Tag Archives: Berlin

Not buying this

In the German gallery world, a press release has the purpose to confuse, to decontextualize, to obscure. A press release that the reader can actually understand is considered meaningless, since most readers of art gallery exhibition press releases are journalists or critics who come to see a show with the intention of writing on it, and things should not be made too easy for them for fear they might be to lazy to develop any thoughts of their own.

Unfortunately, the press release accompanying the installation “Leck” by Berlin based artist trio FORT recently on display at Galerie Crone in Berlin seemed to have been written with the intention to actually inform the reader and help him to access the meaning of the work. This is very unfortunate because Continue reading

abc art berlin contemporary: It’s a setup!

On Saturday afternoon, with five days to go until the start of abc art berlin contemporary 2012, the atmosphere at the venue was magical. Calm, yet dense with anticipation, the vast dimensions of the exhibition halls echoing the sound of drills and hammers, the subdued buzzing of electric motors belonging to fork trucks and lifting platforms mingling with the smell of freshly timbered line-ups in a strange sensation of synaesthesia… If you belong to those who have ever set up a gallery booth at an art fair you know: the best moment about an art fair is that time when it still belongs to those setting it up and no one else. Continue reading

The Art of Drinking: Artist Night at Berlin’s King Size Bar

Anselm Reyle made the first sign announcing the Artist Night special beer rate.

When asked why there was so much alcohol flowing through the art world, a well-known art critic who prefers to remain anonymous answered: “My boozing has been bumming me out, but if I quit drinking there would officially be no more perks to my profession and that’s too depressing a fact to face sober.”

Drinking and art seem to belong together, for many drinking even seems to be a means to endure, but not a means to create art. Here, however, comes a story on how drinking became the initiator of a great series of works: Continue reading

Deathly to-do list: Who’s next, Baselitz or Richter?

Baselitz, Immendorf, Polke, Richter – the names of Germany’s greatest contemporary painters, written in black paint on the concrete wall of an inspection chamber by a pedestrian bridge crossing a massive entanglement of S-Bahn tracks in Berlin’s Wedding district. Two of the names crossed out, in bright if thinly applied orange spray paint…

Apparently the orange paint was not applied by the same person who wrote the names. Even if the names look oddly out of place on that bridge there’s probably a simple reason for their existence, maybe an alcohol-infused art lover put them there on his way to Mauerpark, but with the names of the two already deceased artists crossed out it looks like a to-do list created by some assassin (or even by Death himself?), and that is just as freaky as the question the sight inevitably imposes on the viewer: who’s next, Baselitz or Richter?

And: should we warn them?

Maybe Baselitz and Richter can escape their fate if they start to make sculpture – after all, the name of Günther Uecker is not on the list. And maybe Continue reading

Based in Berlin

“Based in Berlin” is the title of the controversial exhibition project stemming from the debate around the installation of a permanent Kunsthalle for Berlin. We have expressed our concerns already and were not planning to make any further negative comments, but then we received the press release…

The press release contains a sentence which we herewith declare the most promising candidate for the “most ridiculous sentence in a press release of the year” competition (which doesn’t exist yet but we are planning to launch it soon):

“Die Ausstellung wird zeigen, welche Formen der Produktion und Präsentation Berlin braucht.” (The exhibition will reveal what forms of production and presentation [of art] are needed in Berlin)

Great! Finally! Funny, we were under the impression that for decades, public and private institutions and individuals in Berlin have tried to express their needs and show their concerns and make suggestions and fill voids and so on, and that this has generated a pretty clear picture of what’s needed in this city. But obviously, for decades all these people working in art must have done things wrong big time! And we used to believe that art can’t be told when and where to materialise in what form. And now this: it only takes one exhibition (pictured above: the planned main venue, the former atelier houses at Monbijou park) to determine how much art Berlin needs and in what form it should get presented? That’s brilliant! Obviously the Based in Berlin-team has found a panacea that can cure just about anything that’s been ailing the local art scene – including ignorant exhibition makers or authors of press releases, we hope.

www.basedinberlin.de

Performance-Showcase-Performance

This is a true story. This is the story of a city famous all over the world for its vital art scene, fed by the enthusiasm of private initiatives rather than the government, an enthusiasm so strong that it has even managed to fill an institutional void brought about by a lack of public funding and competence. In this city, there is no Kunsthalle, no public art gallery for contemporary art that would reflect what an international audience finds so appealing about this city’s art scene. It needs no such institution, you might think, because there are the great private initiatives, the commercial galleries, the off-spaces, the studio shows, the parties… and indeed: had this art scene ever relied on the city’s administration, it would not exist. Continue reading