With the 2017 Berlin Gallery Weekend on the doorstep, the German capital’s art world is about to be filled with what it lacks the most: money, collectors, and a little glamour. Forty seven galleries officially participate in the event, but of course, most of the other spaces, commercial or not, plan their openings, happenings and dinner-things during the same days. And what can I expect of it this year, you might ask. Here’s a selection of peculiarities, exhibitions and situations you will for sure encounter.
Good photography by Viktoria Binschtok at Galerie Klemm’s
With their exhibition of works by German photographer Viktoria Binschtok, Klemm’s will probably reward us once again with a thoughtful and hot photography show. In her ongoing “Cluster” series, the artist inputs her own work into search engines; she then re-stages, manipulates and ultimately appropriates the related images generated by Google & co., combining them into assemblages that address individuality, sovereignty within the digital and authorship – all of this without pretentiousness or elitism.
Slouchy beige trench-coats
This item of clothing has been on a steady rise for a some months now. During GW, for sure you will at some point feel like you’re drowning in oversized, slightly deconstructed versions of Colombo’s trademark coat. Best combined with the now insufferable tote bag, a pair of dirty sneakers, your unemployed uncle’s track-suit and skepticism towards the gallery system (aka capitalism), it should both communicate a fondness for retro TV detectives and the oeuvre of Chris Kraus.
Small formats, big effects with Iulia Nistor at Galeria Plan B
Plan B, a gem among Berlin’s mid-size galleries, decided to give its desirable gallery weekend spot to the young painter Iulia Nistor. The artist focuses on small formats, a muted palette and forms reminding of body parts and crushed crustaceans alike. Perhaps like no other gallery in the city, Plan B manages to showcase artists such as Nistor, capable of capturing both the elegance and gloominess of human nature, a combo that feels familiar to many of us, especially those using Berlin public transport regularly. Also, gallery personnel is extremely friendly and always ready to explain what’s on view, so every visit to the Potsdamer Straße backyard the gallery’s located in is worth it.
Shady people for amusement
In usual times, understatement and brutal honesty are two defining characteristics of Berlin and its inhabitants. But gallery weekend isn’t the usual, so here’s a fun tip: for entertainment purposes, take a chance and engage in a conversation with the shadiest person in the room. Inevitably and with bountiful amounts of faux detachment, they will tell you dubious stories about the trillion famous and talented people they’re intimate with. Their features include suits that just don’t fit right, a propensity for talking about artists using their first name only and fresh business cards distributed more generously than tres leches cake at a Quinceañera.
Female power, at least a little bit
Next to Klemm’s and Plan B, other galleries have decided to give young female artists a platform to show their work during that busy weekend. Pamela Rosenkranz’s sensory experimentations at Sprüth Magers, Guan Xiao’s reflections on urban environments at Kraupa Tuskany-Zeidler and Kasia Fudakowski’s humorous (de)constructions of the binary at Chertlüdde will probably be highlights; at non-participating galleries, we’re looking forward to Grace Weaver at Soy Capitan, Jasmin Werner at Gillmeier Rech (which already opened April 22) and Micah Hesse at Neumeister Bar-Am.
You might actually not give a damn about not attending that bespoke dinner with blue-chip collectors at some chic, not-yet vandalised restaurant in Kreuzberg. But believe me, there’s a whole lot of other things you’ll feel like you cannot miss under any circumstance, but inevitably will. Performances by under-the-radar Nicaraguan artist twins, supremely cool parties in unreachable locations everybody seems to be at, some group show that wasn’t advertised anywhere but is apparently the single best thing everybody has seen in a decade, a coffee date with your amazing friend you haven’t met for much too long… Your gut will hurt at the though of all the wonderful aspects of Gallery Weekend you’ve failed to experience. Don’t take it too seriously: there’s still Snapchat and IG stories to catch up on trendier people’s lives while you’re sweating out cheap vodka in the waiting area at Schönefeld Airport, or you can see all of that for a couple of weeks after gallery weekend anyway, if you live in town.