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NO!-ON show
Gallery Berliner Kunstprojekt | Gneisenaustrasse 33 | Berlin | November 7 to 29, 2003
more information


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Preambel by Jean-Jacques Lebel

The Dark Ages are back!. ... Today's world wide social and economic crisis brings back to thefore the fundamental questions formulated by Gauguin which the bullshit art-boom, had tried to erase:


Those artists and/or art-gangsters, operators and speculators who had "forgotten" that art was about that (and not about commercial success, cultural politics and Hollywoodian glitz) are now suffering the results of their own poison. In substance, nothing much has changed since Gauguin: are we objects or subjects of our own history?

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With Contributions by Following Artists:

Dietmar Kirves, Berlin Boris Lurie, New York  Jean-Jacques Lebel, Paris Clayton Patterson, New York  Aldo Tambellini, Cambridge  Seth Tobocman, New York Amikam Goldman, Berlin  Frank-Kirk Ehm-Marks, Berlin  Blalla W. Hallmann, Windsbach Harry Hass, Berlin     hansk, Berlin  Vincenzo Mastrangelo, Berlin  Stu Mead, Berlin Peter Meseck, Berlin  Naomi T. Salmon, Weimar  Reinhard Scheibner, Berlin Bruno Schleinstein, Berlin  LST, Berlin  Klaus Theuerkauf, Berlin Friedrich Wall, Freienbrink  Mathilda Wolf, Berlin  Natalia Woytasik, Berlin Miron Zownir, Berlin

Vernissage on Friday, November 7th 2003 at 6 p.m.
Film screening: Nov. 8th until 13th, 7 to 9 p.m.
Finissage: November 29th, 2003, 15 p.m.
Open: Wednesday—Saturday, 1—6 p.m.
or by appointment 030-693 07 73
For Informations to NO!art
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mindshots [postcards] more

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Carl Mai: Wie es weiterging, BuchcoverINSTEAD OF A FOREWORD: Writers provide for the spiritual needs of people in this world. By their creations one recognizes the culture and the moral level of the society to which the writer belongs. Therefore, he has a very special responsible profession. For not everyone who knows how to chat pleasantly with a typewriter can call himself a writer. Just think of the pessimists who declare our beautiful earth to be a vale of tears, and everything that happens on it does not meet with their applause. They consider all people bad and stupid. Only with themselves they make an exception. It is foolish and silly to be a pessimist. We do not want to have anything to do with such people. If we don't like something, we want to try to help make it better. And we want to love and like people, because only then we can gain friends and joy. Therefore, poets and writers should not only entertain us, but lead us up to the heights of life and educate us to all that is good, true and beautiful. The writer first writes down the beautiful stories that will delight you in your leisure hours, after he has thought about what he wants to tell you and in what way he wants to portray his tale. If he puts it into poetic form, or if he has particularly fine poetic thoughts which he knows how to convey in fluent form, he is called a poet. If, however, he writes only about daily events for the disposable newspapers, he is called a journalist. The greatest poets and writers are immortal. The ideas of these greats are never lost to society. It remains the precious spiritual property of the respective nation, which will still guard it as a treasure and deepest possession long after the writer and poet have died and gathered with their mothers and fathers. People will still sing their songs when their word has long since faded away. more


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16 mm b&w film | colored by Volksvideo, Kassel 1984 | Video-Trailer 10:03 min

PLOT: REPORTAGE is a composition of miscellaneous newsreel footage discarded in the 60s, produced on 16mm film stock in the 50s to inform the rural population. The editing sequence is designed so that one documented movement follows the often contradictory other. The sequences include themes such as baptisms, church, firestorms, earthquakes, action, doom, fun, war, carnivals, brawls, concentration camps, blessings, storms, tornadoes, riots, revolution, inaugurations, prison, survival, sports, pleasure, advertising, fighting, mountain heights, sunset ... The background sound for this was composed from sound material with various human masturbation sounds in different pitches and distortions. | 50 min

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DIETER BROOKMANN: Expressive NO!-ON show
at Gallery Berliner Kunstprojekt

Is it an experiment or a perspective of the gallery Berlin art project in Gneisenaustrasse 33 in Kreuzberg? NO!art, confessed and gladly criticized art program founded at the end of the 50s, located in New York City and Berlin, is occupied with a selection of important works in the spacious gallery rooms. After the tour, however, NO!art as a daughter of political Dadaism seems more topical than ever.

The focus is on one of the co-founders of the NO!art movement, the NO!art MAN Boris Lurie. Once born in Leningrad, deported from Riga by the Nazis as a Jew, liberated by the Americans in the Buchenwald satellite camp of Magdeburg, he went to the art metropolis of New York, where his father had fled. The trauma of the past remained and the loss of the beloved sister as well as the beloved mother is present.

"And again you disturb my peace! Skeleton! And standing in front of my bed!"

In Lurie's work, the nightmare finds its sarcastic commentaries in the visual transcripts, in which, however, hope also finds its place.

In a collage work of his, the well-known and harrowing photo of an American liberator of Buchenwald is quoted: Concentration camp prisoners waiting for their freedom behind the barred gate. However, framed by animated ladies in tempting poses. The plump orgy of carnal pleasure in contrast to the forcibly decreed transience of the flesh because of origin and thought.

"The citizen's hat flies from his spiky head, in all the air it echoes like shouting," may come to the mind of many a visitor at the sight of such art work.

Curator Dietmar Kirves (Berlin), himself represented with WordPictures and a DollarLenin in the NO! ON-SHOW, has staged a unique show of this group of artists with an interesting supporting program, with a concrete finger pointing at the problems in our society today:

"The storm is here, the wild seas are hopping ashore to crush thick dams".

There are the very idiosyncratic images of Bruno S.. The latter became famous as Kasper Hauser, the crowned film of the same name by Werner Herzog, and the strip "Strozyk" by the cult director. Bruno S. survived the extermination program of the Nazis, fled from the state home education of the East, then after an odyssey through homeless asylums in the western part of the city worked for years quite well-behaved, quite respectable until 1992 at Borsig. For more than 30 years, he has documented his life experiences and world views on paper in an unusual way, occasionally still roaming Berlin's backyards with his accordion.

"To each of my music I paint my pictures," it said, singing them to the audience in front of the exhibits: The power is great, The people are small and The ruler is the biggest pig. The power is big. The people are small." And his intense, wordless musical pieces like "Lili (Marleen) Money" bring the alert listener to rhyme on his own: For Muttchen's Nuttchen never again a Wehrmacht soldier, never again a GI. Only for cash now the horizontal is made slippery.

NO!art is not the program without artistic visuality or a concept of anti-art, but rather it is the alternative against staid salon painting and quality-eating art commerce with crass political announcements. NO!art does have marginal contacts with other Dada successors such as Fluxus (via Kaprow and Lebel, who was involved in the exhibition) and via the De-Collagen, for example, with Vostell (and his historical Berlin commitment to Hausmann and Hoech), Haines or Koepcke. The NO!artists consider those Dada varieties, as well as Pop Art, to be politically rather benign. Although the Pop artists broke the abstract, fossilized art salon, they ultimately set their icons for the contradictory American society. NO!art poet Harry Hass counters, however, "Think of the Electric Chair and other Warhol paintings."

Harry Hass recited his anarchist prayers with theatrical fervor and vodka-stimulated vocal power, a poetic performance power that happens more and more rarely these days. It is the Hegelian contradictions of the most modern coinage in man, in society, in spirit and in being that inspire his linguistic bouts, as with the other NO!artists a contrast of horror and joy, of death and love, of transience and lust, of violence and tenderness. Sensuality of a morbid late bourgeois society. And if the German emperor in Dutch exile chopped the wood for everyone with curses on his former German people as a Biedermann, but the emperor's New Clothes were never striped blue and white, as at all times.

Unfortunately, only a few photographic works by Miron Zownir can be seen in this interesting presentation. Zownir had photographed the Berlin punk scene in the early 70s and later documented New York's East Side. But visitors could still see some brilliant short films at the film program evenings, like the one about Bruno S., Die Fremde ist der Tod (The Stranger is Death) or the one with Harry Hass as a bank robber in Jetzt oder Nie (Now or Never) as well as the remarkable flick Dead End.

In addition to the old New York cracks of the NO!art movement such as Clayton Patterson and Aldo Tambellini, an award-winning pioneer of video and multimedia art, Berliners are also integrated, older ones who belong to the NO!art tribe and younger ones who are committed to NO!art movement.

Remarkable are the electro-animations on paper by Mathilda Wolf, who invented the Living Rubber Image and demonstrated it live at events at the Städel, in New York City, and in Berlin, the large-format poster collages by Peter Meseck and Friedrich Wall, the voyeur paintings by Stu Mead recreated in a picturesque setting, the provocative etchings by Reinhard Scheibner, or the residual light photographs by Natalia E. Woytasik.

In this NO!art attack against conservative taste and modernist forms, there is not only the lament:

"The days have become so still and bright ... I am gripped with fear that I will lose my salvation As if I went to judge my God."

Author's note: I chose the reference to quotations from van Hoddies poems quite simply because the time of expressionism and its environment has probably already knocked on the door in a more modern form, hopefully not with the historical forms, because with minimalist, psychological things you can also terrorize the mind and progress.

Dieter Brookmann is a freelance art journalist and curator in Berlin.

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ABOUT THE GALLERY BERLINER KUNSTPROJEKT: "Art has its meaning just like any other words," says project manager Abraham Lubelski of the "Berlin Art Project." He is not a gallery owner and the Berlin Art Project (BK) is not a gallery. For a good six months, Lubelski has been experimenting at Gneisenaustraße 33 in Kreuzberg with the same concept as in his other - let's call it a gallery - in New York. The financial groundwork for his project ideas is supported by the same-named Malah Lubelski Culture Foundation and an IMI Corp. It is Lubelski's way to seek the answer about life. For him, life is not to be engraved by a profession, but he is a person who has many identities at the same time. The incompleteness of life and the longing to expand or limit personal horizons are expressed in large part by the corporate philosophy of the Berlin art project. The approximately 200 square meter space not only offers young artists a chance to take their first step into the public eye. But the place should also function as a gathering point for new ideas and experiments. - Hsiu-Ling Chi (07/16/2003)

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