and environmental data on site – taking account of wind, air pressure and temperature.

Please check the institution's website for up to date visiting information.

Pierre Huyghe, Circadian Dilemma (El Día del Ojo), 2017, aquarium, Astyanax Mexicanus (eyeless and with eyes), algae, cave scan cast in concrete, black switchable glass, geo-localised program, 137.5 × 123 × 164.1 cm
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021. Photo © Rex Chu

Ceal Floyer, Tino Sehgal, KW Auction, June 11

<b>30 Years KW: Auction in cooperation with Grisebach</b><br>

30 Years KW: Auction in cooperation with Grisebach

Grisebach, Berlin
June 11, 2021

30 Years KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V. Anniversary auction in the context of the auction Contemporary Art at Grisebach, with works by Ceal Floyer and Tino Sehgal.



Spotlight is a weekly presentation focusing on an artwork or a group of works.
<b>Hito Steyerl</b><br>

Hito Steyerl

SocialSim, 2020
Single channel HD video and live computer simulation
Dancing Mania duration: 18:19 min (single channel)
Edition of 7

<b>Jac Leirner</b>

Jac Leirner

Blossom, 2017
22 spirit levels
130 x 67 x 63 cm (51 1/8 x 26 3/8 x 24 3/4 in)

<b>David Claerbout</b>

David Claerbout

Die reine Notwendigkeit/The Pure Necessity, 2016
Color animation
Duration 50:00 min
Edition of 7

<b>General Idea</b>

General Idea

S/HE, 1976
Silver gelatin prints, 10 elements
78,7 x 61 cm (31 x 24 1/8 in) each (unframed)
79,5 x 63 cm (31 1/4 x 24 3/4 in) each (framed)
Edition of 2


The Reading Corner

<b>L’Invitation au voyage <br></b>With texts by Gayatri Gopinath, Karoline Hille, Matthew Hyland, Marco Livingstone, Isabelle Moffat, Tobias Peper, Andy St. Louis, Wenny Teo, Marie-Catherine Vogt, Wim Wenders, and Chung Wei-Tzu.<br>

L’Invitation au voyage
With texts by Gayatri Gopinath, Karoline Hille, Matthew Hyland, Marco Livingstone, Isabelle Moffat, Tobias Peper, Andy St. Louis, Wenny Teo, Marie-Catherine Vogt, Wim Wenders, and Chung Wei-Tzu.

Publisher: Esther Schipper
Language: English

Pre-order here

<b>2038. The New Serenity</b><br>

2038. The New Serenity

Publisher: Sorry Press
Language: English

Available here

<b>Liam Gillick</b><br>

Liam Gillick

Half a Complex
Publisher: Hatje Cantz
Language: English

Available here

<b>Simon Fujiwara</b><br>

Simon Fujiwara

Hope House
Publisher: Kunsthaus Bregenz
Languages: English, German

Available here


Simon Fujiwara, Instagram Takeover, Hamburger Kunsthalle

Original work: Hans Arp, Star in a Dream (Astre en rêve), 1958, Hamburger Kunsthalle / bpk, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021, Photo © Christoph Irrgang
Over the last four Wednesdays Simon Fujiwara has taken over the Hamburger Kunsthalle with Who the Baer, an original cartoon character created by the artist.

Who is hungry for a new image?

As a cartoon character, Who the Bær can seemingly transform into other images and they are on a perpetual search for new images and identities to consume. Hints to the design of their bodily features may lie in the Sun Bear, an Asian bear with a disproportionately large, voracious and sensual tongue.

Who took over the Hamburger Kunsthalle museum and collection! Who is an original cartoon character without a clear identity, searching for a self in the world of images. Simon Fujiwara created Who the Baer in 2020. A large exhibition of works of Who the Bær are currently on view Fondazione Prada, Milan and soon at Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam. Follow @whothebaer on Instagram for more.

If you missed Simon's takeover of Hamburger Kunsthalle, click here to see what was posted
Esther Schipper GmbH, Potsdamer Stra├če 87, 10785 Berlin