Berlin Gallery Weekend 2018
Author: Andrea Seehusen
47 Berlin Galleries show their best exhibitions, New York Times's Art Leaders Network conference, Museum exhibitions and a show of art for the sake of art at the atelier of painter Jonas Burgert.
It was hard to choose where to go first.
Let's start with my favorite exhibition of the weekend "Ngorongoro II": The group exhibition in Berlin Weissensee, which stretches over the 6000 square meter studio of the painter Jonas Burgert, appears as exotic and daring as the title - the name of a volcanic crater in central African Tanzania. More than 300 works by 160 artists were displayed on the former factory site, shown in a mixture of rough architecture, studio halls, exteriors and cellar vaults.
The artists and Ngorongoro initiators Jonas Burgert, Andreas Mühe, Christian Achenbach, John Isaacs, Andrej Golder and Zhivago Duncan did not adhere to usual curatorial parameters such as conceptual, discourse-driven or formal brackets, but put an emphasis on intuition. Artists invite artists. And the result was fresh, full of energy and inspiring.
Works included were older, widely known artists like Bill Viola, a Selfportrait by Giorgio de Chirico
and young artists like Julian Röder displayed together next to unknown art students or hobby artists. Drawings were in dialog with provocative light installations and paintings. Without a fixed concept, the artist curators invited artists whose work they find exciting and trend-setting. They are not interested in schools or big names. The single work are important. "We want to let the artworks stand out for themselves," explains Jonas Burgert.
Something I did not want to miss was Eva & Adele - "L'Amour Du Risque" in the Me Collectors Room.
Eva & Adele are among the most dazzling faces of the art world. Since 1991, the duo has been inseparable and has made his life a performance. "Wherever we are, it is a Museum" - that's their motto. Always in a double pack in bright pink looks, Eva & Adele attract attention wherever they go. But the artist couple are far more than just eccentrics. They have consequently lived as an art concept for years, which is fascinating. The Me Collectors Room dedicated an exhibition to Eva & Adele's conceptual stance and complex visual worlds in an exhibition. In addition, a selection of their most legendary outfits are on display. The title of the exhibition refers both to the love that the couple shares and to the risk they face with their unconventional way of life.
On Saturday I found time to pop into one of the many museum exhibitions: Louise Bourgeois': "The Empty House" in the Schinkel Pavilion.
Which artist could better reflect the spirit of the times than Louise Bourgeois? The Schinkel Pavilion shows installations by the French artist, which repeatedly deal with questions of feminism. They reflect the central themes of her work - the impact of biography and memory on life as a woman.
Also interesting is the Feuerle Collection, which is dedicated to a unique private collection, that juxtaposes imperial Chinese furniture, early Khmer sculptures and international contemporary art, including works by Zeng Fanzhi, Anish Kapoor, Cristina Iglesias, Nobuyoshi Araki, Adam Fuss and James Lee Byars. Located in a former telecommunications bunker renovated by the British architect John Pawson, the museum encourages a conversation between different periods and cultures, offering an alternative perception of ancient art, and creating a new perspective on the pieces with a synesthetic approach.
Also this year, the New York Times organized the latest installment of the Art Leaders Network. Museum professionals, gallerists and art historians reflected on the state of art, museums and galleries at the moment and took some views on what might happen next.
Now that the rush is over, and all the international guests have returned home or to another art event, the Berliners have the privilege to see all the shows and special exhibitions in peace over the next weeks.