Magazine article Artforum International

Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Galerie Neu

Magazine article Artforum International

Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Galerie Neu

Article excerpt

Marc Camille Chaimowicz usually imagines interior spaces for human inhabitation; for the exhibition "Forty and Forty," he instead created an environment for "free-range" canaries to inhabit. The installation incorporated two works each by Mara Liden and Manfred Pernice alongside several of his own. As .I approached the gallery--situated in a stark concrete building in the courtyard of a typical Berlin Plattenbau (a kind of housing block built from prefabricated concrete slabs) in Mitte--I was drawn toward the space by the high-pitched birdsong that rang through the open door. What I found inside was enchanting: Sealed into the gallery by a translucent white curtain were forty canaries, of different varieties, darting around the space, creating sudden bursts of movement as they swooped and soared in groups, performing their own kind of choreography, among the objects on display.

Around me other visitors stood, smiling beatifically, heads turning back and forth to follow the birds as they danced between forty vases, in pastel shades of purple, blue, yellow, orange, and green, sitting on Little shelves installed at different heights on two walls. These were made according to Chaimowicz's instructions by Bottega Gatti, a ceramics studio in Faenza, Italy, that specializes in collaborating with artists. Alongside these (also used as furniture by the birds) were a pale-green triangular bike rack and a rusty orange semicircular one sitting on the floor--Pernice's Parkstiick S (Park Piece 5) and Parkstfick 6, both 2010. Two simple wooden birdhouses with large nails for perches, inspired by the architecture of Le Corbusier but also echoing the buildings in the neighborhood of the gallery, were works by Liden, both Untitled (bird housing), 2014. Also here were two sculptures by Chaimowicz himself--Ladder, 2014, a stepladder covered in newspaper (the Financial Times), and Arch 2 (Udine), 2007, a giant wooden scythe-like shape leaning against a pale-green wall. …

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