All posts tagged: Berlin

Isaac Chong Wai

What is the future in the past? And what is the past in the future? / Zilberman Gallery / Berlin / Sep 5 – Nov 9 / Angelika Li / What is the future in the past? And what is the past in the future?, the first solo exhibition in Berlin by Hong Kong multimedia artist Isaac Chong Wai (b.1990), at Zilberman Gallery, features the debut of his new work pietas (2019). In the work, performers Saori Hala and Nobutaka Shomura re-enact four postures based on iconic biblical images, including references from Michelangelo’s Pietà (c.1498-1500) and German artist Käthe Kollwitz’s Mother with her Dead Son (1937), which commemorates the victims of war and tyranny.  The performance prompted contemplation of human vulnerability, violence and humanity. Emotions and empathy were intensified by the long, static postures and dramatic facial expressions of the two performers that froze the room in absolute stillness, creating a collective moment to mourn, meditate and pray. The strategy of the piece recalls Yvon Chabrowski’s video work Afterimage/Protest (2013). But Chong devised a confrontational dichotomy in two of the re-enactments by …

Wolfgang Tillmans

By Diana d’Arenberg Parmanand Although his photographs had graced the pages of magazines like iD and Interview magazine, for a couple of decades it was at nightclub Berghain’s Panorama Bar in Berlin that the work of Wolfgang Tillmans really seared itself on my mind. The work in question, Phillip III (1993), depicted a man exposing his anus with his hand. The Panorama Bar, known for its hedonism, where music, dance and sex dissolve into one another and clubbers can party the night away with complete abandon and without judgement, was the perfect venue for his work. What struck me wasn’t that the work was confrontational or provocative – Robert Mapplethorpe paved the way for works of this nature in the late 1970s and 80s, drawing the sting from homoerotic art. Instead it was the unapologetic directness of the work, the raw honesty and frankness of it, that impressed me most. Throughout his three-decade career photographing a diversity of subjects, Tillmans’ has demonstrated a commitment to exploring and depicting truth, blurring the boundaries between art and documentary photography. Music and clubbing …