2008 The Year in Review
At the daadgalerie, 2008 began with the extended run of a very successful exhibition by Guy Ben-Ner. He showed Stealing Beauty, a film shot in IKEA stores all over the world and completed during his stay in Berlin, as an installation with accompanying seating for lounging and viewing.
To coincide with the Berlinale filmfestival in February, the gallery presented a visual arts position with a fascinating relationship to the film field. The artist Selja Kameric, who comes from Bosnia-Herzegovina, presented What do I know, which had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 2007. In Berlin, the film was shown as an installation with a four-part projection taking advantage of the space. What do I know was later shown as an installation in a larger solo exhibition of the artist’s works at the Galerie im Taxispalais in Innsbruck (Nov. 2008–Jan. 2009).
In late March, Roman Ondak staged a work-in-progress at the daadgalerie, which developed during the course of the exhibition as gallery visitors participated. Visitors marked the gallery walls with their height, name and date. Over time, these coalesced into an abstract “group portrait”.
The 5th berlin biennial opened in April, and many 2008 / 2009 BKP guests as well as former BKPers exhibited: Artur Zmijewski, Paulina Olowska, Katerina Sedá, Susan Hiller, Cyprien Gaillard and Paul Sietsema. Gaillard provided the biennial’s opening performance in the so-called sculpture garden, while Sedá showed an acclaimed patchwork-like installation made of fences from a Czech village. In the Schinkel pavilion, Olowska presented her paintings in a striking staging vis à vis works from the 1920s and 1930s by the Polish artist Zofia Styjenska. Susan Hiller’s video on forgotten languages, which was prominently projected at the Neue Nationalgalerie, attracted great interest.
Visitors always throng for the “gallery weekend” each May, and this year the daadgalerie presented a spectacular and minimal new work by former guest Mona Hatoum. For this latest invitation, Hatoum brought Hanging Garden into the gallery space, a “living” continually growing sculpture composed of burlap sack-like elements out of which grass grew.
A second return invitation made possible the screening of Douglas Gordon’s and Philippe Parreno’s monumental film: Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait during the European Cup soccer championships in June. The film, which follows Zinédine Zidane with 17 cameras for the 90-minute duration of a match, was shown in a cinema-like setting but as a three-channel installation. The film’s best presentation to date brought more visitors to the gallery during summer months than it had seen in a long time.
In early September, parallel to the abc: art berlin contemporary fair, the daadgalerie showed a mini-retrospective of videos and sculptures of the Japanese artist Shimabuku, works rarely seen previously in Berlin.
The daadgalerie then hosted the first German solo exhibition of the Pakistani artist Shahzia Sikander, for which the gallery was divided into two rooms. Sikander created a new wall painting for the gallery. In addition, she presented drawings, gouaches and new video works. A monograph published in collaboration with Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, includes views of the works in the exhibition.
As part of the BKP’s literary year, many Veranstaltungen took place in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany and abroad. Attila Bartis (Hungary) gave the first reading on Nov. 17 in the daadgalerie, followed by readings from Ornela Vorpsi (Albania / France) on Jan. 30 and Kiran Nagarkar (India) on April 10. There was also a book presentation by Paulo Teixeira (former BKP guest from Portugal) on Sept. 18.
A number of collaborations facilitated appearances by BKP guests in- and outside of Berlin: Cécile Wajsbrot (France) presented her new book in Leipzig (Feb. 26), at the Literary Colloquium Berlin (March 6) and at the Literaturforum im Brecht-Haus (June 10); Christian Hawkey (USA) and his two translators Uljana Wolf and Steffen Popp gave readings at Berlin’s Dock 11 (March 3) and the Literatursalon am Kollwitzplatz; Georgi Gospodinov (Bulgaria) presented his new book at the Literary Colloquium Berlin (April 8) as well as the Literatursalon am Kollwitzplatz (Oct. 6); Piotr Sommer (Poland) appeared at Kulturhaus Mitte (April 16); Qassim Haddad (Bahrain) participated in the West-Eastern Divan project at the Kulturbrauerei (July 1); Tomás González (Columbia) gave a reading at the Literaturhaus Berlin (Nov. 7).
Under the heading “News from the Provinces. A Homeland Portraits Revue”, a two-day festival of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program took place at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in the Roter Salon (April 25–26), moderated by Jan Wagner and Björn Kuhligk. The author and BKP guest Jáchym Topol (Czech Republic) and Peter Hein (A), Norbert Scheuer (D), Michael Donhauser (CH), Ulf Erdmann Ziegler (D), Florian Thalhofer (D), Noelle Revaz (CH) and Sigitas Parulskis (LT) read from their works.
Former BKP guests were also afforded an opportunity to present the books they wrote in Berlin at many venues in the city and elsewhere:
László Végel (Serbia / Hungary) at the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin (March 10), Abdourahman A. Waberi (Djibouti / France) at the Literaturhaus Berlin (March 11), Matthew Sweeney (Ireland) at the Lyrikkabinett in Munich (March 31) and the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin (April 3).
For UNESCO World Poetry Day, a reading with six poets took place on March 19 at the Max Liebermann Haus at the Brandenburg Gate. The BKP was represented by Georgi Gospodinov (Bulgaria), Qassim Haddad (Bahrain), Christian Hawkey (USA) and Piotr Sommer (Poland). Organizers of “Poems from Around the World” include the Brandenburg Gate Foundation, Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, Akademie Schloss Solitude, and the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD.
The 9th international literary festival “Poetry on the Road” invited Georgi Gospodinov (Bulgaria), Christian Hawkey (USA) and Piotr Sommer (Poland) to Bremen.
Appearing at the international Oskar Pastior Poetry Festival 2008 in Sibiu, Romania, which took place from Oct. 2–5, were Christian Hawkey (USA) as well as former BKP guests Petr Borkovec (Czech Republic), Inger Christensen (Denmark) and Mircea Dinescu (Romania).
Cécile Wajsbrot (France) read in tandem with Tanja Dückers (Germany) at the Literaturfestival Lemberg (Sept. 11–15) as well as in Czernowitz on Sept. 10.
All the literature section’s current guests appeared at the International Literature Festival Berlin, “ilb”, which ran from Sept. 24 to Oct. 5.
BKP guests also were on hand at both major book fairs: Georgi Gospodinov (Bulgaria) and Christian Hawkey (USA) read during a major evening poetry event at the LVB dome during the Leipzig Book Fair.
At the Frankfurt Book Fair, the DAAD and BKP had a stand in the International Center, and a panel discussion took place at the Translators’ Center with Christian Hawkey (USA) and Kiran Nagarkar (India) on Oct. 18.
To introduce their guests abroad, the literature and music sections jointly organized a BKP “long night” in cooperation with the Goethe Institute Lisbon on June 4. During the course of the evening, Christian Hawkey (USA), Piotr Sommer (Poland), Georgi Gospodinov (Bulgaria) and former BKP guest Paulo Teixeira (Portugal) read from their works.
Two guests presented their films at Kino Arsenal during the series “Director’s Night”: Carlos Morelli (Uruguay) on Dec. 2 and James T. Hong (USA) on Dec. 15.
Our longstanding cooperation with the Berlin International Film Festivals – the “Berlinale” – continued. This year, the DAAD Shortfilm Award, which has been presented since 2006, went to Olga Popova (Russia), who arrived in Berlin for a three-month stay in autumn 2008.
Once again, the BKP collaborated with the New Berlin Film Award, a festival now in its fourth year. On April 17, Artists-in-Berlin Program showed works by its guests José L. Extremera (Spain) and Carlos Morelli (Uruguay) in the series “Heads up! DAAD!”
Ayelet Bargur (BKP former guest from Israel) presented her film The House on August Street at the 14th Jewish Film Festival on May 18.
DAAD portrait concerts launched the year with our guest Chengbi An (China) on Jan. 18 and 21 at Radialsystem during the Ultraschall-Festival, which is presented annually by Deutschlandradio and rbb Kulturradio of Berlin. (The Artists-in-Berlin Program Program has been a regular festival partner since 2000.) Chengbi An’s orchestral work Ressac (1997) was performed by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lucas Vis; the Austrian Ensemble für Neue Musik (conductor Johannes Kalitzke) performed his chamber music work Scintiallations (1996); and the Sonar Quartett performed Soo.Ho – String Quartet no. 1 (2000).
Newly arrived in Berlin, Gilles Gobeil (Canada) was represented in the TU Berlin Electronic Studio festival concert on Jan. 25, along with many former guests of the BKP.
For years, we have closely collaborated with the Berlin Festivals including MaerzMusik, where a detailed portrait was devoted to our Australian guest Liza Lim. On March 9 in the Glass Courtyard of the Jewish Museum Berlin, a conversation between Lim and the musicologist Max Nyffeler was followed by two concerts featuring Brisbane’s Elision Ensemble under the direction of Simon Hewett. The works performed included excerpts from The Navigator, an opera that Lim completed during her stay in Berlin. The premiere of the opera took place in Brisbane; performances followed at many opera houses around the world.
The 60-minute concert installation Ton – which Lim also composed in Berlin – with mobiles by Volker März, was premiered on March 15 at the St. Elisabeth Church by the Contemporary Opera Berlin and the Elision Ensemble.
The Australian Jon Rose, who was a BKP guest in 1989, was again invited to Berlin with several projects, as was the Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth (guest in 1996) with the music theater work Hommage à Klaus Nomi.
In addition, a number of former guests including Stefano Gervasoni, Lucia Ronchetti, Emmanuel Nunes, Fatima Miranda, and Carles Santos were invited to present evening-length works of music theater and portrait Veranstaltungen.
Inventionen, the festival traditionally presented by the DAAD and the TU since 1982, took place from July 23 to Aug. 3, this year’s theme being “Music for More Than One Loudspeaker”. The focus was on acousmatic music, French piano music and sound installations. Appearing once again was the loudspeaker orchestra – acousmonium – of INA-GRM (Groupe de Recherche Musicales) Paris under the direction of Daniel Teruggi.
In all, the nearly two-week long festival presented:
– 120 international artists, among them 18 former and current guests of the Artists-in-Berlin Program as well as six current and former Edgard Varése guest professors of the DAAD
– five sound and video installations in the Villa Elisabeth (by former guests Sam Auinger, Ed Osborn, Agostino Di Scipio as well as Berlin resident HP Kuhn) and at the TU Berlin.
– fourteen very well attended international concerts with various thematic emphases at the St. Elisabeth Church and the TU Berlin, with a direct tie-in to the fifth international Sound and Music Computing Conference (SMC08). There were nine premieres and eight works commissioned (six by Inventionen, and one each from the Berlin Senate and the DAAD) – from composers including BKP guests Gilles Gobeil (a remarkable piece for the three loudspeaker systems acousmonium, Klangdom and WFS), Clara Maïda, Michael Moser, Wolfgang Suppan, and former guests Trevor Wishart and Horacio Vaggione, as well as the Edgard Varèse Guest Professors Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, Kees Tazelaar, Hans Tutschku and Daniel Teruggi
– two composer portraits of BKP current guests Clara Maïda and Wolfgang Suppan at the Villa Elisabeth
– two sound installations and a concert installation by Michael Moser (Vienna) at the singuhr sound gallery space in the large and small water reservoirs in Prenzlauer Berg. After the festival ended, the installations remained on display well into September.
Michael Moser opened his Wasserspeicher sound installation on July 24 with a live concert; among the performers was Werner Dafeldecker, former BKP guest from Austria.
Cooperation with the Total Music Meeting (Nov. 6–8) continued as invitations were extended to Richard Barrett, Alvin Curran and Fred van Hove.
Likewise, the series “EM Hören”, curated by Folkmar Hein at the TU Berlin Electronic Studio, offered our composers of electroacoustic music the opportunity to present their work to an interested audience.
The musical year came to a close with a portrait of composer Dmitri Kouliandski (Russia) on Nov. 13 at the daadgalerie. Two solo works for voice and bass flute, which Kouliandski wrote in Berlin, were performed by Natalia Pschenitschnikowa.
A presentation of the Artists-in-Berlin Program at the Goethe Institute in Lisbon on June 4 was a great success. The Sond’Ar-te Electric Ensemble performed Taléa... by Gérard Grisey and Derrière Son Double by Miguel Azguime.
The evening also included four readings (with Hawkey, Gospodinov, Teixeira, Sommer) and the screening of a video by João Penalva.
Mark Andre, who stayed in Berlin after his BKP grant in 2005, received several awards and commissions: the Giga-Hertz Award for electronic music; the orchestra prize of the Donaueschinger Musiktage from the SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra for his composition … auf …III; and the Berliner Kunstpreis special award in music from the Academy of the Arts, Berlin.
Clara Maïda was awarded the Berlin-Rheinsberger Composition Prize and several honors for Ipso facto, 2007 (commission DAAD/TUB); Trevor Wishart also received the ZKM Giga-Hertz Award.
David Moss was appointed a fellow for 2008/09 at the International Research Center “Interweaving Performance Cultures” at the Freie Universität Berlin.
DAAD Guest Professorships
Samuel Fischer Guest Professorship for Literature at the Freie Universität Berlin
The Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD is also contributing to the internationalization of the university landscape in Berlin by providing curatorial support and strategic planning for the Samuel Fischer Guest Professorship at the Freie Universität Berlin. The “Veranstaltungen forum” of the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group and S. Fischer Publishers established the professorship together with the DAAD and the Freie Universität in 1998. In addition to the regular semester schedule of guest professors László Krasznahorkai (SS 2008) and Raoul Schrott (WS 2008 / 2009), public readings by the guest professors took place in Berlin and Bonn: László Krasznahorkai (Hungary) appeared at the BKH, Bonn on May 30; Samuel Fischer guest of honor Paul Auster (USA) read at the Berliner Ensemble on Sept. 29; Samuel Fischer guest of honor Kenzaburo Oe read at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt on Nov.1.
Valeska Gert Guest Professorship for dance and choreography
Choreographer Mark Franko (USA) held the Valeska Gert Guest Professorship for dance and choreography, instituted in 2006 at the FU Berlin Institut für Theaterwissenschaft, during the summer semester. His final presentation, Pasolini, with Alessandro Rumi, took place on July 17 at the Akademie der Künste Berlin on Hanseatenweg.
Appointed for winter semester 2008/09 was Rudi Laermans (Belgium). His final presentation took place at the Akademie der Künste on Feb. 5, 2009.
Rudolf Arnheim Guest professorship for art history at Humboldt University Berlin
Guest professor for the summer semester 2008 was the British curator David Elliott (former director of Moderna Museet, Stockholm; director of the 17th Sydney Biennial, 2010).The Paris based art historian Giovanna Zapperi (who teaches in Lille and Tours) was appointed for the winter semester 2008/09.
Edgard Varèse Guest Professors for computer music at the Technical University Berlin
The Edgard Varèse Guest Professors for computer music at the TU Berlin were Fernando Lopez-Lezcano (Argentina), composer of electro-acoustic music and Systems Administrator at CCRMA at Stanford University during summer semester 2008, and Paul Davis (GB/USA), developer of the digital audio workstations Linux-Audio-Systems and Ardour, during winter semester 2008/2009.