Berlin Art Prize 2016

Berlin Art Prize, photo Anastasia Muna

The Berlin Art Prize is pleased to announce the list of nominated artists for the Berlin Art Prize 2016. Chosen from a pool of over 600 Berlin-based applicants through a multi-stage selection process, the nine nominees selected by the jury are:


Martin John Callanan
Regina de Miguel
Stine Marie Jacobsen
Lindsay Lawson
Lotte Meret
Benedikt Partenheimer
Aurora Sander
Raul Walch
Lauryn Youden

Of the nine nominated artists selected by the jury (Karen Archey, Kito Nedo, Emeka Ogboh, Ahmet Öğüt and Susanne Winterling) and presented in the exhibition and catalog, three will be selected as winners of the Berlin Art Prize. The three winning artists will be awarded a trophy created for the occasion by Berlin-based artist Tomás Saraceno, prize money and a four-week residency in Georgia.

The exhibition will present a broad spectrum of artistic positions – including sculpture, installation, photography, performance and conceptual art. In contrast to previous years, the exhibition will focus on the nominee’s individual artistic positions, with multiple works from each artist.

The exhibition opening on November 11, 2016 will be followed by a special program of events, performances and lectures during the exhibition. All nine positions will also be documented in a publication which will be released on the occasion of the opening. The winners will be announced live for the first time at the awards ceremony at Kühlhaus Berlin on the evening of December 10, 2016 followed by an after party.

( Opening )
Friday, November 11, 2016, 7pm
After Party starting at 10pm

( Award Ceremony )
Saturday, December 10, 2016
8:30 p.m.
After Party starting at 10pm

( Location )
Kühlhaus Berlin
Luckenwalder Straße 3
10963 Berlin

The exhibition will be open November 12 – December 10, Tuesday through Saturday, 1 – 6pm.

Letters 2004–2006 available at Ti Pi Tin books

Get one of the last copies of Letters 2004-2006 from Ti Pi Tin books

Letters 2004–2006: Confirmation That You still Exist; I Respect Your Authority; When Will It End; One London by Martin John Callanan

Letters 2004–2006: Confirmation That You still Exist; I Respect Your Authority; When Will It End; One London by Martin John Callanan

Letters 2004–2006: Confirmation That You still Exist; I Respect Your Authority; When Will It End; One London by Martin John Callanan

Letters 2004–2006: Confirmation That You still Exist; I Respect Your Authority; When Will It End; One London by Martin John Callanan

Letters 2004–2006: Confirmation That You still Exist; I Respect Your Authority; When Will It End; One London by Martin John Callanan

Letters 2004–2006: Confirmation That You still Exist; I Respect Your Authority; When Will It End; One London by Martin John Callanan

Letters 2004–2006: Confirmation That You still Exist; I Respect Your Authority; When Will It End; One London by Martin John Callanan

Published by Book Works (2007)
48 Pages, 24 x 17.5 cm, Paperback, Edition of 1000

The publication collects a selection of responses to a series of letters mailed by Martin John Callanan between 2004–06, ranging from the bemused response of the Secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury to the question When will it end? to appreciative letters from the offices of President Mubarak of Egypt in response to the declaration I respect your authority.

WORDS / WORLDS: Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Practice

Date: 9 May 2013
Time: 1.30-5.30pm

9th May 2013 The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster University: Centre for Performance and Practice

Convened to mark the appointment of Tim Etchells as Professor of Performance and Practice at LICA, Words / Worlds is an afternoon symposium focused on approaches to writing in an interdisciplinary context. The event takes its title from a two-part neon work All We Have is Words / All We Have is Worlds by Etchells, which quotes and then repeats with modification, a line from Samuel Beckett.
Beginning with a keynote paper/performance from Etchells, which opens questions relating his to text-work in different media, WORDS / WORLDS proceeds with panels and presentations from visual artists Martin John Callanan and Penny McCarthy, from curator Mathieu Copeland, from the novelist Tony White and from the performance maker and scholar Andrew Quick. WORDS / WORLDS celebrates the possibilities of a cross-disciplinary conversation between and about text-based work and writing. A statement by William Burroughs – that the purpose of writing is to make things happen – provides one point of departure for the discussions, which will see each of the participants touch upon key works and ideas from their practise as they think around texts and inter-texts, texts as interventions in, and transformations of, the world, texts as tests or probes of reality, and text as a tool for fragile and temporary world-building.

Free to attend
Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts

more info

(Im)material Labour, Art Exchange, Colchester

art exchange colchester


(Im)material Labour explores our shifting position in an economically functioning society. From the systemisation of post-fordist labour through to the de-materialisation of the service sector, our patterns of working behaviour are constantly being reconfigured.

(Im)material Labour draws together the work of a number of artists who interrogate this phenomenon in light of the current economic climate. Seeking to decode and humanise the financial crisis through analytical ideas and research, the works on display often result in therapeutic and humorous outcomes.

The exhibition includes works by SUPERFLEX, Zachary Formwalt, Ignacio Uriarte, Martin John Callanan, Paul Westcombe and Arnaud Desjardin.

The exhibition will take place both onsite and offsite in a disused office block situated in Colchester Town. Curated by MA Critical Curating students Warren Harper, Matylda Taszycka and alumnus Jonathan Weston.

Curators Tour
Saturday 1 June, 1-2pm
Join the exhibition’s curators for a tour of (Im)material Labour at Art Exchange. To reserve your place, please email

Download press release (PDF)

Along Some Sympathetic Lines, Or Gallery, Berlin

Along Some Sympathetic Lines

Along Some Sympathetic Lines

Along Some Sympathetic Lines

Along Some Sympathetic Lines

Along Some Sympathetic Lines

23 February – 27 April 2013
Opening 7pm, 22 February 2013

Or Gallery, Oranienstr 37, Berlin 10999, Germany

Or Gallery is pleased to present Along Some Sympathetic Lines, an exhibition of artwork by London-based artist Martin John Callanan, and an archive project by curator Liz Bruchet. The exhibition considers the poetic possibilities of data and its documentation, and the tenuous process of making meaning.

Martin John Callanan is an artist researching an individual’s place within systems. Callanan generates and reworks photographs, letters and electronic data into evidence of exchanges – between the individual, the institution and the networks of power that intertwine them. The exhibition presents four of the artist’s series: The Fundamental Units, the result of amassing millions of pixels of data, to photographs, in microscopic detail far beyond the capacity of the human eye, the lowest monetary unit of each of the 166 active currencies of world, only to enlarge and print them to vast scale; Wars During My Lifetime, an evolving newspaper listing of every war fought during the course of the artist’s life; Grounds, an ongoing photographic archive which charts ‘important places’ in the world where security restrictions limit the image to the carpeted, tiled or concrete floors; and Letters 2004-2006, Callanan’s correspondence with various heads of states and religious leaders which implicate them in conversations that question their very rationale of their authority. These acts of excavating, accumulating and visualising data draw out the sympathetic aspects within documentation and in so doing, mark and disrupt the underlying power dynamics.

A second gallery features an archive project by London-based curator Liz Bruchet. The display of ephemera from the personal archive of the curator’s grandfather, a Canadian insurance salesman and aspiring radio presenter, takes its inspiration from a found audio recording – part monologue, part autobiography, and part radio show – made in 1974. Harnessing the impulses of the collector, archivist and biographer, the curator reasserts her role as custodian and caretaker to nurture narratives and give weight to the subjective remnants of one man’s life.

This exhibition is curated by Liz Bruchet.

The exhibition is possible with the generous support of Or Gallery, the National Physical Laboratory, and UCL European Institute.

With thanks to Galeria Horrach Moya, (Hiper)vincles, Whitechapel Gallery, Book Works, David Karl, and Pau Waelder.

Run of the Mill: A Brief History of Contemporary Art Production, Glenn Adamson and Julia Bryan-Wilson

Glenn Adamson and Julia Bryan-Wilson, in the essay Run of the Mill: A Brief History of Contemporary Art Production for Counter-Production part 3 (Generali Foundation) write about Letters 2004-2006:

Art today still negotiates global networks of power, and it does so through systems of production even more widely distributed than the one Vallance put into motion. The current context, of course, is different. As in so many other areas of art-making, artists today have much greater self-awareness when it comes to involving others in their work. Cultural Ties seems frankly naive in comparison with a recent work by the artist Martin John Callanan, entitled Letters 2004–2006. The premise was similar. Callanan sent a typed note to various political and religious leaders, reading only, “I respect your authority” or “When will it end?”. The responses he got are comparable to those Vallance elicited—mainly form letters, as well as a few personalized notes (usually either baffled, intrigued, or both). Yet if Vallance  extended an offer of universal friendship, Callanan instead addressed shadowy realms of power, expecting and getting no adequate reply. This shift from optimism to resignation captures a general change in tone when it comes to artistic production. In today’s hypernetworked society, “cultural ties” are all too evident; connection itself has become a primary mechanism of late capital.

Full essay in PDF



Curated by Marco Antonini & DETEXT

Cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy
Exhibition: November 8 – 30, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday November 8, 5-7pm

At a time when traditional economics seem to be losing credibility, Transactions opportunely explores the lapse between economists’ representations of the world and our daily experience. Featuring works that deal with everyday transactions and systems of bureaucracy, the exhibition probes the wrong assumptions and flawed hypotheses of today’s neo-liberal model. But rather than simply challenge economic fallacies, Transactions reveals the political and poetic possibilities of such gaps, errors and miscalculations.

Artists: A-153617 (Aníbal López), David Brooks, Martin John Callanan, Nemanja Cvijanovic, DETEXT, Caleb Larsen, Julien Previeux, Daniel Seiple & KUNSTrePUBLIK, Katarina Sevic, Santiago Sierra, Nedko Solakov and Nikola Uzunovski.

Transactions was organized by independent curator Marco Antonini and artist and economist Raúl Martínez (DETEXT). It was previously presented at the CCEG (Centro Cultural de España en Guatemala) in Guatemala City and Galería Horrach Moyá in Palma de Mallorca.

LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University School of the Arts
310 Dodge Hall, 2960 Broadway (at 116th Street), (212) 854-7641
Gallery Hours: Mon – Fri, 9am to 5pm
Closed on Saturday and Sunday

Again, A Time Machine, Edinburgh Printmakers

book works

15 September – 3 November 2012,
A Book Works Touring Exhibition

Again, A Time Machine reappears at Edinburgh Printmakers, with the presentation of Make the Living Look Dead, The Wanderer (The Storage) by Laure Prouvost and A Poster Project by Jonathan Monk.

For Make the Living Look Dead, a selection of artists that we have worked with over the years were invited to make a new work on A4 paper as a contribution, intervention or fictionalisation for our archive. Each work plays with notions of time, and exposes the fragility of coherence inherent in the archive. Contributions range from original discarded material to found objects or fictionalised letters, as well as new work masquerading as past proposals or future projections of sequels, panegyrics or unfinished work. Particpating artists are: An Endless Supply, Steve Beard and Victoria Halford, Pavel Büchler, Martin John Callanan, Brian Catling, Adam Chodzko, Jeremy Deller, Mark Dion, Giles Eldridge, Ruth Ewan, Luca Frei, Dora García, Beatrice Gibson and Will Holder, Liam Gillick, Susan Hiller, Karl Holmqvist, Stewart Home, Hanne Lippard, Jonathan Monk, Bridget Penney, Sarah Pierce, Elizabeth Price, Laure Prouvost, Clunie Reid, John Russell, Slavs and Tatars, NaoKo TakaHashi, Nick Thurston, Lynne Tillman, Mark Titchner, Alison Turnbull, Eva Weinmayr, and Neal White.

This archival installation is accompanied by screenings of Laure Prouvost’s film The Wanderer (The Storage), first commissioned and shown at Spike Island; A Poster Project, a series of ten appropriated and reprinted posters by Jonathan Monk, commissioned by Book Works and participating venues on the touring show; and shown alongside artists’ books, posters and limited edition prints published by Book Works, and a showreel of images, film, video and sound recordings compiled by Karen Di Franco and James Brook.

See the Artworks

Merkske at London Art Book Fair, Whitchapel Gallery, 21–23 September 2012

London Art Book Fair

Merkske will be with Slade Press for the fourth edition of The London Art Book Fair at the Whitechapel Gallery, it takes place from the 21–23 September 2012.

Merkske published Text Trends: Though Text Trends, Martin John Callanan deals with the spectacularization of information. Using Google data he explores the vast search data of its users. An animation takes the content generated by search queries and reduces this process to its essential elements: search terms vs. frequency searched for over time, presented in the form of a line graph, 16 of which are reproduced in this book.

London Open Whitechapel Gallery, London

This exhibition showcases the most dynamic work being made in London in 2012. Take a journey through a selection of the latest art trends and see potential stars of the future amongst 35 artists chosen by a panel of international artists, curators and collectors.

Political and social subject matter is a theme in many works. The show features artists using performance and DIY approaches to making work whilst others investigate kitsch, outsider art and countercultural groups. The exhibition includes Arnaud Desjardin’s live printing press, Leigh Clarke’s negative casts of masks of political figures often worn during demonstrations, Nicholas Cobb’s photographs showing fictitious model riot scenes at Bluewater shopping centre and Pio Abad’s work featuring Saddam Hussein’s gold taps printed on an imitation Versace silk scarf.

The London Open includes work in a diverse range of media from painting, sculpture, film, textile and photography to installation and performance. It includes Paul Westcombe’s intricate illustrations on takeaway coffee cups, Alice Channer’s body-based sculptures, Lucienne Cole’s pop culture-inspired performances and Martin John Callanan’s conceptual works, such as International Directory of Fictitious Telephone Numbers (2011) and Letters 2004-2006.

The London Open is a chance to see some of today’s most innovative artists. The Whitechapel Gallery’s open submission exhibitions have shown artists including Grayson Perry, Bob & Roberta Smith and Rachel Whiteread early in their careers.

Artists: Pio Abad, Peter Abrahams, Caroline Achaintre, Greta Alfaro, Sol Archer, Thomas Ball, Martin John Callanan, Dale Carney, Paul Carter, Alice Channer, Leigh Clarke, Nicholas Cobb, Lucienne Cole, Beth Collar, Chris Coombes, Shona Davies, Jon Klein & Dave Monaghan, Arnaud Desjardin, Sarah Dobai, Shaun Doyle and Mally Mallinson, Ana Genoves, Mark Harris, Emma Holmes, John Hughes, Nikolai Ishchuk, Robert Orchardson, Heather Phillipson, Ruth Proctor, Amikam Toren, Charlie Tweed, Roy Voss, Paul Westcombe and Rehana Zaman.

Selectors: Patricia Bickers, editor of Art Monthly; artist Rodney Graham; collector Jack Kirkland; curator Marta Kuzma; and Whitechapel Gallery curator Kirsty Ogg.

Martin John Callanan will also have a Performance on 5 July

Transactions, Centro Cultural de España en Guatemala, La Ciudad de Guatemala

Transactions, Centro Cultural de España en Guatemala, La Ciudad de Guatemala

Participan: A-153167 (Anibal Lopez), David Brooks, Martin John Callanan, Nemanja Cvijanovic, Detext, Caleb Larsen, Liz Magic Laser, Julien Previeux, Daniel Seiple & Kunst Re-Publik, Katarina Sevic, Santiago Sierra, Nedko Solakov, Nikola Uzunovski y otros.
Curaduría: Raúl Martínez y Marco Antonini

Entendiendo el arte como otra forma de intercambio, esta exposición explora los procesos invisibles, errores de cálculo deliberados y verdades encubiertas del modelo de producción capitalista. En un momento en que este discurso parece incuestionable, Transacciones ahonda precisamente en las contradicciones y fisuras de nuestro modelo económico, convirtiéndolas en un espacio de trabajo y lucha política.

Los artistas incluidos en esta muestra cuestionan la “lógica” que gobierna los procesos económicos, exponiendo los límites legales y éticos del actual modelo neoliberal a través de lagunas legales y vacíos institucionales. Conscientes de las dificultades de evadir las estructuras económicas, muchos de ellos las adoptan como su hábitat natural y campo de batalla.

Transactions, Centro Cultural de España en Guatemala, La Ciudad de Guatemala

Transaccions: de l’acció a l’objecte

Horrach Moya, Palma, Spain


Horrach Moya

According to elementary economic theory, specialization allows for the efficient use of economic resources. As slightly more advanced theory handbooks point out however, it also increases the costs of conducting transactions. Should you decide to buy an artwork (e.g. at this exhibition), in addition to the price tag, you would have to consider the effort of finding accurate information, traveling to the gallery and negotiating with the dealer, as well as the costs of transporting, hanging and storing it. All these expenses beyond the works’ nominal value are known as transaction costs and may be important when assessing a transaction. Most economic theories, however, surprisingly consider them negligible, and in order to simplify their analyses, assume they are zero.

Beyond such examples, transaction costs certainly play an important role in today’s hyper-specialized economy. Hardly measurable –in some cases, deliberately ignored or concealed- they nevertheless affect the millions of economic exchanges taking place every second and can create a considerable lapse between the economists’ representation of the world and our experience. Featuring works that deal with daily exchange processes or delve into the transactional dynamics of today’s global economy, this exhibition examines precisely such assumptions and flawed hypotheses, as well as the inherent limitations of the capitalist economic model. But rather than simply challenging economists’ fallacies, it explores the political and poetical possibilities of this gap.

Co-opting institutional structures and exploiting loopholes in regulation, the artists featured in the exhibition reveal the absurd economic logic governing everyday operations as well as the ethical and legal boundaries of today’s neo-liberal model. Aware of the difficulties of escaping it, the artists presented in this exhibition adopt them as their own natural habitat and political battleground. Such is the case of Liz Magic Laser’s Chase and Daniel Seiple & Kunst Re-publik’s Landreform Carousel, who turn symbols of affluence and commerce into unlikely theaters and circus attractions, or Katarina Sevic’s Social Motions, which uses codified forms of social interaction to re-establish the significance of a human presence in today’s dehumanized corporate structures. In what seems to edge on the grotesque, Santiago Sierra and Nedko Solakov repeatedly stage simple transactions to expose capitalism’s underside.

Engaging different networks of bureacracy, artists like Martin John Callanan or Julien Previeux, use the semi-automated processes habitual in government and corporate bureaucracy to produce their works. While others, like Nemanja Cvijanovic or Detext subvert the expectations of cultural bureaucrats to reveal these systems’ shortsighted logic and to question the role of institutional structures in the production and distribution of art. The free market’s alleged efficiency and uncontrollable appetite is echoed in Caleb Larsen’s non-descript, networked black cube, a sculpture that permanently tries (and often manages) to sell itself on EBay.
Concerned with less conventional systems of communication and transportation, Nikola Uzunovski pillages an archive of letters sent to Santa Claus to conduct a statistical study of the children’s wishes and map the influence of consumerism on them, while David Brooks and Aníbal López (A-153167) follow the routes of illegal smuggling to examine the legal and ethical boundaries of global trade.

Review by Pau Wealder: