On July 10, 2015 Isabel Bernheimer opened her first agency BERNHEIMER CONTEMOPARY with the show “Who Cares? Social Responsibility in Contemporary Art“ in the residence “Monbijou” next to the famous Berlin Museum Island in the city center. The vast impressive space (700sqm) with 11 rooms presents works by the artists Milana Schoeller, Jan Kuck, Victor Alaluf, Tim Wolff, Oh-Seok Kwon, Igor Vucic, Johannes Buss and Dirk Biotto. They investigate how art should or could assume social responsibility in our society.
Concept artist Jan Kuck criticizes with his installation “PACKET-SOUP”, a pool filled with lots of plastic bags, the wasteful and irresponsible handling of resources nowadays. With “BLACK GOLD” he portrays this problem although with a slight ironic take using golden aluminum coffee capsules and pouring them with special resin in the form of a gold ingot. In the “Social Interaction“ themed room, the kitchen concept “ChopChop“ and the “SOS Trolley“ of designer Dirk Biotto will be presented. Taking the Universal Design philosophy as its point of departure, “ChopChop“ embraces a holistic approach towards form language and functionality. Johannes Buss shows with the installation “Big Bubbles Big Troubles” UN-colored garbage bags filled with air and sprayed-on UN logos thereby becoming a critical commentary on the feeble efforts and achievements by the UN and the international community. Oh-Seok Kwon presents a vast collection of cigarettes smoked by the artist over a full decade. These are preserved in transparent plastic bags with hand-written notes carefully boxed in wooden cases.
With her Berlin debut Isabel Bernheimer accomplishes a promising new input to the cities’ art scene. She knows how the art business works, and therefore does it differently. Isabel has worked for Hauser & Wirth in London, Haus der Kunst in Munich or for Martin-Gropius-Bau and KW institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. She grew up with the Old Masters being one of the daughters of the renowned Munich art dealer Konrad Bernheimer. With her own agency she now merges the best concepts of her experiences.
Isabel Bernheimer chose the topic of social responsibility for her first show, which is definitely a very important one, but usually not addressed by commercial galleries. Further, she brings in artists from different fields and backgrounds, linking art, philosophy, design and objects of daily use. And she donates a part of the sales income for a good cause. Further, her agency comes with a cool, museum-like Design Store including editions by the artists of the agency and many more seductive design objects. And Bernheimer Contemporary arranged a showroom for the next exhibition Looking forward Looking backwards, tempting the visitor with works like Andreas Blank’s appealing Tupperware-box made out of Alabaster, Thomas Draschan’s tapestry Prolonged Action, Stefan Draschan’s People Matching Artworks or Manfred Peckl’s You have to expect everything.
Usually you meet Isabel Bernheimer herself in the agency, along with her admirable and well-experienced director, Anna Maria Rossi and some of the artists participating in the current show. With her enthusiastic charm, her vivacious and convincing personality, Isabel Bernheimer brings a spirited, open and tolerant atmosphere to Berlin. Qualities for which Berlin’s art scene is well known for, but still often lacks. She represents a non-“Art for art’s sake“ concept pointing out how art can be: well made, comprehensible and complex—but still ironic and playful.
All images © Martin Eberle / Courtesy Bernheimer Contemporary
WHO CARES? SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN CONTEMPORARY ART
ON VIEW UNTIL 28. AUGUST 2015
TUESDAY – SATURDAY 12 AM – 7 PM