VeneKlasen Werner Makes the Most Exciting (and Collectible) Gallery Invitations

vk-7VeneKlasen Werner’s gallery invitations double as exhibition booklets. They are perfectly sized—like folded-up press releases—saddle-stitched, and average 50 pages of images that range from historical record to the historically forgotten, from Imgur to the Deep Web. Compiled by the exhibiting artist, organizing curator, or artist’s estate, they are orgiastic scrapbooks of full-bleed pictures of anything from any time. Collaged, underpixelated, screen-grabbed, illustrated, wide-angled, faded, or dissolved, the chapbook images function like B-rolls of the art you’re invited to see IRL, yet presented with enough visual intelligence to transform marginalia into its own distinctive aesthetic experience.

Unlike the typical invitation—not to mention the typical press release—the booklets are full of parody and humor. Inside the invite to the exhibition “The Joy of Pleasure” we’re instructed to “Colle ici la photo de ta queue” [paste the photo of your ass here], over an anonymous penis shape, and reminded that “our collective task (artists, curators, all who venture into V/W [VeneKlasen Werner]) is to set forth a much-needed education on pleasure.” In the invitation for Meredyth Sparks’s exhibition, “Striped Bare,” we’re told, “Since those portraits stopped at the shoulders, there is no reason to believe that Duchamp didn’t keep his pants on.” Hitlon Als and Peter Doig curated a show called “Self-Consciousness” and in the invitation we learn that “‘Cunt’ is a compliment. In fact, it’s the highest compliment you can pay anyone, as in: Oh, my God, look at that cunt. She’s so cunty and nice!” For his exhibition in 2011, Enrico David published a selection of his brut figures and still life illustrations, encapsulating a vulnerability of art “on the brink of not being ready to be born”—an unabashed embrace of an immaturity that’s become cherishable in the art world.

VeneKlasen Werner is the Berlin experimental laboratory of the Michael Werner empire and is run by Werner’s partner Gordon VeneKlasen and curator Gyonata Bonvicini. Larger than any of the namesake galleries in New York, London, Cologne, and Märkisch Wilmersdorf, V/W also has a cinema and lecture hall. “V/W embraces a collage of personalities surrounding Michael Werner Gallery,” Bonvicini explains. “We invite artists and curators who aren’t exclusively tied to the gallery to participate in a larger conversation about artistic production today.”

www.vwberlin.com

VW_Alsoudani_FINAL.pdf

vk-1-2

vk-11

 

vk-4-2

spencer-booklet-6-sent.pdf

Deeper

  • Life Exists in Images: Theaster Gates at the Fondazione Prada

    Theaster Gates' “The Black Image Corporation” presents photographs from the holdings of Chicago’s Johnson Publishing Company, a sprawling archive that shaped “the aesthetic and cultural languages of contemporary African American identity.” Gates approached the project as a celebration and activation of the black image in Milan through photographs of women photographed by Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton – of black entrepreneurship and legacy-making. “Life exists” in the Johnson archive, he says, just as it exists and should be honored in other places of black creativity.More
  • ALL A DAT ALL A DAT: Rap Crew 67 Can Make Anything

    Members ASAP, Monkey, LD, Dimzy, Liquez, and SJ are branching out. “67 can release rizla,” says LD ahead of the UK drill collective’s appearance this weekend in Berlin. “Not everybody can do that. A lot of people are just rappers.”More
  • 032c Resist Collection

    032c Resist Pin

    €10
  • David Ostrowski Brings Bauhaus to Warsaw’s Galeria Wschód

    The painter David Ostrowski has been off the radar for the last few years. A former student of Albert Oehlen and graduate of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Ostrowski is best known for his large abstract paintings, which often include the use of spray cans and a formalistic approach to shape. Now he's back, with a new body of work and two shows – the first of which opens in Warsaw at the progressive gallery space Wschód this weekend.More
  • 032c WWB Collection

    032c WWB Rugby Shirt Black

    €115
    Buy Now