Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Tucked away on the increasingly busy Torstrasse, Co Verlag and 111 – a contemporary location for art – merge to create an art mecca for Mitte-dwellers, tourists and Berliners alike. The varied architecture and decor of the three seperate buildings that make up the space is itself an indication of the diversity of the multi-media art work of James Bullough (Street art) , Michael Ebert (Installation), Ingo Fröhlich (Drawing), Rebecca Loyche (Video) and Ulrike Seyboth (Painting) found inside. If variety is indeed the spice of life, then a trip to Co Verlag is all you need to add a little zest or kick to your day. 

As I make my way down Torstrasse I’m lured right into the art space with it’s large gatekeeper doors perched wide open and a hallway entrance leading to a lush garden with a lot of sunlight. Then the best thing possible happens: I’m greeted by a 3 month old puppy named Taco, who belongs to the founders of Co Verlag, and showers me in kisses and nibbles. There’s no better way to enter a gallery or art space. The feisty attitude of Taco was also telling of the art I was about to submerge myself in.

Art Never Sleeps

The first work I encountered were the chalk drawings of Ingo Fröhlich and the colorful paint compositions of Ulrike Seyboth – both of which contrasted in their desire towards or against uniformity, but complemented in terms of painting or drawing in a way that somehow seems as though it could easily dissolve and betray form or shape. This sense of illusion and lack of permanent concreteness was captured with the floating ladder installation by Michael Ebert. Only until you are up close, do you realize that the ladders are not resting against the wall, but held up by string.

Ingo Fröhlich ArtIngo Fröhlich, Drawing. Co Verlag and 111. Photograph: Julie Anne Miranda-Brobeck

The larger space shared both the work of street artist James Bullough, who we were lucky to catch in action last year, and Rebecca Loyche. James Bullough giants are massive, intricate, and all too human. The grip on humanity continues in the next room with Loyche’s visual and audio installation. I became mesmerized watching the video footage of random people going through an art exhibition and listening to the creepy commentary describing the appearance, actions, and emotional states of the people – as if being constantly observed by a higher force or someone with extraordinary stalking skills. The interesting twist was that in a sense, I too, felt as though I had become one of these exhibition visitors. 

Be sure to catch the current line-up of five intriguing and quite varied artists while the exhibition is still on at Co Verlag until June 10th, 2012. If you’re lucky, Taco will be there to guide the way. 

  • Co Verlag “Various – Verschiedenes” – April 27th – June 10th 2012, Friday-Sunday: 2-7pm