FRESH A.I.R. #5 | Exhibition

  • by Nicola Petek

📍Bülowstraße 90/ 2. OG, 10783 Berlin-Schöneberg

FRESH A.I.R. #5 Exhibition duration: September 17, 2021 – January 31, 2022

Opening hours:

Closed on Mondays

Tue + Wed: 11 am – 5 pm

Thu-Sun: 1 pm – 7 pm

The artists of Fresh A.I.R. #5 have intensively dealt with the city of Berlin and its inhabitants despite pandemic-related restrictions. With their projects, they take a look at the urban context, its invisible borders and its various appearances.

In doing so, they are interested in what connects the individuals of an urban population with each other at the core, despite apparent differences, or how equitable participation in the city can be achieved. With their projects, the artists interfere in debates about participation and inclusion. And they make us think about who remains excluded.

Fresh A.I.R. #5 Exhibition
Photo: berlinARTcore

Rita António | ICH BIN BERLINER*IN

As a Fresh A.I.R. #5 fellow, Rita António explores and studies Berlin through the eyes of a migrant, a traveler. She first began exploring places that were not obviously the focus of the tourist gaze. She found her greatest inspiration in the city’s inhabitants. In her illustrations and comics, Rita deals with the habits of Berliners and cliché images that exist about them – always with a humorous eye.

In a series of illustrations and comics, the artist portrays what it means to be a person coming from Berlin, as well as her first impressions of the new city and what makes it so special. Antóni set out to create a body of work that the audience can identify with, but also has in mind the foreign audience that wants to get to know Berlin’s culture. With a humorous approach, the artist uses this »goofy« drawing style and plays with color and black and white – as is common in her artistic practice – resulting in a 28-page book and prints.

FRESH A.I.R. #5
Photo: berlinARTcore

Denis Cherim | YOUR CONFUSION, MY ILLUSION

Denis Cherim is interested in dualism and what influences people’s minds, perceptions and decision making. With his project Your Confusion, My Illusion, he artistically attempts to show reality as surreal and the surreal as our reality. By honoring the seemingly “unworthy,” he challenges viewers’ perceptions by depicting ordinary scenery and everyday situations that combine the visible and the invisible, the logical and the illogical. Cherim’s photographs capture the hidden poetry of the city and invite viewers to de-taboo the “known” so they can discover the deeper layer in the reality that surrounds him.

Fresh A.I.R. #5 Exhibition
Photo: Nika Kramer

Vince Donders | The Iron Lung

In his installation for Fresh A.I.R. #5, Vince Donders depicts a possible scenario of the future. In this future, the earth’s resources are exhausted and the environment has collapsed. The artist imagines what such a world would look like and how people could survive there. This question »How would they do it?« has been on his mind in his art for quite some time. With each installation, Donders discovers another part of this bleak and dirty world. And so a continuous narrative unfolds. This narrative is his guideline to continuously evolve a world of his own.

Fresh A.I.R. #5 Exhibition

Aïda Gómez

»I wanted to create an artwork about something that really concern the inhabitants of Berlin. I place posters with QR codes that leads to a formulary in peaceful places like parks, with benches around, where people could sit and relax and answer my little form.

[…] I made several walks trying to identify all the garbage in the streets the people was complaining about. Cigarette butts finally came to my attention. They are everywhere!

I made an investigation about them and realised that they pollute so much! When they get in contact with water (and you know, in Berlin rains quite often) they free all the poison and they last around 10 years to dissentigrate. The butts are the #1 Trash item found worldwide. I thought, if I pick up the cigarette butts and create something out of them, I would create an artwork that brings awareness to this issue while I keep the city clean. A truly act of love for Berlin, because I love Berlin.« Quote by Aïda Gómez

Fresh A.I.R. #5 Exhibition
Photo: Nika Kramer

LiHenn | »Give the neighborhood your face!«

– a social art project in a GEWOBAG housing estate in Haselhorst

Haselhorst, the former Reichsforschungssiedlung from the 1930s in the northwest of Berlin, is the field of the project by Lihenn. Five people who live in the housing estate Haselhorst or used to live there, were born there, live there again, give the neighborhood their face and their history. Their portraits are shown on the facades and their story about their connection with the neighborhood becomes audible.

The portraits and a word or a succinct statement from their interview form the interface between the inside and the outside of the houses. They turn individuality from the inside to the outside. In this serial housing estate, the intervention can have a contradictory effect.

LiHenn Scholarship Exhibition
Photo: Nika Kramer

Lotte Reimann | WORK-IN-PROGRESS

For her research project, which is still a work in progress, Lotte Reimann delved into the lively Berlin kink scene and collaboratively sheds light on the interconnectedness of BDSM and the asexuality spectrum. Appropriated archive images and interview fragments are combined into a two channel video installation, which questions our ‘modern’ ideas of eroticism, sexuality, and more generally the dichotomous understanding of people and their desires.

This video installation is the final part of a film trilogy (“Hinterland”| 2020, “objects and people” | 2021, work-in-progress | 2021), which examines identity, love, and attraction under the influence of the Western naturalist ontology.

Lotte Reimann Fresh A.I.R.
At the studio. Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Joanna Simson | KIEZ LICHT

Joanna Simson‘s project KIEZ LICHT is a curated collection of thoughts, life reflections, experiences and drawings. Using the theme of neighbourhood and community as a point of departure, Simson created an online form and also conducted longer interviews with some participants. The project invites you to share something personal and something visible i.e. your clothing, contrasting what goes on inside a person with what you see on the outside.

The main focus of KIEZ LICHT is to do projections on buildings in the neighbourhood, letting it interact with an urban environment and engaging passersby. The zine (booklet) ‘If you really knew me’ is a collection of shorter answers and drawings from the project.

Kiez Licht Scholarship
Photo: Nika Kramer

Hannah Skinner | QUEERNESS THROUGH PRESENTATION

The project »QUERNEES THROUGH PRESENTATION« is split into two half’s. The first half being a research part where Hannah Skinner conducts interviews with LGBTQA+ people based in Germany. She asks how their clothing, accessories and fashion choices relate to their sexual identity. This research part also has a craft element where Skinner, who is bisexual, invites queer people to an accessory workshops. The workshop is LGBTQA+ safe space where queer people can design, make and discuss accessories that are representative for them. For the second part of the project Skinner uses the information she received from the participants of the interviews, and also from exhibitions and books/articles to form her practice.

Skinner also wanted to get a better understanding of the way queer people in Berlin present themselves by looking at queer German history. One of the key resources in this research was the SpinnbodenLesbenarchiv und Bibliothek Berlin where Skinner found the inspiration for her painting. The cover of a 1928 Magazine called »Liebende Frauen« that was dedicated to Friendship, Love and Sexual Enlightenment caught Skinners attention and motivated her to pushed aside her sculptural background and experiment with painting.

Fresh A.I.R. #5 Exhibition
Photo: Nika Kramer

William St Leger | EVEN IF YOUR VOICE TREMBLES

A visual exploration of shame

Over 6 months William St Leger has been listening to the stories of people living in Berlin, in particular about their experiences and relationship with shame. Among the many interviews he had carried out, the artist had chosen to present the stories of the following: a sex worker, a sexual abuser survivor, a trans man, a person with eating disorder, a person living with HIV, a person with sexual fetish for consuming faeces, a non-binary femme man, a drug user and a porn actor.

The artist had listened to the impact of toxic shame on people’s lives through anonymous conversations with the participants. Shame is often learned early in life and in later life, manifests itself into behaviour patterns and coping mechanisms. The artist‘s intention is to gather, record, present, process and transform those stories of shame and create something physical.

Fresh A.I.R. #5 Exhibition
Photo: Nika Kramer

Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou (Bunny) | PinkFullMoon

PinkFullMoon by Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou (Bunny) combines sculptural installation with fiction-poetry, focusing on the notion of sisterhood, collective care and political resistance against systemic oppression and the heteropatriarchal regime. The project is a timeless post-apocalyptic queer fiction which could be also perceived as an allegory of the distopic present.

The installation is consisted of three fluffy sculptures and a poetic-fiction text. The sculptures resemble the protagonists of the story: hybrid furry creatures, part animal-bats, part humans, wearing fancy high heel boots and jewellery. Their eyes are revealing their names – Lilli, Crystal and Thunder. Their identities are fluid and not specified, in an attempt of crossing the heteronormative binaries and boundaries of genders and species.

Fresh A.I.R. Scholarship
Photo: Nika Kramer

Marjolein van der Meer | I AM SEVERAL

I AM SEVERAL by Marjolein van der Meer is an electronic music piece leading up to a contemporary dance performance, using a polyphony of voices. It is about the different people we can be, pluriformity versus surrender, the individual versus the group. Inspired by choir music, it combines sound and movement to create a certain unity, an ensemble of people in which each individual’s autonomy can be reflected.This project is about finding ones voice, about being autonomous and the loneliness this can bring forth, but also about ways in which we are so elementary alike. Made in collaboration with choreographer Merel Franx.

BÜLOW STREET WKND Performance
Photo: berlinARTcore

Fresh A.I.R. #5

Since 2018, the Stiftung Berliner Leben has been providing the Fresh A.I.R. (Artist-In-Residence) scholarships program to European artists who deal with socio-political and urban issues. The funding gives the scholarship holders the opportunity to absorb new impulses during their stay and to develop artistically while being integrated into Berlin’s cultural life. At the same time, they give residents of the city an insight into their perspective and their skills in the form of workshops and events.

The eleven scholarship holders of the 5th Fresh A.I.R. year from a total of nine nations came to Berlin in March 2021.

The exhibition Fresh A.I.R. #5 can be visited at Bülowstraße 90 until October 31, 2021.

Opening hours:

Closed on Mondays

Tue + Wed: 11 am – 6 pm

Thu-Sun: 1 pm – 8 pm