From Jan Christensen’s alcoholic balancing act to Richard Wilson’s 1000°C steel box – not to mention the Berlin Biennale, which kicks off on June 11 – there’s plenty in town to get art enthusiasts hot and bothered.
At one end of the spectrum, Who Knows Tomorrow (opens Friday, June 4) scatters African sculpture, art and installations over five of the city’s national museums and galleries. At the other there’s Show IV (opens Friday, June 4) at Linienstraße’s last-stand alternative art space MMX: films, paintings, an Elke Graaf installation and a 2.5-meter bubble machine.
Close by, Weißensee art school graduates Anna Borowy and Marco Reichert (opens Friday, June 4) show off sinister portraits of Berlin nightlifers alongside Furby-like creatures at janinebeangalerie, while Galerie Gerken opens an exhibition of Jenny Brockmann‘s sculptures (which play with clichés and mechanize emotion) and Zurab Buro‘s conceptual video work (opens Friday, June 4). Videodrome (opens Friday, June 4) – Autocenter’s collection of art canapés – plays on the themes of David Cronenberg’s film: sex, violence and transmission of all kinds.
2 Windows Project’s new group show Boxers and Fighters (opens Friday, June 4) is happily just what you need to drag your ring-enthusiast partner to another vernissage. And at WerkStadt, Atsushi Watanabe asks: is Athens just a massive slum, or the terminal city of a civilization that has come home to die? (Opens Saturday, June 5.)
Then there’s Jan Christensen’s solo exhibition (opens Wednesday, June 9) at Gerhardsen Gerner Gallery. For most, keeping oneself upright when tipsy is challenging enough; Christensen ups the ante with a mobile balanced by eight crates of beer, from which visitors are invited to serve themselves. At Galerie Morgen, Jens Lehmann’s Don’t Clean Up (opens Thursday, June 10) aims to be more than just another exhibition about cities (see C|O’s The City – Becoming and Decaying) by creating an impression of urban space as an oily mulch of “modernity’s crushed hopes”.
Our picks for the Biennale’s opening night are: Catalina Pabón’s black-and-white watercolor and pastel landscapes at Kuttner Siebert Galerie (opens Friday, June 11), which call up the spirit of nineteenth-century German Romanticism; Portuguese video artists João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva‘s Beckett-inspired “poetic philosophical fiction” at Galerie Kamm (opens Friday, June 11); for design junkies and aesthetes, there are Eva Berendes’ geometrical steel and silk sculptures at Sommer & Kohl (opens Friday, June 11), or Michael Raedecker’s solo exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler (opens Friday, June 11), which mixes embroidery and appliqué with traditional oil painting and a nod to the Dutch masters.
A final note…
At Matthew Bown, Saatchi favourite Richard Wilson‘s recently premiered red-hot steel box attempts to embody “the latent ferocity of an idol” (June 1-July 11). And Louise Bourgeois’ exhibition with Hans Bellmer, Double Sexus (April 24-August 15) – the last she “led” before her death on May 31 – is also worth a pilgrimage.