Tag: Berlin

Klaus Weber: Suspended animation at Nottingham Contemporary

This weekend sees the launch of a new exhibition by German artist Klaus Weber at Nottingham Contemporary.

Born in Sigmaringen and now working in Berlin, Weber’s work explores our ideas about what is natural and what happens when this is disrupted. The new exhibition includes a life-sized moving figure of a man running off the roof, a sun mirror, artificial rain and a tornado made from a hoover. At this show, entitled If You Leave Me I’m not Coming, you will not be looking at paintings on a wall but sculptures occupying all the space in the gallery – and I mean all the space. For example, the cartoon-like ‘running man’ will launch himself from the gallery roof and be suspended in mid air. The sculpture has a motor in its chest which drives the pistons to make the man’s legs move.

There is also a giant wind chime, measuring four-and-a-half metres. It will be tuned to the ‘tritonic’ scale, which was banned during the Middle Ages because it was believed to summon the devil. Meanwhile, Weber’s ‘bee paintings’ have been created by bees themselves; during their first cleansing flight of the year they excrete on white surfaces, in this case on canvases.

Alongside Weber’s solo exhibition, there is a second exhibition at curated by the artist himself. The show, entitled Already There, is a collection of 200 objects and art works loaned from collections at Tate, the Science Museum, The Ashmolean, University College London and the Bode Museum in Berlin.

Describing the objects as the ‘foundations’ of his art works, they include tools used by pre-historic man; Bronze Age animal sculptures; a bird cage from a lunatic asylum; an armadillo skeleton; brain coral and Regency anatomical models complete with lift-out organs. The objects will be displayed alongside loans from Tate, chosen by Weber, dating back to 1661 and some of the artists include Louise Bourgeois, William Hogarth and Gilbert and George.

The new exhibition opens on Saturday and run until 8th January. Entry to Nottingham Contemporary is free.

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Am I alone . . . strange goings-on at the Berlinische Gallerie

Walking through a ground floor room at the superb Berlinische Gallerie, I had a strange feeling that I wasn’t alone. In fact, I was surrounded by figures, including children, a receptionist and other guests breathing like human beings and appreciating the art on the wall.

It took me a moment to realise that I was the only sentient being in the room and these ‘people’ that I was surrounded by were mannequins who all formed part of American artists Edward and Nancy Kienholz’s installation The Art Show. The figures were grotesque – ugly, empty, bored figures with car parts instead of mouths breathing loudly. The vast room was used to great effect and every detail perfectly conceived – and I got the distinct impression this was a scathing attack on the art world as money-driven and pretentious.

The gallery also had a fantastic collection of Modernist art including Dadaism, Constructivism, Futurism, Expressionism and much more from both German and international artists. Some of the themes explored in this collection include the city, industrialisation, oppression under totalitarianism and war. Well worth a visit.

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