The 2020 edition of the Berlin Art Week kicks off today. One of the few macro art events that has not been canceled in Europe since the “corona” explosion, opens its doors from September 9th to 13th in different venues around the city, and it includes a presential art fair. Masks in the face and 1,5 meters away from other visitors, during five days, exhibitions, inaugurations, awards ceremonies, and tours will take place in dispersed and decentralized venues, outdoors, and no need to say, in digital format.
Along with the eleventh edition of the Berlin Biennial (bb11) that opened last weekend, in this new edition of the Berlin Art Week, local artists, international artists based in Berlin, and international artists, in general, will share their work in order to find buyers on the occasion of this “collaboration” between the world of culture and economy”, as the economy senator Ramona Pop points out in the press release.
It goes without saying that the event emphasizes compliance with the rules to avoid spreading the pandemic, so the organization, following the guidelines of German order and structure has made available to professionals, collectors, and art lovers, in general, a tool for reservations with visiting hours in which you must strictly register and confirm.
Twenty art institutions, three interventions, two art fairs, a prize for the best gallery, ten project spaces, and thirteen private collections make up the 2020 pandemic edition of the Berlin Art Week. The event is designed as a broad spectrum of programs that includes interventions in public space, visits to private collections, award ceremonies, performances, screenings, lectures, and panels, in addition to the usual exhibitions in galleries and institutions to which are added many outdoor events and usual digital version.
Let’s start with the Project Spaces
The award-winning projects Space Bi’bak and Arts Of The Working Class join the events outside. The first will experiment with a program of films projected on the façade of Haus der Statistik.
The multilingual magazine Arts Of The Working Class, about poverty and wealth, art and society edited by María Inés Plaza Lazo, Pauł Sochacki and Alina Kolar and published for the streets of the world, contributes with an outdoor picnic and exhibits and sells its collection of silk-screened textiles with messages in its Boutique.
The Zeiss Großplanetarium, a quasi-spherical dome-shaped star theater in the Prenzlauerberg district will host The New Infinity series of programs for the first time this year. The theater, which has a long and eventful history, presents as its highlight Aurora Wounds, an audiovisual piece created by composer Caterina Barbieri and multimedia artist Ruben Spini. Using the dome of the planetarium, Barbieri and Spini tell a disturbing story of vulnerability and catastrophe, a violent swan song that seeks a radical compromise and readjustment of our location in the cosmos. Also part of The New Infinity 2020 program are the artists David OReilly, Agnieszka Polska, Robert Lippok + Lucas Gutierrez, Fatima Al Qadiri, and Transforma.
The Berlin Art Week and partner institutions have also reacted to the special situation caused by the pandemic by moving their formats abroad. Initiated by n.b.k., Hans Haacke‘s artistic intervention “Wir (alle) sind das Volk / We (all) are the people” – which appeared in the last edition of Documenta Kassel – has been installed throughout the city on facades and in open spaces accessible at any time. The visits will also take place outside.
HAU, Hebbel am Ufer will show performances on the lawn in front of HAU 2, and part of the Down to Earth project at Gropius Bau will take place in front of the building.
In addition, the new temporary sculpture Die Doppelgängerin by the Austrian artist Valerie Export will be unveiled in front of the PalaisPopulaire.
Times Art Center Berlin
The former headquarters of the KOW gallery at Brunnenstr. 9, has become the Times Art Center Berlin, the first parallel institution initiated by an Asian-based art museum abroad. The group exhibition Readings from Below deals with digitized information in our contemporary world. Today’s archives are radically decentralized, timed, and multimodal, in line with a dynamic user culture. Everything can be reused, rewritten, or readjusted, offering continuous possibilities for reconfiguration.
The exhibition brings together works that involve us in broad social and political constellations: the impact of the future on the past, unresolved identities, narrated sound & interpreted language, or legibility and impossibility of reading. “Reading the world from below” also means highlighting what is hidden, silenced & suppressed in everyday life or in the archive, choosing a reflective mode, and paying close attention to our environment. Christine Sun Kim and Thomas Mader as well as Lawrence Abu Hamdan will highlight the connection between the interior and the exterior with interventions in the facade and the patio.
As we all know the nightlife in Berlin was completely closed in mid-March and so on. That is why the Boros Foundation and Berghain are collaborating on the exhibition Studio Berlin, which presents the work of more than one hundred contemporary artists living and working in Berlin. In this section, as it is well known, the policy of the club is followed, no photos are shown, to see it, you have to attend.
Museums and Institutions
In addition, several institutions whose programs are based on contemporary art and numerous private museums in Berlin open exhibitions under this huge umbrella that is the Berlin Art Week. We highlight exhibitions at C/O, Kindl, KW, Berlinische Galerie, PalaisPopulaire, HKW, or Hamburger Bahnhof.
Swinguerra, Brega Funk and Passinho do Moloka, in one, popular music and its identity function are integral components of the research of the German-Brazilian artistic duo composed by Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca. With rhythm, lyrics, and dance, their films negotiate aspects related to visibility, prejudices, and apparently marginal cultural phenomena in groups with little institutional visibility in Brazilian society. In the space dedicated to video art IBB-Videoraum at the Berlinische Galerie, Swinguerra is presented, a piece that represented Brazil at the last Venice Biennial in 2019.
The artists’ collective Slavs and Tatars will set up a Pickle Bar at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, where different fermented and pickled Slavic-style liqueurs and snacks will be served. While the artists will attend the bar, they will also explore the limits of language with their vocal performance.
The boiler room of the contemporary art center Kindl Berlin hosts a large-scale audiovisual installation consisting of two monumental sound sculptures, Schizo Sonic by Nik Nowak. Nowak for many years critically examines the use of sound as a weapon and a means of propaganda.
HKW will open Errata during Berlin Art Week, with a video installation by the New Red Order collective, studies by Pauline Curnier Jardin, an archival intervention by Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, and other works that seek to provide a new perspective on the European and American history of imperialism and migration and on pagan Catholic rituals and indigenous spirituality.
Also in HKW, you can admire the incredible panel reconstruction of the Mnemosyne Photo Atlas (Bilderatlas Mnemosyne) by Aby Warburg.
PalaisPopulaire also part of the event with the exhibition of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Cao Fei, Kader Attia and Tokihiro Sato.
As usual the best contemporary photography at C/O Berlin.
Contemporary Art Fairs
Positions Berlin takes place in Hangar 4 at the old Tempelhof airport from 10 to 13 September and has 130 exhibitors in addition to the well-known auxiliary program of conferences, performances, and awards. Share space with paper.positions (it was programmed for April and was postponed to now).
The second edition of Messe in St. Agnes takes place in the vast space of an old brutalist church that is the current headquarters of the König Gallery in Berlin Kreuzberg.
Award three Finalist Galleries
Chert Lüdde, Noah Klink, and Tanja Wagner.
Berlin Art Week
Different locations in Berlin. See the complete program here