Alexander Forbes
Alexander Forbes' take on Berlin beyond the hype

Alexander Forbes' Berlin Art Brief

Toptermine: Astrid Klein, George Widener, Harun Farocki, and More From the Berlin Art Scene

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Astrid Klein, Analia Saban, and Kenneth Anger at Sprüth Magers
Sprüth Magers has a true trifecta of exhibitions on offer starting Thursday evening. Kenneth Anger’s “ICONS” brings archival material from the legendary filmmaker’s Los Angeles home that was shown last winter at L.A. MOCA to a two room installation in Berlin. Astrid Klein takes up Guy Debord’s canonic essay “La Societe du Spectacle” as conceptual scenography for collages and a neon sculpture mainly from the 1980s as well as a new series of photo collage. Less on the institutional side is the debut Berlin exhibition, “Bathroom Sink, Etc.” by Los Angeles based artist Analia Saban. New to the gallery, Saban literally deconstructs her materials, pulling apart canvases and cuts hunks of stone from sculpture.

“Male Nudes — Female Desires” at Tanja Wagner
Does size matter? With Paula Winkler, Lina Scheynius, Jen Davis, and Nina Hoffmann, Tanja Wagner homes in on the female gaze in “Male Nudes — Female Desires”, asking “How do today’s young women look at men, naked men?” From internet-induced meet-ups and webcam love to fetishizing ancient sculpture the quartet deconstruct their object of desire in a manner most often left to male fashion photographers. Stop by on Sunday at 15:30 for a talk between Elke Buhr and the artists.

Stephanie Steinkopf at C/O Berlin
Recent graduate Stephanie Steinkopf was named the winner of the Vattenfall Photo Prize on Thursday, ahead of the 9:00pm opening of her show at C/O Berlin. Steinkopf won for her series titled “Manhattan”, a chilling portrayal of life in a Plattenbausiedlung of the former GDR gem, Oderbruch. Alcoholism and obesity run heavy amidst walls of pealing paint tinged with the smoke of a thousand cigarettes. Second and third place for Germany’s most highly rewarded prize for young photography went to Hajime Kimura and Kirina-Sirkku Kurz, respectively.

Harun Farocki at Video Art at Midnight
On Friday, one of Video Art at Midnight’s most acclaimed guests of recent memory, renowned German documentarian Harun Farocki will present four films from his “Ernste Spiele” (2010) series: “Watson ist hin”, “Drei tot”, “ Immersion”, and “Eine Sonne ohne Schatten”. The essaistic films recount training programs at US military bases and the video games used to simulate war for those entering and returning from battle.

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