Artists Collective. Based in Berlin
Curated and managed by Uwe Goldenstein
Established in 2010
+49(0)176.965 27 308
The subtle works of the BSA artists come to oppose a purely affirmative present, which — akin to an artificial ecstasy — endlessly reproduces itself and, owing to an ahistorical, thoroughly digitalised structure, vehemently curtails or indeed eliminates time for reflection, contemplation and rest. In this context, BSA presents a highly topical projection surface, a space for withdrawal and recollection, dedicated to slowness and contemplation, to weightlessness and secretive moments. It is particularly addressed to a younger generation, which — exactly like the BSA artists — is driven by an urgent desire for withdrawal, and consciously seeks salvation in complexly layered, oftentimes surreal spaces, that offer an escape from a thoroughly rationalised, linear reality. BSA: a mild form of trance, a highly relevant parallel world, a quiet, subtle appeal to detachment and metaphysical flotation. U.G.
Film portrait about BSA artists, Duna TV (H)
1st April 2012, 30min. With Adam Magyar, Deenesh Ghyczy, Konstantin Déry, Gábor A. Nagy & Uwe Goldenstein. Directed by Ágnes Szabó
[Alternative Video Link]
Into The Woods, Eröffnungsrede, Dr. Detlef Stein
Interview mit Uwe Goldenstein und Konstantin Déry zur Ausstellung Young European Landscape, März 2011
Kossuth Radio Budapest
Interview about BSA with Uwe Goldenstein and Gabor A. Nágy (Hungarian), Januar 2012
Interview with Turkish Art Magazin ARTIST ACTUAL, Istanbul. By Gülgün Basarir, November 2011 issue
Hello Mr. Uwe Goldenstein. You organized the Technology Won't Save Us titled exhibition at Art Suites Gallery Beyoglu. Would you tell us about yourself and about your group? Which artists do you choose for these exhibition? And what is the speciality of these artists?
All artists in the show are members of the artists collective BSA-Berlin Selected Artists which I established in 2010. Five years ago I started to select artists, mainly in Berlin, to form a group to save the content in contemporary art. Since 1999 I was working mainly as an author exspecially for art and I had to see that it's just a marketing system where the artists, museums and galleries are involved and nearly nobody really understood or even read my essays. But in that time I also met totally different characters of artists who were really honest and deeply interested in the time they are living in. And their answers to our fragile present were strong and on a individual formal aestethic level. To create an art work like this the artist has to be independent combined with a technically high capacity to create his own vision of life through his art. These kind of artists were really hard to find but the result of this European wide 5-years-search we can see at Art Suites Gallery in the moment. More or less all 20 artists of my group are Berlin based, some are living in Denmark or Hungary and they are coming very often to inspire themselves and to meet the group in Berlin. The main idea of BSA is our independence to the parameters of the art market to realize visually strong shows with a deep philosophied background - also in a short time and with a small or zero budget. My exhibition essays are an important part of our system as well (see: selected-artists.com) to explain the visual experience as a counterweight to the more and more divorced-from-reality and name dropping shows - as we can see for example at the Biennial exhibition in the moment. In that context BSA feels more like being in a sophisticated Rock 'n Roll band.
You are working as a curator. Do you think that being a curator is a job (a professsion)? Which education should be taken to being a curator?
It should be a profession but sometimes it's too easy because nearly everybody calls himself a curator just because he or she selected some names together whith a blurred title and invite some important persons. I think it really takes years of experience to find an own vision in art. Which means that before you will have that vision you need to have a vision and your own interpretation of contemporary life - and for that you need a general distance to the forces of the system which is a 100% capitalism one to create fear and tries to subvert the whole life - so also the arts. So for me the main part of being a curator is to save the distance to the art system as well. In that case maybe studying philosophy together with art history would be a good combination for an upcoming curator - but if you only know important art people instead you will be a curator without a soul and content and you will continue the gap between people who are really interested in visual experience and the religious like high level art market.
Today, concept of curator is starting to discussing in the world. How is it affected you?
But who dicusses that? I think itखs just a tricky part of the imanence of the high level art market. The main problem is that also the professors in university are involved in the name dropping system. They should see more instead of repeating important names and believing in the artist genius when he or she is a pop star. The aura of the white cubes and world wide biennials mean a creation of a new religion where the "curator" is the preacher and only the biggest collector or art direcor is the sacrosanct pope or maybe a kind of god. Contemporary art is a highly sophisticated and historical theme - we cannot just jump over the gap which was created as a "philosophy light" art system to earn so much money as possible. If we discuss curation we have to start in learning better the visual history. My experience is that 90% of the ruling art people do not know the main parameters of that. Sometimes for me it feels like I am watching a Zoo of monkeys where some chimps are ruling everyting and the silent and devote bonobo-curators are repeating all they hear and slowly trying to create themselves to chimps as well. Here I can quote another BSA artist, Horst Waigel, who works on a series so called "In The Kindergarden Of Metaphysics - Art vs Art Market" - like his title says: we should start to ignore the religion or pseudo-metaphycical aura of art.
You are making judgments with your title (Technology Won't Save Us). What is the thing which pushes you that? And how can you associate that with the artists' works?
Time is the most important theme is that show. And time doesn't exist on Istiklal Street for example which means that technology or consumption is overwhelming our lives. We cannot find time to get a distance to that and the system creates a situation where there is no time for it. Our belongings are totally regulated by the capitalism system and that system has no time and tries to tell us that there is a kind of meaningful aim. But of course there is nothing like that. I feel that my artists are thinking the same when I see that they spend weeks in painting a piece of art. In the layers of paint time is frozen and slowly spreading out when you take time in seeing it. It's the visual experience and a kind of meditation of technically high level painting which seems to be one of the only oppositions to the strange world we are living in. For that experience we need the white cubes and silent rooms.
People are affected from the technology which is developed by themselves. The emergence of new technologies is a result of awareness of the new needs of human being. So do you think that today's people can resolve their needs with non-technological solutions?
Also the non-technological solutions are in a latent way placed on the same medal. The problem is that advertising today is so tricky that the new technologies try to tell us that we will find a deeper emotional experience sitting with our iPad on a green court. People should try to go inside the landscape before they are checking it out by "Google Earth". That's why I quoted a great Scottish independent musician, Malcolm Middleton, in the exhibition catalogue who sings: "I'm a king in my head. A cripple in the world" - music or painting with a deep vision and an honest emotion can save your life. (Not Technology itself maybe except an electric guitar...)
In exhibition's catalogue, your quotation from the philosopher Vil़m Flusser is "We read the world, for instance logically and mathematically. But the new generation, programmed by techno-images, no longer shares our values." So it says that people are in a passive situation against to technology. If it is like that, can we say that people are transforming into robots which are directed by techno images?
Thanks for that nice interpretation. We do not know how the new generation can get a distance to the overwhelming and subtile system which is everywhere in their live. My generation and also the BSA artists are mainly born in the 70ies. We had a childhood which was somehow directly connected to nature. For the new generation this direct or in a way authentic experience is more and more missing. We do not know what it means but I feel that their and maybe all of our brains are programmed by techno image life because it just works too well. But I am also sure that there is space in our consciousness for finding a distance through music or art.
Are the artists from this exhibition agree with your thoughts about technology? Is this title a common opinion?
If you see their paintings you should agree that they handle totally opposite with time than technology does...
The position which human became, become and will become by technologic developments leave us to face to face with that human subjectivity and identity is changing and will change, doesn't it? What do you think?
For example in Istanbul, it's hard to find a place for being face to face in a silent mood. I was asking myself: Why there is no beach or large silent place in such a big, intensive city? So where can a young guy develop his identity when he cannot go into nature? We shouldn't forget that we are animals as well.
Mutual interaction between human power and technology created a hybrid human nature and a common history. Do the common history and metamorphosis (means hybridized human) cause a basis of process of evolution?
We should watch that process were exactly. The dangerous part in that development is that if technology one day makes no sense for the human he just switches to the other side which means religion - it's the same in Turkey or the U.S. - the religion operates in the same systematic way also when the religious part just called a spiritual group. The evolution of civilization begins with the creation of religion. But today we have the same situation: both systems were established on fear so they will work so long we believe in the common normality of them.
In your essay in the catalogue, you are saying that we don't share the same values with the new generation. The previous generation also says like that too. So we are talking about a generation gap. What do you think about that today's world is a world which is alienated by the previous generation, isn't is?
It seems to be. But if we focus the fear we are standing on the same ground. The iPads and the new healthy life are ridiculous and helpless answers from the younger generation. They do not remark that they play the same game than capitalism always did. Better go out to nature, play a rock'n roll song or read a Haruki Murakami roman and try to forget that you are such an important person because you can rule a video game or a Microsoft product.
Exhibition at Art Suites Gallery was opened on the occasion of the 12th Istanbul Biennial 2011. What do you think about the Biennials in the world and also especially Istanbul Biennial?
Did you have the opportunity to visit galleries in Istanbul? Do you have an opinion about art activities and quality of art in Turkey?
Yes. And I was very happy that Turkish contemporary artists can be so free in using political themes. For me there is no difference between Tracy Emin and an unknown young female Turkish artist who both demonstrate the male power which overwhelmed their identity. I really could see many strong works. Mostly they seem to show more of their conflicts with the society than in Berlin. Some young artists also are more focused on formal aestetics and technique, for example Ilke Kutley who I really like. The quality for me is the same than in any other Western metropolis. My prognostic for the near future is that the technical quality of Turkish art will be the same or sometimes maybe better than in the West because for example Turkish artists have to fight more for their freedom and vision. I am sure that anyway the technical and visionary high level figurative painting will survive lately - because one day people will wake up and remark that they never really understood all the installations, empty canvases and pseudo political objects they have seen in the last 40 years...
Thank you very much.
I have to thank You.
ESSAYS BY UWE GOLDENSTEIN
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