Art is communication: the transfer of nonphysical ideas from the artist to viewer through a physical medium. It is an exchange that has long preoccupied American artist Justin Ginsberg, who presented his work to the public during an evening performance at Berlin Glas e.V. on June 19, 2014. Ginsberg’s work “Decadence” was the culmination of his five-day residency at the nonprofit art center in Berlin, Germany.
The new Artist in Residence program hosts both internationally-known and up-and-coming artists as, according to executive director Nadania Idriss, “They work closely with the hot-shop team to explore and develop concepts that are translated into glass.” Ginsberg was the second resident this month, following Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum.
“Berlin Glas e.V. is interested in introducing hot-glass into the fine art community in Berlin,” explained Idriss in an email exchange with the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet, “breaking the stereotypes that glass is a handicraft that is segregated to be made in factories and limited to design.”
This made Ginsberg uniquely suited for this residency.
“Justin Ginsberg is learned in glassblowing and other techniques involving glass; however, he has moved into exploring new ways of working with and ultimately bending the material, and this exhibition showcases his sculptures and our endeavours to show something different perfectly,” said Idriss.
“There is a powerful capacity to communicate through process,” Ginsberg writes on his website. “By accepting this symbolic form of communication, I remain open to possibility and flexible to the unforeseen. It is within this realm of giving up control, letting go, embracing spontaneity--that my work is nurtured.”
While this residency is the first time Ginsberg has shown his work at Berlin Glas e.V., it is not the first time he been in the German art scene. Earlier this year, he curated an exhibition for the 2. Berlin Becher Triennial [sic], entitled “This Life Will Self Destruct in… 10, 9, 8, 7.”
Ginsberg received his MFA from the University of Texas in Arlington, where he is currently the glass-area head for in the art department.
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