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CFA Berlin Velvet Voice Club CFA Berlin Velvet Voice Club
23. February 2024

THE PAUCITY OF CARE Chris Hayes on TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, Galway

Over the course of the last century, no nation in the world institutionalized a greater proportion of its population than Ireland did. A significant portion were confined in mental institutions established by the British. The material remnants of this colonial history still leave their mark on the landscape of western Ireland. Highlighting Ireland’s west as a terrain of medical infrastructure and control, the recent TULCA Festival of Visual Arts in Galway prompted artists to examine the region’s relationship with medicine. Not surprisingly, the exhibited works center around on themes of accessibility, cure, and care. But, as Chris Hayes describes, this focus extends beyond the artworks to encompass considerations in exhibition design: through a collaboration with the advocacy group Arts & Disability Ireland, tools for accessibility, often viewed as afterthoughts to aesthetic and curatorial decisions, productively integrate into TULCA’s structure.

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21. February 2024

A CITY FOR ANOTHER COUNTRY María Minera on the Paradoxes of a Hyped Capital of Culture

This month saw the occasion of Mexico City Art Week, which meant that early 2024 produced even more talk and affirmative culture reporting than usual about Mexico City as the celebrated art metropolis of the so-called Global South. In the forth iteration of “Texte zur City,” our columnist María Minera emphasizes that the local scene is not only bubbling but, above all, is a bubble itself, with little bearing on the lived realities in the rest of the country. Highlighting artistic positions that actually deal with the latter – and that reflect the many paradoxes and mixed feelings with which Minera experiences the art world hustle that has come to shape her hometown – she provides us with some critical context that should be essential in every art tourist’s baggage.

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December 2023

Current Issue

Issue No. 132
December 2023

Traditionally, art scholarship and aesthetic theory have taken a chaste stance toward physical pleasure. Carnal, bodily experiences of pleasure are often associated with a loss of critical thinking; they appear as a base impulse that is said to possess no political agency. Contrary to such dismissal, this issue seeks to tease out the critical potential of pleasure precisely in its very carnality and immediacy. Although pleasure is typically felt to be a deeply personal and inward experience, it is fundamentally premised on our being-affected and thus points up the relationality and incompleteness of our bodies. This suggests a capacity to arouse unforeseen connections in the social sphere that owe their existence not to the quest for some sort of “inner truths” but to the momentary intensification of bodily sensations.

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16. February 2024

KIM GORDON, LAURE MURAT, VERA PALME Seen & Read – by Isabelle Graw

For a while, TEXTE ZUR KUNST has regularly shared Isabelle Graw’s “Recommendations” via social media and the newsletter. Finally, these concise mini reviews by our publisher have found a permanent home on our website. From now on, they will appear every two weeks in the new section “Seen & Read,” where Graw presents a selection of cultural objects from the fields of art, fashion, music, and literature, giving readers personal insights into what has recently captured her attention. This time: Vera Palme’s current exhibition “Immer realistischere Malerei” at Galerie Buchholz in Berlin, the music video for Kim Gordon’s new single “Bye Bye,” and the recent book “Proust, roman familial” by French historian Laure Murat.

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16. February 2024

TEIL DES WIDERSTANDS WERDEN? Alicja Schindler über Lauren Elkins „Art Monsters: Unruly Bodies in Feminist Art“

Im Genre der Autotheorie macht eine wachsende Anzahl vornehmlich feministischer Autor*innen persönliche Lebens- und Schreiberfahrungen unter Verwendung literarischer Methoden und theoretischen Materials erkenntnistheoretisch fruchtbar. Eine solche Verschränkung nimmt auch Lauren Elkin in ihrem aktuellen Buch vor, das eine Reihe künstlerischer, literarischer und theoretischer Positionen von Frauen zusammenbringt, die widerständige Körperbilder hervorgebracht und geprägt haben. Während die Autorin anhand einschlägiger Beispiele die zentrale Frage umkreist, inwieweit eine ästhetische Praxis jenseits dominanter Kategorien und Subjektivierungsweisen entwickelt werden kann, gelingt es Elkin in den Augen unserer Rezensentin Alicja Schindler nur bedingt, ihren Begriff des „Kunstmonsters“ unter Einbindung persönlicher Erfahrungen zu schärfen und neue Perspektiven zu eröffnen.

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Artists' Editions

Grace Weaver, "Hotel Amour", 2023

9. February 2024

ALL FORM, NO CONTENT Rose Higham-Stainton on Lucy McKenzie (and Antonio Canova) at Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin

Presented in Turin’s historic Fiat factory, which is now home to Pinacoteca Agnelli, Lucy McKenzie’s recent installation “Vulcanizzato” opens a field of tension between industrial moguls, genius myths, body politics, and ideology. In response to neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova’s idealized female forms, McKenzie contrasts the latter with the supposedly ideal bodies of a different era: her mannequins, however, parade feminist criticism as a foundational part of their make-up. As Rose Higham-Stainton argues here, considering the differentiated aesthetics McKenzie employs as part of a series of commissions placing the Pinacoteca’s collection into contemporary dialogues, the artist’s reflections on materiality also question the greater systems of production and replication.

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7. February 2024

TIERRA SANTA Enis Maci on a Piece of Holy Land That Is a Theme Park in Buenos Aires

In the third iteration of “Texte zur City,” our Berlin columnist takes us where many Berliners would like to go in deep winter – to the south. Few, however, would choose Tierra Santa in Buenos Aires as their favored long-distance destination. The Christian theme park Tierra Santa in Buenos Aires recreates biblical scenes, Disneyland-style. Essayist and playwright Enis Maci reports on a grotesque scene that speaks volumes, opening up a contrail-striped interpretative horizon.

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2. February 2024

VON KLANGKÖRPERN UND KOSMOLOGIEN Susanne Neubauer über Camila Sposati in der IFA-Galerie, Stuttgart (und Berlin)

Mit einer Reihe skulpturaler Keramikinstrumente, die Camila Sposati im Rahmen ihrer zweiteiligen Einzelausstellung zunächst in Stuttgart und dann in Berlin präsentierte, knüpft die brasilianische Künstlerin an das Objektverständnis einiger Indigener Gemeinschaften an, Artefakte als integrale Bestandteile gelebter Praktiken zu begreifen, und nicht als statische Kulturgüter, die beäugt und beschützt werden müssen. Wie Susanne Neubauer mit Blick auf die Stuttgarter Schau hervorhebt, unternimmt Sposati hier zudem den Versuch, die Verflechtung von Interspezies-Realitäten und Erfahrungsräumen im Sinne des Amerindianischen Perspektivismus durch prekäre Objektkonstellationen und performative Vor- und Begleitspiele erfahrbar zu machen. Auf fragil wirkenden Konstruktionen im Galerieraum arrangiert, thematisierten Sposatis sogenannte „Atem-Stücke“ für Neubauer die Begrenztheit des westlichen Blicks auf die Dinge.

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26. January 2024

SAY WHAT YOU LIKE Paige K. Bradley on Kaari Upson at Sprüth Magers, New York

Art as a mirror: Lowery Stokes Sims once highlighted art’s formative function in the context of representation, noting that finding ourselves reflected in works of art can help us claim a position, with or without “official” recognition. In her review of the recent exhibition in New York of Kaari Upson’s work, artist and writer Paige K. Bradley recounts how she belatedly discovered Upson and, in an unexpected dialog with Upson’s drawings, felt their effect as a rearview mirror, confronting the author with fragments of her own past. By linking her experience of the show with personal memories of institutional education, Bradley explores Upson’s practice through a fresh, auto-theoretical lens.

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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.