Rosa Barba (carlier gebauer) how many gallerists are needed to make something work?
To be perfectly honest, I thought abc was kind of blah. Ok let me rephrase that.
abc was fine, people liked it, quite a few LOVED IT (our editor Maria Santos for example), it was new, fresh, airy*, very well made, in fact I can even go as far as say it was as good as it gets. Is that enough?
If you allow me a parenthesis of objections, just one.
(1. From an artist’s point of view, there is nothing wrong with a fair. You bring your stuff there, people with odd costumes and funny bags (if you are in London even hats) pass by, while you drink champagne called ruin-art (!), you never see your stuff again=more digits on your bank account. 2. As an artist the one thing one really dreads is innovation – from others. Too much innovation, kills innovation, it is like having hippy parents and be allowed everything, it just kills the thrill. In this case the structure concept was excellent, the best artwork maybe. Everything else was...nice. Imagine the effect Florian Meisenberg scaffold would have if it was the only scaffold in an ordered fair and the effect it had now. Blah. 3. I do always preach for openly talking about money in the art scene- but this in your face THIS-DUDE-PAID-LESS format; is this really the way to go? I would feel embarrassed as an artist represented on a chicken-wire, and I would feel bad as a gallerist as well 4. I kind of longed for last year’s curated edition- it was 80% crap free- this year was well curated (=put together) as well to an extent, unfortunately with some other critiria$$ in mind, the art lost a bit. 5. Successful as it was in most cases, I do not really look forward, as a viewer, to seeing what new-other-different solutions the galleries have found to show works in this format next year. Because this is how it felt, like a „solution“ (where there is a solution there is a problem-to paraphrase M.D). There is a reason some things become classic (like the little black dress), and some things stay just one time awesome (like neon yellow pants). Oder Mary? 6.I don't see any reason Berlin can't have both a fair and an open show instead of an open show that looks like a fair, but is not named like one, but wants to be one and..and..and..)
But enough about that- lets get down to the fun part: The prettiest, coolest and best connected girls in Berlin virtually met on a short abc round table chat:
The Niche Berlin girls (Stefanie Gerke, Nele Heinevetter and Katharina Beckmann), Mary Scherpe from Stil In Berlin and da Bigs with Maria Santos and my self.
We discuss best artworks, best booth, sexiest gallerist/gallerina, friendliest gallerist under stress, the word of the Week and after all this talk on abc...the questions that were still left unanswered...
What did you think? Comment below!
-Mary: Slavs and Tartar's flying carpet.. but maybe only because I never got onto it and will always wonder what would have happend if...
-Stefanie: It wasn't really an "artwork", more of an intervention, but I loved the take-away articles at Triple Canopy's stand in the Artist Space Bazaar section. In them, Alix Rule and David Levine showed the results of their analysis of press releases about contemporary art on e-flux since its launch in 1999, which they had done with the help of a language analytics program. Their conclusion: "International Art English" is full of standardized, (meaningless, although they don't say so) art phrases. One of the examples is "Through an expansive practice that spans drawing, sculpture, video and artist books, Kim (the artist) contemplates a world in which perception is radically questioned." Oh yeah. My personal favorite standard sentence definitely contains "the artist analyses the relation between the individual and society". Everything along these lines is IAE. Everyone who writes about art should read the full article here. And now I really have to watch out what I'm saying here.
-Nele: Sofia Hultén
-Despina: David Adamo - number 1 in my imaginary collector's list
-Maria: this is a bit difficult, so I made a top 3: 1. Ulrike Heise (Helga Maria Klosterfelde), 2. Émilie Pitoiset (Klemms) 3. Rosa Barba (carlier gebauer)
-Katharina: Mona Hatoum: burj
gallery neu - Claire Fontaine
-Mary: Thomas Fischer's Marcel Frey presentation. I rarely like sculpture, but those converted 80s furnitures on the raw concrete plates in front of the curtain prints just made me start saving money for my first Frey purchase.
-Stefanie: We've written about it extensively already on our and abc's blog, but I really liked the way in which Marcel Frey connected all his furniture artworks in the presentation of Galerie Thomas Fischer with concrete tiles, sometimes forming a little platform to present his sculptures, sometimes leaving some free space around them. Everything was kind of intertwined by the concrete, and the furniture pieces were complemented nicely by the spray-paint curtain canvases in the back.
-Nele: galerie neu
-Despina: galerie neu, because you did get a feeling of a booth, only to see it deconstructed from within
-Maria: 1. Elastic (Malmö) 2. PSM 3.Esther Schipper
-Katharina: Thomas Fischer
Rinus Van de Velde ( Zink gallery)
Sexiest gallerist, gallerina, or something even remotely sexy?
-Mary: The blueberry-basil cake at Mogg&Melzer. Dark in color and surprising in taste....
-Stefanie: Hm. If I had known about this question... Something even remotely sexy: The sponsored neon running shoes of the team at the Mogg & Melzer café. And the labyrinth bathrooms beneath it.
-Nele: my pretty colleagues of course
-Despina: I have given this a lot of thought over several fairs- and although we play in different leagues it has to be Daniel Buchholz: the hair, casual chic, power and good taste in art. From artists: Rinus Van de Velde ( it s him in the paintings)
-Maria: If I'd had known that I would be asked this question, I would have totally put much more attention on this matter. But there is still a way I can answer to this:
I couldn't resist this combination, so I took this sneaky pic due to purely inspirational reasons. Not sure, but I think he was sitting at Krobath Wien. (note from D: this could not have been Peter nor Helga Krobath so who is Marias mystery shock?)
-Katharina: guys working at Mogg&Melzer
Friendliest-funniest gallerist/person under stress:
-Mary: Alfons Klosterfelde selling his African caterpillar poo...
-Stefanie: Silke Neumann from Bureau N. Although that doesn't really count, as she never even seems to really be "under stress". With all the things she is juggling at the same time? And with weirdo journalists attacking the front table at the press conference for the lack of coffee? Amazingly calm.
-Nele: everybody seemed amazingly relaxed
-Despina: Everybody was friendly to me/my press pass in the morning- most were worn out by evening time; Magnus Edensvard from Ibid was up for a laugh every one of the 40 times I just happened to pass by. And I liked the "caterpillar poo" as well.
-Maria: I wouldn't call it stress, it felt more like pure excitement... anyway, the young lady from Arth Gallery (Jeddah) was really nice and helpful. In general, most of the gallerists seemed easily approachable to me. Or at least, I was surprised by their closeness, since the usual landscape of an average fair is always quite the same: everybody barricaded behind their laptop screens. But pads are also contributing to make them look slightly less absorbed these days.
-Katharina: Marc Glöde
The word of this years Week:
-Mary: St Agnes
-Stefanie: it's a phrase, abc's nickname – "anything but collectors".
-Despina: Format, Church, Könnig
Questions that somehow were still left unanswered for you :
-Mary: Why only two coffee stalls!?
-Stefanie: Connected to the one before. How can we change that status (if it's true, although I heard of a couple of pretty good sales?)
abc deserves better than that. I really liked it this year. So what's it gonna be next year, an exhibition or a fair? Maybe calling it the latter would actually attract a few more international collectors...
-Nele: Where were the shocking, radical or offensive artworks? Somebody could have shown something a little less pleasing.
-Despina: How much was the price difference between the chicken wire, the scaffold and the wall? Also…there was this dude at press reception, cracking jokes all the time, Andre? Andy? Adrian…What was up with that?
-Maria: Did someone actually made good sales in this fair? I got some answers from my own sources -which of course will remain private- but I wish I could hear more opinions.
-Katharina: who trades a guardian angel for a cup?
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