11 Mar 2013
Interview with Fridey Mickel, editor for culture at EX Berliner about the exhibition »Riss – Disruption«

Hi Fridey,
thank you.

1. How long have you been in Berlin? Did you study here? Where are you from, what shows, spaces, galleries? Are you famous for a specific project?

Born in the east, raised in West, I came back to this region in 1999. After a the basic education in free and collective forms of Urban Writing mostly at night, I studied philosophy and New German History at the Humboldt University and from 2003 till 2009 Fine Arts at the UdK at mostly at daytime.
My development as a curator is best documented in the connection to 4 places and the people behind them: 1. Artitude / SRS Berlin_ 2. “Taken for Stranger” / APPARTEMENT / Berlin_ 3. MKgalerie / Berlin-Rotterdam_4. frontviews / Berlin

1.5. What is the core of your curating process?

Its hard to define a core. It is much easier to search for the genuine impulse. It is all based mostly this resistant couple of questions: what kind of work impresses me? and why?
This is not the core of my curating, but the seed to start with, the battery to continue. Obviously “why?” is the more important part.
After the years I found out, that especially works, which advance backwards from our dominant neoliberal society but at the same time are still connected to it in a shifted, disrupted way, grap most of my attention. These works establish a kind of parallel domain, a kind of useless, unknown alternative full of new sense and receptions and in my believe a profound kind of resistance. Always hoping that other people feel comfortably while entering, I try to bring this settings of resistance to a space that fits. For example the shows »Statics and the movement in between«, »Oktober« by BURGHARD or »Aufruhr.« by Stella Geppert and the actual
»Riss« – (Disruption). The crucial blueprint for decisions in that field of artistic production for myself will always be actual existing in general, never just a topic inside the art world. A second very important factor (as for almost all curators) arises in the inner-mental collection of seen exhibitions and artist in my memories. After a while some tendencies, some topics are strongly pushing to the surface of my consciousness and I “compact” them to an exhibition – for instance »Aus der Zeit« oder »Meta-Ikon« (Prolog) -.
In that way the place you stay, where you see most of the exhibitions in real and even from where you start your browser is very important. In my case it is Berlin, simply like that. That is why I never proclaimed an “european” or even german tendency in art or society. I try to work in a framework, which I really know.

2. How did you come to know the space?

Monika Pfau from the gallery team “discovered” the work of frontviews and made contact to us. I had visited the gallery before, but now it was very nice to get to know the faces behind this impressive space. Luckily Berlin art scene is big enough to get to know one fabulous place and its protagonists after another; you might think you know them all, but last month there where already three new openings, which you might have missed…

3. How did the show come together? How did you chose the artists? Was it an ‘Auftrag’ from the gallery, with one or more of artists they work with, or did you go to them with idea?

They offered me an open collaboration. Our common base was the big interest in the work of Amir Fattal. I rapidly had a sensation, what could be the core of my interest in Amirs work. Now the question was, which other artists could also hold up this core in another way, not only to enrich the show, but even more to define this core I was interested in. I found these essential positions quite fast in the work of Nikola Ukic and Astali / Peirce,

4. What piece from show sums the exhibition up/ was the ‘Ausgangspunkt’?

According to question 3 the starting point was definitely a new series of works by Fattal, in which he investigates the consequences of the historical break “Rising of the Third Reich” for some very important persons of the blooming German Culture in the 1920ies and 1930ies.

5. Describe this piece in one sentence.

In the focus of this series lies on the fate, or better the conscious decisions of two architects: Erich Mendelsohn and Albert Speer facing the increasing influence of the National-Socialists in Germany ending almost all ethnic and cultural diversity. I an unique way Fattal is able to transfer that historically facts to pieces of arts, giving this personal and social cracks vision and materialized shape after more than 80 years.

6. What is your view on the ‘state of the art’ in Berlin currently?

Not everybody feels, that endless waiting for the big boom can make a living. In the corners of this hard winter misgivings and confusion having a cigarette together. This feels kind of tough, but it is nothing against the toughness of other cities.
This is still one of the best places to produce inner city and to see new works. Lets enjoy the next bloom. Focus on the work of the artists, lets try to make it possible, give them a platform. We really need better parties again, central open places for “cross culture gendering”, of course more money, but less concerning about the money.


  • Stella Geppert »Aufruhr.«

    Stella Geppert »Aufruhr.« / 2011

    Life runs down – routine comes in – service is managed – uneasiness creeps in, a personal one – utility goods at hand, furnishing routine – is not just used up….but deliberately “used into pieces“ – the unexpected, the unforeseen, outbreak, turmoil,revolt! – But:

  • Riss - (Disruption)

    Riss - (Disruption) / 2013

    The group show »Riss« – (Disruption) is a cooperation between Hengesbach Gallery and Frontviews, an independent curatorial platform in Berlin.