Talk & Discussion - Some Descriptive Acts

Friday, March 31rst, 2017, 7.30 p.m.

Simon Wachsmuth, together with the curators Roger M. Buergel and Zasha Colah, held a talk about his solo show Some Descriptive Acts (04 March – April 20, 2017) at Zilberman Gallery–Berlin. They discussed Wachsmuth’s video Qing (2-channel video projection, 22:30 min, 2016), one of the main pieces of the exhibition, showing a dancer interacting with traditional Chinese silk-robes and porcelains. Taking its roots from a personal story, this piece focuses on the idea of “migration of gestures” through the situation of the immigrants who cannot take anything with them except the physical knowledge that is part of their cultural heritage. Accompanied by an arrangement of archival materials, Qing experiments with narrative formats and modes of meaning production, thus suggesting an interpretation of the continued existence of antique forms and signs into the present.

With his video Qing, Simon Wachsmuth participated in the Steirischer Herbst exhibition Body Luggage curated by Zasha Colah. Wachsmuth was part of documenta 12: The Migration of Form, curated by Roger M. Buergel.

Simon Wachsmuth (Hamburg, 1964) lives and works in Berlin and Vienna. He studied painting and visual media design at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. He participated in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, at prestigious institutions including Steirischer Herbst/Kunsthaus Graz (2016), Suzhou Museum of Art (China, 2016), Neues Museum Nürnberg (2016), 21er Haus in Vienna (2015), Busan Biennale (South Korea, 2012), the Museu Reina Sofia in Madrid (2010), Istanbul Biennial (2009) and documenta12 (Kassel, 2007). He was awarded the Otto Mauer Prize (2003), the distinction of the Prix Ars Electronica (1989) and most recently, the Prize of the Wemhöner Stiftung of the Marta-Museum in Herford. Wachsmuth was a guest-professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, and currently at the Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar.

Roger M. Buergel, director of the Johann Jacobs Museum in Zurich and artistic director of the documenta 12 in Kassel, taught in Luneburg University (2002–2005, Luneburg) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe (2007–2009). He curated exhibitions that won critical acclaims, such as Garden of Learning, Busan Biennale (2012), Barely Something. On Ai Weiwei (2010, Museum DKM), Com volem ser governats (2004, MACBA Barcelona), The Government (2003–2005, University Art Gallery Luneburg MAC Miami; Witte de With in Rotterdam; Secession in Vienna) and The Subject and Power. The Lyrical Voice (2001, Central House of the Art, Moscow).

Zasha Cerizza Colah is an art historian and curator, and is a member of the curatorial collaborative and union of artists Clark House in Bombay. Zasha is interested in cultural sovereignty and the way art addresses injustice and legal frameworks. Her curatorial work researches instances of collective imagination under situations of political exigency, political and philosophical motivations for choreography, and under-represented art historical narratives. Her writing is to appear this year in 20th Century Indian Art(Skira), and The New Curator (Laurence King) and The Curatorial Conundrum (MIT Press). She is currently also editing a publication on the art of Myanmar since the late 1980s, and on the history of curated exhibitions in India (Marg). Recently she has curated Kamarados at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; I love you Sugar Kane at the Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Mauritius; no, it wasn't the locust cloud at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai; An Error in Helsinki for Checkpoint Helsinki; and is co-curator of the Pune Biennale in 2017.

Simon Wachsmuth - Some Descriptive Acts opening reception Photo: Andreas Schlegel

Qing, 2016, 2-channel video projection, 22’30’’ VG Bild Kunst, Bonn 2017