press release

MIAMI BEACH, FL - (September 15, 2006) — This exhibition is the first major survey of contemporary art made in Europe’s emerging art capital, post-Wall Berlin. Constructing New Berlin, a multi-generational survey, includes fifteen Berlin-based artists of various nationalities working in painting sculpture, photography, film installation, video-installation, sound, and performance art. The artists include Olafur Eliasson, Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller, Swetlana Heger, Thomas Demand, Carsten Nicolai, and Frank Thiel. A number of new pieces were made specifically for this project.

Photographer Frank Thiel has documented the construction of New Berlin with monumental C-prints, which are representational, and are also carefully constructed as pictorial abstractions with conceptual references to the political machinations of the city. For the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, who has lived in Berlin since 1995, perception itself becomes the object of inquiry. His elegant installations mechanically simulate natural events: waterfalls, ice formations, and the sun. His installation 360° Degree Expectations utilizes a lighthouse lamp to create a rolling horizon line that moves like a wave. Eliasson leaves the mechanisms of the work visible to engage viewers in his artifice, making them aware of their perceptual act. This sort of phenomenologically-engaged practice reaches a pinnacle in the work of Thomas Demand. His media-based imagery, derived alternately from banal and sensational events, is created from elaborately constructed paper models that are photographed. The reductively pure scenes combine quattrocento classicism with hyper-real simulations of densely populated public areas such as offices, escalators, and tunnels.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s work The Berlin Files, that was created for this exhibition, is a non-linear film montage with surround sound combining dense and emotionally taut narrative fragments. Constructing New Berlin also includes works by artists less well known in the United States, such as Carsten Nicolai, who exhibited in Documenta X.

This exhibition is organized by the Phoenix Art Museum.


Künstler: Monica Bonvicini, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Olafur Eliasson, Swetlana Heger, Sabine Hornig, Johannes Kahrs, Ali Kepenek, Erwin Kneihsl, Carsten Nicolai, Reynold Reynolds, Thomas Scheibitz, Frank Thiel

09.04.06 - 24.09.06 Phoenix Art Museum
03.09.06 - 21.01.07 Bass Museum Of Art, Miami Beach