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  • GDR and beyond: Norbert Bisky’s Rant and Pompa


GDR and beyond: Norbert Bisky’s Rant and Pompa

REVIEW! Painter Norbert Bisky's work inspired by his youth in the GDR and reunified Germany is a transporting experience. Catch "Pompa" at Matthäuskirche through Feb 16 and "Rant" at Villa Schöningen through Mar 15.

Image for GDR and beyond: Norbert Bisky's Rant and Pompa

Photo by Bernd Borchardt. Copyright VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Don’t miss Pompa at Matthäuskirche, Tiergarten, through Feb 16 and Rant at Villa Schöningen, Potsdam, through Mar 15: four stars!

One of the most celebrated artists to have come out of the GDR has dropped two paint-bombs for Berliners to contemplate the Fall of the Wall: Rant at Pots­dam’s Villa Schöningen, located just off the bridge where East and West traded imprisoned spies, and Pompa at Tiergarten’s St. Matthäuskirche. Both are preseted by Kreuzberg’s König Galerie and include works from the past 15 years. The first show is a furious dissection of the role of martial arts in schoolboys’ education under the direction of Margot Honecker in the form of a two-floor, multimedia exhibition. Depicted here are urban gymnastics and one-on-one fist fights in army greens and fluorescent pinks and oranges, a colour palette reflecting the constant state of emergency in the Berlin of Bisky’s youth. The second, exhibited on the ceiling of the church, continues its focus on afflicted young males who have been dispatched to a reunified Germany, now of more diverse ethnic origins, but as disoriented as ever. Then as now, their blue skies have been pulverised into a million mind-boggling pieces, whether by the militarist dogma of the Cold War or nationalist navel-gazing of the post-Wall years. Bisky’s work is a sight to behold and a transporting experience for the contemporary viewer.

Rant | Villa Schöningen, Potsdam. Through Mar 15.

Pompa | Matthäuskirche, Tiergarten. Through Feb 16.