Berlin Art Link has selected its Top Ten exhibitions to check out at this year’s Gallery Weekend, running from May 1st to 3rd. From the Grand Opening of an old brutalist church to the life and death of celebrity culture, Gallery Weekend 2015 promises to leave lasting impressions.
Katharina Grosse – “o.T.” (2015), Acrylic on canvas, 394 x 422 cm; Courtesy of the artist and Johann König, Berlin © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn; Photo: Olaf Bergmann
St. Agnes, Galerie Johann König – Katharina Grosse & Jeppe Hein
Opening: Friday, May 1; 6pm
This exhibition of established artists Katharina Grosse and Jeppe Hein during Gallery Weekend gets an extra bonus to draw crowds: the Grand Opening of the former St.Agnes church as a permanent exhibition space for Galerie Johann König. The brutalist architectural feat will host Katharina Grosse’s series The Smoking Kid – her third exhibition with Johann König – a series of large-scale paintings on canvas that appear as if made for the imposing, lofty space in which they are being shown. Grosse’s paintings will be complemented by Jeppe Hein‘s luminous installation works. The opening on May 1st is a must-see for both its contents and its container.
Wien Lukatsch – Haegue Yang
Opening: Friday, May 1; 6-9pm
Haegue Yang is a Berlin-based, South Korean artist famous for her sophisticated works, made from household objects. In her installations, Yang makes complex statements about migration and post-colonialism, materiality and commodification using otherwise unremarkable objects, for instance Venetian blinds, fans, artificially produced household aromas, or heating elements. Yang finds a powerful place for sentiment and affect in politically engaged artwork. Wien Lukatsch Gallery is presenting Yang’s fourth solo installation, Temporary Permanent.
Renzo Martens – “CRITICAL CURRICULUM” (2014), Institute for Human Activities; Courtesy of KW Institute for Contemporary Art
KW Institute for Contemporary Art – Renzo Martens
Opening: Friday, May 1; 5-9pm
The Matter of Critique is a project by the Institute for Human Activities (IHA), founded by Dutch artist Renzo Martens. The IHA will have a public office set up at KW Institute for Contemporary Art to promote its activities and raise funds. The IHA deliberately perpetuates neocolonialism by putting a “white cube” gallery in the middle of the eastern Congo. The intention is to make visible already existing forms of exploitation of late capitalism by magnifying them into an absurd farce. The IHA is a program that allows plantation workers in the Congo to make artworks about their experiences as plantation workers and sell these works to the western public: creating a means for the Congolese workers to profit from their poverty and become involved in their own colonization.
DUVE – Marguerite Humeau
Opening: Thursday, April 30; 6pm
Following her acclaimed solo show at Import Projects during Art Week last fall, French visual and aural artist Marguerite Humeau will open Echoes at DUVE on April 30th. Humeau’s oeuvre experiments at the crossroads of art and biology, with a particular interest in extinct animals. Her exhibition at DUVE will consider the concept of the afterlife in regenerative medicine and biological engineering. As in her previous work, Humeau looks at resurrection, both physical and vocal.
Rachel de Joode – “Soft Inquiry” (2015), multimedia sculpture
Neumeister Bar-Am – Rachel de Joode and Kate Cooper
Opening: May 2; 6-9pm
Rachel de Joode‘s second solo exhibition at Neumeister Bar-Am, titled Surfaces, will explore the concept of “Zwischendinge”, or “a between of things”, questioning how we engage with ‘things’ as textures, mediums, and surfaces. Following her first solo show, The Molten Inner Core, de Joode continues to play with objects, their textures, and the aesthetic effects they have on each other. Through her textured, sculptural portrayals of otherwise digital subject matter, de Joode highlights the disparity between the online, seemingly “textureless” realm and the physical, materiality of her artistic field. By fluctuating back and forth between the real and the digital, sculpture and surface, de Joode both points out and converges our notions of what is real and what is not, exploring the relationship and interaction between artist and medium in a new light. In addition to Rachel de Joode’s show, Kate Cooper will be debuting a piece in Der Würfel.
Center Berlin – Group Show
Opening: Apr. 29; 7-11pm
Center, an art space focusing on “hybrid, DIWO exhibitions” will be hosting a group show titled Windowlicker. Though the exact subject matter of the exhibition remains somewhat ambiguous, Windowlicker boasts an extensive list of artists and collaborations, including Paul Barsch, Ivana Basic, Gregoire Blunt, Clemence de la Tour du Pin, Anne Fellner, Naomi Fisher, Dorota Gaweda, Hannah Heilmann, Mirak Jamal, Ilja Karilampi, Sandra Vaka Olsen, Santiago Taccetti, Shaun Motsi, Antoine Renard, Max Ruf, Anthony Salvador, Yves Scherer, Edward Shenk, Emmy Skensved and Tore Wallert. The event’s description seems to be a lyrical excerpt, of sorts, following the story of a homeless, 18-year-old boy as he embarks on a “jimson weed”-induced hallucinogenic trip. After Emmy Skensved and Gregoire Blunt‘s eStamina at Import Projects, and Renard’s Jurassic Haze at Center, this upcoming group show is sure to be as culturally critical and visually interactive as ever.
Jon Rafman – “YASIAOF (Woodsman)” (2015), Archival pigment print, resin, wooden frame, 203 x 152 x 6 cm; Courtesy of Future Gallery
Future Gallery – Jon Rafman and Christian Jankowski
Opening: Apr. 30; 6-10pm
Jon Rafman and Christian Jankowski join forces for Field Vision. Jankowski, who is known for his slapstick “performance” pieces, tends to incorporate historical elements into his pieces, simultaneously poking fun at the fabric of society. Likewise, Jon Rafman’s disturbing and compelling videos, as well as his widely popular images of Google Street View, circulate critiques on our contemporary social condition. If their past work is any indication of what Field Vision will have to offer, Rafman and Jankowski are guaranteed to make the audience think about the ways we interact with and distance ourselves from history, technology, and one another.
Michael Fuchs Galerie – Nir Hod
Opening: Wednesday, April 29; 4pm
Israeli, New York-based artist Nir Hod has gained notoriety for his series of eerily grown-up children’s portraits titled Genius Cult. His solo exhibition at Michael Fuchs Galerie will continue this thematic thread, looking at the life and death of celebrity culture through recent works on canvas and sculpture.
Lindsay Lawson – “Untitled” (2015), Courtesy of Gillmeier Rech
Gillmeier Rech – Lindsay Lawson
Opening: May 1; 6-10pm
Lindsay Lawson‘s The Inner Lives of Objects consists of a series of sculptures containing other objects, artifacts, and realities. The pieces can be seen as “archeological sites” which hold artifacts that, as the title of the exhibition suggests, take on lives of their own through their experiences and perceptions as objects. Lawson makes a key distinction regarding perception, that it has nothing to do with reasoning or thought, but rather with “the ability to take in and recognize information from the environment”. In this way, objects surpass mere functionality; they become materializations of surrounding information, of their past, present, and future environments. As a sculptural portrayal of this “past and provenance”, Lawson’s solo show at Gillmeier Rech will invite its viewers to consider objects as more than meets the eye.
Hebbel am Ufer (HAU) – Josep Caballero Garcia, Black Cracker and Océan LeRoy
Performance: Thursday, April 30; 7pm
Saturday, May 2; 8pm
Sunday, May 3; 8pm
Josep Caballero Garcia is a Spanish dancer and choreographer who is working in collaboration with two artists from the Berlin underground scene: transgender man and music artist Black Cracker and multimedia performance artist and drag king Océan LeRoy. The three artists identify as non-normative male in different ways, and together explore the many faces that the performance of masculinity can assume as a non-biological category. “T/HE/Y” is a 60 minute performance art work that promises to be a profound and memorable exploration of masculinity in pop culture, in dance, and in society as a form of relation and a practice.
More information about the Gallery Weekend: www.gallery-weekend-berlin.de
Blog entry in Berlin; Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2015.