July 4, 2008

Deutsche Guggenheim with contemporary American art

Renowned American artist Collier Schorr has curated the show, „Freeway Balconies“, on view at the Deutsche GuggenheimBerlin, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Deutsche Bank’s shared exhibition space in Berlin, from July 5th to September 21st, 2008.

At the invitation of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Collier Schorr, whose multi-media practice explores appropriated identities and performance, has conceived of a group exhibition that is at once a self-portrait and a riveting display of some of the most vital trends in contemporary U.S.-based art. From her position as a visual artist, critic, and teacher, Schorr possesses a uniquely intimate perspective on current art production, which she has translated into this experimental exhibition project. The exhibition’s title, Freeway Balconies, borrowed from 1960s poet laureate Allen Ginsberg in a move that is both reverential and mischievous, refers to the meeting place of spectacle and voyeurism in American culture.

For Freeway Balconies, Schorr gathers an idiosyncratic mix of nineteen emerging and established artists, juxtaposing their works in complementary to antagonistic relationships, infused with a collaborative spirit. Her choices, arranged around selections of her own work, reveal her probing interest in slippages of identity and identification, cultural memory and forgetting, and the ways in which artistic action and production engage these issues. The exhibition shuttles between performance art and the cult of Hollywood, between the popular and the alternative. Embracing the simultaneity of multiple, seemingly incommensurate meanings, inspired by disjunctions between form and content, and the capacity of appearances to deceive, Freeway Balconies is a roundtable discussion in exhibition form, addressing the problems that drive Schorr’s own artmaking.

Freeway Balconies ranges in mediums from photography to sculpture and installation to video art. The exhibition explores the performative impulse so operative in today’s innovative forms while playing off a pop-infused, contemporary American vernacular. In doing so, Schorr acknowledges a select group of elders that includes Bruce Nauman, Yvonne Rainer, and Adrian Piper. Their deployment of performance and specifically the location of art on the site of the artist’s body can be observed in the works of a younger generation of artists represented by Francesca Woodman, Ryan Trecartin, and Aki Sasamoto. Sara Gilbert’s intimate photographs of her friend and actor Leonardo DiCaprio taken at an earlier moment of superstardom are joined to the high drama of Rachel Rabhan’s anonymous students and Elaine Stocki’s curiously choreographed strangers, with Leigh Ledare’s poignant images of his almost-famous mother hovering somewhere in between. Schorr shares the pop-punk band Tokio Hotel with Raymond Pettibon and actress Brooke Shields with Richard Prince. Shinique Smith’s fan mail to actor Johnny Depp, an attempt at closeness with her object of admiration, finds an analogue in Karen Kilimnik’s improvised cosmetic self-improvements to resemble other stars, while Matt Saunders’s videos provide yet another take on idol worship. In this arena, Rashawn Griffin’s lumbering garbage-bag bear stands a chance against David Altmejd’s monumental giant. Sharon Hayes and Adam Pendleton invoke the spirit of 1960s activism and rock ‘n’ roll, complicated by cultural amnesia as appropriations out of time.

To accompany Freeway Balconies, Schorr has designed a catalogue that unfolds as an artist’s book rather than a straightforward exhibition record. Like her recent vitrines that bring together documents, relics, photographs, books, and other pieces of reified information, the catalogue serves as a field guide to Schorr’s unconventional thought process. The publication includes an introduction by Nancy Spector, Chief Curator of the Guggenheim Museum, and essays by Sarah Lewis, Dominic Eichler, and Collier Schorr.
The Catalogue Freeway Balconies will be published in German and English (21 Euro).

Artists in the exhibition:
David Altmejd, Sara Gilbert, Rashawn Griffin, Sharon Hayes, Karen Kilimnik, Leigh Ledare, Bruce Nauman, Adam Pendleton, Raymond Pettibon, Adrian Piper, Richard Prince, Rachel Rabhan, Yvonne Rainer, Aki Sasamoto, Matt Saunders, Collier Schorr, Shinique Smith, Elaine Stocki, Ryan Trecartin, Francesca Woodman

Edition No. 44, Romantic Drawing, is based on a photograph by Collier Schorr. The archival pigment is published exclusively by the Deutsche Guggenheim in a limited and signed edition of 50 copies plus 14 A.P. and is available for 1.100 Euro. The edition can be purchased at the MuseumsShop, (030) 20 20 93 – 15/-16.

An extensive supporting program of lectures and children’s events will come along with the exhibition. Artist’s Talks with the participation of Collier Schorr, Matt Saunders et al., and well-known speakers as Prof. Dr. Susanne von Falkenhausen will provide interesting and new insights into the exhibition. Children at the age of 14+ can explore their artistic skills in special Youth Workshops.

Guided tours are offered free of charge every day at 6 p.m. The popular Lunch Lectures on Wednesdays at 1 p.m., as well as the established Brunch Lectures, focusing on specific topics of the exhibition, on Sundays at 11:30 a.m., complete the range of possible art encounters.
Exhibition photographs can be downloaded directly from the Internet at www.photo-files.de/guggenheim.

For further information, please call:

Deutsche Bank
Dr. Klaus Winker
Phone: 0049-69-910-32249
Email: klaus.winker@db.com

Britta Färber
Phone: 0049-69-910-35960
Email: britta.faerber@db.com

Deutsche Guggenheim
Katja Sander
Phone: 0049-30-202093-14

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