A White Russian In Berlin

The latin word “Crepusculum” refers to twilight or dusk, the final moments of the day where the sunlight is right about to leave the earth. It is a beautiful time, full of long shadows and lingering light, but also sad in many ways. This is the moment which Russian artist Danja Akulin wants to capture in his large-scale black and white drawings in his exhibition “Crepusculum” at TS Art Projects

Fifty Shades of Gray 

The exhibit, which runs until October 21st 2012, showcases a range of different scenes which Akulin has created over the years, primarily natural landscapes. The works are done entirely in black and white, a conscious choice that the artist made. “For me, color is just too much,” he said. “I prefer the visual simplicity.”

Having lived in Berlin for almost ten years, it is difficult to fathom how the artist can continue to draw inspiration from such rural, isolated landscapes while living in the heart of the big city. Akulin says that he takes the inspiration from many different places, in both in Germany and Russia, and oftentimes takes time away from the city in more natural surroundings. 


Danja Akulin’s work on display at TS Art Projects in Mitte. Photo by: Kirsten Hall

While most artists usually have a strong desire to evoke an emotional response from the viewer, Danja Akulin is quite the opposite. “The art is about my life, for me, it is not so complicated,” said Akulin. “It is what I have seen with my own eyes and the emotions that I have felt. I don’t think about what emotions the work elicits from the audience because the emotion is already there, it is my emotion.”

This artist-centered approach to an exhibition can sometimes resonate ill with an audience looking for entertainment or emotional fulfillment, but I think personally it leaves the interpretation up to the viewer. Instead of stifling creative interpretation, it allows for an unlimited range of emotions and ideas because the viewer does not address the work with any preconceived notions of how to feel or think about it. All in all, it makes for a dramatic exhibit. 

  • TS Art Projects “Crepusculum” Danja Akulin, September 12th 2012- October 21st: Thursday-Saturday 1pm-6pm.
Article by Kirsten Hall