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CFA Berlin CFA Berlin
March 2023

Current Issue

Issue No. 129
March 2023
„Trans Perspectives“

The March issue of TEXTE ZUR KUNST centers perspectives of trans artists and writers. They call attention to transmisogyny and intersections between racism, anti-Semitism, and transphobia in the art field as well as to the potentials of (digital) spaces and (artistic) practices for trans people. Methodologically, many contributors to the “Trans Perspectives” issue, which is co-conceived by Luce deLire, ground their work in a particular trans materialism: combining lived experiences with a critique of visibility politics or institutions, they question, among other things, how trans materializes in the art market, in museums, and beyond.

To the table of contents

24. March 2023

ARCHITEKTUR IST NICHT DIE LÖSUNG Christian Haid und Lukas Staudinger über „Who’s Next? Obdachlosigkeit, Architektur und die Stadt“ im Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg

Wie können neue Architekturen auf den Umstand zunehmender Obdachlosigkeit reagieren? Die Ausstellung „Who’s Next?“ im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg zeigte Architekturentwürfe, die nach Raumkonzepten für wohnungslose Personen suchen. Während einzelne der ausgestellten Projekte mit großer Sensibilität auf die Situation reagieren, verklären andere die Lebensrealitäten oder lenken laut Christian Haid und Lukas Staudinger vom Kern des Problems ab: Wie die Autoren und Gründer von POLIGONAL, einem Büro für Stadtvermittlung, betonen, geht Wohnungslosigkeit vor allem auf systemische Missstände zurück, die Verantwortung der Architektur wurde in dieser Ausstellung einmal mehr überreizt.

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22. March 2023

Current Attractions

QUEERING THE WHITE WALLS Ulya Soley on Akış Ka’s Performance at Salt Beyoğlu, Istanbul

In our current issue “Trans Perspectives,” a roundtable discussion asks about the challenges and possibilities that trans artists encounter when working with institutions whose requirements for participation are based on cis standards. Participant Kübra Uzun recounts their involvement in the all-trans performance program “Everything, Everything, Everything,” which has been organized in tandem with the exhibition “The 90s Onstage” at Salt Beyoğlu, Istanbul, and the obstacles the program as well as its participants faced. Having visited the exhibition and attended its public programming, Ulya Soley reviews the performance “Hoş Geldin” by Akış Ka for our ongoing column “Current Attractions” as a commentary on the exclusionary operating systems of art world institution and in light of the anti-LGBTQ legislation of Turkey’s current political regime.

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17. March 2023

TWO-FACTORED PRIVACY Hanna Fiegenbaum über Alfred d’Ursel bei dépendance, Brüssel

Es ist eine Serie von Gemälden zweier sich zueinander verhaltender Affen, die in Alfred d'Ursels Ausstellung „La Queue Cassée“ (zu deutsch „gebrochener Schwanz“) bei dépendence in Brüssel zu sehen waren. Zu sehen sind die Figuren jedoch nur sofern sich die Betrachter*innen auf die Bildfindungen d‘Ursels einlassen, denn sie treten nur durch leichte Abstufungen der schwarzen Bildfläche in einem Schauspiel des Halbversteckten von dem Hintergrund hervor. Hanna Fiegenbaum nimmt dies zum Anlass, über das Verstecken und Verdecken und das im Bild nicht Sichtbare zu sprechen sowie über die changierende Identität der Äffchen zwischen Tier und menschlicher Karikatur.

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10. March 2023

A JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE “NIGHTS” Line Ajan on “Shéhérazade, la nuit” at Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Storytelling kept Scheherazade alive: her narration was so captivating it continuously deterred her spouse from carrying out yet another femicide. The idea taken from One Thousand and One Nights that fiction may impact the future lies at the core of the curatorial concept of the recent group show at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Grounded in the realities of their geographies, the exhibited artists apply fiction as a critical tool for emancipation. However, anchoring the exhibition in the tales is not free of ambivalence, as their translation and reception in France and Britain have long been deeply entangled with colonial conceptions of “the Orient.” In her review, Line Ajan points out that this part of the story is, however, not explicitly addressed in the show.

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Artists' Editions

Spencer Sweeney, "Untitled (Checking Out The Fridge)", 2022

8. March 2023

Current Attractions

CHEZ ROMY HAAG Nora Eckert über das West-Berliner Travestiecabaret

Seit 2009 kreist ein Kleinplanet mit dem Namen Romyhaag um die Sonne und erinnert an einen fast vergessenen Star des West-Berliner Nachthimmels: Die Niederländerin Romy Haag stieg schon mit nur 13 Jahren ins Showbusiness ein und gelangte über Stationen in Paris und den USA vor gut 50 Jahren in die damals geteilte Stadt. Mit „Chez Romy Haag“ eröffnete sie dort ein Travestiecabaret, das bald zum Magneten für Schöneberger Kiez-Queers und Größen der Entertainmentindustrie wurde. Zum Personal und engeren Kreis des Lokals zählte Nora Eckert, die sich im ersten Beitrag unserer Kolumne „Current Attractions“ zum Thema „Trans Perspectives“ an die West-Berliner Institution erinnert.

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3. March 2023

ÖKOLOGISCHE PERFORMANCE Simon Lindner über Joan Jonas im Haus der Kunst, München

Künstlerische Praktiken, die Beziehungen zwischen Menschen und nichtmenschlichen Agent*innen neu kalibrieren, können unser Bewusstsein für die Notwendigkeit interspezifischer Allianzen stärken. In Zeiten existenzieller ökologischer Zerstörung hat die Förderung solcher Wechselbeziehungen besondere Dringlichkeit. Joan Jonas, die zu den Pionierinnen der Performance Art zählt, bindet das Nichtmenschliche seit Jahrzehnten dezidiert in ihr Werk ein. In seiner Rezension der bislang größten deutschen Überblicksschau der US-amerikanischen Künstlerin nimmt der Kunsthistoriker Simon Lindner zwei Arbeiten in den Blick, die für diesen Aspekt exemplarisch sind, und beleuchtet Jonas’ Praxis unter Einbezug von Donna Haraways Cyborgs und Critter, die er als wesentliche Akteur*innen in Jonas’ Performances wiederfindet.

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24. February 2023

SPACE AS SUSPENSION IN TIME Thomas Love on Rindon Johnson at GUTS, Berlin

Hides have been inscribed with cultural significance for millennia: this occurs quite literally, as their use as parchment has been a way to preserve knowledge, and through their essential function as a means for survival in the form of clothing or mobile shelters. Throughout his long artistic engagement with leather, the artist Rindon Johnson has continuously highlighted the medium as a site of interaction between the body and its environment – a contested boundary between the individual and the social. As the art historian Thomas Love explicates, contrary to the material’s possibly life-sustaining qualities, Johnson’s solo exhibition at GUTS uses cowhide to suggest how our skin becomes embroiled in inhospitable systems and to confront bodies with the necropolitics of industrial production, colonial as well as neocolonial extraction, and climate change.

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22. February 2023

Current Attractions

ECONOMIES OF EMPIRE AND THE PRECARITY OF MOBILITY Ashley Raghubir on Cosmo Whyte’s “Section 2: Red, Green, Blue and Black” from his series “The Enigma of Arrival in 4 Sections”

Artist Cosmo Whyte often works in series, combining different media to address themes of belonging and migration as they intersect with racialization and the nation-state. In the latest iteration of our biweekly column Current Attractions, which concludes our “Art History Update” theme, Ashley Raghubir engages with one part of Whyte’s installation The Enigma of Arrival in 4 Sections. Raghubir discusses Whyte’s work in relation to scholar Katherine McKittrick’s intervention into prevailing methodological practices in North American Black studies scholarship that foreground descriptions of Black dehumanization and conflate past and present into a singular and linear temporality. For Raghubir, Whyte’s work enables a consideration of what it means to attend to the specificities of our 21st-century present and to recognize centuries-long practices of rebellious living despite subjugation.

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TEXTE ZUR KUNST stands for controversial discussions and contributions by internationally leading writers on contemporary art and culture. Alongside ground-breaking essays, the quarterly magazine – which was founded in Cologne in 1990 by Stefan Germer (†) and Isabelle Graw and has been published, since 2000, in Berlin – offers interviews, roundtable discussions, and comprehensive reviews on art, film, music, the market, fashion, art history, theory, and cultural politics. Since 2006, the journal's entire main section has been published in both German and English. Additionally, each issue features exclusive editions by internationally renowned artists, who generously support the magazine by producing a unique series.