It’s Gallery Weekend, Berlin’s yearly half-assed attempt to convince collectors that this is a city overflowing with merchandisable talent. And while the City Elders may dream of Jay Jopling hopping out of Hauptbahnhof to stroll through Heidestraße, checkbook in hand, only Germans would believe that multimillionaires would take a train in the first place.
What Berlin has pioneered is the idea of art as a necessary, vaguely decadent lifestyle association for wealthy people who would have, in the past, been happily guiltless pursuing their own professions. The last few years have shown a bevy of ‘galleries’ oriented toward designers, stylists, fashion photographers, et al., only tangentially dedicated to a serious pursuit of art. These galleries usually draw the best comped booze, DJs and stoned, horny models and, by extension, me. Please forgive me if I suspect that the clientele of .HBC is more oriented toward Dubonnet than Duchamp, with it youth suggesting that it would take very little of either to render it toward a state of confusion. But, despite the sonics, there are few complaints about the music on this end: disco dandy HUGO CAPABLANCA brings J.G. WILKES of the recently deceased Optimo on Saturday. As Hugo used to be a painter, this may be the closest .HBC’s encroached upon art in awhile.
It works both ways. Tape Club has been hosting regular (free) Tape Modern openings with different curators and, of course DJs. This Friday’s is co-curated by former EXBERLINER homegirl Emilie Trice. The title: In Fifteen Minutes, Everybody Will Be Famous, appears to target the less historically cognizant, but several of the artists – Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Bruce La Bruce and, um, Dash Snow, for example — merit consideration. Then afterward, there’ll be a Kunstmagazin party which means… music! Including RHYTHM MONKS with STICKBOY and a BODI BILL DJ set. The volume should do its bit to allow the participants to fudge their knowledge of art history but if you need help, here’s a guide: “Mumble mumble Picabia mumble mumble ebbing of Beuys’ influence mumble mumble return of painting,” then shove a handful of peanuts into your mouth. If you possess a peanut allergy, I’m afraid I can’t help you.
This weekend also features the yearly May Day riots, an added impetus for looters to hang out at galleries. And of course, the night before will show May dancing in, providing a pre-shattering of beer bottles to sprinkle the streets of our city, making hay for lazier rioters the morning after. Morlox offers up Holla Die Waldfee, which but together an entertaining enough riff on racist German cinema to draw my plug. Night is electro: E-KREISEL, DORNBRUCH & WILDHAGEN and JOHANNES VOGEL among others. The next day, however, will be mostly fire. And the filling out of insurance claims.