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C/O Berlin is pleased to announce that C/O Berlin Talent Award 2023 in the category of Artist goes to Swiss artist Aladin Borioli (b. 1988). His award-winning work will be presented in a solo exhibition “Aladin Borioli. Bannkörbe” from January 27 to May 22, 2024 at C/O Berlin, located at the Amerika Haus, Hardenbergstraße 22–24, 10623 Berlin. The opening reception is today, January 26, 2024 from 8 p.m.
The artists Arnout and Michiel De Cleene, Naima Green (b. 1990, USA), Elias Holzknecht (b. 1993, Austria), and Jan Staiger and Malte Uchtmann (b.1995/1996, Germany) were selected for the Shortlist 2023.
Aladin Borioli’s multimedia project on beehives and sustainable beekeeping
The jury* viewed Aladin Borioli’s artistic approach as the ideal interpretation of “New Documentary Strategies”, the topic for which the C/O Berlin Talent Award is presented. The artist receives a cash prize, and his work will be shown in his first institutional solo exhibition at C/O Berlin in “Aladin Borioli. Bannkörbe”. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by leipzig-based Spector Books, with an essay and interview by 2023 C/O Berlin Talent Award Theorist Bas Blaasse, who was selected by a jury composed by Veronika Epple (junior curator, C/O Berlin Foundation), Sophia Greiff (co-head of program and curator, C/O Berlin Foundation), and Anna Gripp (chief editor, Photonews).
*The expert jury which selected this year’s winners and shortlist in the category of Artist consisted of Tim Clark (editor in chief, 1000 Words, London), Veronika Epple (junior curator, C/O Berlin Foundation) and Sophia Greiff (co-head of program and curator, C/O Berlin Foundation), Nadja Masri (head of the photo editing class, Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie, Berlin), Alona Pardo (curator, Barbican Centre, London), Salvatore Vitale (artist and lecturer, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, CH).
The exhibition presents a subproject of “Apian”, a collaborative entity Borioli initiated, intended as an ever-expanding and ongoing archive that operates as a ‘ministry of bees’.
“Aladin Borioli. Bannkörbe” delves into the relationship between humans and bees through a variety of research methods and practices including text, photography, video and audio. Archival and research material from bee studies and cultural history are gathered at C/O Berlin to accompany visitors in the exploration of the sociohistorical, political, and ecological developments in beekeeping in an attempt to anchor the topic of sustainable beekeeping practices in our present moment and to encourage a more active caring for bees, in light of the alarming death of bees over the past decades. The exhibition sheds light on the concept of the beehive (in German ‘Bannkörbe’), ancient beliefs about bees, and fascinating technological possibilities to implement alternative beekeeping methods through Borioli’s artworks and previously unpublished images, video installations, and interactive research area invites them to delve deeper into the topics.
The grotesque masks pictured are beehives made from organic materials including wood, straw, and cow manure: they were intended to ward off the ‘evil eye’ and honey thieves. This unique form of beehive and craftsmanship was prevalent in northern Germany between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Within the field of bee research, they reflect the belief in magic and thus provide an alternative model to the dominant concepts of modern beekeeping, which often seeks to use modern technology to achieve productivity, profitability, and control over bees.
“Micheldorf Micheldorf Micheldorf Micheldorf” by Elias Holzknecht is a cartography of four places in Austria bearing the same name: Micheldorf, indeed. Holzknecht’s approach suggests a peculiar use of non-linear contemporary storytelling, which involves shuffled elements to nurture personal, new narratives by combining photography, cartography, mind maps, and texts to create an undefined reality of (a) real place(s).
The work “The Perfect Crime: Concerning the Murder of Reality” by Jan Staiger and Malte Uchtmann presents a documentary investigation through stage photographs and AI-manipulated contents. Through different visual levels, the project explores the extent to which supposed knowledge about police work, which locations potentially harbor danger, and which characteristics allow victims or perpetrators to be recognized, is reinforced through fictional representations in crime series.
Arnout and Michiel De Cleene’s shortlisted project is “Amidst the Fire, I Am Not Burnt”, a documentation of the iconic Vesuvian landscape. Through scientific and folkloristic data, through text and images, historic and present-day representations are gathered to narrate an iconic landscape that has built a socialscape of both stored and destroyed stories around Neapolitan culture through each alternating eruption and quietude.
Naima Green’s work “Keep Missing My Water” is a documentation of the Black and Queer communities the artist is part of. Green explores the seductive power of still and moving images within the personal quest around water as a fluid and lively metaphor for her life relationships. The work becomes a method to deepen connections between the self and the other, the body and the environment, thus a documentation of the process of slowing down and focusing on the simple pleasures of life.