With May Day around the corner it’s time again for Berlin’s annual art festival, the Gallery Weekend. If you don’t want to get lost in the overwhelming abundance of 51 participating galleries, better read on.
Gallery Weekend has always been an event I both curiously and anxiously await. A pure joy for my artsy heart, but a pain for my mind to put this exhibition monster into a reasonable plan. I even made a detailed time plan once to miss not a single show. However, since such an art marathon is rather exhausting, I’d like to share five of the most promising exhibitions with you, both those being part of the official programme and those that simply take place on this occasion.
Dittrich & Schlechtriem: Andreas Mühe shows his photo exhibition “Obersalzberg”, examining the aesthetic representation of political power in the Nazi’s depiction of Obersalzberg, were Hitler had his holiday resort. However, Mühe doesn’t revert to the ponderous imagery of post-war art, but gives it a sometimes bitter, most often sarcastic and even funny twist. Apart from his skills in photography and composition, this vivid but analytic take on such a topic should be reason enough to visit the exhibition taking place at Tucholskystraße 38, Mitte.
Peres Projects: The Belgian artist collective Leo Gabin deals with online media, more precisely images that appear on the Social Web. In our times, imagery plays a big role in every part of life. With Instagram’s net worth of one billion dollars is just a matter of fact that images have a great influence on us and the Internet. Now it’s Leo Gabin’s turn to deal with this situation: They extract random photos from the Social Web, virtually stored photos that bear a collectively borne meaning, recycle and transfer them onto the screens and into the physical exhibition space at Große Hamburger Straße 17, Mitte.
Johnen Galerie: You might have heard about last year’s Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce, who created an urban oasis in order to win world’s most acclaimed art prize. Good for you, he’s exhibiting along with Stefan Bertalan at Johnen Galerie. In his most recent take on nature in urban space, he recalls urban sculpting in modernism and produces tree sculptures that might be seen in Berlin somewhen far in the future. Don’t miss Stefan Bertalan either, who contributed works on dystopian ideas of society after the fall of 20th century’s state philosophies. Both are on view at Marienstraße 10, Mitte.
Barbara Thumm: In case you fancy political art and didn’t get enough with Stefan Bertalan, go and visit Jota Castro’s show at Gallery Barbara Thumm. With some provoking works and statements on the financial crisis and Europe’s shock thereupon, Castro’s exhibition “Austerity über alles” promises to twist the knife in the wound. Go and get yourself engaged at Markgrafenstraße 68, Mitte (gallery district Kochstraße).
Campagne Première: In a poetic and narrative manner, Bouchra Khalili traces the routes of anonymous immigrants who came to Europe. In “Mapping Journey Project”, she sheds light on individual stories of escape and the quest for the Promised Land and brings up the topic of the lost and hidden existences in our modern global society. Join the trail at Chausseestraße 116, Mitte (near Invalidenstraße).
If you’re thrilled now, so am I. Of course, Gallery Weekend offers a lot more exhibitions. Alongside all the non-official shows, events and parties, there’s too much to see on one weekend. If you still need some more recommendations, you should head over to our arty friend’s websites and continue reading there: Berlin Art Link has an extensive list, Anna-Lena from Artfridge shares her private tour and I wrote an article recommending the best off-shows not to miss over at Castor & Pollux (sorry, in German though). In any case, you should take a look on the Gallery Weekend’s official website and check all the dates on Berlin Art Grid.
But what’s most important: Which exhibitions excite you the most? Did I miss anything? Give your recommendations!
Photo credits: Andreas Mühe: Selbstbildnis, © Andreas Mühe, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012, courtesy DITTRICH&SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin
Bouchra Khalili, Mapping Journey #1 [from The Mapping Journey Project (2008 – 2011)], courtesy Campagne Première