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

Welcome to the Letter from Berlin Art Week!

This year's Berlin Art Week features many exciting events and exhibitions which we have summarized in this Letter from Berlin. At the gallery Anicka Yi’s first solo exhibition and a presentation of historical photographs by Ugo Rondinone open to the public on September 15th. A book presentation of Julia Scher's new monograph will take place at our gallery the following day, on September 16th. We also include information about various other venues, for example Ugo Rondinone's presentation at the Wilhelm Hallen; the group exhibition High Spirits in a new exhibition space at a former distillery with works by Martin Boyce, Etienne Chambaud, and Isa Melsheimer; the screening of one of Cemile Sahin's films as part of the Festival organized by Gallery Weekend Berlin; catch Liam Gillick's striking intervention at the Pergamonmuseum before the museum closes for several years; and visit the collection presentation curated by Krist Gruijthuijsen at the haubrok foundation.

And last but not least we'd like to draw your attention to our Berlin Art Week guide which features concurrent exhibitions in Berlin.

We hope you enjoy our Letter from Berlin!

At the gallery

Anicka Yi, £†K§ñ, 2023, acrylic, UV print, aluminum artist's frame, 121,9 x 162,6 x 3,8 cm (framed).© the artist / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023. Photo © David Regen
Anicka Yi
A Shimmer Through The Quantum Foam

Esther Schipper
Potsdamer Straße 81E
10785 Berlin
September 15 – October 21, 2023

Public opening: Friday September 15, 6-9pm

On Friday we open to the public Anicka Yi’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Entitled A Shimmer Through The Quantum Foam, the exhibition features a series of unique animated pod sculptures that pulse and undulate, casting their flickering light across the surfaces of luminous algorithmically-generated paintings. Below this suspended constellation of bio-techno lifeforms, the soft glow of an aqueous ooze—indicative of life’s marine origins—sprawls in a shallow crater in a built-up section across the gallery floor.

Anicka Yi
has produced a unique body of work over the past decade, that operates at the intersection of politics and macrobiotics. Her practice questions traditional distinctions between what is human, animal, plant, and machine, and is the result of an alchemical process of experimentation that explores often incompatible materials. Yi collaborates with researchers to create materials and media that are often inherently political, delving into the cultural conditioning of sensation and perception in a way she describes as a "biopolitics of the senses." Yi’s diverse installations draw on scientific concepts and techniques to activate vivid fictional scenarios, asking incisive questions about human psychology and the workings of society.

Premiering at Esther Schipper, Yi’s new series of horizontal paintings depart from the veiled mystery of her previous painting series, providing rare glimpses into the sources from which these imagined skeletal forms emerged. Here the textures of blood cells and fish eggs, clumps of algae and ruptured skin, rise to the surface with glistening clarity. Slipping just beyond human comprehension and existing at the threshold of becoming recognizable or identifiable, real-world objects and hybridized abstractions swell and break in luminous waves and biomorphic impressions.

A series of new suspended animated pod sculptures emerge from similar territory, relatives of Yi’s well-known kelp pods and floating aerobe sculptures. In the darkened exhibition space, they appear as magnified bio-techno lifeforms in a shadowy unknown. A close inspection of the sculptures—inspired by radiolaria, a type of protozoan zooplankton dating back to the Cambrian Period—reveals flickering pulsations of illumination that travel the length of their delicately interwoven fiber-optic bodies. The sculptures take the form of two species of radiolaria: one with a smooth shell and long tentacle appendages, the second species characterized by many accordion-like segments beset with small tendrils.

Read the full exhibition text here.

Ugo Rondinone

Ugo Rondinone, i don’t live here anymore, 1999, C-Print, Plexiglas, Alucobond, 150 x 100 cm. Set of five prints. © the artist
Ugo Rondinone
i don’t live here anymore

Esther Schipper
Potsdamer Straße 81E
10785 Berlin
September 15 – October 21, 2023

Public opening: Friday September 15, 6-9pm

Which place did you leave? Why don’t you live there anymore? And where did you move? The statement as title i don't live here anymore immediately raises questions that will most likely remain unanswered, but it doesn’t matter. It looks like a good place, with room to express oneself; to deepen understanding of the self; to experiment with fetishist interests; to play with gender; to show fierceness as much as vulnerability; to probe the sculptural potential of the body by morphing it into abstraction.

Nevertheless, it is not only a space of joy and happiness, as the photos’ references to Pierrot indicate—a quietly observing archetype known to symbolize a sense of melancholy. What is the melancholy about? Is it about what one leaves behind when moving away, moving on or up? Goodbyes are indeed always part of change, markers of transition to move into a new mode, state, or phase.

A certain ease with change is, however, also discernable in these five photos, as much as in the larger body of Rondinone’s photographic work to which this suite belongs. The photos portray Rondinone as compelling, timeless archetypes, transformed into ambiguous idiosyncratic figures: the femme fatale dressed entirely in black; the dreamy hippie girl; the Viennese actionist-cum-seductive-androgynous-butcher; the underground music type; and, as presented here, a fetish version of Pierrot in a sculptural, Dadaist-like outfit. Altogether, the photos show an enjoyment of androgyny; the possibility to alternate identities; and the concept of gender fluidity that was made intelligible after years of emancipatory work. As the body of work exemplifies, one can shift character, if one understands how to use the tools of performativity.

Besides Rondinone’s reflection on performativity and transformation, these interpretations and thoughts seek to unravel how i don't live here anymore renders the notion of timelessness palpable. Taking eternally recurring archetypes as subject matter, the artist modifies and reinterprets them, plays around with them and explores their potential in relation to his own subjective being, placing them in a realm of ambiguity to render them ubiquitous and unique at the same time. As such, Rondinone shows that no matter how alienating something may seem, one can always discern one’s own connections. It is the shimmering yet powerful familiarity one finds in a déjà vu.

Excerpt from a text by Léon Kruijswijk. Read the entire text here.
Julia Scher – R.S.I., published by DISTANZ Verlag, eds. Nadia Ismail / Kunsthalle Gießen and Matthias Kliefoth / DISTANZ Verlag, 256 pages. Photo © DISTANZ Verlag
Book Launch
Julia Scher – R.S.I
Esther Schipper
Potsdamer Straße 81E
10785 Berlin
September 16, 3pm

Together with the publisher DISTANZ we cordially invite you to join us at the gallery on September 16, 3pm for the launch of Julia Scher's monograph Julia Scher. R.S.I. The artist, Nadia Ismail, Matthias Kliefoth and Mark von Schlegell will present the new publication in conversation.

The book is published by DISTANZ Verlag in collaboration with Museum Abteiberg, Kunsthalle Gießen, MAMCO Geneva, and Kunsthalle Zürich. Edited by Nadia Ismail and Matthias Kliefoth, it features extensive photographic documentation and text contributions and essays by Paul Bernard, Gesine Borcherdt, Lilian Haberer and Katrin Kaempf, Magnus Schäfer, Mark von Schlegell, as well as a foreword by Daniel Baumann, Lionel Bouvier, Nadia Ismail, Matthias Kliefoth, and Susanne Titz.

The comprehensive overview volume Julia Scher – R.S.I. applies Lacan’s dictum RSI (the Real, the Symbolic, the Imaginary) to Scher’s work, examining it regarding the topics Real & Fake, Surveillance & Security & SM, Infrastructures.
Ugo Rondinone, moonrise. east. april, 2005, cast aluminium, brown enamel, wood plinth, 187 x 105 x 110 cm. Photo © Studio Rondinone
Hallen #4 Art Festival
With Ugo Rondinone
Through September 17, 2023

Wilhelm Hallen
Kopenhagener Str. 60-72
13407 Berlin

Esther Schipper is pleased to participate in the fourth iteration of Hallen #4 Art Festival held in Berlin at the Wilhelm Hallen. On view is a monumental sculpture from 2005, which belongs to Ugo Rondinone's iconic moonrise. east series that consists of a group of twelve masks. The complementary sunrise. east series is currently on view in the gardens of the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main (through November 5, 2023).
Exhibition view: Ugo Rondinone, sunrise. east., Städel Museum, Frankfurt, 2023. Photo © Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz
Image 1, 2 (detail): Etienne Chambaud, Uncreature, 2023, tempera and gold leaf on wood panel, 37,7 x 27,6 x 4,2 cm. Photo © Aurélien Mole
Image 3, 4 (detail): Isa Melsheimer, Horse’s Head from the chariot of the moon goddess Selene II, 2021, ceramic, glaze, 55 x 72 x 29 cm. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
Image 5, 6 (detail): Martin Boyce, Dead Star Constellation (looking down on an empty pool), 2014, blackened nickel plated steel, rusted steel chain, painted steel, cast and painted bronze, 259 x 104 x 105 cm. Photos © Jens Ziehe
External exhibition

High Spirits
With Martin Boyce, Etienne Chambaud, and Isa Melsheimer
Curated by Dorothea von Hantelmann
Opening September 13, 2023
September 14–17, 2023

Provinzstraße 40-44
13409 Berlin

Works by Martin Boyce, Etienne Chambaud, and Isa Melsheimer will be on view as part of High Spirits, a group exhibition curated by Dorothea von Hantelmann.
The new project space is part of an initiative at Monopol – a former distillery located in Berlin's Reinickendorf. Over the course of the next years, Monopol seeks to build a campus where humans and companies grow, shape the future of the food industry, explore new digital technologies and create space for artistic perspectives.
Cemile Sahin, Four Ballads for my Father – Spring, 2022 (trailer), video, duration: 43:40 min. © the artist
Cemile Sahin, Four Ballads for my Father – Spring
Gallery Weekend Berlin – Festival
September 16–17
Studio Mondial
Kurfürstendamm 47
10707 Berlin

Screenings Saturday September 16 and Sunday September 17 at 4:15pm

On the closing weekend of Berlin Art Week (September 16 and 17), Gallery Weekend Berlin is organizing a Festival with a curated program of events and happenings. The program includes a screening of Cemile Sahin's film Four Ballads for my Father – Spring. The Festival will take place on Saturday (12-9pm) and Sunday (12-7pm) at Studio Mondial, Kurfürstendamm 47, 10707 Berlin.

Cemile Sahin's film Spring is the first of her multi-part project Four Ballads for my Father. A major motif of the overarching project is the role of water, in particular the economic and political effects of the GAP dam project in Turkey. For several decades, the Southeastern Anatolia Project, also known as GAP (Turkish: Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi), has been under construction on the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in the Kurdish regions of Turkey. For the neighboring countries of Syria and Iraq, the GAP project has become a serious threat and has repeatedly led to tensions between the countries.

Sahin's Spring addresses the topic through a fictional lens, telling the story of the Kurdish family whose homeland was flooded by a Turkish water dam project and its members displaced between Istanbul, Paris and on the road.
General Idea, AIDS Sculpture, 1989, stainless steel, 195 x 195 x 97,5 cm. Photo © Luis Kürschner
Since the end of August, General Idea's monumental AIDS Sculpture, 1989/2023 is on view in front of the Gropius Bau in Berlin, a preamble to the group's retrospective exhibition opening on September 22, 2023, after presentations at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2022), and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2023).

In the most comprehensive retrospective on General Idea ever produced, the Gropius Bau will present more than 200 works from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. Developed in close collaboration with AA Bronson, the exhibition at the Gropius Bau brings together major installations as well as publications, videos, drawings, paintings, sculptures and archival material, providing an overview over the development of General Idea’s artistic practice.

Save the date to visit the retrospective at Berlin's Gropius Bau:
General Idea. Retrospective exhibition
September 22, 2023 – January 14, 2024


Concurrently on view in Berlin

Liam Gillick, Filtered Time, 2023. Exhibition view at the Pergamonmuseum, Berlin. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
Liam Gillick
Filtered Time
Bodestraße, Museum Island
10178 Berlin
Through October 15, 2023

At the Pergamonmuseum Liam Gillick's Filtered Time is on view through October 15, 2023 when the entire museum will close for several years for renovation.

Gillick's interventions take the form of light and color projections and soundscapes that draw attention to, and expose more profoundly the various historical periods of the Pergamonmuseum. Liam Gillick. Filtered Time was curated by Barbara Helwing, director of the Vorderasiatisches Museum, and Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, directors of Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart.

In advance of the closing of the museum opening hours have been extended:Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun: 9 am – 7 pmThu: 9 am – 8 pm

Please note: Pergamonmuseum can only be entered through James-Simon-Galerie, Bodestraße.

An accompanying publication Liam Gillick Filtered Time has been published by DCV and can be ordered here.
Exhibition views: Liam Gillick, Filtered Time, Pergamonmuseum, Berlin, 2023. Photos © the artist
Exhibition view: the Collection, FAHRBEREITSCHAFT, haubrok foundation, Berlin 2023. Photo © Ludger Paffrath / haubrok foundation
the collection. curated by Krist Gruijthuijsen
With Martin Boyce, Rodney Graham, and Tino Sehgal
FAHRBEREITSCHAFT – haubrok foundation
Herzbergstraße 40-43
10365 Berlin
Through October 29, 2023

The haubrok foundation has opened the FAHRBEREITSCHAFT for a special exhibition entitled the collection, curated by Krist Gruijthuijsen and including works by Martin Boyce, Rodney Graham and Tino Sehgal.

Under the title a sunday afternoon, with artworks, performances and open studios, a day-long program of events will take place on September 17, 2023 from 12-8pm. For a detailed schedule visit the foundation's website.

On September 17, 12-1 pm, in conjunction with a sunday afternoon. with artworks, performances and open studios at the haubrok foundation Jean-Pascal Flavien presents the final session of the make-up house with Nathalie Czech's intervention response / response at San Gimignano Lichtenberg. Please note, the make-up house is located on a construction site. Access is restricted to the immediate environs of the structure. Entrance to the site is at your own risk.

The make-up house is located at San Gimignano Lichtenberg, Am Wasserwerk 22F, 10365 Berlin. Find via Google Maps
The former administration building at Am Seegarten 2
Karin Sander
Am Seegarten
14774 Brandenburg an der Havel
(Google Maps)
Through September 17, 2023
Saturdays and Sundays, noon–6 pm

Visit the scenic location in Brandenburg. The exhibition takes place in the former industrial sites of the gunpowder factory, located in the vicinity of the Plauer Lake. The project features presentations by the silent green Kulturquartier – a multi-disciplinary cultural venue from Berlin-Wedding – and nine Berlin galleries. On view are installations, sculptures, video art as well as paintings, presented in nearly 60 different rooms and spaces of the Am Seegarten 1+2 complex.

Esther Schipper exhibits a solo presentation by Karin Sander with four works from her 2022 gallery exhibition “What you see is not what you get”. Sander gathered different works from her oeuvre and from these she curated individual exhibitions, each carefully assembled and packed in their respective sealed transport crate.

Reading Corner

On the occasion of Berlin Art Week 2023 we will relaunch our online bookstore with the latest publications by the gallery artists.

More information coming soon!
TEL: +49 (0) 176 50 33 01 35
10785 BERLIN
Esther Schipper GmbH, Potsdamer Stra├če 87, 10785 Berlin