Start With Art

While ex­plor­ing the city’s con­tem­po­rary art panorama dur­ing Ber­lin Art Week, Solveig Stein­hardt dis­cov­ers brains with eyes, money trees, and neon sen­tences on dark walls.


The an­nual Ber­lin Art Week shines the spot­light on the city's gallery scene.

“There are ma­jor art gallery dis­tricts in the West and in the East”

In a city as artis­tic as Ber­lin, un­der­stand­ing the con­tem­po­rary art panorama can some­times be a de­mand­ing task. There are ma­jor art gallery dis­tricts in the West as well as in the East, hun­dreds of artists big and small grav­i­tat­ing around them, and nu­mer­ous con­tem­po­rary art mu­se­ums and cen­ters. Reg­u­lar con­tem­po­rary art events, like Gallery Week­end in May, the Ber­lin Bi­en­nale, which ended just a month ago, and Ber­lin Art Week (www.berli­, tak­ing place this month from 16–21 Septem­ber, help clar­ify things by pro­vid­ing di­gestible def­i­ni­tions of con­tem­po­rary art and pre­sent­ing the artists and gal­leries that best re­flect the city’s vi­brancy as a site of artis­tic pro­duc­tion.

In­tended for art lovers and con­nois­seurs from the world over, Ber­lin Art Week presents two dif­fer­ent art fairs and var­i­ous ex­hi­bi­tions, also fea­tur­ing talks, screen­ings, par­ties, and per­for­mances that aim to present all the cur­rent de­vel­op­ments in Ber­lin’s art scene. Among the artists pre­sented is Kate Cooper, win­ner of the Ernst Scher­ing Foun­da­tion Art Award. The Bri­tish artist in­ves­ti­gates the way new tech­nolo­gies in­flu­ence hu­man be­hav­ior, pro­duc­ing video art and in­stal­la­tions that can be viewed at the KW In­sti­tute for Con­tem­po­rary Art. Thomas Ol­bricht’s me Col­lec­tors Room (p. 48), an im­por­tant meet­ing place for col­lec­tors from all over the world, will be pre­sent­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion in­side its cabi­net of cu­riosi­ties, with artists re­defin­ing the con­cept of Wun­derkam­mer and trans­fer­ring it to hu­man ex­is­tence with works like Ma­rina Abramovic’s Self Portrait with a Skull, or Jan Fabre’s The Brain of The Messenger Of

Death. The Ham­burger Bahn­hof (p. 48), Ber­lin’ num­ber one mu­seum for con­tem­po­rary art, will par­tic­i­pate with four dif­fer­ent ex­hi­bi­tions, while the Haus am Wald­see (p. 48) near Krumme Lanke will be show­ing Michael Sail­stor­fer’s trans­formed ob­jects, in­clud­ing a house turned into a sofa and po­lice uni­forms wo­ven from old car­pets. Those wish­ing to learn more about Ber­lin’s art gal­leries can also book them­selves in for one of the gallery tours or­ga­nized by Ber­lin’s Gallery As­so­ci­a­tion, whose ex­pert guides will be walk­ing visi­tors through the city’s art dis­tricts of Char­lot­ten­burg, Kreuzberg, Mitte, and Schöneberg from 19 to 21 Septem­ber at 2pm daily. (Ad­di­tional tour at 5pm on 20 Sep, www-ber­liner- ga­le­

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