Here are some pictures of the recent Berlin Art Show which featured several Liverpool artists which I listed in an earlier post thanks mainly to Adam Nankervis and Jill Rock of Museum MAN. And here is Jill’s report of the event…
Dear Adam – this is an open letter of my thoughts on the Kunstsalon as co-curator – a piece of insider text.
As I understand it you were first asked to take Museumman to the Kunstsalon last spring and it was some time in the Summer when you asked if I would co-curate. Having taken part in setting up Museumman in Falkner St. Liverpool for the Biennial in Autumn 2004, assembling ‘A Room Of Her Own’ there at that time, and then seen the move to Rodney St.setting up the continuation of GOOD MORNING HERR SCHWITTERS, GUTEN ABEND MR RUSKIN, renamed as ‘KATHEDRAL OF EROTIC MISERY’ there was no hesitation in my mind, but we were both insanely busy during the Summer months so although I had taken on board the concept behind Blueprints and felt at home with the idea and readily agreed, the idea was fairly loose in my mind when we set out from Liverpool with the works in our suitcases to Easyjet it over the water.
There was an excitement when we first went to the Arena where Edmund Piper was overseeing the final stages of setting up that huge ex-industrial site into discreet areas for organisations , groups and galleristes showing artists from all over the world. It was also at that point that the complexity of the philosophy behind Museuman hit me for what we had to do was to somehow create a sense of that particular intimacy which is Museumman hallmark within this space, a polemic which excluded no-one but recognised the role of art as tantamount in the human condition. That large white three-sided open square hit us in the eyes with all the associations of previous ‘Art Fairs”. so that although the Berlin Kunstsalon was art based rather than market based as the parallel Berliner Art Forum was, the format remained.
Your first move was the decision to get the space painted red so ensued a wild taxi ride searching for red paint . You, Robbie Kravitz and myself watched the transition from white to what turned out to be pink with alternating enthusiasm and trepidation, but then we had to go for it, so on scarcely dry paint we hung the huge Apples and Pears piece, featuring yourself and David enacting what could be seen as a Blueprint for a War from David Medala’s show in London in 6 Easy Steps at the ICA earlier in September. Do you remember our surprise to find that what had dominated a wall in the ICA now filled barely half of a wall such was the size of the space. At the entrance to the space we hung George Lund’s riotous painting telling the story of our journey as monkey. cat, hen and fawn from Liverpool to Berlin. In the meantime Marc Patzold, Peter Schnaake, LorettaFahrenholz, and Klaus Kempner from Leipzig had arrived to create an architectural space within Museumman, strictly on the intuitive level we responded to each other, creating Gothic spires within the ambiance of a warehouse with the blueprints forming the background for the artists own work.
For me the decisive moment was when we opened up the Blueprints you had found in the disused factory in Liverpool to fix them on to the walls in giant pillar formation echoing their origin as plans for industrial installations. The gift was the unlikely combination of the bright pink walls and the beautifully faded blues and creamy yellows of these huge plan sheets which sat as if made, within this Berlinisch factory space. I found unexpected correspondences started to emerge. The Blueprints began naturally to form the structure for the paper works that artists from all over the world had sent to you in Liverpool, making a fascinating dialogue between their own personal take on the idea of a Blueprint and the technical drawings which assumed an aesthetic within the context of Museumman Berlin Kunstsalon. Tony Knox’s moths, between and on and under the formality, reminding us of our mortality as they interwove within the space.
A further dialogue was made when you made the decision to reserve a space without the Blueprints for the larger organic works by Robbie Kravitz, Deborah Wargon, Gaynor Sweeney and Dominic Eggarman. Gary Sollars huge painting ‘Dogs’ from Tate Liverpool was to add the erotic. Exquisitely painted, the myth of the crisis of human as hermaphrodite. What was emerging was that essential polemic between the artist, the industrial space, the concept of art fairs, and the disposition of the public who too often feel alienated. Subtle, understated, fun, Museumman was eating away at prejudices, as the very moth on the walls , not to mention the full size reproduction of Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ placed with pride as in living rooms throughout the world. On the morning of the opening we brought in the bed surrounded by all the things which make up the sense of the personal. You and Mona set it up as in Museumman with all the affection of the truly lived in home, in collision with the stereotyped glass and chrome of the universal gallery style; the bed was to become the centre for informal meetings and exchanges throughout the week. And people just kept coming. Artists came bringing work to add to Museumman. George Lund aka funky chicken and Calum F Kerr performed tirelessly within the Kunstsalon itself. A magnificent choir came to sing for us, you, David , and Mona performed ‘ Pythagorean Conversations In Post Einstenian SpaceTime Continuum’
on Sunday, David then planning a Music Salon for the final closing evening in which we all performed with well wishers—–the floor space becoming the final resting place for a magnificent collage of the phatasmograghy of idiosyncratic pieces of our performances, as the people around joined in the final finale.
W e made many new friends, explored the basis for future collaborations, remade many old acquaintances creating goodwill within the context of the art space which denied no-one the right to take part,
Thank you to Edmund Piper for instigating the Kunstsalon, the aFoundation, the staff, particularly Linda, Ulli, and Julia, and the artists who made it all possible. Maybe the opening of this polemic left its mark in the minds of the thousands who visited us opening avenues of correspondences usually left closed.
best wishes, good rest, much love
your co -curator