Some of you surely agree with us - this year's Berlin Art Week was impressive as ever, and possibly more positively exhausting than ever. Although the intense art & party week ended, the good times can be streched way further -- we hope that our bits of impressions will encourage you to visit all of the wonderful and inspiring shows that are still open, and to keep an eye on the upcoming events.
"Ich kenne kein Weekend. Archive and Collection René Block" @ Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)
With the exhibition "Ich kenne kein Weekend. Archive and Collection René Block", Neuer Berliner Kunstverein presents works of art and favorite pieces from the curatorial work of the gallery owner and exhibition organizer René Block since 1964, when he presented at the time unknown artists such as Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter. The exhibition is obviuosly a treasure box with heaps of brilliant findings.
Among those we spotted early Despina Stokou emoji series (signed as Nam June Paik) ...
... and prototype for Pharrell's Vivienne Westwood hat.
Exhibition ongoing until 24.01
Meanwhile, obnoxious art tourists pointed out the strong dichotomy between the past and the present. At least the gallery was not overly crowded, as there were many other places to be that night. But it was so easy to get sucked in circling repeatedly through the rooms of n.b.k., carefully examining each exhibit, and casually conversating with art loving comrades who you only meet on days like these.
First, the exhibition STADT/BILD – a cooperation between four leading art institutions, i.e. the Berlinische Galerie, the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, the KW Institute for contemporary art as well as hors-les-murs happenings for the Neue Nationalgalerie – takes place in the main hall. Composed of documentation and models of Berlin building competitions, the exhibition addresses the issue of the lack of manpower and funds, and therefore the problem the the digitalization of all this material poses.
Picture by Cyrus Smith
Curiosity: Allan Kaprow first connoted the term “Happening” in 1957. John Cage staged his first happening in Black Mountain (cf. Hamburger Bahnhof exhibition). Cage’s teacher and German designer Josef Albers studied painting in Berlin and was a professor at Bauhaus for several years, before leaving Germany to Nord Carolina (USA). Let’s flow the connections and go crazy with all these marvelous discoveries!
It was funny to see the crowd scattered in the different part of the museum, visiting the Radikal Modern exhibition, then concentrate to wait and finally enter the René Block exhibition.
Toshihiko Mitsuya and June 14 Meyer-Grohbrügge & Chermayeff @ Studio Picknick
The studio June 14 Meyer-Grohbrügge & Chermayeff, which was responsible for this year's new architectural concept of the abc fair, had also set up an exhibition with the artist Toshihiko Mitsuya for the Berlin Art Week at the lovely space of the Studio Picknick.
"Aluminium Garden" is literally a garden consisting of shimmery metal sculptures representing various kinds of plants. This unusually calming setting was commented on by many as a whole rather than a sum of individual pieces, which was actually the case considering the fact that you could have bought a single plant. What made most sense, though, was to buy all, and transport the entire thing into your home. Instant zen.
Exhibition ongoing until 30.09
Although looking more fragile than the actual living garden, it proved to be resistant to instagram addicts not caring much about rearranging a few leaves in pursue of getting the right angle. Alcohol might have also been the reason for the lack of balance (whoops).
The opening was followed by quite a nice party, great music on two floors that were just the right size for the occasion. A proper warm-up for the fun chaos that was the Monopol party at the House of Weekend...
"Stendhal Labor *" @ Erratum Galerie and Vesselroom Project & Project Space Art Award @ Bar Babette
The new format Xchange thought by Project Space Festival for Berlin Art Week is a discerning idea and we have to admit it is a good way to introduce as many as possible independent spaces to visitors. Two spaces share a project and develop its different aspects. Once you visited one you cannot miss its twin exhibition. At least if you are listening to your couriosity telling you to do so.
Just to be clearer: first we went to Erratum Galerie and then to Vesselroom Project a few blocks away in Kreuzberg. Same day. The two spaces welcome visitors to enter in their own inner dimension to take a breathe and to be able to digest all the images and informations assumed during this intense art week. The Xchange exhibition here is called Stendhal Labor* and is performed by Leipzig-based artist Caren Loch in the Erratum spaces and Cristina Moreno Garcia and Marco Montiel-Soto in Vesselroom. Two really different spaces, two opposite atmospheres performing light and darkness, as well as relieving and transition processes. Truly recommended experience!
And yes, of course, we didn’t miss the Project Space Award and… the Party! The awesome location of Bar Babette was packed, people enjoyed their glasses of wine while talking and talking about art and artists and spaces… our beloved kind of stuff.
Eveline van de Griend - ""Reincarnation of Jheronimus Bosch?" @ Platoon Kunsthalle
No one knowing even the least about the huge influence that Bauhaus had and is still having on our perception of shapes should miss the current exhibition “Black Mountain. Ein interdisziplinäres Experiment 1933 - 1957 “ at Hamburger Bahnhof. Through installations made of archives and video-interviews with the main students of Black Mountain College (a kind of american twin of the Bauhaus and incubator of American Avant Garde), visitors can enter in a stimulating world of connections and exchanges between artists and designers like John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg and Josef and Anni Albers, respectively alumni and teachers but must of all friends.
The KW contribution to STADT/BILD is a collective exhibition thinking over the idea of the big city life we lead. On one hand, living in a big city means to intensify our routine thanks to countless input and to ideally improve the quality of belonging to a community, but on the other hand, cities also have a destructive impact on our relationship with Nature.
Rudi Meisel + Talents 34. Lives of the Unholy + 100 years of Leica Photography @ C/O Berlin