Review: one more Gallery Weekend recommendation by the Niche Berlin Team
Today is the perfect day to catch up on all the shows your missed during Gallery Weekend. One of our most experienced guides, Sandra Teitge, recommends Klara Hobza at Heike Tosun’s gallery Soy Capitán, which recently moved to a great new location in Kreuzberg:
“German artist Klara Hobza is ‘Diving through Europe’ (2010-35), from Rotterdam to the Black Sea. Like a nautical flaneur, Hobza observes sea life and sporadically comes across fellow sea voyageurs, like a container ship, an encounter that gave inspiration for the exhibition at Soy Capitán called ‘Der Totale Horror.’ Hobza escaped death only by a mere hair’s breadth. But she will continue her journey, mirroring her alleged main influence, semi-obsessive film director Werner Herzog.”
Soy Capitán, Prinzessinnenstr. 29, 10969 Berlin, Wed to Sat 12-6 pm
“Der Totale Horror” will be on view until June 8th.
And this is Sandra’s self portrait, which goes to show with how much creativity she tackles her Niche Berlin tours:
Gallery Weekend with the Niche Berlin Team, no. 4
Highly recommended by Niche co-founder Stefanie:
“Between all the things you will be able to SEE this weekend, there is one installation that you explicitly cannot see, just hear — and that will thus be ‘overlooked’ by numerous people, but is all the more worth to get some attention on this blog.
It is Ari Benjamin Meyers’ sound piece Chamber Music (vestibule) which opens tonight at 5 pm at Berlinische Galerie, curated by Christina Landbrecht, who is a former trainee at this museum. You will be able to hear it in the vestibule of the Berlinische, where it will be ‘trapped’ right between the two entrance doors, just like the term vestibule is trapped between two brackets in the title. This is also taken as a starting point for the invitation design, in which two empty brackets emphasize the invisibility of this sound piece. But it is not so inivisible after all:
Gallery Weekend with the Niche Berlin Team, no. 2
Ph.D. candidate at Humboldt University, guide for Niche Berlin and freelance curator – Christina Landbrecht is definitely gifted when it comes to time management. Last night she was at Thomas Fischer gallery: Dirk Braeckman is her recommendation for the Gallery Weekend.
“The Belgian photographer Dirk Braeckman is still an open secret. At least in Germany: In Belgium he’s quite a star. With his show at Thomas Fischer Gallery, there’s hope that this is due to change.
The interesting part about Braeckman’s photographs of surfaces, interiors, ornaments, people and landscapes is this: you’re literally drawn into them and at the same time you’re strangely repelled. That’s the mystery surrounding his works. The closer you get to decipher them the more disconcerted the act of viewing becomes. You start to feel that there’s something you’ll never quite understand about these images.
Dirk Braeckman, S.C.-G.E.-98, Courtesy the artist & Thomas Fischer gallery
GALLERY WEEKEND WITH THE NICHE BERLIN TEAM, NO. 3
Besides running the coolest among the newcomer art spaces in Berlin, Import Projects, with Nadim Samman, Anja is an excellent tour guide. She knows what’s going in the art world – and tonight she wants to go and see Jodie Carey!
New series: Gallery Weekend with the Niche Berlin Team, no. I
Gallery Weekend is work and fun at the same time. Like everyone, we want to see as much as possible. But instead of just giving you our personal recommendations, we decided to yield the floor to our Niche Berlin Guides: We asked our team to share their personal highlights with you.
Despina Stokou, George B, 2013, 150 x 200cm, mixed material on canvas, Courtesy the artist and Krobath Wien/Berlin 2013
Christian writes: »The opening reception of the berlin-based greek artist Despina Stokou at Krobath is my top favourite recommendation at this year’s Gallery Weekend. Her collage-like, colourful, nearly variegated pictures, which mostly transmit some sort of a more or less personal message, on a textual level and not in a figurative or coded form, are, from my perspective, breathtakingly exciting. These paintings correspond to the many layers and stories of the artist-personality Despina Stokou. She is not only an artist, but a curator, editor, jack-of-all-trades and - other than most of the diverse participants of this vanity fair, she’s got a strong opinion and she speeks it out aloud, standing in for it. Doing that in berlin’s art-scene-circle, natural habitat of myriads of hypocrites and toadies, I owe her my respect.«
We couldn’t agree more.
Galerie Krobath, Marienstraße 10, Berlin - Mitte
Opening: Friday, April 26th, 2013, 4-9 pm
Foto: Laura Gianetti
Berlin has a new thing: Berlin Art Prize
Listen up, all you ambitious Berlin-based artists out there. If you felt like the “Macht Kunst!” KunstHalle campaign by Deutsche Bank wasn’t quite right for you, but you still wouldn’t mind a bit more fuzz about your work – we’ve got news for you! Berlin has a new art prize. An independent one. It’s called Berlin Art Prize, as simple as that, and you can still apply until May 1st.
From left to right: Zoe Claire Miller (artist), Sophie Jung (art historian), Alicia Reuter (art critic), Ulrich Wulff (artist). Credit: Peter Langer
The artists Zoe Claire Miller and Ulrich Wulff, the art historian Sophie Jung and the art critic Alicia Reuter felt like making a change in Berlin’s art world. Berlin has lots of art prizes, but none of them seemed to be reflecting the city’s potential, and none of them was really independent of bigger companies or institutions. So they thought of a system, set up a network of helpers and got together a jury, which will award prizes in three different categories, all without seeing the artist’s names, education or exhibition history. There will be an exhibition and a publication and probably the best thing about this is that you can win a two week mini residency in a private villa in Umbria, Italy. Without internet. With the other recipients. And with prize money.
Evolutionary art fiction
When was the last time you had to do with a laid-back exhibition concept? That’s why we enjoyed the show conceived by Simon Elson and Christian Ganzenberg at Kuckei + Kuckei so much. The Evolution of Art. 1830 - 2140 claims to present a distinctive moment in the development of artists David Barbarino, Zander Blom, Madeleine Boschan, Bettina Krieg, Denis Mähne, Adolph Menzel and Ulrich Wulff – with the juxtaposition of an early piece and a recent work allowing »a glance from the present to the past as well as to the future«.
The show itself is a little stiff – and how could it not be, with this juxtaposition? But the pretense of continuous characteristics resulted in a fabulous publication: a booklet of fictional art criticism, combining artist´s interviews with science fiction. Read the interview with Dr. Nils Güttler, Historian of Science at the University of Erfurt, and our favorite curatorial duo Simon Elson and Christian Ganzenberg.
FORT for sale
In the middle of January, Martin Kwade asked us to host one of his notorious Artist Nights at King Size Bar. (You can read about our friend W’s impression of that night here.) The concept is simple: The beer is cheaper that night, only 2,50 Euros. That gets the arty crowd to hang out there on Wednesdays. Including us. To emphasize the special beer deal, an artist gets asked to contribute a sign stating that price.
FHW - Fort Hatchery Works, 2010
We asked FORT to do it. Although they only had a couple of hours to think about it, they came up with an idea that was..
Just a little flashback – missing the white city.
All we can think about right now is warmth. The lower the temperatures drop, the bigger grows our homesickness. It’s been a month since we got back from Israel, but we can’t wait for a reason to return. Fortunately, we know there remains a lot to be discovered – whether morbidly decaying Bauhaus-buildings or art spaces that wait to be visited. If we were in Tel Aviv right now…
This is what we’d catch up on:
To Visit A Place You Know Nothing About.
I know there’s an ‘art scene’ there – I’ve fingered a magazine subtitled Kunst und Kultur. I’ve read the history, and I’ve watched some films: I’ve maintained the occurrence of ostalgie in the Nouvelle Vague Allemande of the late 1990’s. I’ve even given a bar-side Faust synopsis to a swooning (I dream?) co-ed (Spoiler Alert –starved of the real thing, Gretchen will take no pity lay in the end). But what has any of this got to do with the actual place? Nothing.
Not nothing, I fumble – something. But it is not Berlin. Berlin is something else.
I came, like Caesar, to party. Arriving in time for Artist’s Night at King Size Bar, an aptly named pricey dive. (Irony! The bar is small enough, and only in Berlin could it be called anything but cheap). The affair was raucous. The music was boisterous. And the drinks went coursing down. I’ve bounced to Biggie with 300 bilingual hipsters. Now I can die.
Predictably, the morning to follow was mostly missed. Not that I’ll miss it. And it was on the wrinkly end of midday that we broke the airlock and stumbled into the cold. For some reason I pictured frozen soldiers in paper blankets, their icy shapes camouflaged in the snow. But it was not Berlin. It was just me being dramatic: my own penchant for the macabre crassly juxtaposed onto the day.
We walked through Mitte. Through some lauded corridors. An island of museums. Down a long and corporate boulevard that could have been anywhere – bisecting the day – to arrive at Brandenburger Tor, and proceed through it. And over the Wall that is now cobblestones in the ground. There was a cold park as elegant as pure winter and then suddenly we stood amongst the looming titans of government. The cold-kalt whipped I’m sure, but the air was still as the yonder bells whose tones I’ve never heard.
What is real, I wonder. What is Berlin. My guide (K), my friend, continues to rattle names of people who built the city. And their stories, and other stories. Well done, I think. Hard at work. It is all pertinent. This guide deals not in drivel. But I will not remember those names, only the buildings and their faces. Who made their faces is like god to me, and I’ve yet to say I believe.
Back at my lodging and the rhythm of the day lulls me into a siesta.
That night we’re out again, but intimately this time, with one other friend (N). I’ve laughed harder, and had a better time, I am sure. But really I don’t know when.
N – ‘The drinks here are so good.’
K – ‘Yes. And two is really all you need.’
Myself – ‘I see.’
N – ‘I once had five.’
M – ‘Wow.’
K – ‘Yes.’
The cocktails appear in little frozen glassware. Two are brown, chilled, in the whiskey family. The third is yellow, rocks.
N – ‘I am so bad with people’s names.’
M – ‘Oh god. I’m the worst. All I can remember is faces.’
K – ‘I can usually remember names, and faces.’
M – ‘Then how do you know which is which?’
This conversation actually happened. Next time I’ll have five.
Something like love is floating around Berlin. Snow billows out from the tramway tracks. This time of year the air in the sky lingers in the city and children on wooden sleds descend the open parks on slopes as gentle as the young men and women they become. Those men and women for whom laughter happens at night, when the toys become friendship and the other things that make it real, when the youth are not quite ready to not be young. Even as the slight leaves of the linden trees pop and quiver and fall again and again. So marks a year, where in Berlin is perhaps a day.
Before Parliament the history and the scandal and even the names of the craftsmen who dreamt of these places do not seem as real as a chance to drink a beer from a stout round bottle; as real as the workman who holler through the cold at one another. At toil amid the frozen shore beside the Spree. They who are realer still than the castles and bridges they build.
You could stroll through the market once or a thousand times and never know the difference. But to never go to Berlin, to never have been there, then we could never know it’s real. And it is real.
Photos: Niche Berlin, BASK Architekten, Stil in Berlin