Wednesday, October 13, 2010
DESPINA STOKOU// GRIMMUSEUM UNTIL 10/3
Berlin has countless non-profit spaces, and I always admire the intention behind the projects. There's only so far you can push the whole 'crumbling walls' stereotypical Berlin aesthetic - call me bourgeois, but at a certain point I find myself craving a space that manages to stay true to goals greater than just making money, while offering an experience that isn't quite so DIY. From the moment I arrived at Grimm, however, I was impressed - located inside an old building that formerly housed the Luise Grimm Museum (Luise Grimm was a Berlin-based painter who lived in the building for 18 years), it authentically embodies an aspect of Berlin's character that predates the bombed-out period, making use of professional white walls and recessed lighting without feeling at all elitist or precious.
The gallery spans either side of the building's lobby - a door to the right leads to one exhibition space, while the one on the left leads to another, along with the administrative office. In the left-hand space, Despina Stokou, an artist who runs the curatorial program at the Grimmuseum, currently has a show up, titled D12, part of a larger series that explores the idea of dual identities and alter egos. Stokou asks, "Where does one creative identity stop and the next one begins? Who are you and then how many? How do you define yourself? Are you what you do? I asked 5 art professionals (a gallery director, a fellow artist, an art critic, an art editor and a collector) all not primary in the profession of curating to each invent a curatorial alter ego or show their existing alter ego. I was curious how different the creative process of putting together a show would be in each case and how their main profession would influence them in this."