Comfort Stops

 

Spend a day wandering around a large art fair or a city’s galleries, and you will need the odd ‘comfort break’. In Berlin recently, however, there were several interesting works featuring the process itself.

Dana Widawski: ‘Artist’s Rest I – III’ 2014 (top) is a self-portrait on kitschy ceramic tiles, making it a practical – as well as thematic – to install them in the room least likely to have art already. There one can contemplate Widawski trying to discover herself as she takes the piss out of any remaining notion of artists as higher beings. At Art Mur in the Positions fair.

Iman Issa: still from ‘Proposal for an Iraq War Memorial’ 2007, in her retrospective at the DAAD gallery. This impressive show has plenty of  Issa’s signature ‘lexicon’ series – subtle combinations of present and absent (but described) works of art. It also reveals her wider range from sound pieces to short stories to videos. Indeed, this image is probably as atypical as it gets: she herself outs it as almost intrusively memorable …

Andreas Slominski: ‘Pissoir mit Korken’, 2016.  Urinals rendered dysfunctional are bound to reference Duchamp, but Andreas Slominski also summons his own stream of ‘trap’ works, though here it is liquid trapped rather than an animal, unless there’s a fly stuck in there. The cork also hints perversely at the possibility of a potable product. At Galerie Neu in the Art Berlin fair.

Marjetica Potrc: ‘Caracas: Dry Toilet (2003-19)’. What is art? This attractive installation, inoperative for gallery purposes, is the 9th instantiation of an ecologically safe waterless toilet – designed for dry zones by the Slovenian artist-architect Marjetica Potrc. The key is to collect the faeces for composting separately from the urine (that runs to ground: it’s the combination which smells so bad). The design emerges from local collaboration, in this case with residents of the la Vega barrio in the Dominican Republic. At Galerie Nordenhake.

Art writer and curator Paul Carey-Kent sees a lot of shows: we asked him to jot down whatever came into his head

About Paul Carey-Kent

Art critic and curator, based near Southampton. I write most regularly for Art Monthly, Frieze, Elephant, State, Photomonitor... and, of course, FAD.