SAVVY Contemporary – The laboratory of form-ideas

place SAVVY Contemporary
tags archive decolonization unlearning performance postcolonialism body English friendly
cast Ndikung Bonaventure Soh Bejeng
camera Jiří Žák
sound Jiří Žák
editing Jiří Žák
interview Jiří Žák
playlists Profiles of the galleries and institutions
category Profiles
published 30. 11. 2016
language Česky / English
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SAVVY Contemporary – The laboratory of form-ideas is a lab of conceptual, intellectual, artistic and cultural development and exchange; an atelier in which ideas are transformed to forms and forms to ideas, or gain cognition in their status quo. This is achieved with respect to conception, implementation and contestation of ideas with/in time and space.

Every two months, SAVVY Contemporary will present an exhibition in its gallery space aimed at fostering the dialogue between “western art” and “non-western art”. In this light, a curator will be invited by SAVVY’s art direction to further invite an artist from Europe or North-America and another artist from Africa, South-America, Asia or Australia. This “trialogue” will be “moderated” by the invited curator. The process of the trialogue and its result will culminate in an exhibition and a publication to the exhibition.
SAVVY Contemporary strives at offering a platform of work and exhibition for international artists and curators in the fine and performing arts. A place where libertine ideas of art can flourish in a pluralistic dimension! A place where socio-psychological, political and anthropological topics can blossom in art according to Magnus Hundt’s „Homo est dei et mundi nodus“ – the human being as an intersection between the creator and the creation.
In a period in which the circular art scene in Berlin propagates the reduction of art to aesthetic values and the distancing from other societal interests, the “The laboratory of form-ideas” deliberately chooses the opposite direction. This is done in reminiscence of milestones in art history, e.g. the dadaists like George Grosz, John Heartfield and the young Max Ernst or Otto Dix, until our contemporaries like Thomas Hirschhorn, Christoph Schlingensief, Romuald Hazoumé, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Noritoshi Hirakawa or Klaus Staeck who have used their art as a mirror of their society and era. The necessity of a community-close and society-reflecting art has enforced itself despite the harsh critics projected on the last three Documenta-exhibitions curated by Catherine David, Okwui Enwenzor and Roger M. Buergel. These curators not only showed without timidity and compromises, politically motivated positions with ambitiously strong contents but also impressed with a wide range of international
artists and thus blasted the usual Euro-American axis. The spirit of this work was pursued in Daniel Birnbaum’s Fare Mondi of the Venice-Biennale 2009. In this regard, SAVVY Contemporary will be a fertile ground for a critical and intellectual discourse on the development of contemporary art as well as on positions of contemporary art in the diaspora. Due to its historical and geo-political background as a former frontline town in the East-West-conflict, Berlin is particularly stamped by an East-West-dialogue. Thereby, other important and leading issues like the North-South-dialogue were ignored for a long while.
SAVVY Contemporary takes upon itself this duty to promote and advocate the North-South-dialogue in the art scene in Berlin.

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SAVVY Contemporary – The laboratory of form-ideas

Desired Restraints

The pressure of choosing everything puts unbearable pressure on an individual who should not have been taken responsible for the state she/he is in. A resonance of this theory echoes in numerous gestures of video artists – we present a selection of four video performances – that create absurd situations to express a deep psychological angst.


What is shared, what is private and what are the possibilities of self-presentation in contemporary screen based culture? Adopting conventions of a YouTube vlog, Magdalena’s teenage diary entries surface raw and seemingly unedited. Stored in a number of disused mobile phones; songs, gifs, low-fi images and movies weave into and trail off in unfinished stories, anecdotes, soundbites and faces from childhood, where experience of mental illness is quickly interrupted by pop lyrics.

Grace Samboh

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, 1984, Grace Samboh lives in between Yogyakarta and Medan, Indonesia. Due to questioning (a little bit) too many things all at once, she does curatorial work as well as research. She truly believes that every person needs at least three copies of themselves.

What can we do?