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November 11, 2006

Plenty of Horn, and a brief Fleury

rebeccahorn.jpg

Yesterday was primarily devoted to seeing the works of two women artists. First up was a retrospective of Rebecca Horn at the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Lumena decided that of the various exhibits and museums available in Berlin, that this was high priority and the most rare opportunity. We ended up not watching any of the films Horn has made. Watching a film about Horn was cut short by Donald Sutherland's comments. Sutherland, who has acted in Horn's films used the word "sensual" several times to describe Horn's art, but Lumena felt he crossed the line talking about the "ejaculation of paint" or words to that effect.

What we saw were primarily a collection of Horn's mechanical artwork - books flapping like birds on top of glass cases with wire and odd bits inside, contraptions that created abstract paintings, a self-playing cello, and a chair that fitfully danced the tango. Some video work was included, such as the shot of a person wearing a mask with pencils sticking out from his face, creating art by brushing his face back and forth on the white surface. One of Horn's "costumes" resembled a giant pea pod made of feathers. Horn's poetry also accompanied much of the exhibition.

Just around the corner from where we are staying, we also visited the DaimlerChrysler Contemporary Gallery. I had previously walked past the entrence without realizing it, with just a couple of small signs by the entrance in a large, old building. The prime motivation was to see the videos created by Sylvie Fleury on behalf of Daimler. The short works were shown as a triptych, three screens across the wall. While some of the videos just were of models standing around while the cars went up and down the lifts, one funny piece involved some girls who removed shoes from the trunk of a Mercedes and drove off with one of the girls in the trunk. Hopefully Fleury's work will appear online. Sometimes the three screens were of simultaneous activity, but sometimes not. Seeing the work on three screens on one direct field may not have been the best way to see this work. What is certain is that if this part of an advertising campaign, it was very indirect. But then having an art gallery with free admission may be an indirect advertisement on behalf of DaimlerChrysler.

Posted by peter at November 11, 2006 07:28 PM