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  • February exhibitions: Six not to miss


February exhibitions: Six not to miss

HIGHLIGHTS: The art world's winter hibernation is over and Berlin's got it going on. From the misogynist feminism of Carol Rama to anti-traditional Japanese minimalism from Koji Enokura, here are six shows to check out this month.

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Carol Rama
The art world is finally wide-eyed after winter hibernation, bringing excellent showings by international artists. Amidst Transmediale and plenty of film-oriented shows during the Berlinale, there’s tons to choose from across the city. Here’s just a few of our favourite gallery exhibitions this month. Carol Rama – Ferite Della Memoria: Selected Works The self-taught Italian artist, who passed away late last year at the age of 97, utilised a ‘naïve’ technical approach to portray human sexuality and female identity, and provoke the misogynist/feminist binary. The intensely personal works that span her six-decade career will be shown in tandem with a photo exhibition by Bepi Ghiotti at nearby gallery Eden Eden that depicts the fierce artist in the soft light and intimate setting of her studio. AB Through March 5, Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Schöneberger Ufer 61, Tiergarten, U-Bhf Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park, Tue-Fri 12-18
Koji Enokura As a key figure within Mono-ha, the movement born in 1970s Japan, Enokura made a profound break from traditional Japanese painting and sculpture, in an enduring search for the expressive potential of materials. For his first-ever showing in Berlin, VW will host a wide selection of his pieces, from the stained black mixed-media “Work” (1990), to minimal photographs that mirror his unmistakable compositions. Each piece bows under the weight of human actions, leaving a lasting, haunting impression. AB Through Mar 5, VeneKlasen/Werner, Rudi-Dutschke-Str. 26, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Kochstr., Tue-Sat 11-18
Kiki Kogelnik Amidst the current pessimism about the future of the body (the singularity being just one brand of impending doom) comes König Galerie’s latest Kogelnik solo. With her focus on space travel that later shifts towards the mechanisms of female bodies and their representation, identity seems to be at stake amidst an onslaught of disembodying technologies. Though she worked in the 1960s and 1970s side by side with the Art Informel and Pop legends of yesteryear, her flat, minimal work is alluringly contemporary and relevant as ever. ART Through March 6, König Galerie, Dessauerstr. 6-7, Kreuzberg, S-Bhf Anhalter Bahnhof, Tue-Sun 11-18
Madeleine Meet the next in Insitu’s year-long character-based curatorial concept that last introduced us to Jonny. “Madeleine” is losing her memory and in turn her self-understanding, as explored in “Hands” (Les Mains) by Geta Batescu. Meanwhile, the black carpet that is Franziska Furter’s “Rime” sounds like a bed of broken glass when you step on it, begging the literal and cerebral questioning of the ground beneath you. Enter the otherworldly mind of dementia in what will likely be an experiential and affecting group exhibition. ART Through Mar 5 | Insitu, Kurfürstenstr. 21-22, Mitte, U-Bhf Kurfürstenstr., Thu-Fri 16-19, Sat 14-18
The Big Other Emotional immediacy is the name of the game in the group show organized by Paula Doepfner. Among 12 artists is Ulf Aminde who produced a dub record from his deceased mother’s favourite CDs in “L/autre qui n’existe plus.” A selfie in his mother’s clothes adorns the album cover. Anna Witt’s video “The Eyewitness” shows how kids interpret media imagery, offering a stark reminder of how love and empathy must be continually learned. Here raw talent takes different forms in too many strong pieces to count, which all-told, create a heart-wrenching crescendo of the human experience. ART Through Mar 2 | Galerie Tanja Wagner, Pohlstr. 64, Tiergarten, U-Bhf Kurfürstenstr., Tue-Sat 11-18
John Smith – Sign Language Smith unpacks influences on thought and behavior in this light handed yet powerful solo. Two small framed pieces, made of moldable plasticine, directly reference the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through subtle choice of color and a slight misspelling of “Palestein.” A video of the WordLens app offers comic relief, exposing a technological failure in easing communication and understanding. But it’s “White Hole” that most poetically depicts vicious cycles of misunderstanding, in a profoundly simple video you have to experience yourself. Just four works will make you deeply aware of the ideological lenses through which you experience the world. ART Through Feb 27 | Tanja Leighton, Kürfurstenstr. 156, Tiergarten, U-Bhf Kurfürstenstr., Tue-Sat 11-18