Domesticated Dog/Domesticated Photo, Trevor Lloyd, 2010
Currently on view in various locations throughout Berlin is the exhibit Based In Berlin curated by Angelique Campens, Fredi Fischli, Magdalena Magiera, Jakob Schillinger and Scott Cameron Weaver. Advisors for the exhibition include Klauss Biesenbach, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Christine Macel. Tuesday afternoon, I went to the Atelierhaus in the historic Monbijoupark located in the center of the city. The exhibition encompasses an interior and exterior space as well as an old bunker. The weather was perfect and it was great to stroll through the many gallery rooms, seeing some familiar artists and some new names as well. As the title of the exhibit describes, the show is comprised of artists who are not necessarily from Berlin (or even Germany for that matter) but have migrated and immigrated to be part of the large and expanding international art community.

Soil Sample Body Dig, Mariechen Danz, 2011
The work is as varied as the participants. It ranges from installation, painting (but very little), video and some sculpture. Some familiar names featured in this installment of Based In Berlin, were Julieta Aranda, Dahn Vo, and Keren Cytter. many other artists are exhibited and most within the roster were new to me. Mariechen Danz, above has a full room that features an installation, both free-standing and objects placed on the wall that I didn’t think would initially appeal to me. But as I took the time to look, not only did I realize the compositional strength of the piece but also really liked the “handmade” quality of the various body parts and organs. Most are made of glass, some molded and others composed of broken but melded together pieces. Other materials include dirt and what appeared to be recycled paper, plastic, styrofoam and metal.

God God Technology God Berlin
These comfortable folding chairs are placed in various locations within the galleries. Viewers are invited to sit for a minute or a while and watch a video or relax. The chair above was on the rooftop level along with full-size duplicates of SUV’s that were hot in the afternoon sunshine.
Oil Painting, Rocco Berger, 2010
Oil Painting, by Rocco Berger is a great piece on multiple levels. First off, it is a painting, referencing the Abstract Expressionists. However it is a painting that is alive. The fuel of used and recycled black oil is syphoned onto the slightly inflated surface and then blown by a small rotating fan placed on the floor. The piece communicates with the past but also speaks on multiple levels to the political cost and importance of oil with a wryly contemporary sense of humor.

WEDDING, (Video still) Koken Ergun, 2006-2008
Lastly, and almost hidden in the galleries within an underground bunker, is Wedding by Koken Ergun. The three-channel video piece is based on footage that was collected from 2006-2008 from weddings held within the Turkish community of Berlin. The community is one of the largest in the world outside of Turkey, and the artist captured the dancing and process of monetary gifts that are so relevant within the cultural and celebratory practice.
Based In Berlin is on view at various locations around the city until July 24th, 2011.
More soon!