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Debates, 3D Tours, Podcasts, Yoga

Museums are gradually reopening. And so are exhibition venues—but under strict hygiene conditions. At the same time, digital formats, which have developed rapidly during the pandemic, are increasingly becoming part of exhibition concepts, of art. We all long for shared, real art experiences, yet we don’t want to forego being able to enjoy art on our couch, either. ArtMag presents online offers that inspire, educate, and touch people.
The Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award will be presented for the second time this year. The prize was initiated by Deutsche Bank in partnership with the fair, the renowned agency Endeavor Content, and the award-winning Ghetto Film School. After an open call, ten young filmmakers aged 20-34 are selected, who receive intensive mentoring as well as hands-on and artistic support from the film school in a four-month program. The winner is given prize money of 10,000 euros. The task is to create a short film inspired by Los Angeles’s artistic, social, or cultural landscape. And for the first time there will be an audience award. You can vote here until June 11.  

Museums are becoming laboratories for the future and spaces for interdisciplinary debate. This is demonstrated by the new discourse format launched by the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn. Art critic and curator Kolja Reichert, the curator for discourse at the Bundeskunsthalle, is responsible for conceiving and moderating the new program series STUDIO BONN. In the nostalgic modernist ambience of the former chancellor’s bungalow, harking back to the golden age of the former Federal Republic of Germany, guests are not supposed to get too comfortable. Together with international artists, scientists, developers, and activists, Reichert discusses issues that will impact future societies. The event was kicked off by Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters and the director of the Bundeskunsthalle, Eva Kraus. In July, things will be less statist. The guests will be literary scholar Joseph Vogl, artist Hito Steyerl, and musician Ville Haimala from the band Amnesia Scanner. (In German)

Their New Normal Pictures were just on view at London’s White Cube gallery, and the Schirn is showing GILBERT & GEORGE. THE GREAT EXHIBITION until September, a gigantic exhibition devoted to the London artist couple. And of course Russell Tovey and gallery owner Robert Diament didn't want to miss the chance to invite Gilbert & George to Talk Art, one of the hottest art podcasts around. As it turned out, they met their match. In a humorous, venomous, and absolutely eccentric conversation Gilbert & George reveal, among other things, why they support Boris Johnson and photograph their own bodily excretions.   
 
The documenta curated by Okwui Enwezor in 2002 changed our view of contemporary art. It was the first major art event to be truly global, calling for a departure from the Eurocentric view still prevalent at the time. The focus was on Africa, and the legacy of colonialism was subjected to critical examination. For the show, Enwezor set up various "platforms" in different places around the world. Now the documenta archiv has set up a digital platform paying tribute to the legendary Nigerian curator and exhibition maker, who passed away far too early in 2019. Platform6 brings together historical materials from the documenta archive: catalogue articles, texts, videos, and photos. In addition, there are new contributions by curators, artists, and Enwezor’s companions, including Thomas Hirschhorn, Alfredo Jaar, Isaac Julien, Geeta Kapur, Yinka Shonibare, Terry Smith, and Vivan Sundaram.      

Joseph Beuys would have turned 100 this year. The Goethe-Institut in Izmir has launched a very special initiative to mark the anniversary, It has organized a series of workshops, screenings, concerts, and art shows, including a virtual tour of an exhibition of works from the Deutsche Bank Collection: Beuys and His Students, which toured Europe and Latin America in the late 2000s and was shown at Istanbul’s Sabancı Museum in 2009. Among the artists featured are Jörg Immendorff, Anselm Kiefer, Imi Knoebel, Inge Mahn, Blinky Palermo, and Katharina Sieverding.    

Until April 6, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin is streaming the project The Last Museum. In keeping with the times, it is a mixture between a real and a digital exhibition. The project explores the tension between the supposed “omnipresence” of the digital and its relationship to concrete places and objects. Six artists from Germany/Iraq, Brazil, Australia, Thailand, Ghana, and Canada were commissioned to create a group of sculptures in a location of their choice. The only condition was that the site had to be linked to communication infrastructures. Each sculptural intervention was recorded by the artists and subsequently transferred to the interactive digital exhibition. The locations range from a notorious hacker space in Berlin, to a cosmic ray research station in the Rocky Mountains, to a half-finished morgue in Accra, Ghana. A real trip.

Another trip: The whole world adores the now 92-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Her kinetic installations, infused with shimmering patterns and her famous “polka dots,” such as the famous Infinity Mirror Rooms, offer psychedelic experiences of space and color. They are also popular backgrounds for selfies and Instagram posts worldwide. Kusama, who also worked as a fashion designer and later collaborated with Louis Vuitton, is arguably the world’s most famous artist today. Now the Gropius Bau in Berlin is showing her largest retrospective to date, curated by Stephanie Rosenthal. When the exhibition is allowed to reopen, it will welcome visitors with a spectacular installation of bright pink dotted tentacles in the atrium. At the same time, the show traces the evolution of Kusama’s early paintings and sculptures in the 1960s to the artist’s current immersive installations. Needless to say, the time slots for visits are being booked up at lightning speed. But if you don’t get a chance to go to the museum, there is a fantastic offer on the Gropius Bau’s website, with 3D tours, guided tours, films, and texts. An absolute must for every Kusama fan.  

Another super artist is Marina Abramović, who brought endurance performance to pop culture. After conceiving a digital performance for Art:LIVE, the digital program of Deutsche Bank and Frieze New York, she has now taken on the role of curator for the service provider WeTransfer. In this capacity, she introduced five emerging performance artists from different parts of the globe. The streaming performances are impeccably done, offering exciting discoveries titillating entertainment.

A website dedicated exclusively to “great” women artists sounds very important. And it is, because women are still marginalized and suppressed in the art world. The London art historian, curator, and podcaster Katy Hessel created a unique platform devoted to women throughout art history, from Artemisia Gentileschi and Paula Modersohn-Becker to contemporary female artists such as Lubaina Himid and Julie Mehretu, who are guests on the podcast. Prominent writers like Ali Smith introduce their favorite women artists for each season; Jennifer Higgie, cofounder of Frieze art magazine, gives an introduction to Suzanne Valadon; and Stephanie Rosenthal talks about her Kusama show. Top-notch.

Decentralise is the name of a new, interactive online project for which London's renowned Somerset House, a center for education and the arts, joined forces with the innovative design studio COMUZI. Decentralise documents the cultural history of Black British art, explains what Afronowism and Afrofuturism are, and offers virtual encounters with artworks from previous exhibitions on the subject. The initiative is part of Somerset House’s Anti-Racism Pledge. Truly exemplary.    

In 2020, Martine Syms was one the artists showcased in the Deutsche Bank-sponsored Uncanny Valley exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, which investigated the dark side of artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, she hosts a podcast on the topic. In the six-part series Mirror with a Memory, artists and experts explore links between photography, artificial intelligence, and surveillance.  
 
Stressed out by all the art? Sounds of the Earth and Take Me to Your Happy Place are titles of episodes of Slow Radio, a BBC podcast series that enables us to decelerate. The program offers acoustic meditative journeys into diverse worlds. More than ten programs have now been produced, among other things, on meditating monks, a river in Scotland, and a night owl’s excursion in a Tokyo nightlife district. A meditation on other worlds, Slow Radio offers surprising insights—recently even into the life of an Indian cow.

You can even enjoy relaxation and art simultaneously. In pandemic times, the possibilities are endless. The RuhrKulturVibes video series offers 30-minute yoga sessions in current exhibitions at museums and renowned art institutions in the Ruhr region. During the sessions, performance artist and dancer Dwayne Holliday enables people to enjoy art meditatively. While moving, they can view art from an active and new perspective. At Museum Ostwall in the Dortmunder U – Center for Art and Creativity, and Duisburg’s Lehmbruck Museum, among other places, sun salutations and upward facing dogs are performed alongside Oskar Schlemmer paintings. Come into being. And enjoy the exercises!