21 September 2013

ART BERLIN CONTEMPORARY

Nina Canell at Konrad Fischer Nina Canell at Konrad Fischer Nina Canell at Konrad Fischer Luca Trevisani at Mehdi Chouakri Luca Trevisani at Mehdi Chouakri Andrew Kerr at BQ Berlin Andrew Kerr at BQ Berlin Ull Hohn at Galerie Neu Ull Hohn at Galerie Neu Mie Olise at Duve Mie Olise at Duve Julius von Bismark at alexander levy Julius von Bismarck at alexander levy Timo Klöppel at KWADRAT Timo Klöppel at KWADRAT Tony Oursler at Aviskarl Gallery Tony Oursler at Aviskarl Gallery
all images: Courtesy the galleries, photos by artfridge


The Art Berlin Contemporary (ABC) is said to be, as director Maike Cruse doesn't tire to highlight, "not a business model". But why would an fair not want to be a business model? Or, to put it in other words, how can an art fair NOT automatically turn into a business model? The ABC generates itself as an art exhibition, with the aim to "serve the gallery system and to add something to the arts and culture at large" (see artinfo.com). Once again, in its current sixth edition, the fair only allows solo-presentations and the galleries needed to be invited to participate – applications are out of the question. What's new this time, is the fact that the fair includes lots of performative pieces and that the booths are designated by the artists and not their galleries.

120 artists are represented by 133 galleries, out of which several collaborated to show one artist. The single positions are impressive: Tony Oursler, Hermann Nitsch, Tomas Saraceno, Thomas Zipp or William Tucker. And also the well known young contemporaries such as Julius von Bismarck,  Ulrich Vogl, Andrew Kerr and Thea Djordjadze received much space to get the attention of the visitors.  On the other hand, the use of space in the three halls at Station Berlin is less impressive: With a lack of structure and a lack of clearly designated booths, the fair got a chaotic character with little guidance through the hallways. As most works are site-specific and installation-based, large conceptual pieces are placed next to each other without having any relation with one another. 

The complicated part with officially withdrawing a fair its business character, is that the curation of the fair suddenly moves to the spotlight. And since there is no overall curation, the exhibition turnes into a confusing labyrinth. While many single presentations, as for instance Nina Canell's minimalist object-based ensemble at Konrad Fischer (Düsseldorf), Daniel Gustav Kramer at Sies + Höke (Düsseldorf) or Mie Olise at Duve (Berlin) are outstanding in their booth curation and their composition of architecture and art, the silver upside-down pyramid by Tomas Saraceno at Esther Schipper (Berlin) is dominated by the sight of other large-scale installations and the rough architecture of the space. A similar fate hit the strikingly surreal installation by Danilo Duenas at Galerie Thomas Schulte (Berlin),  that cannot be experienced the way it should be, as it grows into the uneven ceiling. 

Others are a bit more lucky with their booth's location. Timo Klöppel presents an accessible window-house with Galerie KWADRAT (Berlin), which is not only glowing in the middle of the hallway, but also allows the visitors to enter and rest inside. A sculptural work, which are otherwise hardly represented at ABC, by William Tucker with Buchmann Galerie (Berlin) is fortunate too, as the booth is located in a minimalist niche of the building. Two of the most convincing representations were Ulrich Vogl's three poetic cloud and light pieces at the booth of Galerie Opdahl (Stavanger) and Andrew Kerr's paintings, which he presented on a wooden construction next to a men's suit at the booth of BQ (Berlin).

Since the downfall of the former Berlin art fair Art Forum, people have been discussing why Berlin, as the so called capital of art and creativity, doesn't manage to create a fair that is able to compete with Art Cologne, Frieze Art Fair or Art Basel. The ABC, with its slightly pretentious image as a non-commercial art fair, exactly represents what Berlin is known for: very good art and very chaotic business skills.


STATION BERLIN

Luckenwalder Strasse 4—6

10963 Berlin (
U-Bahn Gleisdreieck (U1, U2)
 )
Opening Hours: Friday, 20 September – Sunday, 22 September – noon – 7 p.m.
 

Daily 10 € | Reduced Ticket 8 €


Pauline Curnier Jardin at PSM Pauline Curnier Jardin at PSM
Ulrich Vogl at Galerie OpdahlUlrich Vogl at Galerie Opdahl Ulrich Vogl at Galerie Opdahl Thea Djordjadze at Sprüth Magers Thea Djordjadze at Sprüth Magers Daniel Gustav Kramer at Sies + Höke Daniel Gustav Kramer at Sies + Höke Marie Letkowski at Galerie M + R Fricke Marie Letkowski at Galerie M + R Fricke Muntean / Rosenblum at Galerie Zink Muntean / Rosenblum at Galerie Zink David Lynch at Galerie Karl Pfefferle David Lynch at Galerie Karl Pfefferle Eva Berendes at Sommer & Kohl Eva Berendes at Sommer & Kohl Danilo Duenas at Galerie Thomas Schulte Danilo Duenas at Galerie Thomas Schulte Mark Flood at Peres Projects Mark Flood at Peres Projects Tomas Saraceno at Esther Schipper Tomas Saraceno at Esther Schipper Diana Sirianni at Figge von Rosen Galerie Diana Sirianni at Figge von Rosen Galerie Hermann Nitsch at Studio Morra / Alnitak Art Agency Hermann Nitsch at Studio Morra / Alnitak Art Agency William Tucker at Buchmann Galerie William Tucker at Buchmann Galerie Tilo Schulz at Jochen Hempel Tilo Schulz at Jochen Hempel Thomas Zipp at Galerie Guido W. Baudach Thomas Zipp at Galerie Guido W. Baudach Andreas Fischer at Johann König Andreas Fischer at Johann König
all images: Courtesy the galleries, photos by artfridge
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