The pursuit of happiness in Neukölln, with artist Chaveli Sifre

By Sarah Luisa Santos . June 26, 2015

artwork nikkias
Conclusions, Part 1 by Nikias Chrysso

What’s happiness? Do you know? Does anybody know?

These are the questionings that artist Chaveli Sifre is trying to answer, or at least trying to propose in the new gallery space HOLZ KOHLEN KOKS (HKK).

Chaveli is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she graduated in fine arts at La Escuela de Artes Plasticas de Puerto Rico and also co-founded a contemporary gallery.

Now in Berlin since 2012, she continues her work with HKK, and for the inaugural exhibition Happy Forever Chaveli brought together artists from Germany, USA, Brazil and Puerto Rico.

“The pursuit of happiness is in direct contrast to our fate, it’s like two colliding forces. In the exhibition we encounter works that capture mostly how, in our pursuit of happiness, the unexpected collides with our intentions and causes our path to go haywire. Almost all the work speaks of this truncated, distorted result. A nuclear catastrophe, a shark attack, a weapon, our digital presence – are all examples of how we encounter and sometimes deal with the mishaps of fate. The mask made by Aslan Cabral (Brazil) is about the pursue itself, it’s called “after the smell of sex and money”, and the fountain, by Radamés “Juni” Figueroa (Puerto Rico) is exporting the idea of an exotic ever-giving “tropicalia”, the ultimate paradise. So we have this journey in the exhibition, from darkness to light, both sides of the coin.”

artwork radamés figueroa
Artwork from Radamés Figueroa

The exhibition will show practices across sculpture, installation, text and film, hoping to establish an interesting dialogue for not only for the audience but engaging other expat artists as well.

I also feel that the gallery can become a point/port of exchange that works by inviting non-local artists and their projects, mixing seasoned artists with emerging artists, ultimately promoting a space that enables a dialogue that may hopefully enrich not only the visitors, but the artist themselves, just by connecting them with colleagues whose practices may be fueled by the same questions.”

Chaveli plans to have quarterly exhibitions at HKK and, maybe for the future, workshops and residencies.

Happy Forever

Featured artists: Radamés “Juni” Figueroa (PR), Aslan Cabral (BRAZIL), Dwayne Waggoner (GER/USA), Oona von Maydell (GER), Nikias Chryssos (GER/GR) and Chaveli Sifre (PR).

Friday 26th June, 2015 from 7 PM

Holz Kohlen Koks, Reuterstrasse 82,12053 Berlin

The gallery will be open from the 27th and 28th from 1pm to 7pm and the rest of the month by appointment only. To make an appointment please contact Chaveli Sifre (chavelisifre@gmail.com).

Images: courtesy of the artist.



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