Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Don't Worry Be Curious @ NGBK

gallery/show info here
"...photographs, videos, and installations by 20 artists from the countries bordering the Baltic Sea, works that address the problems and fears resulting from upheavals in present-day society..." NGBK

The New Society for Fine Arts/Die Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) is a collective or team-run gallery in the back of a popular Kreuzberg bookstore. Out of three of the shows I have seen at the gallery, so far all have explored political, global and euro-specific cultural themes. Most shows also have been video and photography based, which feels expected given the gallery's location.

Sometimes an exhibition that's foremost goal is to "teach" or "expose" becomes trapped in a lethargic, two-dimensional world. Pictures tell a literal story and videos document a direct subject. Can't there be the best of both worlds? That an informative show can still be visually engaging and challenging? This show teeteers on the edge but overall has loose curation and more direct words and pictures without room for viewer interpretation and interaction. Though the strong video presence included a projection that traversed around a small sectioned off room showing a rehearsed choir tragically singing grand songs about taxes, road repairs, economics and political statements mixed in with other silly verses like the trials of buying new underwear - all in a very public setting. Despite the luke-warm show, I respect the space's focus and intent as an educating/awareness gallery and can't really judge it for more than what it is supposed to be...after all, it is funded in part by the german government and other countries' embassies, so I can probably expect more socio-political commentary to come.

No comments: