September marks the art world’s return to business after spending August lazing on a yacht parked off the Côte d’Azur, or, more likely, in a cut-price Airbnb in Santorini. Calendars fill up, and soon enough it’s time to pay over the odds to stay in London for Frieze. To ease our readers into the season, SLEEK has compiled five unmissable events this autumn.
1. Berlin Art Week/ art berlin
ABC is dead, long live art berlin. This yearly event has been given it a spruce-up (after a disappointing 2016 edition) thanks to new owners Koelnmesse, the company behind Art Cologne. While the fair grounds will remain at Gleisdreieck, the revamped event will include a modern art section, probably with the aim of drawing a more diverse range of collectors to the city. This approach works well at Art Cologne, and will hopefully help the Berlin art fair find its mojo.
13 – 17 September, Berlin, Germany
2. Istanbul Biennial
Curated by Elmgreen & Dragset, this year’s Istanbul Biennal, entitled “A Good Neighbour”, will apparently explore topic of “how to live together”. Given political tensions and conflict in the region, this is an apt, if tricky subject. Following a failed coup in Turkey last year, thousands of judges, teachers, security forces, civil servants and journalists were arrested at the behest of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Moreover, the country has also been rocked by recent attacks from the Kurdish Workers Party and the so-called Islamic State prompting further state backlash. Whether Elmgreen & Dragset will address these issues remains to be seen.
16 September – 12 November, Istanbul, Turkey
3. Geoffrey Farmer at Schinkel Pavillon
After representing Canada at this year’s Venice Biennale, Vancouver-based artist Geoffrey Farmer will this autumn take over Berlin’s Schinkel Pavillon. Farmer is best known for his large works mixing up references to art, architecture and pop culture with biographical elements. In these, a multitude of small, collaged sculptures form sprawling installations, resembling an army of toys and the imaginary vitrines belonging to a poorly funded archaeology museum. If he hits his usual stride in the German metropolis, this show will be a smash hit.
16 September – 12 November, Berlin, Germany
4. Lofoten International Art Festival
Somewhat off the beaten path, the Lofoten International Art Festival is nevertheless one of the most intriguing events of its kind. Taking place on the Norwegian archipelago it’s named after, this month-long festival has five venues around Henningsvær, a village dispersed across multiple islands. With 18 names on the bill including Jimmy Durham, Lili Reynaud- Dewar and Adam Linder, Lofoten not only offers great art, but majestic scenery and an otherworldly experience.
1 September – 1 October, Henningsvær, Lofoten Islands, Norway
5. Polina Kanis at Haus der Kunst
Virtually unknown in Western Europe, Russian artist Polina Kanis will present a brand-new work in her upcoming solo show at the famed Bavarian institution. Her videos often present pale, apathetic people secluded together in sterile environments, reflecting upon the insidious hold the surrounding is exerting upon them. This year, Haus der Kunst’s program has mostly consisted of famous, old and/or deceased male artists, so the inclusion of a young, emerging artist is a good thing. Besides, it’ll also be Oktoberfest in Munich. What are you waiting for?
15 September 2017 – 18 March 2018, Munich, Germany