Summer Artguide #2. Olaf Nicolai "Chant d’Amour" at the Kunsthalle Bielefeld

Elisabetta Rastelli - 26 Jun 2018

Art magazine - art news - Summer Artguide #2. Olaf Nicolai

In summer 2018 the Kunsthalle Bielefeld presents the exhibition Chant d’Amour by the Berlin-based artist Olaf Nicolai. 

Curated by Dr. Friedrich Meschede, the show will examine the special type of museum embodied by the Kunsthalle and its Philip Johnson architecture. Olaf Nicolai: Chant d‘Amour will be shown at the Kunsthalle Bielefeld parallel to two other exhibitions by Olaf Nicolai, one at the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen LOK (July 7–November 11, 2018) and the other at the Kunsthalle Wien There is No Place before Arrival (July 13–October 7, 2018). 


Olaf Nicolai, Chant d'Amour, 2003/2008/2018. Courtesy Kunsthalle Bielefeld.


Olaf Nicolai, Chant d'Amour, 2003/2008/2018. Exhibition view Kunsthalle Bielefeld 2018. Photo: Uwe Walter. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018. Courtesy galery EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin.


Together, the three exhibitions develop a comprehensive overview of Nicolai’s multifaceted work, unfolding his interdisciplinary concepts from the past 20 years in new contexts. Nicolai has devised a unique theme for each of the institutions, as well as new works. At the center of There Is No Place Before Arrival at the Kunsthalle Wien are questions about the "method" that not only determines Nicolai’s way of working as an artist, but also takes on the character of a work itself. For the LOK in St. Gallen the artist has conceived an accessible environment that could be equal parts desert or moon landscape. Of importance here are the shifts in the relationships among bodies, space, and movement, as well as the fantasies they evoke. The three institutions have banded together to produce a comprehensive exhibition catalogue. 


 Olaf Nicolai, Chant d'Amour, 2003/2008/2018. Courtesy Kunsthalle Bielefeld.


Olaf Nicolai was born in 1962 in Halle an der Saale. After studying German at the University of Leipzig, he began working as an artist in 1990. He is a professor at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München (Academy of Fine Arts Munich), where he teaches sculpture and the fundamentals of three-dimensional design. His works are in the tradition of Conceptual Art, yet at the same time they sound the depths of the conditions for sensory experience under the auspices of aesthetics, economics, or technology. In 2015 Olaf Nicolai’s much-noticed seven-month-long performative installation Giro was on the roof of the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennial. He participated in last year’s documenta 14 with a radio piece titled In the Woods There is a Bird, which won the Karl Sczuka Prize for Audio Drama in 2017.  


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