10 Artists You Might Not Know Are Berlin-Based

 

Berlin Based Artists
Fatima Al Qadiri, Christine Sun Kim and Hannah Black

Note: This article was published on 21 September 2016

According to the German culture secretary Tim Renner, the majority of the artists featured in the 2016 Venice Biennale live in Berlin. The city resides continuously on the brink of action. The tension between policing and anarchy, uniformity and debauchery, rules and social unrest, as well as a bristling right wing intimidation is also tangible. This makes it a fertile space for activism, creativity and agency that artists record and channel into their work. Many also come to Berlin for the (still) affordable studios and space that allows them to nurture their practice. When we think of Berlin artists instantly Tillmans, Weiwei or Eliason spring to mind, yet there’s a myriad of other artists, establised or emerging, you’d be surprised live and work here too.

We’ve taken a closer look at some of these artists who have settled in the spirited city

 

Alicja Kwade. Images from Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert
Alicja Kwade. Images by Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert for SLEEK 46

Alicja Kwade

Alicja Kwade counts illusionist “Mr Houdini” as one of her all time heroes. It’s evident in her practice, which draws on thought exercises about space and time. Her imaginative musings ponder “borders between science and suspicion” and are mostly focused on sculpture, though occasionally swerve into other mediums such as photography and video.

 

Guan Xiao. Images from biennaledelyon.com and aktnz.com
Guan Xiao. Images from biennaledelyon.com and aktnz.com

Guan Xiao

Past and future are puzzles to solve in Guan Xiao’s work. The artist uses modern technology to address and unravel her cultural and physical environment by observing the way that audiences process and respond to visual stimuli. Her work comprises cultural artefacts from disparate places that provide constellations of civilisations, regions and eras.

 

 

Berlin-based artist Anna Uddenburg
Anna Uddenburg and BFF Twin Torso. Images from radarmagazine.com and annauddenberg.com

Anna Uddenberg

In Anna Uddenberg’s show “Truly Yours”, hostesses, escorts and glamour models enact their ideas and representations of an it-girl. The artist is particularly interested in the dominant visual language shared on social media and other online platforms. In one of her installation works, an embedded television screen presents scenes from the American reality TV show “Cheaters” in which distrustful couples confront their partners about illicit affairs. And for the 9th Berlin Biennale she forged none less than one of the most Instagrammed artworks.

 

 

Hannah Black Berlin based artist
Hannah Black and Screengrab from video Fall of Communism (digital video, 2014) Images from maskmagazine.com and rhizome.org

Hannah Black

Hannah Black is a London-born artist and theorist in equal measure. Her essays, videos and Twitter profile draw on representations of bodies, identity, race and power. Her poetic phrasing is informed by personal experience and sarcastic albeit playful self-evaluation, which often explore how difference forms new alternative experiences. Her work has been presented at museums in North and South America as well as Europe, and more recently she’s also experimented with sound.

 

 

Christine Sun Kim, Piano Within Piano, 2015. Image from artnews.com
Christine Sun Kim, Piano Within Piano, 2015. Image from artnews.com

Christine Sun Kim

Christine Sun Kim is becoming somewhat of a superstar in the art world. As an illustrator, painter, video and performance artist, Kim has had celebrated residencies at the Whitney Museum in New York as well as an exhibition at the MoMA PS1. Kim, who was born deaf, often collaborates with the musician Devonté Hynes also known as Blood Orange and gave a TED talk about “The enchanting music of sign language” which amassed over 100,000 hits. She will perform at Frieze Live 2016.

 

 

Harm Van Den Dorpel, Scrum Kanban Whiteboards, 2015. Image from rhizome.org
Harm Van Den Dorpel, Scrum Kanban Whiteboards, 2015. Image from rhizome.org

Harm van den Dorpel

With a background in computer science and artificial intelligence, Harm van den Dorpel is widely regarded as a key figure of internet art. His practice encompasses online animations and the dialogue between digital artefacts and physical artwork such as sculpture and collage. His recent online work includes the “algorithmic studio” Deli Near Info and left.gallery which explores different curatorial mechanisms.

 

 

Fatima Al Qadiri and work from GCC. Images from thefader.com and dazeddigital.com
Fatima Al Qadiri and work from GCC. Images from thefader.com and dazeddigital.com

Fatima Al Qadiri

Fatima Al Qadiri is a producer and visual artist whose ascension is marked by the release of her mini-mix “Muslim Trance” for DIS magazine in 2010. Her blog “Global .Wav” is also hosted on DIS Magazine and under the separate name Ayshay, she has released a number of EPs on the labels Fade to Mind, UNO and Tri Angle. Al Qadiri is a member of the art collective GCC, who have exhibited at the MoMA PS1, Fridericianum, Sharjah Art Foundation and Whitney Museum of American Art. And of course she is also the cover star of SLEEK 51.

 

 

Tacita Dean and 32 Artworks. Images from thefalmouthconvention.com and tate.org.uk
Tacita Dean and 32 Artworks. Images from thefalmouthconvention.com and tate.org.uk

Tacita Dean

History, time and place frame Tacita Dean‘s films. The English draughtsman, photographer and filmmaker employs a light quality that activates the mystique of her celluloid medium. Her drawing began with storyboards and her penchant for storytelling is often charged by potential encounters and nautical themes. History and fiction enmesh in Dean’s narratives through the prism of temporality and memory.

 

 

isa-genzken-1
Left: Isa Genzken, 2015, copyright Galerie Buchholz, Köln / Berlin / New York. Right: “Isa Genzken”, Hauser & Wirth London, photo from moma.org

Isa Genzken

Isa Genzken’s prolific output of radical assemblage objects has positioned her as one of the most influential artists of the past 30 years. Genzken’s sculptures, which includes three-dimensional work among a spectrum of other media, has placed her at the fore of radical invention since the mid-Seventies. With her recent body of smaller, diorama works and vast installations, she has established an entirely new language of found objects and collage.

 

 

Tomas Saraceno and Cloud Cities at Hamburger Bahnhof. Images from damnmagazine.net and designboom.com
Tomas Saraceno and Cloud Cities at Hamburger Bahnhof. Images from damnmagazine.net and designboom.com

Tomás Saraceno

Tomás Saraceno is a renaissance man in the sense that he employs all manner of disciplines in his practice. Architecture, engineering, physics, chemistry and aeronautics inform his inflatable, airborne biospheres which are often coupled with soap bubbles, spider webs, neural networks and cloud formations. His structures and installations propose potential models for a sustainable future, often in collaboration with experts from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

 

 

 

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