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.berlinartweek.de), 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- galerien.de).