KIK Portrait, 2015, Peter Wilde. Photo by Oliver Walterscheid
It’s Gallery Weekend and everything in Berlin feels right again... Having perused the massive number of events on offer over the next four days, I’m more than content, I’m absolutely ecstatic.
You have your usual suspects, like artists Klaus Jörres and Martin Eder, but this year you also get the chance to see (and even meet) mythical figures like Giovanni Anselmo of Arte Povera, Art & Language, Baselitz and Berlin staples like Wolgang Petrick. There are echoes of Berlin art history, and even possibilities to see multiple and sometimes contrasting positions of artwork from the same artists, as is the case with Amir Fattal or Robert Montgomery. Also awesome is the official return of Conny Opper’s art parties that made him famous back in the day at the former club Rio, which are now starting up again at his new space Konzulat.
The heaviest concentration of openings and events seems to be on Friday, May 1, but you can go to any of the neighbourhoods any day this weekend (at any time), and find plenty to see and do. With such an unbelievable amount of stuff going on, the question that remains is: how? I’ve sifted through the chaos and put together a feasible plan of action. Using the footholds I give you here, you’ll be sure to make the most of Gallery Weekend Berlin! Here’s how to roll:
Thursday, April 30
Today starts off at 2pm with the opening of the massive, 40-artist studio house exhibition "Ngorongoro" (Lehderstr. 34, Prenzlauer Berg), initiated by Christian Achenbach, Jonas Burgert, Zhivago Duncan, Andreas Golder, John Isaacs and David Nicholson. It’s your chance to enter their personal studios and see works from them and 40 of their friends. While still in northern Berlin, head over to Sexauer Gallery in Weissensee (Streustr. 90) to see another taste of our city’s art aesthetic – "Saloon Group Show" will offer work from over 25 artists (opening at 6pm, party at 8pm). After this, take a little detour to Moritzplatz in Kreuzberg, for Schau Fenster’s latest show "Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" (Lobeckstr. 30), curated by Croatian Cultural Minister and artist Josef Zanki, then head to Potsdamer Straße to check out Philipp Fürhofer at Galerie Judin (Potsdamer Str. 83) or Alec Soth at Loock (Potsdamer Str. 63), before going to the opening I’m anticipating the most, Amir Fattal’s solo exhibition Mesopotopography at AJL Art (Potsdamer Str. 98a). Later on, go back to Mitte and check out the DJ-Gallery Weekend warm-up Conny Opper’s doing at Soho House (Torstr. 1).
Friday, May 1
Daytime wanderings should start with Italian sculptor Davide Dormino's new statue on Alexanderplatz. "Anything to Say?", a tribute to whistleblowing heroes Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, will be unveiled at noon. Then, head over to Auguststraße and spend the afternoon there. My tips? The fabulous group show at Neugerriemschneider (Linienstr. 55, Mitte) that includes Michele Majerus and Albert Oehlen; Emmanuel Post’s new space (Linienstr. 87); Robert Montgomery at Epicentro (Joachimstr. 5); and the various programming and performances at KW in support of their running exhibitions. If you want a secret tip for seeing art from the old Berlin status quo, go check out Wolfgang Petrick at Kunststiftung Poll (Gipsstr. 3). Around 6pm, the wave of new openings starts, with the likes of Martin Eder at Eigen+Art (Auguststr. 26), Klaus Jörres at Dittrich & Schlechtriem (Tucholskystr. 38), and the mother of all artist groups, Art & Language at Jordan/Seydoux (Auguststr. 22).
Here are two to check out close by before heading to other neighbourhoods: Federico Vecchi at Art von Frei (Brunnenstr. 187), a new space that reawakens the Brunnenstraße we knew and loved back in 2005, and Tal R at Contemporary Fine Arts (Am Kupfergraben 10).
The rest of the evening is up to you, but here are some tips grouped by neighbourhood:
Elliot Hundley at VeneklasenWerner, A Kassen at Alexander Levy (Rudi-Dutschke-Str. 26) (just upstairs from VW), Georg Baselitz at Borch and Giovanni Anselmo at Konrad Fischer (both at Lindenstr. 30-35, which will have other openings as well).
Potsdamer Str. (2.0)
Second night of openings: Blaine Southern (Potsdamer Str. 77-87), Aurel Scheibler (Schöneberger Ufer 71), Esther Schipper (Schöneberger Ufer 65).
Daniel Jackson at PSM (Köpenicker Str. 126), Thomas Henriksson at Kurt Kurt (Lübecker Str. 13), Gregor Hildebrandt at Wentrup (Tempelhofer Ufer 22) and, of course Johann Koenig (Dessauer Str. 6-7) and St. Agnes (Alexandrinstr. 118-121)!
There will be afterparties this evening but I have to admit, my party of choice for the night is KIK at Kino International (Karl-Marx-Allee 33).
Saturday, May 2
Today, there's Albert Oehlen at Bureau Müller (Kleine Alexanderstraße 1), while Egbert Bacqué (Fasanenstr. 37) shows an homage to Fassbinder in Charlottenburg (the galleries there have built their own special network for the weekend, so go there for Bacqué, but plan for a lot of other stuff). Pedro Cabrita Reis has a show at Kewenig (Brüderstr. 10; the location where this gallery is housed is an experience in itself), and there’s a symposium on techno at Galerie Wedding (Müllerstr. 146) from 3-4pm. Later, Marc Flood is opening at Peres Projects (Karl-Marx-Allee 82), Kreuzberg Pavillon (Naunynstr. 53) will do a solo show, and new "it" gallery Neumeister Bar-Am (Goethestr. 2) in Charlottenburg shows Rachel de Joode and Kate Cooper, but I’d like to check out this new space on Chauseestraße I’m curious about: Campagne Premiere (Chauseestr. 116), which is doing a double solo show with Karen Mirza and Brad Butler. At night I’ll definitely go to Konzulat (Leipzigerstr. 60) for the party, but I’m going to sneak out and go around the corner to experience Amir Fattal’s latest video piece, which will be projected on the building wall of Französiche Straße 56-60 in collaboration with the Project "Buildingscape".
Sunday, May 3
My traditional Gallery weekend Sunday consists of sleeping in a bit after partying Saturday, then checking out some of the shows the Berlin Institutions are offerering. Here’s a list: Dieter Roth at Hamburger Bahnhof, Tel Aviv Museum of Art at Martin Gropius Bau, Kunst für Alle at Akademie der Künste, Neil Baloufa at Schinkel Pavilion, Group Show at Kunsthaus Dahlem.
Hopefully afterwards you're more ecstatic than exasperated. That's what I'm hoping to be.