Navigating Berlin's Art Scene: 7 Wonders You Can't Miss I JUNE #1 WE

June 7, 2023
"A glimpse of Infinity", 2023 - Martin Eder
"A glimpse of Infinity", 2023 - Martin Eder



WHEN: UNTIL 1.07.23

"It’s as if someone switched on the light in Martin Eder’s pictures. Rather than darkened by an ominous storm, the pictures in the exhibition Elysium in the Galerie EIGEN + ART glow from within.
Usually unclothed human figures or animals with fur or feathers (in this case, mostly the cute, cuddly sort) look at us from Eder’s paintings, but this time they do so always in fifty pastel shades. At first glance, they seem to lack every kind of darkness. But apart from the colors, something here is fundamentally different than before. More recent exhibitions of Eder’s work were titled Martyrium and Psychic, his current drone metal band calls itself Crysis, and its predecessor was named RUIN. Instead of exploring frightening corporeal-psychological states of emergency, Eder now enters Elysium – the Island of the Blessed, as described in Greek mythology. It is Paradise. Once one reaches it, healing, happiness, and idyll are in sight. Finally salvation.
In his Elysium pictures, for the first time (except for a rather concealed early appearance), Martin Eder stages himself as protagonist. Like a film director who has discovered the pleasure of shifting from his place behind the camera onto the film set, where, more or less recognizably, he walks through the picture in a few scenes, Eder emerges in Paradise as a figure clad in white. A guru whose dress takes its stylistic cue from the Savior?
At any rate, the Eder figure wears the Eder-typical gleam on its face. This gloss on his figures’ skin display this analog-Old Masterly painter as the inventor of what social-media filters today produce at the press of a button. But the painter does not clothe the faces and bodies with a sugar-coating of pixels that obliterates every supposed blemish, like pores, birthmarks, wrinkles, dents, bruises, and with them every humanity. Instead, Eder lends his figures a sweaty moisture whose origin is never really clear: does it stem from the heat surrounding his protagonists, or from their fundamentally somewhat unhealthy way of living?
But since there are no blemishes, no disease, no suffering, and thus also no death in Elysium, the fresh moisture on the figures’ skin must come from the dew on Paradise’s meadows. “Dewy”, as the beauty tutorials in the Internet call it. Yes, that must be it."
Anne Waak
Translated by Mitch Cohen
"Life knows how to live here", 2023 - Sojourner Truth Parsons. Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin/ Paris/Seoul. Photo © Jörg von Bruchhausen
"Life knows how to live here", 2023 - Sojourner Truth Parsons. Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin/ Paris/Seoul. Photo © Jörg von Bruchhausen



WHEN: FROM 8.06 TO 6.07

"The vividness of everyday-life experiences but also the strangeness of existence are at the basis of Sojourner Truth Parsons’ work.
With their intermingling bright colors, silhouetted bodies, and black fields doubling as architectural markers and framing devices, Parsons’ paintings have an astounding atmospheric intensity.
Her compositions hover at the threshold of abstraction and representation, swinging back and forth as recognizable shapes such as bodies, flowers, city blocks or landscapes never fully settle in one register or the other. Composed from overlapping elements—layers of paint alternate with thin washes, matt surfaces with slightly glossier and iridescent passages—the artist’s iconography constructs an interior environment, more psychic landscape than forest or city block, embodying emotional truth.
Urban landscape of skyscrapers, slivers of river views, and window frames entered Parsons’ work after her move to New York from Los Angeles in 2018. The new paintings on view in If nobody wants you you’re free are informed by her extended stays in rural Upstate New York and show the artist’s renewed engagement with nature. Speed of earth, 2023, for example, creates a rhythmic pattern from black verticals with irregular curved and deeply incised edges that recall tree trunks or carved logs. To the artist the work encapsulates a fleeting but profound impression: the sensation of being in a frozen landscape, the prickliness of its icy shapes and its crackling sounds.
Sometimes the association with the outside world is anchored simply by a luminous round disc—sun or moon—that lets the painting shift between abstraction and representation at the blink of an eye. Or gentle slopes and upturned curves can suddenly manifest their eroticism before retreating again into a compositional whole of abstracted pattern. Yet other works play on memories of looking, approximating for example the sensation of a picture becoming smaller, spiraling, and capture such visual effects as lived experience.
Parsons’ paintings integrate influences that include post-World War II art practices but also an abstraction fueled by the vernacular and other traditions of object-making. Her work is informed by the appropriation of collage techniques which have left traces in her paintings process, compositional structure and formal vocabulary. References to the communal activities of African American quilt making in the American South provide an entry to the charged subtext emerging from Parsons’ abstracted scenes. Especially Alabama’s Gee’s Bend quilt making with its uneven shapes and kaleidoscopic central vortices, but also its ethos of resourcefulness and community remains a point of reference.
Color in Parsons’ paintings can signal formal and emotional associations: brighter ones, such as hot pink and bright reds may refer to the unreality of artificial lights in an urban setting, a sunset framed by Manhattan’s skyline or indicate a bright summers day. And while the browns found in several of the new paintings suggest woodsy terrain, the bright greens have springtime make its way into a wintry landscape. A suite of 15 small canvases explores a near monochrome palette, employing shades of black produced through changes in viscosity and shine, recalling the black-on-black paintings by Ad Reinhardt.
Yet, compositional structure and color have a wider significance in Parsons’ practice.
As the artist noted in 2022, “I find edges really beautiful. When I’m experiencing the world, I can’t help but see everything as an edge, as a color next to a texture next to a flatness. And as a white-passing person of color, that ‘edgeness’ has been part of the way that I’ve moved through the world interpersonally, my whole life. On an edge."
"Nobody", Olena Klochko © Galerie Z22
"Nobody", Olena Klochko © Galerie Z22



WHEN: FROM 10.06 TO 9.07

Two different artists from Ukraine with different ways of dealing with war.
Kristina Podobed from Kiev - now based in Brest (France) - photographer. Once described in BLONDE magazine as a young savage who portrayed Ukrainian youth, mainly friends, with a lightness of touch, she is transforming more and more into a thoughtful and frightened woman. With her latest series of pictures, subtitled A DISTURBING STRANGENESS OF BEING, in which she depicts deformed bodies as a symbol of fear, she juxtaposes them with pictures of flowers as a sign of hope.
Olena Klochko from Butscha, who now lives in Berlin, left Ukraine a year ago in a minibus with some of her works. She laments in her paintings, the loss of friends, houses, soldiers and home. Once in Berlin, she tried to describe the events from the point of view of a naive child in the series THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. On the other hand, in the painting NOBODY, she laments the loss of her identity in a foreign land."
Daniel M.E. Schaal, DS-Rotation_3.1 - Tiefdruck auf Bütten -200x124 cm
Daniel M.E. Schaal, DS-Rotation_3.1 - Tiefdruck auf Bütten -200x124 cm



WHEN: FROM 9.06 TO 22.07

"ENTER:lapidarium", the first representative solo exhibition of the artist DANIEL M.E. SCHAAL.

"In accordance with the exhibition title (*"Lapidarium" = the accumulation of sculptures, objects or fragments historically relevant or even consecrated to a place), the visitor is taken on a journey of process-oriented as well as conceptual works that express their narrative in the snapshots of Schaal's impressively large media diversity. This occurs, for example, as painting on canvas, as unique as well as serial prints on handmade paper and cardboard, or it transforms itself as a monumental hand-woven textile floating freely in front of the wall.
Already in his student days at the UdK Berlin, the artist gained first public attention due to his collaboration in the performance duo SANDER/SCHAAL as well as through his fascinating gravure prints. In the gallery, a paper track measuring more than 20m is installed above head height and runs the entire length of the exhibition space. In this way Daniel M.E. Schaal explodes the common format and the visitor can process and participate along the space-time continuum of his body performance. On the downward facing side of the image, the textures of packaging and cardboard boxes reproduced in the printing process can be found and allow reflection on individual biographical processes and behavior in a consumerist society.
"I am fascinated by all the materials that circulate in our daily lives. (...) What we want to be, what we (...) want to preserve: It is in the numerous packaging materials that circulate around the world every day. But the desired content is ephemeral, its ascribed value usually no higher than that of its original packaging after a very short time." (Daniel M.E. Schaal, 2022)
(...) the artistic work of Daniel M.E. Schaal is characterized by the strategy and staging of the act of repetition. Be it in the reprinting of the same original (e.g. the cardboard boxes) or in the repetition of the same form, namely the drawing of lines. In this act of repetition, the autobiographical is transformed into something socially available. Through the ritual of repetition and the multi-layered superimposition of the same motif, a symbolic cycle between becoming and transience unfolds, a reflection on trace and meaning, on our actions in the public and private spheres. In his work as an artist, Daniel M.E. Schaal replaces personal expression with performative imprinting. And thus creates a symbiosis between image and body. (...)"
Text by Jette Rudolph
Courtesy of Thuli Wolf
Courtesy of Thuli Wolf



WHEN: ON 21.06.23, H18:30 - 21:00

"Imagination is the most powerful tool of our mind. This workshop offers you the opportunity to use this tool in a creative and personal way.
The Power of Imagination is a creative journey into your inner Self. In this artistic workshop you can discover what is really important to you at this very moment. You can express yourself creatively while building connections with others. Break out of your hectic everyday life and dive into the realm of your creative power. Come and create in the beautiful VRB gallery in Kreuzberg.
We'll start with a short warm-up exercise that will help you get comfortable with the environment, the group, and the creative process. Afterwards, you will be guided by an audio journey that will help you ignite your imagination. This journey will lead you into your personal artistic process and can help you overcome inhibitions and self-doubt regarding your abilities.
In the group, you can discover topics that are highly relevant to your life. The safe and non-judgmental environment is designed to help you find your free artistic expression. This is a playful way to collectively create something meaningful.
Please keep in mind that no special artistic skills are required.Any form of artistic expression is welcome and appreciated.
This is not a therapy session, but rather a creative get-together.
This is a one-time event.
The number of participants is limited to 15 people, so registration is required.
"French Hospital", 2014, Pigment print on alu-dibond, 90 x 60 cm - Elfi Greb
"French Hospital", 2014, Pigment print on alu-dibond, 90 x 60 cm - Elfi Greb



WHEN: UNTIL 1.07.23

(...) "A double exhibition of two artists from Berlin and Baku dedicated to root architecture as a central concept for growth, survival and belonging.
RADIX - Radical Root Explorations in Berlin and Baku provides a nuanced look at the diverse mechanisms of rooting in a changing climate and technological age.
Curated by Emin Mammadov, the exhibition focuses on the impact of climate change on soils, the evolution of identity, and the link between plant root growth and neuroplasticity. Visitors are invited to explore their own roots and reflect on what connects them to their environment and community. In nature, the architecture of roots plays a central role in the growth and survival of trees and plants. For us humans, too, it is important to feel rooted to a particular place, community or culture in order to develop a sense of connection, belonging and identity. This not only gives us a sense of security, but also a purpose in life.
The photographic works of Berlin-based artist Elfi Greb show how profound this need for rootedness can be. Her photographs tell the story of times past and people who have settled in the wild landscape of Iceland. In juxtaposing architecture and landscape, the artist reveals a deep understanding of the relationship between humans and nature. At the same time, Greb's work explores the question of how we humans locate ourselves in our surroundings and what role the landscape plays in our identity formation. Artist Elnara Nasirli, born in Baku, explores the relationship between nature and technology in her object art. She draws on organic and inorganic materials such as wood, moss, metal, and plastic to illustrate the multidimensional layers of meaning in root architecture. By synthesizing abstraction and figuration, Nasirli is able to create unique new worlds that give viewers a previously unknown perspective on our planet."
Volker Leyendecker, „Litith VI“, 2023, Öl auf Leinwand 120 x 80 cm
Volker Leyendecker, „Litith VI“, 2023, Öl auf Leinwand 120 x 80 cm



WHEN: UNTIL 8.07.23

"The portrait is in some ways an impossible genre.
Portraiture has always been caught between the demands of truthful representation, between idealisation and typification, between the inner essence of the sitter and visible form. It is precisely in and through these demands (which are also demands on art in a broader sense) that the face could become a condensed image of the human being in European cultural history.
For the first half of 2023, the TAMMEN GALERIE is planning a three-part
exhibition cycle on the theme of PORTRAIT.
Nowhere is the human being so visibly present as in his face. For thousands of years people have been trying to decipher the face and capture it in pictures.
How is artistic portraiture today in the age of the media flood of faces, of digital ubiquity on Facebook pages, of selfies as a new form of self-portrait, as an image of a of an image, in times of plastic surgery and morphing, of digital facial facial recognition and the simulation of facial expressions, can it still be seen at all? still be seen at all?
The face, like the body, has always been subject to different cultural techniques, codes of expression and aesthetic criteria, the reciprocal relationship of gaze and sight. relationship between the gaze and the sight. This is also reflected in the history of the portrait and its and its respective memorial, political and aesthetic forms. The representation of the
representation of the human face has always oscillated between reproduction and invention, between authenticity and representation, between proximity and distance. In the respective realisation of a portrait as an external view of a being endowed with affects or feelings, it is also about the understanding of an individual, about his or her appearance in the world, about the subject for whom self-experience becomes possible in the image, in the gaze and counter-gaze: This is also the moment of art, especially today.
The planned series of exhibitions with the artists Hans Aichinger, Marion Eichmann, Persis Eisenbeis, Lutz Friedel, Marc Fromm, Johannes Heisig, Stefanie Hillich, Jón Thor Gíslason, Rayk Goetze, Hans-Hendrik Grimmling, Volker Leyendecker, Jiny Lan, Volker März, Norika Nienstedt, René Schoemakers, Sebastian Schrader, Bettina Sellmann, Michael Streun, Lars Theuerkauff, Armin Völckers will result in three exhibitions.
will be held. The focus here will be explicitly on painting and individual sculptures. The entire exhibition project is to be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue with the collaboration of the exhibition curator. curator Christoph Tannert and the cultural mediator Dorothée Bauer. cultural mediator Dorothée Bauerle-Willert."