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Artists in Berlin during Gallery Weekend Berlin, Anna Boghiguian and Milja Laurila

Exhibitions in Berlin

Probably the most captivating artworks that caught my attention during the Gallery Weekend Berlin were artworks by a well-established artist Anna Boghiguian at KOW, and Milja Laurila from The Helsinki School.

KOW is an art gallery focused on socially-oriented art. The artists from the Helsinki School who use a photographic process as a way of thinking are represented by a gallery space called Persons Projects, located at the same street.

Topics of the art review

The art review explores two artworks by two different generations of women handling the topic of colonialism and propaganda.

Even though both of the topics are persistent in our everyday culture and we can feel their impact on our day-to-day lives, the legacy of the impact still needs to be discussed on regular basis. Just to be on the same page here I have borrowed a short definition of colonialism from Google.

Colonialism is a policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.

Slavery, Colonialism, Explotation
British Library from Unsplash
Artist Anna Boghiguian at KOW Gallery

The first artist is Anna Boghiguian of Armenian ancestry who is in her late 70s. Boghiguian lived and studied political science in Cairo during the '70s. Later on, Boghiguian moved to Canada to pursue her career in art, avoiding the difficulty of being censored and deprived of thinking in a liberal way within her field of profession.

From my point of view, that was an extremely interesting reason to enter the art world because artists have been fighting against censorship on many levels for generations and yet some people come into the art world because of the freedom of way of thinking. It made me recall the controversy of Duchamp's Urinal in 1917 by which he stated that anything can be an art.

Anna Boghiguian artworks are researched-based projects focused on particular labor exploiting industries typical in given locations for example salt traders in Turkey or mining of metal-containing ore such as copper or tin and similar in Cornwall in the United Kingdom.

Anna Boghiguian, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, KOW Gallery Berlin
Anna Boghiguian, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, exhibtion view at KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac, courtesy the artist and KOW

The ground floor of the gallery space was like a complete story of the old times when Cornwall was blooming with the heavy industry. The old times were conveyed by moderate-sized copper cut-out figures of people who used to mine the ores.

The scattered gravel on the ground of the exhibition space has just brought us even closer to the feel of ore extraction mixed with the final output of the mining industry which was essentially tins for sardelles. All that might sound a little too nostalgic if it were not for a critical voice made of again tin or copper cut-outs of a drum and a drumming figure.