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Akademie der Künste shows with ” NOTHINGTOSEENESS – Leere/Weiß/Stille” monochromy and reduction in the visual arts.

Editors’ Choice

Stephan Huber, Shining, 2001, Photo: Stephan Huber, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021.

In the exhibition “NOTHINGTOSEENESS – Leere/Weiß/Stille” (Emptiness/White/Silence), the Akademie der Künste (Hanseatenweg) will be showing works by 75 international artists from 15 September to 12 December 2021 that focus on monochrome, material minimalism and reduction. The title refers to a neologism by John Cage, who used “nothingtoseeness” to describe the equivalent of silence in the visual arts. Paintings, photographic works, videos, film and sound works, sculptures and site-specific installations will be staged. The exhibition is part of the Berlin Art Week.

The starting point is the white monochrome and the accompanying new significance of the material surface, which caused an uproar in the art scenes in the USA and Europe in the 1950s and 1960s. On view are paintings from this period by Lucio Fontana, Raimund Girke, Jan Schoonhoven, Günther Uecker and Ellsworth Kelly, among others; by Yves Klein one of the rare examples of the Untitled White Monochrome (M 33, 1958) as well as the film documentation of his legendary exhibition “Le Vide” 1958, in which instead of works of art, only the white walls of Iris Clert’s Paris gallery were on view. These early radical artistic statements are set in relation to works of the present.

DEEDS NEWS - Akademie der Kuenste 2021 _Ellsworth_Kelly_Two_Whites 1959
Ellsworth Kelly, Two Whites, 1959 © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation

Directly in the entrance area, Karin Sander responds to the white monochrome with a wall piece realised especially for the exhibition. In Isaac Julien’s audiovisual installation True North (2007), the theme of white continues in the lonely Arctic landscape. Reducing the moving image to the presentation of the blank film strip is the idea behind Nam June Paik’s Zen for Film from 1964: Paik runs an unexposed film through the projector in an endless loop. In Rosa Barba’s new work for the Academy exhibition from the White Museum series, a film projector casts a white cone of light into the outdoor space, integrating the landscape into the installation. Other site-specific installations by Maria Eichhorn, Yoko Ono (Invisible Flags), Thomas Rentmeister, Ulrike Draesner and Sara Masüger are exhibited, Reiner Maria Matysik shows his Cloud Machine in the outdoor area of the Academy.

One focus of the exhibition is the reference to music and the treatment of silence. The video documentation of the 4’33” performance with Henning Lohner and Cage in Berlin (1990) and Pierre Huyghe’s four-part score Silence (1997) refer back to John Cage’s epochal soundless piece 4’33” and its first performance with the pianist David Tudor in 1952. In the installation We Buy White Albums, Rutherford Chang shows well over 2000 copies of the Beatles’ White Album, designed by Richard Hamilton as a white projection screen, contrasted with the black square of Prince’s Black Album.

DEEDS NEWS - Akademie der Kuenste 2021 _Thomas Rentmeister - Foto Bernd Borchardt - VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2021
Thomas Rentmeister, Muda, 2011, Detail, Photo: Bernd Borchardt, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

“NOTHINGTOSEENESS” invites us to see and perceive more precisely, more precisely and more intensively. After the pandemic-related shift of art reception into virtual space, the artwork can now be experienced live again in front of the original. The website www.nothingtoseeness.de makes the show and its themes accessible with texts and information. Talks, concerts, readings and film screenings accompany the exhibition.

With works by: Peter Ablinger, Absalon, Frank Badur, Mirosław Bałka, Rosa Barba, Gerhard Bohner, George Brecht, Trisha Brown, Klaus vom Bruch, Günter Brus, John Cage, Enrico Castellani, Rutherford Chang, Max Dax, Ulrike Draesner, Maria Eichhorn, Olafur Eliasson, Ulrich Erben, Ceal Floyer, Lucio Fontana, Sam Francis, Katharina Fritsch, Heinz Gappmayr, Jochen Gerz, Raimund Girke, Eugen Gomringer, Gotthard Graubner, Katharina Grosse, Hans Haacke, Marcia Hafif, David Hammons, Oskar Holweck, Stephan Huber, Alfonso Hüppi, Pierre Huyghe, Ray Johnson, Isaac Julien, Ellsworth Kelly, Per Kesselmar, Astrid Klein, Yves Klein, Harald Klingelhöller, Bernd Koberling, Christina Kubisch, Raimund Kummer, Mark Lammert, Henning Lohner, Inge Mahn, Piero Manzoni, Joseph Marioni, Sara Masüger, Reiner Maria Matysik, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Roman Opałka, David Ostrowski, Nam June Paik, Otto Piene, Thomas Rentmeister, Bridget Riley, Robert Ryman, Karin Sander, Hanns Schimansky, Michael Schirner, Gregor Schneider, Jan J. Schoonhoven, Nina Schuiki, George Segal, Qiu Shihua, Strawalde, Mark Tobey, James Turrell, Günther Uecker, Timm Ulrichs, Lothar Wolleh


WHEN? 15. September – 12. December 2021, Tue – Sun 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Openig day: Wednesday, 15. September, 11:00 am – midnight (Admission free)

WHERE? Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin-Tiergarten, Tel +49 30 200 57-2000

COSTS? Tickets 9/6 EUR

In the frameworks of the Berlin Art Week
Supported by the Gesellschaft der Freunde der Akademie der Künste

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Thomas Hoepker 1936-2024