A TALE OF TWO ART SCENES

A tale of two art scenes in the Local, minus the following paragraphs:

Two artists at Art Forum Berlin who were particularly memorable for me were Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, who presented work at both the Basque gallery Carreras Mugica and the Cologne gallery Clarges, and also the German video artist Bjorn Melhus, who was exhibiting with the Frankfurt gallery Anita Beckers.

At Carreras Mugica, Agirregoikoa showed a video piece in which a post-structuralist tract was sung as a chamber piece, together with a series of witty and cynical watercolours. These showed a number of figures – a hooligan, a businessman, a construction worker – holding up coloured football scarves embossed with different legends: “Reject Society” reads one. “Reject Culture,” reads another. “What’s really the difference?” Agirregoikoa seems to ask.

For his part, Melhus exhibited a jet-black lampoon of Fox News, looping three bald, blue talking heads repeating dramatic nullities across three interlinked screens. “We have a situation, we don’t know exactly, we don’t know, we don’t know, terrorism, we have a situation, we don’t know…” the heads said, as hypnotic graphics and sound effects played in the background.

Bang in the middle of Art Forum Berlin, on the evening of Saturday 1st November, a very different kind of art event took place in Neukölln. Essentially a sort of urban safari involving a good deal of walking, despite the free taxis, the neighborhood arts festival Nachtundnebel (“Night and Fog”) presented art in the context of a living, breathing city, as opposed to the context of a shop floor.

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