Looking – that is what the girls on the painting above are doing. Other than me, stumbling from gallery to gallery (and often meeting the same persons again, who do the same thing that i do), they are looking somewhere far, probably beyond, as i was trying to look close at the artworks, as one should do.
With 51 openings just in the official program, a conclusive evaluation of the gallery weekend is a herculaneous task. As I am just a humble human, the following small reviews are particles, splinters, fragments of the event. I also do not care for the „official“ program too much and visited galleries as well in the program as those who „just“ happened to open a show at the same time. I will also try to bring a second update during next week, when the folly is over but the exhibitions take their more „normal“, even silent course of existing (mostly until june). Enough of the preliminaries!
Liebkranz Galerie – Juan Miguel Pozo Cruz: Market
The Liebkranz Galerie is one of the smaller galleries on Auguststraße. I put it in here, because it is one of the more rare painting exhibitions and Mr. Pozo Cruz has an interesting approach. In most of the paintings (see above), he mixes socialist aesthetic figures or architecture with flat, geometrical colour spaces. This gives a certain presence to the more articulated parts of the paintings and stands in relation to the former history of eastern Berlin. Good works, definitely worth having a look.
EIGEN + ART – Carsten Nicolai, crt mgn
One of the real big-shots in the Berlin gallery scene. They represent Neo Rauch nearly exclusively and have an unbelievable backlist oft great artists they work with. As usual for the Gallery Weekend, they show something rather conceptual. The artist chosen this year for the weekend is Carsten Nicolai with the installation „crt mgn“ that is based on a distorted tv image and was previously shown in a different setup at Fondation Carlier, Paris. In this work the artist brings together a very clean set-up, references to Nam Jun Paik and sound (in my opinion the sound is the striking part here). Definitely worth a look, also the rooms of the gallery were just renovated, so that is interesting too, especially for those who are familiar with the old space.
Deschler – Holger Bär, Glück
Paintings, a little bit in the fashion of pointillism, a late impressionist movement. The motives are partly ironically but always rather profane – a couple that won at the lottery, a famous castle from a small island in the „Wannsee“, the biggest lake of Berlin, and so on. Those pieces are mixed with abstract „point“ pictures, filled with little dots of colour. Intriguingly some of them do evoke the idea of them being knitted. Aside from that there are other artists represented by the gallery shown in the basement. Conclusion: Interesting but not really that great.
DNA – Marianna Vassileva, Fold&Break
Besides of a big „Save“ written in black eggs in the middle of white eggs, all of them glued to a canvas, mostly video works. One is showing people playing the french game „boule“ in what appears to be New York City (i really liked the old chap in his worn out trousers and his rather funny hat), another one shows a person swinging fire in a basket on a leash, standing in the middle of nowhere. If you are feeling lost, do not worry, i was too – and in regard to fire juggling, you really have seen better.
Camera Works, Neue jüdische Mädchenschule
Wide variety of photographical works by well known photographers, ranging from animal\nature photos to nudes by Helmut Newton. Impressive: Giant portraits of Jack Nicholson as the „Joker“ from a Batman Movie. Must see: Alfred Hitchcock, portraied together with the female star of psycho in a rather scaring way in front of the „Psycho“ House. Worth visitng, although the other inhouse exhibitions (Eigen+Art lab, Michael Fuchs Gallery) were rather disappointing.
Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung, Frank Darius: HERE IS PARADISE
Minimalistic photographies, mostly of bend blades of grass, set against a snow background (blinding white). The blades of grass transmutate to calligrafic figures, abstract scribbling, lines that could very well be rather magnificient drawings. Thus transfrming nature, looking at it in a very specified and unusual way, these photographies are a real treat. Some of the best works of the whole parcours.
Neugerriemschneider: Isa Genzken
Certainly real Genzkenesk. The exhibition brings together installations (or rather sculptures assembled from found materials, linked together by the use of dolls) originally invented for the „skulptur projekte Münster“ 2007. Definitely not for everyone, but some important works nonetheless. The link to nineties horrormovies (why did they always have to use dolls?) is possibly not intended but rather interesting.
Kunststiftung Poll, Heizhaus, Juan Orrantia: Normalcy
A rather poetic videoinstallation, assembling photos, texts and moving images centering around a massacre that happened sometime in the past in the shown village\town by a big river in what appears to be Colombia (or somewhere else in south america). Through the use of poetical text, the actual place is not as important, the piece is in that way elevated on a level, where it signifies for all happened massacres. A hard but great piece of art. Definitely belongs on the List for the Must-Sees of this Gallery Weekend.
The only art-Institution in Auguststraße. And rather empty one might say, stumbling into the empty spaces of the ground floor. For her first exhibition (or rather approach) in the house, the new curator in chief, Ellen Blumenstein, chose to empty the spaces and to rethink the possibilities of the floors and exhibition ground as such. There will be also moving in a bookshop soon and an archive of what has happened in the Kunstwerke since the mid nineties will be accessible to the public soon. For those who know the Kunstwerke as an institution and those who want to get to know this important centre for contemporary art in Berlin – possibly entry fee after the weekend. Adults 6,- euro
Kuckei+Kuckei, Remise, Miguel Rothschild and others
Because I really do think the exhibition of paintings is not really worth mentioning, we go straight to the „remise“, two showrooms of the gallery at the end of the backyard, where are some interesting works to be discovered. Really great in my view: the works of Miguel Rothschild. Printed out photos from cathredal windows, afterwards perforated, so that they gain a translucid quality of light that resembles that of the original cathredal windows. To present the technique the perforate overlefts are assembled in the frame. Great technique, great sujet, beautifully executed, in short: more than worth having a look.