Top Shows You Overlooked @ Berlin Art Week 2018

Even thought it technically is a week-long event, the Berlin Art Week echoes for much longer. Many of the exhibitions that are part of the program are still open to visitors for a few more weeks, or months, and can be viewed as they should – up close and personal. For those who skipped the crowd-anxiety-provoking shuffling from one hyped-up opening to the next, we have great news: you didn't miss that much and the leftovers are tasty and plenty. And for those who were out there chasing the one-off events* and overlooked the rest: we share our favorite shows which you can still attend. Enjoy!

*PS. We reviewed them, too - check it out


"BREAD & ROSES: Four Generations of Kazakh Women Artists" + "The Artist Residency Show" @ Kunstquartier Bethanien
(on view until 20/10)

© Gulnur Mukazhanova, "Iron Women", 2010

As one of the most attractive headliners of the Berlin Art Week, "The New Infinity“ with David OReilly's contribution probably caught your attention and maybe even got you to Kreuzberg to see it first-hand; even if it ment queueing. Well, good for you. What you have probably missed is the extensive presentation of Kazakh women artists across four generations – a rare gem to be seen at Kunstquartier Bethanien, just a stone's throw away from "The New Infinity“ dome. If that info solely does not tickle your imagination, let us lay out some more facts for you. "BREAD & ROSES: Four Generations of Kazakh Women Artists“ comprises works by twenty artists created from the late 1930s to the present, which reflect the melting pot of ideas and influences stemming from Kazakhstan’s complex and painful history of dynamic political and social shifts, with an accent on feminist and post-colonial ideas. An interesting fact is that, around mid-1990s, Kazakh women have become a major force in the country's art and society. The exhibiton therefore allows an insight into some of Kazakhstan's most prominent artists' works created in the midst of a wave of feminism in the country you most likely never get to hear about. It is a perfect opportunity to welcome new knowledge, new inspiration, and some moral strength in these shaky times.
In addition to "BREAD & ROSES“, Focus Kazahstan Berlin initiative presents "The Artist Residency Show“, an exhibition reflecting on Berlin through the works of seven Kazakh artists created during their residency at MOMENTUM gallery. Personal stories intertwine here with the Kazakh history and today's migration narratives.


Rebecca Horn – "Glowing Core" @ St Hedwig's Cathedral 
(on view until 11/11)

© Rebecca Horn, "Glowing Core", 2018

Gendanmermarkt area in Berlin-Mitte is not for every soul; a cathedral located there – even less so. If you happen to think of both as interesting culturally, albeit most of the time touristy-hellish, it might come to you as a surprise that the Berlin Art Week dropped a new pin right there, at St Hedwig's Church. Or not, because actually, it makes perfect sense. As the Week tends to attract swarms of international visitors, the impressive cathedral (soon-to-be-closed for renovation) proves to be a brilliant choice for a temporary exhibition area, especially when given to the right artist. Rebecca Horn certainly is. Her expansive installation "Glowing Core“, consisting of 17 sculptures and sound, opens the sacral space to more universal thoughts, while the experience of it remains religious-like. Somewhere between associations to Baroque and Star Trek, a particular excitement happens at the vertical axis of the central mirrored sculpture, which extends below and above, into an infinite vortex. We will also add what you probably want to know: it looks great on Instagram and feels even better in real space. Dedicated to the night and becoming one with the starry sky, the exhibition opens daily at sunset and closes at 23h. Three times a week – on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays – a 30-minute concert at 22h with musicians of various traditions adds to the mysterious nocturnal sentiment.


"The World on Paper – Deutsche Bank Collection" @ PalaisPopulaire
(on view until 07/01/2019)

Ellen Gallagher, "DeLuxe", 2004/05. © Ellen Gallagher / Two Palms Press

"The World on Paper" is a show we believe you heard about, but perhaps, like us, forgot to visit during the Week. PalaisPopulaire, a new space initiated by the Deutsche Bank, opened its doors for the first time during the Berlin Art Week in the spaces of what used to be the residence of Prussian princesses. The main intent was to turn the now renovated historic space into an all-around platform for art, culture, and sport. Needless to say, the bar was set extremely high for its inaugural exhibition, and it might have disappointed some who were expecting sheer elegance. The premise of the ambitious first show seems to be - the more, the merrier - although it does not affect the quality. It presents around 300 works on paper made by 133 artists from more than 30 countries in the last 70 years. The Deutsche Bank collection is said to be one of the most important around the world when it comes to works on paper, and it manages to accomodate a widest variety of expressions and sensibilities; from mid-century modernist, to the ones created in the weird 2018 simulation of a world we live in. Even though it all sounds a little too pompous when presented through numbers and aspirational quotes, the show itself has turned out to be a slightly rough display of creativity on a delicate, unpretentious medium of paper. From casual scribbles to painstaking works of art, the pieces are displayed without heavy hierarchy and refinement. Expect to see  lots of prominent Germans, such as Katharina Grosse, who will be giving an artist talk there together with Elke Buhr on October 11.


"Routinised Absurdity" + Kathrin Sonntag – "Things Doing Their Thing“ @ KINDL — Centre for Contemporary Art
(on view until 03/02/2019 + Kathrin Sonntag until 27/01/2019)

© Ben Zank, "I Don't Know Anymore"

In the spirit of the European Month of Photography taking place throughout October in Berlin, we heartily recommend seeing "Routinised Absurdity".  Playfully displayed at the Machinenhaus M1 of the KINDL—Centre for Contemporary Art, this group exhibition presents international contemporary photographers united by the curatorial team CUCO – curatorial concepts berlin e.V. (Hanna Dölle, Katherina Perlongo, and Annika Turkowski). Works by artists Louis de Belle, Juno Calypso, Brooke DiDonato, Christoph Grill, Aleksey Kondratyev, Elisa Larvego, Sandra Lazzarini, Pierrick Sorin, Sebastian Stumpf, and Ben Zank examine everyday processes together with unexpected absurdities, while raising questions about the twisted state of society with which we are pressured to engage and in which we're supposed to excel. You are likely to #lol and #relate to many of the featured works tackling contemporary issues such as overload and burnout with a dose of humor.
At KINDL, it is also an absolute 'must' to check out Kathrin Sonntag's exhibition "Things Doing Their Thing“ at Machinenhaus M2, which complements "Routinised Absurdity" thematically with a sligtly different, slightly unusual presentation of artist's objects, slide projections, collages, and a photo installation, that play with order and disorder, ordinary and absurd, and expose the viewers to some peculiar solutions waiting to be discovered among the expected.

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